Offered for FREE
from the M/M Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries event. Thank you too all the amazing authors who participated!
I think this had the potential to be a 4-5 star story with just a little more development. The premise was good, and carried out well. The progression of their relationship in tandem to the story arc, and the bit of drama/betrayal x2 that gave us a little twist when Tor finds out that Ash was planning to kill him for his own gain, and then when Lucano double-crosses them.
I think the place it lacks is in too much tell and not enough show with respect to Tor and Ash's growing feelings for each other. Despite Tor saying (to himself and to the reader) that he was falling for Ash, there really wasn't sufficient cause. We needed to see more sweet moments or even moments of peril where Ash comes through to protect him. Just something more
to justify where these feelings are coming from (without using the cop-out of the bond). Same for Ash. Although the story depends on him not admitting it to himself until the end, we still should have seen or felt more of an emotional connection to justify the huge
claims at the end a bawling-like-a-baby Ash begging Jhara to kill him and save Tor, and then saying "you're my life" blah blah blah. It's a bit much.
But with that little extra bit of emotional show
this could really be great. It's labelled dub-con and it sorta is in places (mostly Tor not wanting to have sex and Ash 'convinces' him using the bond and/or his own arousal), but just the way it's written didn't have a very dark feel to me. I was expecting a little more like [b:Bloodraven|6617506|Bloodraven|P.L. Nunn|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1314887548s/6617506.jpg|6811618], and given Ash's personality and the plot I actually think a little more darkness in that respect would have been beneficial to the story. Including more inner struggle from Tor with regards to falling for someone who doesn't appear to think very highly of him.
P.S. Kudos to the author for sticking amazingly close to the picture and
to the prompt and coming up with a very creative way to incorporate everything.