Author: Tali Spencer
Reviewed by: Don
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Genre: M/M Fantasy
Summary: Once the Kordeun family ruled Sebboy…now they are imperial captives of the Uttoran Emperor. Devout and studious, Endre Kordeun loves his family and will do anything to free them, even if that means pretending he’s gay so he can pass messages to his father’s shady allies. With his golden good looks and a beautiful male courtesan posing as his lover, Endre finds Uttor’s decadent society more than willing to believe his ruse.
But when a passionate kiss from a dark, gorgeous man unlocks feelings Endre had been hiding even from himself, lies start to unravel. Arshad, prince of Tabar, is Endre’s match in every way…including a shared love for science and celestial mechanics. Going forward with his charade will be dangerous, and not only because he might be discovered. In that event, even his own father would kill him. How much is Endre willing to risk for love.
Review: The Kordeun family was once the royal family of Sebboy but now live in captivity in Uttor. The emperor Gaspar has given them a villa to live in and treats the family well. Lukacz Kordeun rules his family with an iron fist disowning any child who dares to defy him. Lukacz is planning an escape attempt and puts his handsome young son Endre in a tight spot by forcing him to act like a gay man so that he may pass messages between Lukacz and his allies. The problem is that Endre really is attracted to men and when he meets the hot Tabarian Prince Arshad, Endre must decide between family and his own happiness.
Ms Spencer did a wonderful job of world building by setting the story smack dab in an area that could have hosted Ali Baba. Uttor is a country rich in diversity, textures and beliefs from the crazily homophobic Lukacz to the relaxed and accepting Gaspar. The different temples to prophets and the various customs are what really make this book stand out a step above the rest. Endre was the conflicted but dutiful son right up to the end while Lukacz was an idiot who got better than he deserved. I admired Gaspar who tried his best to incorporate his captive royals into Uttor instead of killing them. I enjoyed Endre and Arshad and the love they shared even though their big sex scene was more like reading a manual on man on man sex 101. There was plenty of angst for those readers that love the plucked heart strings and still get their HEA. Yanni was a wonderfully funny character who helped Endre find himself even more than Arshad did. I have read a couple of Ms Spencer’s books and this one is by far the best.