Nimia is a slave to King Sygarius, who’s been training her in sexual arts. He’s waiting until she reaches full womanhood to take her virginity, then he will make her a concubine. And that time is very close. Still a virgin, Nimia observes a great number of sexual acts at the villa. She’s aroused by this training, but conflicted about her feelings for Sygarius: she’s attracted to his looks and his power, but her spirit rebels at being a slave. She enjoys the protection of being his favorite, yet she’s aware that to lose his favor may mean her abuse and death.
One of Sygarius’s underlords comes to visit for several days, bringing his son Clovis, who plans to someday rule the continent once dominated by the Roman Empire. Smart, brave, and ambitious, and with a psychopath’s disregard for the rights of those blocking his path, Clovis has the makings of a powerful king. There is an immediate attraction between him and Nimia, and he pursues her. And though Nimia’s virginity is meant for Sygarius, Clovis takes it with Nimia’s enthusiastic consent.
When Sygarius learns that she is no longer a virgin, Nimia escapes, in fear of her life, and goes in search of Clovis. (goodreads.com)
The setting of the book hit me right in the sweet spot and add kinky sex to the mix and I’m done. I couldn’t help myself. Lucky me the publisher approved me for it through NetGalley and I set myself to reading. Oh my . . .
Cach did her homework with the setting and painted an amazing picture of the world that Nimia was living in. It came alive in my head with very little effort and on the other side I never felt smothered by the research either. Cach struck a good balance between too little and too much exposition. And her writing is just wonderful. I didn’t feel like I was reading just a story that’s hardly more than porn-without-plot in order to get to the sexy parts. There’s a vivid tale going on here. There’s real depth of character and growth, they have histories and futures and the story is about more than just sex (although that’s still a really big part of it).
And the sex. Holy wow. Freakin’ hot. Like major hot. She used a good balance of slang and not to get through the scenes, they never went hustler-level deep where it would have doubled as an anatomy lesson and you learn things that the body can do that are actually detrimental to the sexiness of the scene. Not to mention Cach was incredibly creative with her sex. No two scenes were too similar, many elicited different feelings in the characters and quite a few toed the line of required slave/willing participant. It’s built up that Nimia has basically been brainwashed from a young age to want all of this. So where is the consent? There are a few more difficult scenes that do disturb Nimia and equally made me want to punch Sygarius in the neck but as the reader you’re in Nimia’s head the whole time. You know what she’s thinking and what she feels about what’s going on. There isn’t any rape fantasy in here. Let me make that clear. But Cach isn’t shy about making the Romans Romans with their slaves and making certain situations uncomfortable. But I think she plays the balance well and keeps Nimia aware of the difference between right and wrong. She’s not a blind girl, Nimia.
Terix is a great character, too, and I hope he plays more of a page-present role in Part 2. He’s sort of the comic relief in this book at the moment and turns up to help save his best friend when the poo really starts hitting the fan but for the most part he’s off-stage. He’s a great, honest character that wasn’t around Part 1 enough.
There were a couple of lines that Cach used that were jarring. And I do mean only a couple. Like comparing someone’s puckered lips to an anus. While the comparison is meant to be insulting that’s still a rather brash comparison and it’s obviously stuck with me. Funny, yes, but it really thrusts you out of the story. The other one, actually wasn’t in Part 1 but in the preview for Part 2 where Nimia is about to give head to a guy and takes a whiff of his exposed self and thinks he smells like male sweat and funk. Okay, gross. They’re just rather inappropriate and ill-timed comparisons that really separate the reader from the story, I think.
But that would be my only complaint, really. Oh, and the cover. Not the fault of the author but it doesn’t accurately portray Nimia. She’s never in chains and she’s supposed to be covered in tattoos. I do wish it were more book accurate. But other than that t loved this book. I loved the story, the characters, the sex. All of it. There is nothing not to like here and I can’t wait until I get my hands on Part 2.