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2015 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: The Slave by Kate Aaron

The Slave (Free Men 1) by Kate Aaron
Gay Erotic Romance
Series: Free Men
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Croft House (October 27, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1502964651
ISBN-13: 978-1502964656
Amazon: The Slave (Free Men 1)
Amazon Kindle: The Slave (Free Men 1)

At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly. Tam's dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave. He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed. Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except... nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?


The characters are outstanding, and the setting was marvellous -- science fiction that reads like fantasy. The cliffhanger ending kind of annoyed me, but I immediately went out and bought the two sequels, so I guess it worked! 

Kate Aaron's story, The Slave, is but a whisper away from perfection. The ending of the story, while as flawlessly written as the rest, turned the book from a perfectly executed introduction, body, denouement, and richly satisfying ending to one that felt unfinished. I am aware that the ending feeds into the next book in the series...If it had been put as the beginning of the second story, I think I could have given this masterfully written story a perfect score. It hurt to not be able to do so.

What I appreciate most about this author, is her ability to take a subject matter that holds zero interest to me as a reader, while still managing to create characters that keep me engaged enough to continue reading in spite of that fact. There was enough setting and world-building to make the story feel real, though I confess I would have enjoyed seeing even more detail included, especially with regard to the Master’s complex considering the bulk of the story takes place there. The relationship is the plot here, one of self-discovery and in that sense, was well fleshed out, but otherwise not too complicated. Overall, I prefer this authors Puddledown Mysteries over this fantasy-based story, but like any great author, Kate managed to make this story work for me. 


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Tags: rainbow awards 2015
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