Dale despised the Terran military. He was drafted, not a volunteer. He never expected to get captured by the Algonquans and sold as a breeder pet, either. He only prays his new owner is kind and doesn’t eat him. Then he meets fellow pet, Mark, who informs him getting captured was the luckiest day of their lives. Mark also hated the military and now spends his days in a life of sexual leisure, enjoying poetry and totally at peace with his fate.
Dale settles in and finds not only does he enjoy this life, he loves Mark, too. Despite tragedy striking too close to home in their protected world, they find room to love their Master’s newest pets, Cooper and Nate.
When the war ends and the Terran pets are granted their freedom, the men are faced with a choice: return, or stay with the owner they’ve grown to love?
Click to view on Amazon: Acquainted with the NightThis book was beyond what I expected. I thought that this book was going to be an alien orgy with some sentimental moments, but it was so completely different from that. Yes, there were times of extreme raunchiness (which were thoroughly enjoyable), but I haven't cried this much while reading a book in a while.
Spoilers Ahead! Go read the book if you don't want anything ruined!
The relationship between Mark and Dale was one of the most beautiful that I have ever read about. They stood by each other through everything, and I thought it was so sweet how Mark kept telling Dale that he was bought for him, so they would be together always. When Dale was raped and Mark held him and helped him, I cried so hard. And one of the hardest parts of the book for me to read was when Mark decided to go off to war and everyone thought he had died when his ship went down. I cried so hard. I was so depressed right along with him. I was so mad, because I couldn't understand why the author would separate these two amazing characters.
Now Coop is hilarious, how he was always begging to carry an egg because he was a pleasure addict. I realize to some the idea of "male pregnancy" might be a little uncomfortable, but that didn't stop me. I laughed about almost everything this character did, but he had some stunningly sweet moments. When everyone thought mark was dead and Nate was brought into the picture, he was so gentle and supportive, and the way he begged Dale to help him and to not leave him alone, ugh I was crying all over again. Luckily Mark came home and so coop could go back to being his bubbly self again, but with the addition of the serious Nate who was such a pillar to Coop. Until the very end.
Now, I suppose I should talk about the end because that had me crying more than anything. When their first Master died, that was sad, I cried especially when you could see how deeply Mark was grieving and how terrified he was of losing Dale. But the end literally tore my heart apart, even though I suppose it was "happy". They were all getting old and as the book went on I realized that we were probably going to be shown the end of their lives, but I wasn't ready for it. They were all so great I didn't even want to think about them dying. But then Nate got sick, and I was like no, please, no I'm not ready! When he died I thought, Surely he will be the only one. But then Coop fell ill, and I knew that was only right, because how could Coop live without his true love. When he died it was horrible. But in my mind, at least Mark and Dale were still together, at least they still had each other. Then Mark got sick, and I couldn't take it. I cried and cried (I am tearing up now just thinking about it). And Dale was so torn up, it was almost to painful to read about his pain. When Mark died, I thought, How can they be separated? They were supposed to be together forever! And I could barely read about Dale's downhill spiral through my tears, and when he had to be put down, ugh god, it was all too much for me to handle. I wanted to take a break because I was crying so much, but I couldn't tear myself away from the book. As he died, and he saw mark standing there waiting for him (damn, I'm full on crying again) it was one of the most sad/happy, good/bad, touching, bittersweet moments I have ever read. I knew I was supposed to be happy that they all ended up together, and I was, because Mark and Dale should never be separated, but I was still so far beyond sad about how they all just slipped away like that.
What really tore me up was the epilogue. It was from Marzan's point of view. It was hard to read about how he had to make the decision to put Dale to sleep, and how he had lost all four of the men so quickly. I love how it all related back to the title "Acquainted with the Night" because Dale and Mark had talked about getting through the "night of grief" and coming into the light of life. And Marzan talked about how he had to get through the dark nights ahead. I was still crying. And I cried for many reasons. Because we finally got to hear about them from their owner's point of view. Because the book was over. Because Mark and Dale were dead. Because Mark and Dale were happy. I just was a mess. And that is such a good thing. I cant remember the last book I cried during, if I remember it I will edit this and put it in. But this book was amazing, and I want to see more of this world, I want to see more of the characters even though they are dead. Maybe I am a crybaby, but I figured if a book can make me feel that strongly towards characters and towards their lives, then obviously the author is doing something right.
This book is a book that I will definitely read again (when I am emotionally brave enough), and it deserves way more than 5 stars, but 5 is the most I give.