Mary Auclair-Touch of Ice

So, I was looking at the signup to review Mary Auclair’s Touch of Ice, and there was one thing that really drew me in. I mean, the blurb sounded great, but the fact that the heroine’s name is Endora was what tipped the balance toward reading this book. It’s a pretty serious book, but the name gave me a happy. So sue me, I watched a lot of Bewitched when I was growing up. We had like 3 channels, so we watched whatever was on. But that’s neither here nor there. Did I say that there are also dragons?

On this Earth, the world didn’t end in fire, it is ending in ice. It’s cold. And 200 years ago, it was invaded by aliens called the Delradon. Among other things, the Delradon stopped the world from being destroyed, and now they are ruling. The ruling class are the Draekon. They are matched with dragons at birth. When a Draekon is conceived, a dragon lays an egg. It takes 9 months for each of them to cook and they are linked at a soul level. They live for hundreds of years, since the dragons will share their vitality with the dragon lords. Now, with all that background, it’s time to get to the story.

In a part of the world that I’m pretty sure is French-speaking Canada, Endora lives with her gran-maman Henriette and her daughter Tallie. Tallie is very sick and the doctor says she has leukemia and she’s not got very much longer to live. He can’t do anything for her. The Delradon could at their hospital, but everyone knows that the hospital won’t help humans, and it’s a several day journey, in the cold, which is hard enough for anyone, but even harder when it’s a very ill little girl. So, in order to save her little girl, Endora is going to do something that she never thought she would. She pulls her compatibility report out so that she can go sign a mating contract with the Delradon she is genetically compatible with. She’ll get some money when she provides him with a child, but she figures that she can get some money ahead of time so that she can send some back to her grandmother so that Tallie can get better.

Lord Aldric Darragon is the High Lord of Katanie, his white dragon, Rhyll, is the strongest dragon of his generation. The stronger the dragon, the more territory the Draekon Lord can hold, and Aldric holds a lot of territory. Ten years ago, his match came through, but she refused to meet him. He went and spied on her, and he saw her with a human man and she seemed so much in love. He froze his heart so that he didn’t have to feel anything. Now she’s back and she’s ready to mate. He has her brought to his castle in a mountain, the Whispering Castle. He meets her in the throne room with Rhyll with him. Aldric wants to both impress and intimidate Endora. It kind of backfires though, when Rhyll lets Endora touch him. Normally a dragon would be dangerous to a human and would never let a human touch him. But not only did Rhyll let her touch him, he appeared to really like it. That was an incredibly rare thing to happen, and it means that Endora is his Draekarra, his Dragon Mate, the other half of his soul, basically.

There’s a lot of conflict going on in this one. You have Aldric vs. Aldric, Endora vs. Endora, Aldric vs. Endora, although that conflict isn’t as much that they are fighting each other, more than they are trying to figure out there path to each other and to the relationship that they want to have. Then there are the Knat-Kanassis. They are the definite bad guys. I really enjoyed this one, and not just because it’s full of dragons. You know how I’m a sucker for dragons. There are a lot of things going on in it, enough to keep your interest but not so much that you are overwhelmed with what is happening. The way that Mary Auclair works everything, and her dragons, is just pretty damn awesome. I’m really hoping for another story with Aldric and Endora, or at least another one in this world, if I can’t have them. I’m intrigued by it.

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I totally called the nasty-ass governess. And I knew that Wilmer was up to no good either, but at least he wasn’t as terrible as the governess.

The description of the child’s Mourning broke my heart. But it was so beautiful too. The way that the dragons were chanting and the scales of all the dragons being placed over the child and his dragon. Beautifully described. I could so see it in my mind’s eye. And the description of Endora’s dress sounds so beautiful. Sad to have something so beautiful for such a sad reason, but still.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. If you love that mix of scifi and fantasy, this is a good choice. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Rogue Cyborg

Yay! More Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride universe. Rogue Cyborg is a combo of two of the off-shoots of that ‘verse, Rogue 5 and the Colony. I love the folks in the Colony. I think they are getting a bum rap from their various worlds. I guess I can understand why they have put their veterans who have be partially integrated by the Hive in a safe part of space so that the Hive can’t get to them again, but until recently, their families wouldn’t even get to see them. Thank goodness that’s changing, due to Prime Niall.

So, here’s our book today. Gwen is a human woman who was a Coalition fighter. Remember, Earth is the only planet that sends women out as fighters. As a feminist, I want to say yay! Women out of the front lines of the war because they are able to go out and fight too. But, the part of me that loves these big alpha aliens wants to say that they have the right idea keeping women off the front line and protected. It doesn’t keep me from reading and enjoying the books anyway. But back to Gwen. She was captured by the Hive and has extensive integration. She’s also the only single woman on the Colony, which is something that disturbs all the males of the Colony. So, some of the knuckleheads decide they know what they are going to do. They are going to have a big tournament and fight in the Pit to decide who is going to claim her and be her mate. When Gwen finds out, she’s pretty damn pissed. So she goes down to the Pit to have it out and get their heads on straight. The thing is, with her integrations, she’s faster and stronger than all the guys on the Colony, so she walks into the Pit and starts throwing around Prillons and Atlans. They refuse to fight back because she’s female, and the Governor shows up and tells the boys that this isn’t OK, but tells Gwen she has to pick a mate immediately. If she picks a mate, he’ll let her get back out and into the fight. So she chooses. She chooses the one male who turns her crank.

