Author: Jake C. Wallace
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Summary: As prince of the Anzuni demon clan, Jerricho’s entire life has been planned for him. At twenty-five, he will become the crown prince of the Anzuni, marry a man chosen by his parents, and bear his husband’s children all without choice. If that wasn’t enough, he must remain a virgin until his wedding night. To do otherwise would spark an unimaginable scandal.
With only ten months until his twenty-fifth birthday, the walls close in on Jerry, and the realization that he will lose his small apartment, his job at the library, and his freedom hits hard. But that’s nothing compared to losing the man he loves. Rex is a smart and sexy construction foreman with a keen interest in demon “mythology.” When Jerry and Rex give in to spending one night together, their indiscretion can’t be kept secret for long. But that’s only the beginning of their problems.
Someone wants to harness the power of Jerry’s bloodline and his ability to conceive—someone with designs on horrifying experiments, sex slavery, and murder. Jerry and Rex are at the mercy of power-hungry sadists. With no one left to trust, they must fight for each other, their freedom—and their unborn child.
Summary: This was a difficult book. While I did like the concept of this book and I love mpreg and fantasy novels, the only thing I really liked about this book was the relationship between Jerry and his best friend, Keith. Their relationship seemed even stronger then Jerry and Rex’s, which was a shame. And whatever other good parts of this book existed were overshadowed by the flat and inconsistent characters (I’m not even including the double-triple agents going on), the unnecessarily convoluted plot, and the excessive violence (physical and sexual).
The first problem I had with this book is that we are never really shown Rex and Jerry’s relationship, we are told about it. The book starts with Jerry lamenting that he must marry for his kingdom, and not his heart, even though he loves Rex. He then goes right into mourning a relationship that has to be cut off when they are only good friends. We miss their developing relationship and only know they’re close because Jerry tells us they are. This is a rocky way for a romance novel to start, since usually the romantic relationship is the focus of the story, but this is something that could be recovered from. Unfortunately, we never (not in the 336 pages) really see them interact outside of stressful situations or when they’re hooking up. And the sex wasn’t even very good, it either happened in horrible circumstances where sex shouldn’t be happening, when Jerry was upset about something else so the sex was bittersweet, or it involved a weird spanking… thing which came out of nowhere and was awkward. As I said before, we see Jerry interact more (and more authentically) with his best friend then we do with Rex.
And then we move on to the angst over marrying a jerk Jerry’s parents think will be a good fit for him. While I appreciate how this small part of the plot is resolved (Jerry’s parents are cooler then he thinks they are), from this point on the book takes a nose dive. Jerry and Rex are kidnapped, experimented on, and tortured. Around 200 pages of this book are horrifying torture, betrayal, and loss. It was relentless. And while I can appreciate a plot twist and gray characters that are hard to predict, it became exhausting to repeatedly have the characters hopes crushed and to see them hurt over and over. And Jerry and Rex’s happy ending, when it finally came, was too short and mundane to make up for all the suffering that preceded it. After everything that happened to them, all the betrayals, I didn’t trust anything about their freedom and safety. I was tense and stressed until the very end, which was unsatisfying.
This is not a book I recommend. Even the joy of a baby at the end didn’t make up for the horrors and stress in the rest of the book.