"Erotic novella is introduction to an imaginative world and people"
On a faraway planet a young woman, Riella, princess of the
kingdom of Kegin, has risked herself to save the life of
her beloved cousin, Benir, falsely accused of treason.
Dressed as a member of the guard, she's managed to sneak
him out of the palace and is on her way back to her rooms
when she is found by General Tolerin, her father's most
trusted soldier. Tolerin has never met her before and
doesn't recognize her as the princess. Instead he believes
he's discovered a schente, a member of the royal harem of
sterile women, who has helped Benir. She doesn't tell him
who she is, even when he insists on a price for his
silence... a night in his bed. Tolerin has a very special
place in the palace - he's entitled to take any schente he
wants and he wants this one. To her surprise Riella wants
him as well. She's scarcely an innocent -- she's had her
harem of sterile male schaens since she was fifteen - but
this man isn't a biddable schaen, or sterile. But he's
worth the risk... all four times that night!
Well, he was worth the risk until the inevitable happens -
when a fertile woman meets a fertile man, sometimes a baby
results. Now Riella and Tolerin must bargain with and
convince each other that marriage is the best answer for
both of them, with Riella's pregnancy-induced mating urge
kicked into high gear, and Tolerin's desire for her
stronger than ever. Meanwhile, Ro Ti, Riella's father, is
wondering why his daughter would suddenly pick a husband,
and who the traitor is that falsely accused Benir of
conspiring against his daughter.
This erotic novella is an introduction to Brenna Lyons's
imaginative world, and her highly sexual people, the Keen.
At times enslaved by their hormones, Riella and Tolerin
spend a lot of time enjoying each other's bodies, or trying
hard to resist needing the other, the result being highly
sensual. But these are also intelligent people, who care
for each other, and are forever trying to avoid hurting the
other, even when they aren't getting along. Watching their
love grow and their acceptance of their relationship is as
much a part of the story as the sex.
In addition, there is an engaging mystery plot, of a secret
traitor who would easily kill to get what he wants -
control of the kingdom through marriage to the king's
daughter, even if he has to take her by force. He thinks he
just needs to defeat Benir, Tolerin, and Ro Ti, but the man
has a worthy opponent in Riella who is much stronger than
anyone could expect. She wields a knife with great accuracy
and I respect that in a heroine.
The world is well described, particularly the sexual
aspects of the Keen, who have some intriguing physical
differences. There is a glossary at the end of the story to
explain some of the terms used, although most of their
meanings are clear from context. As Ms. Lyons has a second
book set in this world about to come out, LAST CHANCE FOR
LOVE, reading this one should help prepare for it.
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted February 20, 2003
Riella is on a mission of mercy, saving her cousin from an
unjust death on false charges of treason. When General
Tolerin captures her and demands a night of pleasure in
exchange for his silence, mistakenly believing she is one
of her father's schente, she offers him the night.
Tolerin is not happy to discover that his beloved Deliya is
actually the king's daughter, Riella. She has made him the
worst sort of fool -- and a traitor. His only chance at
happiness -- and of escaping Ro's fury -- is convincing her
to become his wife.
Sexual content: NC-17.