Makarios is a Hyperion and Forsian hybrid from Rogue 5. He’s a smuggler who was betrayed by a traitor which got him caught by the Coalition and locked in the brig. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it is that while he was trapped in the brig, the Hive captured the ship, and he got several implants. Now he’s free of the Hive, but he’s imprisoned on the Colony. He can’t get back out into space, which is where he wants to be, he just has to exist. Since the very first time he saw Gwen, Mak has wanted her. But he’s never going to take a mate. You see, there’s a very good chance he will kill her if he mates with her completely. You see, the Hyperion part of him wants and needs to bite his bite his mate. But the Forsian part of him produces a poison that will kill the female he mates with. Gwen knew that he didn’t want to have a mate, so she chose him. The Governor’s happy, her lady bits are happy, she gets to go out and fight, and Mak gets to escape out into space.

Lately, Grace has been writing a lot of female warriors into the series, and we’re seeing a lot of women who are continuing the fight with their mates right there next to them. I’m thinking that is pretty damn awesome. But Gwen is like warrior squared or maybe even cubed. She is definitely the strongest female we’ve seen thus far, physically, and I think probably the strongest mentally as well. She’s fierce, ferocious, and a fighter. She’s not about to let anyone just choose her fate for her or turn her into a protected woman. She can protect herself, TYVM. Mak is perfect for her. He is strong enough to stand with her and he respects her strength and spirit. I love the two of them together. I really want to see so much more of these two, and they are now up in the top 3 of my fave pairings in the series.

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OK, Gwen is seriously kickass. I mean, she kills 9 Hive on her own. And not by shooting them, she rips off heads. Then she stands there, stark-ass naked and blue in the poison air. That’s just so damn impressive, even if the Hive added stuff to her, she had to have had some serious ovaries beforehand.

I’m glad that Rezzer got to handle some things. That makes me happy, especially since he’s one of my favorites.

OK, that’s all of this one. I seriously cannot recommend the entire series strongly enough. There’s sweet stories, hot stories, spanking stories, menage, and just about every other thing you can possibly want. Go check them out. The nice thing is you don’t really have to read them in too much of an order, at least the main books. I would definitely suggest reading them in order for the Colony books and the Rogue 5 books. And probably the Everian books. You know what? Ignore what I said and go read them all in order. Happy reading!

Cari Silverwood-Steel

Recently, Cari gave us Prey. Today, we get Steel, the second book in the series. They aren’t directly related to each other, except for giant dick. And I mean giant dick with a capital giant.

OK, this one is oh my fucking gods of fucking good. You’ve got a nice touch of darkness, a lot of sexy, sexy, sex, not 1 but 2 enormous tools, and one feisty heroine with her trusty invisible dragon and data knife, which gets some unusual storage. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I did love this story.

So, Baz was tortured by CESS. They ripped him to bits. Lucky for him, the cybermonks of Ommm found him. They turned him into a cyborg and put him back together. They made him all better except for one.small.thing. They gave him a substandard dick. He was told that as soon as he rescued a princess and brought her to them, he would get the dick he always wanted.

Meanwhile, across the galaxy, Ember and Hoss are fighting to do their job while they are on a planet that is under attack from a hostile species. Hoss is Ember’s guard and friend. Ember is a valuable CESS employee, a principal data extractor, or prinCESS. She’s there to get some CESS data off this planet, but she’s pretty sure that it’s not going to happen because of the attacking aliens. She figures that means she can live it up in the last few  minutes that she can actually live. You see, not only is Ember a prinCESS, she’s also a size queen. She likes big dicks and she cannot lie, you other ladies can’t deny. And Hoss is packing a trouser anaconda, and she can’t wait to get wrapped around that. So they go sit on the roof, and get real friendly.

Baz gets a mayday message and gets to the building where Ember and Hoss are sporting, just after the main event ends. Then he rescues them, and when he finds out that Ember is prinCESS, he says that he is going to take her to the cybermonks. Ember is mostly OK with that, because she wants to see them too, to find out some information.

Alright, let’s talk about the compartment that she has to go into during their travels. I think that Baz has a whole lot of fun with it, and it could totally be uncomfortable to a reader, but I thought it was pretty fucking hot and perverted in the right ways. Or wrong ways. Or whatever.

There is a lot of fun in this book. There is a lot of really hot fucking in this book. There is a lot of wordplay, I mean, the cybermonks are named Stryng Theory, Lightnyng Files, and Erroar Code. Is that not just epically funny? There are also GIANT DICKS. Your average size queen would run scared from these things. Ember runs, but not away from them, and she’s not scared. Baz’s new tool is a lot of fun, and ummm… maybe a little scary? And we can’t forget the cute little deer.

