Rating: 4 stars
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In a society where people are born either a Dom or a sub, Roman is a sub. Not the type of sub that is nurtured and cared for though. Once Roman presented as a sub, his family and coven abused him to the point that Roman can’t even think for himself and is fearful of everything. When his coven is convicted of practicing Chaos Magic, Roman is sent to live with a new coven and Tyler, a Dom in the coven, is tasked with showing him around.
Tyler is best friends with the High Witch of his coven and is also his right-hand man. Tyler will always protect his coven and he cherishes his home. As a Dom, Tyler is suspicious of Roman at first meeting when Roman won’t meet his eyes, will barely talk or eat, will barely come out of his room, and won’t circulate with the rest of the coven, and Tyler is determined to find out what is going on. But what Tyler finds is way more than he could have ever imagined. Roman’s past is dark and he has scars that run so deep and Tyler starts to feel protective of him. But Roman’s past isn’t finished with him, and Tyler will have to follow his instincts or risk losing Roman forever.
Tyler and Roman are both introduced within the first few pages of this book as Roman is sent to live with Tyler’s coven after members of Roman’s coven are convicted of practicing Chaos Magic. Tyler is a Dom and higher up in his coven, but doesn’t really seem to have empathetic people skills. He’s suspicious of Roman from the start and when Roman doesn’t speak much or come out of his room, Tyler automatically assumes that Roman is up to no good. He couldn’t be further from the truth. Roman’s story gets sadder and more traumatic the more that we learn. Once he presented as a sub, his own family and coven abused him his entire life. He has PTSD and severe trauma and the author does a great job of showing Roman’s issues and his spiral down, as he has no idea what will be coming next for him.
Once Tyler realizes what is happening with Roman, he gets him professional help, along with providing comforting scenes for Roman to fall into. The author really concentrates on Roman’s trauma and does not rush a relationship between him and Tyler, which is appropriate for his story, but then also made the book feel less like a romance, although there is a HEA for the men.
There is little world building here. We are told that people are born either Doms or subs and are told what type of magic some of the witches have, but it’s not gone into too much detail and was missing for me. Also, there is some end of the book drama that felt out of place and took away more than added to the story.
Overall, I liked this book, but did have some reservations. It is listed as book 1 in the Coven Ties series, and I would be interested in revisiting to catch up with the coven once again.