Concubine by Jill Knowles

         This is another one of those books that I always passed over... Maybe it was because for a while I wasn't into the whole M/M thing, and sometimes I get tired of the BDSM thing too. But I was, once again, an idiot for skipping over this book. I really liked it! Which is surprising because dubious consent romance usually makes me a bit uncomfortable. Though I ended up looking upon this book as more of an arranged marriage kind of thing.
         Scholar, captain...war prize. Prince Kael of Korai is stunned when his father gives him to an enemy warlord in a desperate attempt to salvage Korai's reputation. With his country's honor at stake, Kael resolves to submit to Warlord Taren's every debauched whim.

         But life in Zandria isn't anything like what Kael imagined. Instead of pain and cruelty, Warlord Taren seduces Kael until the bewildered prince craves his Master's every intimate caress. As he sinks into the decadent, sensual life of a concubine, Kael makes a powerful enemy, one who wants him removed from Zandria by any means necessary. Betrayed by his body, trapped by his honor, Kael must learn to trust his Master or get them both killed.
Click to View on Amazon: Concubine
         The first thing that I want to say about this book is that I thought that Taren was really sexy. Not only did he have cool scales, but they were purple, which is my absolute favorite color, so I was inclined to like him right off the bat. I thought Kael was a little whiney and at first I was annoyed but then I reminded myself of the situation he was in and decided he deserved to be  whiney. It wasn't his choice to be a concubine, especially to another male. He deserved to be upset.

         I think that Knowles showcased a very interesting psychological struggle within Kael. He had to struggle with not wanting to submit to another man, his disgust with himself  for being interested in Taren, his fear of what was to come, and his need to preserve the honor of his country by giving in. I do think it is endearing how he likes being with Taren, and I think that Taren is amazing at handling the situation and doing his best to make Kael comfortable about adjusting into his new role in life.

Spoilers ahead! Beware! Go read the book then come back!

         I like how they ended up mating, but I didn't understand why the whole guild was dying to Taren as a customer. From what he said he never was interested in using the guild and he never enjoyed it, so I don't understand why they claimed that they were losing such a great customer. I also didn't like that Taren's past lover worked so close with him and that he tried to pursue a relationship with Taren even after he was obviously interested in Kael.

         I thought that the mastermind behind everything was a pretty good twist. I did not expect Mendon to be the killer. I didn't like him at first but then when he obviously disliked Taren's past lover as much as I did he began to grow on me, and he seemed to warm up to Kael so it really came as a surprise to me when he turned out to be the one behind everything. Or maybe I was just so wrapped up in the relationship between Taren and Kael that I might have missed some clues that Mendon was behind it all.

         I love how the beast within Taren recognized  Kael right away and that in giving into the beast and the man, Kael was freed from his own doubts and he was able to fully embrace the relationship. It was really steamy too, some very very sexual scenes, so it is not a book for the faint of heart. i give it a 4 out of 5 stars!

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