Rating: 4.75 stars
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Years after the Last War destroyed Earth’s surface and survivors were forced underground to avoid the poisonous atmosphere, lab rat AJ4982, better known as AJ, was desperate to earn the five hundred credits it would take to buy medicine for his dying sister. That’s how he found himself in this predicament. Unable to find work that would pay enough to purchase the medicine, AJ wears a collar that shows he is willing to sell himself for money while working as a waiter at a private party.
When a partygoer finds out that AJ has never been penetrated, he offers to help AJ raise more money by holding an auction to show AJ the amount of interest a virgin holds. The auction ends with an offer of twenty thousand credits for a week at a scientist’s beck and call. Saving his sister was the only thought in his mind and it costs him everything. When his sister and brother find out what he agreed to in order to buy her medicine, they turn their backs on him.
The last thing AJ expects to find in Blake’s (the scientist) household is a friend, let alone love. But when Ryder, Blake’s manservant, takes an interest in AJ and shows him kindness for no reason, AJ begins to fall for Ryder and put his trust in the man. But AJ still belongs to Blake who is sadistic, brutal, and possessive. As his week as Blake’s possession comes to a close and dangerous secrets are revealed, AJ and Ryder are forced to choose between continuing their lives destitute and probably without one another or facing the fearful unknown and following their hearts and their destinies together.
Read this book. Especially if you are a fan of sci-fi/futuristic stories, a fan of unique, creative stories, or a fan of meant to be. This is a wonderful book – so imaginative and exciting. I loved it from beginning to end.
The world that L.M. Brown has created is one that is dark and dirty and gritty. It’s literally an underground world – a labyrinth of tunnels and caves where the poor and lowly lab rats live, and impervious towers built to look out over the unlivable Earth surface that the rich and powerful inhabit. It’s a world underground. The sky is red, the air is poisonous to breathe, and the earth is bare, uninhabitable. It’s a world where the only hope alive is love.
Speaking of love, let’s talk characters. AJ is an amazing man. He loves his family and will do anything to keep them healthy and safe. He’s strong and has a thick skin. He takes a lot of emotional hits, but stands up and keeps fighting. He’s determined. He’s humble and simply a beautiful character. Ryder is a little judgmental at first, but that’s his jealousy speaking. He’s such a sweet, lovable man. He’s a healing, positive presence in AJ’s world of hopelessness. Together they create a powerful presence and hope that carries them into their future together. They really are great characters.
Sex slaves and brutal masters, these things have been done before. But Brown makes it interesting. I won’t lie and say it was all easy to read. There are some pretty brutal, painful scenes, but they make the story that much better. It presents a conflict that seems unavoidable and hopeless. But the light at the end of the tunnel, the hope to the hopeless, is what this story is all about. It is beautifully written and perfectly paced. I was hard pressed to put it down once I began reading. And the ending…I would have liked more of AJ and Ryder in the future, simply because I love them, but the book ended so perfectly with a little lead-in to the possibility of another story.
I’m sure you can tell by now just how much I liked this book. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I opened this one, but it wasn’t what I got. This book is a diamond in the rough and one that has me dying for the next. I truly hope Jessiah gets a story of his own. This author has taken a common trope and made it her own. I highly, highly recommend To See the Sky by L.M. Brown.