"She is mine to protect, mine to shelter, mine to feed and mine to cover. When she is weak, I shall be her strength. She was stolen from her world by our captors. Now her survival is my responsibility. It is her duty to endure my lust, respect my nest mates and honour our union with offspring. I revere this giver of life, as is the way."~ Venomous One, formerly of Rök, enslaved gladiator
Abducted from Earth and transported to a slave planet in an unknown galaxy, Lumen finds herself, shackled, naked and put on display before an alien horde. Told the males will battle for the right to slake their lusts with her body, she would become the slave of slaves. Venomous One, a proud warrior enslaved, has given up hope of returning to his home world and finding a life mate. When a female is tossed into the arena his soul demands he claim her. Winning his mate by Right of Might, he vows to protect Lumen and be a good provider, no matter how ugly her human appearance. Rescued by Venomous’ people, the couple face space pirates, the condemnation of an alien government, galactic war, and a deadlier threat from within the warrior’s own kindred.
Warning: violence, profanity and sexual situations with multiple partners.
This is a massively uneven book. The first 10 pages might be the worst I have read in a long time. Notice though I gave it 4 stars overall. This is my first Fletcher book and I tend to be generous with new to me authors and there were also glorious moments in the book that make it a romance I am likely to reread and I can't wait for the next book in the series. Claws tapping.
The prologue is an ill advised stream of consciousness and badly done. It is like watching a chronic drunk take another drink. You whip your head around thinking isn't anyone going to stop her? And no one does. Fletcher needed better beta readers. Or beta readers at all. The opening was a bad idea. It is the first thing a reader sees. I am shocked I kept reading. It must be my love for reptilian aliens. Yep. I love them. lol
The actual opening chapter of the book is only slightly better. We get zero character grounding. We have eviscerated recently but are healed and are peeing on ourself in self defense against other horrors. Now, I actually like the brutality of this scene about how awful it really would be to be captured in this way by a being who thought you were little better than an animal but we don't find out until way way into the book that our heroine is black and English. Not that race and country of origin really matters much in this tale but we are disoriented as readers. You could argue that we are disoriented and cut off from who we/she is to replicate what the heroine is feeling but it doesn't work. It comes off like lazy writing instead.
Now. the writing gets better once Lumen meets the hero. There is a non con scene but first of all it is cultural and second of all she brings it up in several places and works through the violation so this aspect of the book works for me.
The faulty translator chip writing is rough but plausible on the slave planet. This is a gritty book that doesn't hold back on what it would mean to be in such a place.
There are is a ton going on in this book: Slave planet, rescue, pirate attack, adjusting to new culture and hero's home, acquiring of second mate, kidnapping, acquiring of third mate, pregnancy, space station and trial, the threat of war, Lumen the ambassador.
Its long. I liked it though. I love the world building. I love the characters. The cultural clashes and Lumen's problem solving are fun. The romance is sweet if unnecessarily erotic in places. What I mean is the romance gets more and more erotica based it is goes along for no really benefit to the overall story.
I was happy in this world and liked the adventure and the writing got way better after the awful start.
I can't wait for her new bestie the bisexual cat like king alien's book. LOL.
Because...yeah...I like overtop alien romance that has a heart.