While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.
But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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(3.5 / 5) I was sucked into this book at the beginning. A female emperor commands two men to be married for the sake of a treaty. So much went through my mind! I was so happy to see a female leader. Then she commands two men to marry? What does that mean for heirs? Are they high up enough to need heirs? Are women married to women? Are men married to women? What other societal norms do they have? While I didn’t get the answers to all my questions, I enjoyed reading this one.
Jainan has lost his husband and as a political move, needs to marry Kiem for a treaty to remain intact between 2 different governments.
There is embezzlement, conspiracy, a plane crash, a bear attack, lots of political drama and more.
There were times when my mind wandered and I wasn’t as invested but then something else would happen and I’d be back in the thick of it. The romance was sweet with the extra element of a forced marriage to add intrigue. The drama there was my favorite and the misinterpretations were almost comical yet understandable. Oh the joys of getting to know your spouse. Love was experienced a bit too soon for my taste but I liked that they grew into each other. It wasn’t quite enemy to lovers but it had the same drama with awkward tension regularly. It was great hearing it from both POV’s, it really was entertaining!
The world building was very light. I’m new to space operas (To Sleep in a Sea of Stars was my first) so I expected spaceships and discovering new worlds and different races and more. This was not a book like that and I craved knowing where they were in the galaxy. Are they human? How is it different from earth?
Thank you to Tor for the copy of this book and Macmillan Audio for the audio version so I didn’t have to put it down when I needed to get things done! I was able to immerse myself in both to completely enjoy the story.
Content Summary: Language included 20+ F words. There was sex but it left just enough to the imagination and didn’t go into detail after a certain point. Violence included spousal abuse. There was a plane crash and a bear attack that were minimal in details also.
**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advanced copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.
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I prefer to know all the things with space operas too! This one does sound like an interesting twist though
Interesting story! It sounds like you were left with many questions though. Is it part of a series?
I love the forced marriage and enemies to lovers trope. I’m not fond of miscommunications though.
It didn’t really sound like a space opera! Usually they go all over. I have the same questions about heirs too, maybe she just wanted to check some diversity boxes /shrug