“This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison”
Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…
I’m not going to lie, I was expecting something light and maybe a little trashy. However, those expectations were not met, much to my delight. This is a romance novel that is character driven. Damen is a prince without a kingdom thrust into a desperate situation and at the mercy of his enemies. Despite this Damen manages to survive in a world that seeks to destroy him. Laurent is the perfect anti-hero; I will probably end up falling in love with this cold boy king but as of this first novel there is nothing I would like to do more than break his perfect composure by shaking some sense into him.
I like the political games they play, even if they can be predictable. I didn’t expect much from this novel other than a light romance so I was pleasantly surprised by the tense and downright animosity filled interactions between Laurent and Damen. There is nothing I love more than a slow burning romance and I was ecstatic to find that not only would this series deliver that but also hinted at a politically intricate plotline to accompany it. The writing is simple but not lacking finesse or complexity and creates emotional undertones and unspoken subplots. However, the world building is very limited and I hope that the second novel will broaden the horizons of Damen’s world.
The almost senseless depravity and sadism of the Veretian court is off putting and I hope that once removed from that suffocating and dangerous environment Damen’s and Laurent’s relationship will flourish.