Today, I’m reviewing Prey by Wendy Rathbone, a m/m, science fiction, BDSM, abduction, non-con romance.
Author: Wendy Rathbone
Genres: M/M science fiction romance, BDSM, slavery, abduction, non-con sex
Publication Date: January 01, 2018
Blurb: When the rescued slaves were first brought on board my ship, I saw only the one. The one they called Arcana. And though I realized the others had all suffered similar fates – fearsome torture and erotic conditioning that had estranged them from whoever they had once been – I focused on the one who met my eyes with what could only be interpreted as a defiantly seductive lure, while the others held their gazes downward, at their feet, at the floor, at the past which had shaped them and undoubtedly doomed them to any sort of normal life.
Not so with Arcana. That one had no shame in whatever had happened to him. In that one blinding moment when we saw one another for the first time, I knew he was as brash as he was beautiful, and I knew without any doubt that he had chosen me -though for what dark agenda, I could not have said.
My heart went cold and silent in my chest. My throat was dry. My breathing faltered and I was forever changed.
We danced. Captain Mordecai and I. Not any traditional dance, but a dance of power. A battle of yin and yang, light and dark, pleasure and torment.
A dangerous dance of right and wrong in a single moment caught outside the tendrils of Time.
It was easy to see the raw and sensual power in that man’s gaze. But also the fear. Fear of being seen for who he was behind his carefully-constructed masks. Fear of finally surrendering to the dangerous desires he clearly felt when he looked at me, knowing my past, knowing I had been enslaved by sadistic aliens. Knowing I had not only enjoyed it, but had come to love my master. All the wrong things. So very wrong.
That was when I knew he wanted me. That was when I knew I needed him.
That was when I knew I had him exactly where we both needed him to be.
An erotic m/m, scifi love story that delves into illicit pleasures that will leave you wanting more.
Mature content including non-con.
First, this is a very different read from other romances. And second, the author handles the contentious subject matter with the utmost respect and care. This is the second book I’ve read by her, and I real enjoy her work.
Arcana is abducted by the Arlai, a race of beings who “devour” people and use them for their own sexual pleasure. The other hero, Mordecai, is almost abducted by the Arlai as a teenager but escapes the fate that awaits Arcana years later.
Mordecai, now captain of the ship that rescues Arcana, is drawn to Arcana’s spirit and beauty upon seeing him for the first time. While Arcana, after being a slave for so long, is drawn to Mordecai’s power. Not the power of being a captain for a spaceship, but the inner-strength Mordecai possesses.
Just like her other book The Slave Palace (you can read my review here), Ms. Rathbone’s story parallels BDSM. Arcana is the sub and Mordecai is the dom. And Mordecai is not only drawn to Arcana when he’s first rescued, but is sucked deeper into Arcana’s web through letters Arcana sends to Mordecai, heavily detailing his abduction, captivity, and even his seduction by the Arlai.
The letters are a different twist on most books I’ve read. The world building in them is spot on. I could visualise Arlai. The author also expresses a great amount of emotion through Arcana in the letters. These letters disturb Mordecai and also arouse him.
I thought the letters were a wonderful way to draw the two character together. Arcana can’t speak, because during his captivity the Arlai cut his vocal cords. So Arcana uses a tablet to write until he can gain back his ability to talk.
There are wonderful scenes that delve into the psyche of the two heroes, and they even find their own beliefs questioned. Well done, author. I’d like to say more, but I hate to give away the plot. Let’s simply say this is not about sex but about the mind. About perception. POV. There are so many shades of grey visited. This is my kind of read.
I found the ending very satisfying. Some might say it’s hurried, but I liked how the author handled the epilogue and what happens afterward. To go into too much detail about “after” would have shifted the story’s focus. And I don’t want to say what the story’s focus is either, or I’ll give away the plot.
This is an enjoyable read. Wendy Rathbone is an author I highly recommend. She writes very dark romance with respect and care, NOT for titillation. And she does heavy research before tackling a novel. Give Prey a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Get yourself a copy at Amazon.
Have you read Prey? If so, what did you think of the book? If you haven’t read Prey, are you now interested in purchasing a copy?