Rating: 4.5 stars
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Daniel thinks he just may be on his way to a modeling career after making the cover of Teen Model. He has no interest in going to business school like his parents want him to and they just don’t understand him. When Daniel cuts school one morning, he sees an ad in the paper from a known photographer and decides this is what he needs to change his life. By all accounts, Daniel is beautiful and it’s this very trait that will change his life in ways he could never have predicted.
After waking up on a moving train headed for parts unknown, Daniel is confronted by Seldon, a 436 year-old incubus. But it’s not just Seldon that Daniel has to navigate; he enters into an entirely new world that is underground and far from contemporary society where humans are abducted and brought for the incubi and succubi to feed from. The humans are kept as slaves and only the rare few are classified as Untouchables. Daniel will now be known as an Untouchable for the next three years and will train with Seldon to be a sought after companion. Daniel has nowhere to run and nowhere to hide and in a surprising twist for Seldon, Daniel may have gotten under his skin more than Seldon would care to admit.
For Opposites Attract Week, this book fits the theme immediately and in a variety of ways. From the start, there is the age difference with Daniel being 19 and Seldon being 436. Then, Daniel is human and Seldon is not, and while Seldon’s life revolves around obtaining sexual energy to survive, Daniel has only had a few intimate encounters and also has never been with a man and identifies as straight. The differences between these guys are endless.
This is an intense story. It starts off intense and keeps building. Since the world is completely made up, there is no sense of where the story could be going and that made it quite a ride. When we first meet Daniel, he is a vain and restless guy who wants more out of his life. One fateful day he skips school and his entire life changes forever with that one decision.
So reading between the lines here, this is an abduction story. Humans are abducted by the Cubi and kept as slaves to feed from. While the basic premise is dark and there are definitely some darker moments, overall, given the subject matter it could have been a whole lot darker. But if you scare easily, or scar easily for that matter, this may not be the book for you.
The author here does an amazing job immersing us into this world and there isn’t as much of a world building as there is an explanation of hierarchy and a brief history. This takes place mostly through conversation as Daniel tries to find his bearings through asking questions and earning Seldon’s trust. There is a lot to take in at times with the hierarchy and structure of the world, but with all that was explained, it wasn’t clear if the incubi did anything besides feed on and train humans to be slaves, but perhaps that will be shown as the series progresses.
We are given POV from both Daniel and Seldon, which works well for a larger scope of what is happening. Daniel wakes up in a terrifying new world and must adapt quickly as the consequences of not adapting are extreme. The one thing that helps to settle him slightly and get him moving towards accepting his fate and being spared discipline is that, due to his age, he cannot be touched for three years and I will allow you to learn of those reasons for yourself.
There is a whole lot of raw and heated sex in this book as that is how the incubi survive and Seldon needs to feed often. The book is filled with non-con as well as dub-con scenarios as the majority of the humans have to be “dosed” in order to be aroused and the author walks a fine line of balancing it all. The Cubi also attempt to rationalize their need to abduct humans in a concentrated effort for what I will call reader empathy. You must then also be aware that this book starts (and ends) in a non-traditional manner for a romance and the majority of the book is barely even hinting that there might be a romantic connection and that works exceptionally well for the story being told. Daniel is privy to all of Seldon’s sexual interludes and there are a seemingly endless variety of full on rough and explicit options available in this setting that’s the equivalent of a lust playground.
This book captivated my imagination from the first chapter, although it’s completely messed up in all the best of ways and certainly won’t be for every reader. The book does end with a cliffhanger that brings the story up to the next level, but there are two more books already released within the series and I will be heading there next.
This sounds intriguing, Michelle, but I don’t think it’s my kind of story. I appreciated reading your review to get a good feel for the book.