Author: Michael Barnette
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novel (258pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (31st July 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½ Hearts
Blurb: Prince Raphael d’Alleven flees for his life after his family is murdered and the government of Alleven is taken over. Exhausted and unable to find a way off world, Raphael literally runs into his best hope for salvation: a genetically engineered soldier named Hadrian Ice. Ice hadn’t planned on taking service with anyone, but understanding the predicament Raphael finds himself in, Ice is unable to turn him away.
With bounty hunters on their trail and Viscount Alfonso Macchoine, scion of the House responsible for the coup, joining the hunt, it will take all of their combined skills to restore the government of Alleven to its rightful ruler; Raphael’s missing twin sister, Raphaella. As long as they don’t get killed first.
Review: Raphael finds himself fleeing for his life when a coup is staged against his family, his entire family has been wiped out, and the only way he can survive is to get off world and find his sister Raphaella. With mercenaries and bounty hunters, dogging his heels Raphael literally runs into his salvation: a genetically engineered soldier named Hadrian Ice, hiring Ice brings to him more than just regaining the Throne. Ice isn’t looking to be hired but having a beautiful young man begging for his aid has Ice agreeing to protect him, all Ice has to do is get Raphael off world and to the Council of Worlds. But, Ice discovers something he never thought possible and is reluctant to let the Prince go.
This is a brilliant science fiction story of a political coup, power-hungry madmen, running for freedom and finding love in unexpected circumstances. Raphael is a prince and has many secrets, he has just watched his father being murdered and he has had to run knowing that he faces a similar fate. He has no intention of staying gone though, the people responsible will be made to pay, but first he needs aid from the Council of Worlds and then to find his sister Raphaella. Running into Ice is his blessing as he hires the Soldier to get him to safety but he never reckoned on the attraction he would feel for the man. Ice hides many facts from Raphael as he helps the beautiful young man, he will do all within his power to see the young man get his birthright back, but the powerful attraction he feels for Raphael is one he cannot ignore.
I loved this story, it has a wealth of detail that isn’t too heavy and is easy to follow. The storyline is brilliant and we get to know the characters well, Raphael is a lot more than he first seems and Ice also develops into more than a simple Soldier. Together they make a fantastic team, in both dangerous and sensual situations. The science fiction aspect is wonderfully done with simple explanations that still give us a wealth of detail, the coup is carried out excellently with us getting glimpses into the minds of those that carried it out.
The relationship between Raphael and Ice is given to us in great detail so we can see exactly what both men are thinking and feeling, and we can also understand why they both hold back on admitting their feelings. The two men are hot together; their love is much more than just physical. I liked the fact that the coup didn’t overshadow their relationship and that the relationship didn’t overshadow the coup, it was blended together perfectly giving us a brilliant story of both love and adventure.
I recommend this to those that love science fiction love stories, hot capable men, danger and madmen, seeking justice and discovering the love of your life.