Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Earth instigated a war with Daran, a war they soon discovered they couldn’t win. Earth surrendered but Daran wanted reparations in the form of Captain Jonathan Thomsin whose warship was responsible for the only victory Earth achieved. Jonathan was to be taken prisoner by Daran and he had no doubt that his death wouldn’t come until he suffered extreme torture. To save Earth Jonathan readily agreed and he was not wrong about the treatment he would receive.
Unfortunately, the convoy that Jonathan destroyed was filled with life mates and children and not easily forgiven. His first day of torture was unbearable but a member of the Order of Artisans, Dulan was assigned to assist him to ensure that Jonathan would not die too soon. Dulan helps him clean up and gives him water and comes to feel a friendship towards the prisoner who shows nothing but dignity and kindness.
Then Jonathan faces the most excruciating torture imaginable, the “pain-giver” tied to a metal table with a band around his neck and something put into his mouth. He is unable to scream, and this instrument brought death to any subjected to it. The law states that if Jonathan survives for three days of this torture, he would not be subject to any more pain and would live out his life on Daran. After three days and near-death Jonathan has won against the torture and with the help of Dulan and Doctor Calal he is finally free from any more torture.
Talin from the Order of Warriors wanted to see Jonathan die since his parents were on the ship Jonathan destroyed. Now that Jonathan has survived Talin is now responsible for him, and he is not a happy camper. Jonathan is given a house guarded all the time unable to go out but the one saving grace is Dulan and Calal who look after him and have grown to respect and love Jonathan. In Daran, Jonathan is known as “The Sacrifice” a prisoner but free from torture.
It doesn’t take long before Talin realizes he was wrong about Jonathan a man who sacrificed himself to save his planet, a man who saved a Daranii child risking his own life and a man who underwent unimaginable torture with dignity giving his torturer respect. Talin apologizes to Jonathan and Jonathan readily accepts it and welcomes Talin as a friend. The friendship leads to much more, but Jonathan is still hated by many Daranii and especially the Council. Despite the promise of no more torture the Council orders Jonathan to return to the “pain-giver” and promise that more torture will be coming.
Talin, Dulan and Calal are ready to fight the Council because any more torture and Jonathan would not survive, his heart cannot take much more. Jonathan was ready to die but his feelings for Talin grew into love, a love he did not want to lose.
Enemies become friends and lovers and fight to be able to have a life together but is it possible because torture and death are Jonathan’s future. Extreme torture, sex, romance and wonderful characters made this book wonderful although Sci-Fi is my least favorite genre.