Title: To the Highest Bidder (Unabridged)
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Narrator: Jean Samson
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 5 hours, 11 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (30 March 2016)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb: The Intergalactic Star Pilot Academy has accepted Thierry Leroux into the elite class of sky year 2231. But the academy comes with a hefty price tag, and there’s no way he, a poor Sythe orphan, has the credits the academy requires. Thierry’s brother, Corbin, a high-class companion, suggests Thierry sell his virginity for the cost of tuition. It seems like a ridiculous idea, but it may be Thierry’s only shot, so Thierry asks Corbin to arrange a meeting on the pleasure planet of Wish.
On Wish, Thierry meets Corbin’s boss, Monroe, and they agree to auction off Thierry’s virginity. Thierry is grateful to the masked buyer he knows only as “Dragonfly”, and Dragonfly is gentle, making Thierry’s first time a good memory. When Dragonfly requests to see him again, and pay for the pleasure, Thierry returns to Wish.
But in this game, falling in love is dangerous for the heart, and Thierry might not like the man behind the mask.
Review: This is my first Caitlin Ricci book and I absolutely loved it, the story was wonderful and just sucked me right in. To the Highest Bidder is a fun and totally sexy sci-fi book but is all sweetness and naiveté from the POV of the narrator, Thierry. I got so strongly invested into this book that I didn’t want it to end.
Thierry tells the story. He and his older brother are orphans. Corbin, who is probably around 10 years older, raised Thierry when their parents died. To make enough money to survive Corbin became an intergalactic courtesan and he loves his work (think like companions in the Firefly universe). But because there isn’t enough money Thierry can’t pay for his tuition to become a space pilot at the prestigious Star Pilot Academy.
That is when Corbin comes up with the solution for Thierry to auction off his virginity and that is where this wild ride really takes off.
Thierry is a starry-eyed type of kid (he’s 20) who realizes that he falls in love with the man that brought his virginity. That’s where we get a bit of angst but each of Thierry’s encounters with the mysterious Dragonfly is hot and sexy. Though to be honest Dragonfly’s real identity is really not much of a surprise and it wasn’t set up to be a surprise to the reader/listener.
My 2 criticisms and the reasons why I couldn’t give this a 5/5 rating are: 1) the ending is rushed. I felt like the last chapter and epilogue could have been handled a bit better although they were fantastically set up. 2) Being that we are dealing with aliens I really had a hard time believing the whole age gap thing.
I suppose because in my head different species of aliens that are invented by authors can have as long a life span as the author wanted and so I felt when the age gap was only mentioned one it was out of place.
I have no idea if I will be able to wait long enough to listen to the audio for the next book in the series, which is about Thierry’s brother, but if Jean Samson narrates I will definitely want to listen to it, even if I manage to read it first. Jean Samson’s narration was just brilliant. I love the tone that he used for Thierry, along with his brother, Corbin and Corbin’s boss, Monroe.
If you’re all for some sci-fi alien loving you’re going to love To the Highest Bidder!
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *