Book 1, The Sex
Book 2, The Game
Book 3, The Festival
Book 4, The Leader
Book 5, The Pledge
Book 6, The Heat
Book 7, The Trace
Book 8, The Keeper
Book 1: Virtus Saga
March 15, 2010
Gay (m/m), Fantasy, Paranormal, Ménage, m/m/f, m/f
Rating: 2 Cups
Ylianor is the daughter of Black Rose’s stable master. She has the gift of being able to read and understand auras and conduct telepathy with a few selected individuals. She has been in love with Prince Duncan Caldwell for her entire life.
Prince Duncan Caldwell is the prince of Black Rose and is in love with Christopher Templeton, his closest friend, as well as, lover.
Christopher “Chris” Templeton is Duncan’s best friend and lover. He has power as well but it is different than Ylianor’s. Chris’s power can be both dark and destructive and light and positive. Duncan helps to keep him grounded.
When Duncan returns to his family’s estate of Black Rose, on the way, a storm interrupts his return and he takes shelter at a house close to his home. Inside he discovers Ylianor whom he recognizes on some level, but does not know why. Ylianor knows exactly who he is, but has not really seen him since they were young children and Duncan’s mother banished her from Black Rose. Ylianor’s father is dying and while she invites Duncan to stay with them, she spends most of her time with her father. She knows he will not last the night. When Duncan returns to his estate the next day, he decides to offer Ylianor the job of Stable Master. While not exactly unheard of, it is unusual for a woman to be a stable master. Of course he has an ulterior motive; he wants her in his bed. While he gets his wish, he knows in his heart that Chris is the one he truly loves, he is just looking for a woman to bear his children. Of course Ylianor is of a lesser class, so she is unsuitable for this, but that does not stop him from bedding her. Unfortunately Ylianor’s mother was the lover of Duncan’s father, and so this has cast aspersions on just who Ylianor’s father is. However, that does not stop Duncan from beginning a sexual relationship with her, nor from continuing his relationship with Chris who hates Ylianor and will do anything he can to drive a wedge between her and Duncan. In spite of this, Duncan convinces Chris to share Ylianor with him sexually. Will these three be able to come together for a very special purpose that could save their world, or will Chris’ darkness split their developing three way bond?
I would have liked to have given this story a higher rating but there were simply too many problems with it. First of all I just could not like any of the three main characters. Their weaknesses far outweighed their good qualities in my opinion. Also the book did not keep my interest and simply dragged on and on making it difficult to read. Another problem with the book is the implied incest between Ylianor and Duncan. While it is stated that there is no way she can be his sister, it is also stated that her mother was having an affair with Duncan’s father, and that she was pregnant when she married the stable master. Also, characters in the book remark over and over on her resemblance to Duncan. Finally, Duncan’s own father, in a letter, expresses his thought that Ylianor may in fact be his daughter. Yet, the relationship such as it is between Ylianor and Duncan continues. In addition, Ms. Tolomei has a scene of knife play in the book and readily points out that is okay that Chris, the perpetrator, does this to people because these people needed to be cut on and tortured, that they were asking for it, literally. While I understand that in some BDSM situations knife play is present, my understanding of this is that it is not a situation where someone is tortured, and that it does not happen in nonconsensual situations, which is what happened in the book. The book implies that if someone “asks for it” that being cut on, stabbed and tortured is okay. Another issue that I had is that Duncan and Chris are clearly in love, yet neither man falls in love with Ylianor making her a third wheel. She is fine for sex, but emotionally I got the sense they could take her or leave her. Duncan is even willing to give her up for Chris and says so. The ending has no real resolution, and the connection between the three main characters and the mystery is not even brought into play until nearly the end of the book. Then it is left completely unresolved. All in all I cannot recommend this book for the above reasons.
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