The Federated Universe is run by the Founding Families, 15 in all. For those lucky to be born into these families, life is good as a Ranked citizen. Unlucky, well then you are unranked and not represented in this universe. Abby Haws is fighting to change this having grown up as an unranked citizen. She has done well for herself after tragic events could have ended her life. By day she works as a barrister and at night she devotes herself to the cause of getting representation for the unranked citizens.
Roman Lyons is he head of the Lyons family, the first Founding Family. Running the Federated Universe is a full time job that no one appreciates, but he isn’t complaining. He is everything Abby dislikes, but both are caught off guard by the instant attraction they feel for each other. Vowing to stay apart, they keep getting thrown together, igniting the passion over and over.
When media decides Abby is using sex to get Lyons to agree to representation for the unranked, the two must split up and go their own ways. But love once tasted is hard to deny.
I love Lauren Dane’s writing style. Everything just comes alive and you feel the emotion pouring from her characters. This series has been tough for me to read but at the same time easy to read. Ugh?
The tough part I am dealing about is the setting of this series. It is sometime in the future and the Federated Universe is ruled by the founding families that came through some portal from Earth. The 15 families rule the universe. They have rank while anyone else born outside of these families are unranked. This doesn’t mean they can’t intermarry, or there might be some family trees that go quite vertical. But the decision on marriage is made by the head of the family. The women of the family seem to be little more than arm candy for the men. None of them have any brains that we can see. Maybe that will change in future books. The men are allowed to take on mistresses and concubines whenever and wherever they wish. Mistresses have less power than a bride but more power than a concubine. Mistresses actually sign paperwork and any children resulting from this union are legal. Now the heroines so far I have read about in the two books I have read in this series want nothing to do with being a mistress or a concubine. They have some standards that I feel are right on! I am not a fan of stories where men don’t do the right thing and marry the women or at least have them be equal to their own status. Maybe I am a feminist but that is just it. I don’t like women being placed below men in status.
So that is my pet peeve of the books, so I decided to just look beyond it and the story between the two people. But this does play a role. Abby and Roman cannot be together because he is from a the first Founding Family and she is from an unranked family. This is where my heart gets ripped out and I want to stomp on all the men. I suspect this is what Lauren Dane wants you to feel. I cried when Roman left Abby. I cried every time she had to see him afterwards. It just broke my heart that society thought she wasn’t good enough for him.
Abby…LOVED HER! She is a strong, capable person who loves her family and has a rising career. She wants equality. She owns her sexuality. She has every right to be happy. Roman was her perfect match and I disliked him a little because he wouldn’t stand up to the system and declare his love for her to anyone but her.
It all works out in the end. There is a lot of steamy sex…a lot! There is so much emotion in it as well. These two deserve each other and work together so beautifully. I can’t wait to read more about them in future books…at least hoping I see them some in them.
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