Branded by Clare London

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From DSP:

Maen is a Gold Warrior, an elite defender of Aza City, respected by his fellow soldiers and favored by his imperious Mistress for services both in and out of the bedchamber. His loyalty and commitment are unwavering until he recruits Dax, a captivating and challenging Bronzeman who, despite his youth and inexperience, seduces Maen with his fierce hero worship. When they’re captured by enemies of the City, Maen risks everything to save Dax: his position, his faith, and even his life. But he loses his lover to the rebels and upon his return to the City is stripped of his rank. In Aza, where a soldier’s only lawful devotion is to the City and his Mistress’s pleasure, the disgraced Maen is placed under the watchful guard of the arrogant Gold Warrior Zander and relegated to preparing a Royal History for the new Queen. But his discoveries cast a new and shocking light on the past and threaten to stir revolution in both citizens and rebels. With the help of the lively and inquisitive scribe Kiel, Maen initiates a chain of events that will change their world forever—and offer him the chance to regain both his honor and his heart’s desire.

 

Kimi’s thoughts:

First off, let me state that while there is a romantic element, this is NOT a romance. It’s essentially a re-release of two of her previous works- The Gold Warrior and Twisted Brand as a single work. It takes place on a colony world, one that was settled by humans so long ago and remained cut off long enough that they have evolved a matriarchal society that is very old world in scope. So while it is sci fi, it is also very much a fantasy. There’s intrigue aplenty as factions chafe under the current regime and struggle for freedom. It should be noted that there are a lot of m/f sex scenes due to the nature of the Mistress and slave societal order, but the romance itself is m/m. Please note it is is not dub-con as Maen enjoys the sex he has with his female mistress and looks forward to it; there’s no bisexual erasure going on here. I quite enjoyed reading as the richly detailed world came to life and Maen discovered the truth of their historical past and how the freedom of the people came to be subverted.

An excellent story and one I’ll no doubt return to read again and again.

 

Rating: 4.5

kimisig

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