Author: Megan Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Kamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can’t meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he’s secretly loved for years.
Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom looks almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he’s always seen, but never really noticed.
Review: I love the world created in this series. With each book we learn a little more about the society. This one shines a spotlight on the acceptance of gender fluidity and lack of traditional male female roles . I have to admit to not realizing Kamir was trans until well into the book during a sex scene. It is listed on the site so that’s my bad. It did kind of jar me because I wasn’t aware of it at all until this point making me ponder what I’d read the previous 100 pages. I do like that there is no prejudice in that regard in this world. There is prejudice however. One of the MCs Jadar is looked down upon for where he comes from. Jadar is the first man from the Islands to be promoted to his rank in the army. He’s also friends with the King and Consort. Basically he’s pretty important. He still faces racial slurs and stereotypes. He’s bisexual. Jadar’s was brought up in a very different society than the one he’s living in. In his society people can choose to have many lovers. They also think very highly of mothers but not in a traditional sense. I won’t try to explain it here but I did find their culture interesting. It kind of sculpts who Jadar is. He also has a history that will be explained in the book that I found pretty interesting.
Kamir is young. He’s been shunned by his family for running off with a man who abused him and didn’t offer his family any form of income. His mom is basically a money grubbing social climber and Kamir failed to deliver the golden goose of a husband the youngest child in the family is meant to score. Kamir’s family and ex are awful. What he did gain from his impulsiveness was 2 amazing children that are his world. In fact they are who gave him the courage to leave the Ex who pops back in his life trying to extort him in this book. He has a best friend from the same island as Jadar. Other than that he has no one to depend on but himself. He has a crush on Jadar but based on his social status and the label of divorcee he thinks that’s a dream that will never come true. Jadar does notice him however and a courtship begins. Kamir is struggling with so much in this book. He decides even if it’s just a fling he wants this one small thing for himself. I did like the couple together. Jadar is powerful and confident. Kamir is sweet and good. They made a really good match. Jardar just takes his sweet time realizing how good they are together. I do have to say I wish they had been able to be together more. A large portion of the book has Jadar far away on a diplomatic trip while Kamir suffers on multiple fronts from home. Sarrica was pretty disappointing. I get he’s being protective but he went WAY too far. I liked how Jadar doesn’t waver from who he is and that he’s a little cocky. I felt so bad for Kamir but respected that no matter what he picked himself up and carried on.
This one was pretty sweet. The courtship is slow and is mostly done in letter form as absence seems to make Jadar realize it’s more than just lust between him and Kamir. I loved Kamir’s best friend and body guard. His ex was a little OTT and his mother was vile. There is some adventure and action in this one but not as much as I’d have liked. Overall it was good but not nearly as good as the first one IMO.