The society where Alarin and Maleus are living is a futuristic city divided in social levels that are reflected in the floor you are allowed in: poor people stay in the bottomside part of the city, where the sun cannot reach them, where vitamins and proteins are the new drugs; wealthy people live above, without never going below.
Maleus’s intervention in helping Alarin is not casual, he was looking after the guy, and that same night he was perusing the bottomside to find the guy; his proposal is simple: he will give Alarin, food, clothes, shelter and everything in exchange of the absolute possession of Alarin’s body and soul. Despite the premises, indeed Maleus is more like a teacher than a lover, and most of their sexual encounters are like a lesson, Maleus is teaching to Alarin to behave in a bedroom like he is teaching him to behave in a room full of people. Little by little the reader will understand Maleus has an hidden agenda and Alarin is the missing piece to his puzzle.
This is not a classical romance, and as it’s, there is not you classical happily ever after; probably the main reason is due to the fact that this is born like book 1 in a series, and so the story is not complete with this novel, but it has a follow up in book 2, Rysykk's Remedy.
Even if both Maleus and Alarin have venial reason to enter in this relationship, their bond will move from interest to love, and there will be an exchange of love words between them, but despite this, Maleus will not renounce to his agenda, and Alarin will remain more a pawn than a partner, at least for this first instalment of their story.
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott