At the outset of the Revolution against the oppressive Company regime, Hawke is a freedom fighter on a mission. Infiltrate Alpha Territory, kick some Corps ass, and stay alive. His plans unravel when he’s captured by the enemy on his first sortie. Waiting for death by the soldier sworn to kill him, all his training couldn’t have prepared him for what happens next.
A corporal in the Company’s military branch, Mayce is a hard-liner intent on ridding his city of the insurgent threat. Yet one look at the gorgeous Freelander named Hawke and years of yearning and unrealized desires change his course permanently. If discovered, he’ll be branded a traitor and a homosexual—and sentenced to death.
Mayce and Hawke act on their intense and immediate attraction. But amid the escalating war their dangerous trysts come at the risk of their own lives.
This novella is a taste of a larger universe, though it stands alone. If you have a taste for military, dystopian literature, with sex, this should satisfy. There’s sex. Lots and lots of sex, and in the interstices of the sex scenes, there’s some pulse pounding military action in a dystopian future. The novel length works in this universe would probably be a better place to really see the world-building, because in this novella, there’s mostly sex.
Did I mention there’s sex? There is. Going from hot, “we’re enemies but we need to fuck” sex, to “I love you and can’t keep my hands off you” sex, and almost every permutation in between. Mayce and Hawke are equals in their alpha maleness and versatile in what they’ll do together. Their initial encounter is “kill him or tap him?” and goes on from there. It’s hot, even if it’s abrupt and requires some suspension of disbelief, so I turned my porn brain on and the problem disappeared. It’s a meeting of equals, and the affection that grows is a function of desperation: they’re fighting a really stupid war and they both know it.
A number of elements would logically follow from the premise of the world situation, but they are either contradicted or ignored. There is a plot and some tension in there, which I liked a lot, worked out in a way that is consistent with world situation. The resolution to the love interest felt kind of tacked on, like something thrown in to satisfy other sensibilities, but it, like the logic behind the military aspects, is pretty much lost in the sex.
If you’re reading for the sex, it’s great, and if you’re reading for the science fiction/military aspects, it has good action with some odd world-building, so best to think of this as SF-flavored erotic romance. Overall it’s entertaining and written in a fluid style. 3.5 marbles