Author: Lyn Gala
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age. This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him.
Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to love.
I was not expecting to fall in book love with Liam and Ondry and their journey (so far), but that’s exactly what I did. A wonderfully slow and drifting fall into a pillow nest of my own.
Liam cares deeply, feels deeply. He knows how easy it is for him to fall in love, in need. In Ondry. Liam is intelligent, though hardly anyone recognizes it. If they do, they don’t care and don’t show it. Except Ondry. Liam has an undeniably strong survivor’s instinct, and he’s needed it. Ondry sees this. He also sees Liam’s great need for someone else to be in charge of that survival.
Ondry is confident, strong. He’s also very caring, attuned. He cares very much about Liam and it takes some time for him to understand what Liam needs, how to translate that caring into actions and words that Liam will accept… and believe.
Pairing these two, in any form or function, reveals a quietness, a stillness throughout this story. For as much as goes on, when the energy is focused on Liam and Ondry, whether in public or private, the air becomes still, thick, knowledgeable. The enjoyment for me comes from watching these two slowly decipher, gain and share that knowledge.
Fear is a powerful thing. Powerful because it makes us feel weak when we’re in fear of pain, of the past, of pain still shining so brightly from the past. This is Liam. To say he’s struggling, straddling between letting the pain stunt his future and that very future possibly being his savior, well… yeah. A choice so many of us have been and are forced to make.
Liam has a moment when, after being in his “new” world with Ondry for a bit, he sees his former human world as now the alien way. I recognize that feeling, when your life suddenly arrives in a new place and it feels more like home than your lifelong one ever did. Looking back, upon a brief visit, makes it all so clear. Relief. Freedom. Breath that feels full and vibrant.
Sometimes the message is too obvious in the writing here. In one case, I chuckled and imagined a neon sign proclaiming the way things should be! Less is more, subtlety and all that stuff is all true for a reason.
Beyond that, I enjoyed the rest of this story. Liam and Ondry are as close to opposites attract as two beings could be – and not just in the outwardly obvious ways – but they worked to fit themselves together, slowly and surely securing their puzzle pieces into place. It’s beautiful to watch. I definitely felt the connection.
If you’re a half-ling like me when it comes to reading fantasy, then you should be more than fine in trying this book. The world building was sufficient in making me feel surrounded and included without being overwhelming. Important details are repeated, which helped me keep track, without reading like a reference guide.
Yup, I’m in. And very excited about the sequel coming later this month: “Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities”.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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