Anthelion by R.A. Steffan
Love and War #4
LGBTQ+ Science Fiction Romance
Ash has sacrificed everything in his mission to protect the human residents of Ilarius but in order to succeed he’s forced to fake his death to keep the rest of his Shadow Wing family safe. But Draven refuses to believe that Ash is dead because he’s finally realized that he wants Ash for himself and he can’t have died before Draven can share his feelings.
I’ve been so excited to get Ash’s story because he’s really intrigued me from the very beginning. Anthelion had high points and low points for me and overall, it just felt like things were rushed between Ash and Draven. Ash has been prostituting himself to wealthy Vithii men in an attempt to get secret governmental information that could stop the impending war between the xenophobic Vithii and the humans. Ash is sure that he can handle the long term abuse he’ll suffer as a veelhat (human body slave) to the Adjunct but as time goes by, he begins to lose himself to the pain and suffering. My heart was breaking for what Ash has put himself through and I can’t imagine the mental, emotional, and physical pain he’s suffered.
In the Vithii world, homosexuality is reviled — unless you’re wealthy or important — and as such, Draven has repressed his feelings for men and kept his crush on Ash a secret. But now he’s determined to be with Ash because the thought of never seeing him again is more painful than anything he’s experienced. Draven is a protector but he’s also impulsive and that’s gotten him into trouble several times. He’ll do anything for Ash, even if it means holding back the natural dominance of a Vithii male. Draven has the best of intentions and his care for Ash is so clear but boy, does he go about it the wrong way.
I know everyone handles trauma differently but things just felt so rushed between Draven and Ash. Their first few sexual interactions are aggressive and more about proving a point and this just seemed so unhealthy after everything Ash has been through. I just wanted Ash to be happy and to heal so maybe this was what he needed. Overall, I liked the progression of the series arc but I wanted more for Draven and Ash.
3 stars – it was good
References to prostitution, rape, slavery, selling ones body to obtain information
Hero was abused and raped repeatedly (referenced, kinda on page)
Ash is dead.
Okay, that’s a lie. He’s not. Not really.
Somehow, that doesn’t make things any better.
After reports of a fatal hovercar accident outside the Capital—complete with a charred body and DNA identification—it seems at first that all is lost in the Shadow Wing’s quest to infiltrate the Premiere’s inner circle.
But one member of the vigilante group refuses to accept the evidence of his human comrade’s death. Draven knows Ash. He knows that devious mind, and more importantly, he knows the martyr complex that lies beneath it.
He should know. Draven is also a master at hiding. He’s done it for most of his life. Now, though, he’s done living in the shadows.
Can Draven track down a man who is so intent on not being found that he would stage his own death to prevent it? And if he does succeed in finding Ash, what then?
No one ever said that emerging from the darkness of the past was easy. No one ever said that forbidden love was painless.
Especially when the object of that love is convinced he’s damaged goods.
Published by OtherLove Publishing, LLC on May 3, 2019
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