Series: Thresl Chronicles #5
Author: Amber Kell
Genre: Sci-Fi / Paranormal
Length: Novella (93 pages)
Publisher: Totally Bound (November 15th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 3.5~4 Hearts
Blurb: This is book five in the The Thresl Chronicles series.
When Duke Hellbur is accused of treason against his people, he bonds with medic Balaze to keep his human form and prove his innocence.
When Duke Hellbur is accused of smuggling Thresls and selling them off to interested buyers, he undertakes a trip to prove his innocence. In order to retain his humanity, Hellbur bonds with a medic named Balaze…who didn’t exactly give his assent to the binding of their souls.
Balaze admired the duke whenever he visited the castle, but finding someone attractive and wanting to be theirs for eternity aren’t the same thing. After surviving the death of his first Thresl mate, Balaze isn’t exactly eager to go through that pain again. However, the duke doesn’t take no for answer.
Those who are guilty will have to be uncovered if the two men ever plan on finding peace with each other. When Hellbur and Balaze go off on an interplanetary adventure, can they find common ground or will their enemies tear them apart?
Product Link: https://www.totallybound.com/duke-betrayed
Review: The suspense continues in the Thresl Chronicles Series and book five Duke Betrayed picks up where the previous left us with Duke Hellbur being in the hospital waiting to get better so that King Vohne can interrogate him about his alleged betrayal. As we already know, Hellbur suppressed his change back to feral when his mate died in the Great Purge by using drugs. The absence of them during his healing causes Hell to shift back into his Thresl form when in the hospital and under the care of Balaze. Upon regaining consciousness, Hell understands that he has no chance of proving his innocence in this form and that the people who framed him are now free to take advantage of his people.
I must admit that when I read the blurb I was a bit disappointed, thinking that I’d be reading about yet another forced mating, same way it happened with Prince Blaine, however this is not the case. While indeed the Duke is in a precarious place, being free from the drugs allows his feral instincts to come free and he smells his mate, recognizes him in Balaze. The relationship between the two is shady of course; Balaze thinks the Duke only claimed him to keep his human form, and Hell on the other hand has been so many years without a mate that he doesn’t know how to make his new one feel at easy. While Balaze’s unease comes through their link, Hell doesn’t really know how to deal with it. It doesn’t help that his previous mate was a soldier and their relationship was not one of many affections.
It is very interesting to see the Thresl bond in this peculiar pair and I believe the author managed to do a really good job showing us that no matter how “fated” you may be, no matter if you have a direct link with your other half, you always need to work on a relationship to make it work. Both men’s character comes forward and I had a blast getting to know Hell and Balaze. The spymaster became very approachable when it was clear that no matter how strong a hold he had on his network of spies he missed the conspiracy right under his nose. He became a dear one when he finally let loose and vulnerable, admitting the need of his mate in more ways than one and literally depending on him. Balaze on the other hand showed us his true making, not only his soft and sweet side, his caretaking streak and his empathy, but also a fierceness when it came to doing whatever necessary to help his beloved.
Between adjusting in their new bond and running as fugitives in order to find the people responsible for the threat on the Thresl’s life we were granted with yet another action plot that had us on our toes and constantly wondering who might be behind this conspiracy. Yes, the person who took direct advantage of Hell’s name was pretty obvious from the beginning, but there are more and they run deeper, making this series a non-stop addiction and literally causing a craving for more. On that aspect, I feel the author has a strong hold on her goal to keep her fans pinning for the series with an unwavering interest.
Of course there was the little bit that caused my eye roll, because in almost every installment there is a person who wants the Thresl for his mate, threats to kill the established mate in order to take advantage of the Thresl. I feel it’s a constant that I read every time and I’ve even come to expect it so much so that it almost doesn’t make an impression on me anymore. Still it’s a thorn on the plot when the villain is so predictable.
The highlight of the story as always for me at least was Saint. Dear author, just kill me! When I started reading the series I admit the Thresl as a species were the great allure, following by Kres (you can’t deny his appeal, his almost feral possessiveness), but too fast I became enthralled with Saint and looking around at the fan-base of the series I’m not alone. Saint is a creature that simply mesmerize you and following him around has been a blast, a frustrating one but awesome nonetheless. The book ends with the nicest surprise ever. It literally had me scream and for the love of all that’s sacred, please, please don’t take long to bring his story on the shelves.
For those of you that don’t know the series I urge you to get a look into them, for the fans of this world I don’t have to say much beside, go grab it and enjoy yet another well-delivered installment. Strongly recommended!