The Myians and the Shadows have lived a symbiotic relationship for years. The Shadows serve their chosen Myian in every way, and in return, the Myians feed the Shadows from their blood one night a year. This is seems like the perfect existence for all, except for one thing. The Myian men are cursed to remain infertile so cannot continue their line. A solution to their problems has been found, but it involves sex with their enemies the Ednians. The Ednians do not approve of the Myian clan, but feel it is their duty to help them to survive. To do this, they donate a single male, every two years, to help carry on the line by breeding with a woman from the clan. The Myian women have to petition the Elders to become the chosen one, and it is then his duty is to stay with the clan until the chosen female has conceived. Much to the disappointment of the rest of the clan, Mila is the one to be picked this cycle. She has dreamed of this day since she was a girl and is willing to sleep with a man that she hates to get what she wants. Once she sees the man who is to father her
child, she finds herself doubting her prejudices as he is just so darn hot (at one point we have a “cock-induced coma because it’s so darn pretty :D)
Lake is devastated when he is chosen to service a woman from the Myian clan. Haunted by the stories of disfigured, crazy women, he heavy heartedly treks to the other clan, only to be shocked by how attracted he is to the woman he is to have sex with. As he becomes immersed in the customs of the clan that he may have to live with for up to a year, he realises that he has become entranced by his potential mate. When her Shadow tries to kill her in a feeding frenzy, he takes her away from her home to protect her. Will she stay with him in such foreign lands? Or, will she go back to fight to save the Shadow that has been her constant companion for years.
First thing to say, is that the blurb goes a little further than I would like to have gone in a review. That being said, I’ll mention anything that is written in it! Mila and Lake aren’t characters that were easy to like. They are both incredibly prejudiced towards each other’s cultures and both make particularly stupid decisions because of it. Mila is willing to sleep with anyone to get pregnant hence why she is desperate for the mating to happen. Lake is there because he would bring dishonour to his family if he didn’t fulfil their end of the bargain. Both were reasons that made me feel quite for the characters; neither is engaging in sex because they want to. Although the speed with which they started to develop feelings was ridiculously fast, it did make me feel a little more comfortable with the arranged sex situation. The love story doesn’t really hot up until after the attack on Mila, before that it is simply lust. They cannot sleep together until “First Night”, which is the night that they start to try for the baby, but they can do other things and this leads to some fab sex scenes J
This book is the start of a series and, although I desperately want to read more, it wasn’t particularly comfortable reading. The Shadow’s are a Vampire race, but what they have to do to get the blood that they need, isn’t pleasant. I could deal with the servitude for blood, it felt like payment, but I really couldn’t deal with the sexual service. Although the Shadow’s picked the Myian that they served, I wasn’t comfortable with them pleasuring their masters. I could see that, although Cho enjoyed it, there were others that did the same, but weren’t as happy to do it. I particularly wasn’t comfortable with the fact that, although Mila was comfortable with Cho giving her oral sex, he wasn’t good enough to have actual sex with. I got the impression that the Shadows were lesser species in this world and It wasn’t comfortable at all. Once again, I like the secondary character a little too much; I do hope we get to see more of Cho in a story.
I know Cassidy Hunter’s writing works for me and I think this is because, although her characters are often unlikeable, they work very well within the context of the worlds that she creates. This is a very interesting take on Vampires and I enjoyed the break from the usual “Vampires are too hot for words” kind of storylines that have been popular of late. I did find myself liking Lake and I would like to see more of him in future stories. Mila’s character development wasn’t as advanced, because of the brevity of the story, but I hoping that she can become more likeable as she experiences the different cultures that she wasn’t used to and also get’s over that whole baby obsession. One thing that really did annoy me was that she doesn’t accept change easily; She doesn’t accept her attraction to Lake nor does she accept Cho’s betrayal. She puts herself in an incredibly stupid situation after the later and it really hacked me off. I understood the reasoning, but there was no way it was worth the risk. I’m hoping Cho is redeemable; I liked his character prior to the whole “incident” and we didn’t see much of him later.
A sexy story embedded within a very dark world. The characters were well rounded and interesting; I just felt the tale was a little too brief to make them likeable. I would LOVE to see more of this world explored, it really set my imagination alight. It has the potential to be a fabulous series and, although I enjoyed this story, I think what is to come next will appeal to me even more.