Title: In Enemy Hands
Author: M.A. Church
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: Novel (214 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 30, 2016)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Two very different civilizations—one bathed in bright sunlight and the other veiled in shadow.
Bad decisions, declining resources, and a king on the brink of madness force Prince Varo Kutchif, third son of the royal family and a starship captain, to attempt the impossible: barter for Black Phospolrock, an energy source the mysterious Helkan Kingdom has in abundance. Varo opens a line of communication with Adlar, an intriguing Helkan who seems to reciprocate Varo’s interest. He hopes so, because if negotiations collapse, Varo has orders to attack.
The Helkans preside over a planet shrouded in perpetual darkness. Several species have tried to exploit its natural resources through trade with them, but all have failed. Adlar Mondur is the older brother to the Helkan ruler. An assassin of the highest order, he’ll do anything to protect his king and his people—including tracking down the Yesri prince who crash-lands on their planet, leaving an ugly scar across its untouched beauty.
Thus begins a journey where two men from disparate civilizations grow from enemies to lovers.
Review: Wow what a story. Varo acting on his father’s orders, which he does not want to do, attempts to make a deal with the Helkan King for a rich resource of theirs. If he does not get the deal he is to eliminate the king and his brother. Varo is not happy and would like nothing better than to be left alone.
Upon seeing the Helkan brother Adler, Varo is strongly attracted to the appealing man and vice versa. When the king denies him things go from bad to worse as a series of events leads him to being captured by Adler and taken as his slave.
I loved this story so much. The descriptions of the planet were breath-taking yet deadly. Adler was strict with Varo and even put a shock collar on him, but stuck to his word not to force the man. I liked that even though he was a prisoner Varo still had his opinions on certain things.
What Varo thought he knew of the Helkans was wrong on many accounts and as the two got to know one another they both realized the other was not like anything they had been told. I thought they meshed well together.
There was action, drama, adventure, betrayal, romance and some hot and heavy scenes in this fantastic story. I truly loved it. Recommended to all.