Before The Storm
by Marian Perera
Amazon Ratings: 5-star 75%
About the book:
Whore…gift…and unexpected ally.
In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low—a “mare”, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.
Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind—a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart. Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex’s defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives—and magic with a killing edge…
Warning: Contains violence, steam engines, steamier sex and multiple explosions of the unstable chemical variety. - Goodreads
Before the Storm tells the story of Alexis Khayne, a mare/sex slave owned by Lord Stephen Garnath, the ruthless ruler of Radiath. When Lord Robert Demeresna, baron of Dawnever, visited Radiath, Lord Garnath gives Alex to him as a gift. Alex could not believe it. She is scared, so scared of Lord Robert. She heard everything about this baron and they call him the Bloody Baron for being cruel, brutal, sadistic ruler of Dawnever. They say that his lands are filled with scarecrows made from crucified men.
As for the baron, he could not believe it either. He wants nothing from the ruler of Radiath and suspects that Alex might be a spy or an assassin. He planned to leave her but if she's an assassin, she'll still follow them and ambush them on the way back to their land. So after his consultation with his sorcerer, Mayerd, they agreed that they have to bring Alex with them because to refuse Lord Garnath's gift might mean war.
When they got back to his land, Robert found out that Lord Garnath is plotting a war against him. He doesn't want war so he acts like there's nothng to worry about. He showed Alex his true self - that he is a fair and just ruler of Dawnever, not the cruel - Bloody Baron they say. Since he thinks Alex is a spy, he brings Alex with him wherever he goes and eventually he felt an unwanted attraction to Alex. The story goes from there. What would you do if you fall in love with someone who might be sent to kill you?
The heroine is a mare. She is a whore/sex slave to Lord Garnath's kingdom. She bedded a lot of men, a typical day (or night) for her is getting laid by whoever Lord Garnath chooses. I like her character. She's strong even though she's been abused most of her life. I'm glad the author did not make her a whiny girl. And as for Robert, the "Bloody Baron" title was just made to make him look fierce to the enemies but he's really not into war and has a soft heart to everything.
The book contains a lot of action and twist. I enjoyed it a lot. I love the plot and this is a great start to a series. It has a little romance but I appreciate it since I really hate a book with a cheesy lines/love story (though I read cheesy stories depends on my mood). I love the cover of this book! I can picture the characters perfectly by looking at this cover.
The only thing I didn't like here was the sorcery thing. Both Lord Garnath and Robert own a sorcerer. The Inward and Outward way - their way of fighting each other. I couldn't understand a thing! Well mostly, I had to skim to the parts where Ohallox (Garnath's sorcerer) and Mayerd (Robert's) are battling each other's minds.
Other than the sorcery thing, I found the book entertaining. This is recommended for fans of fantasy-romance books. It was a great read and I look forward to reading the next books.
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