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I never trusted the cybermonks. I knew that they were up to something from the very beginning. The aphrodisiac was tricksy. Too bad Ember didn’t get to have her revenge on them. I would’ve loved to see what she would’ve done to them. She’s wicked deadly with her data knife. And speaking of that, what the bad guys do with that? Yeah…

Alright. I love this book and this story. It’s funny, hot, dark-adjacent, and a great adventure. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

Rebel West & Renee Rose-Bought by the Zandians

Yay! More of my favorite big purple guys! I’m so glad that Renee moved them into the menage/RH direction and grabbed Rebel West to write them with. I was very sad with the thought that we wouldn’t get to see them anymore. I like the way that the overall storyline as changed as we changed the dynamic. Instead of fighting to free Zandia, we’re now watching as the Zandians and the humans who helped them are trying to repopulate Zandia. It’s a nice change, and one I’m grooving on.

Onward and upward toward Bought by the Zandians. Now, let’s recap a little here. There aren’t a whole lot of Zandians left because the Finns killed most of them off when taking the planet. There are only a very, very few Zandian women of breeding age, 3, I think without going back to check, but humans and Zandians can cross-breed. Humans were enslaved by just about everyone, but King Zander declared that humans on his planet would be free. His queen is a human, and humans helped win back Zandia. To increase the species, the king has decreed that all matings must be done in at least groups of 2 men to 1 woman. Side note, I really hope that they have someone paying good attention to family trees over the generations. Meanwhile, there are Zandian scouts out searching the galaxy for other Zandians to bring them home and let them settle on Zandia. And that brings us up to current.

Benn and Gorde are two of those scouts. Their job is to take information they are given about locations of other Zandians, find them, and bring them home. While they are doing that, they are hoping to find a nice Zandian woman out there to mate with. After all, there are other males who have done it, so why can’t they? One day, while they are out and about in space, they land on a planet and happen to notice a human slave who is tightly bound to a post. They decide to buy her and rescue her.

Danica is an escaped slave. She has a very good reason to have escaped. She’s pregnant by her old master, a member of a cruel and evil species, and she knows that he will kill her as soon as her child is born. She will never see her child and the life she has until that point will be horror-filled and miserable, just like it has been up to this point. When she sees two large Zandian warriors stop where she is strapped to a pole, she is wary. She’d like to escape again so that she can get to Jasel, the planet where can live free. Hopefully they won’t check her barcode and find out she’s an escaped slave and take her to her old master. If they do buy her, she may be able to escape from them and raise her child in safety.

Benn and Gorde do buy her and they all have a lot of fun together. The guys feel a little bad because they know that Zander has ruled that all humans are free on Zandia, and technically she can’t be their slave, but they aren’t telling her that. When they get a mission, they figure that they can always sell her on if she gets in the way. But that gives both guys a twinge.

So, here we are. This one really made me cry. Benn and Gorde are overall good guys, but they do have their horns up their asses a couple of times. I think that they could’ve used a strong, swift kick in their asses more than once. I think that sometimes they were so willing to be distracted when Danica offered sex that they didn’t always pay attention and let things slide. I loved the story, even though I cried. Luckily I was in the other room while I did it, so my husband didn’t know. He still worries when I cry while I’m reading. I am loving watching the Zandian books mature into the new setting and I am really looking forward to seeing how Zandia progresses as more Zandians and humans mate and move to the world.

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OK, the baby’s genetics? That was totally awesome! I would love to check on her as she grows up to see what she matures into and would really love to see her mated with her own family.

I get why Danica didn’t tell the guys about the baby, especially after the whole we won’t allow dangerous species to come to Zandia thing. I would’ve done it too. If she had told them at the beginning, would she have been able to mate with them and spent that time loving them and would their baby be who she was? I dunno. That’s a really good question.

OK, that’s all I have to say other than go read all these books. I’m off to watch Linda Carter in Wonder Woman and have a Jack and Coke to finish my day. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Cyborg Fever

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I love Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride series. So it should come as no surprise that I devoured her newest book, Cyborg Fever.

Cyborg Fever hit some of my total fave buttons in this world. It’s one of the Colony books and it’s an Atlan. More than just being an Atlan, Anghar is one of my favorite Atlans. He’s been a secondary character in more than one book, and was pretty pivotal in the last IBP book. So I was so very, very happy to see that he finally got his own book. I love the Atlans. There’s just something about those big guys and their inner beasts that’s just so very awesome.

The Colony is where the Coalition fighters who have been “tainted” by the Hive. They were taken prisoner and have had Hive implants. They are sent to the Colony instead of going back to their own planet. The Colony is deep in safe Coalition space and where the Hive can’t reach them. At least, theoretically. For a long time, those guys got no respect and no chance at a bride, but with the new Prime on Prillion having Hive implants and a human bride who told him that it was a shame that the guys on the Colony were treated that way because they are vets and deserve respect, the males on the Colony now have chances to get a bride. There still aren’t a lot of brides on the Colony, but that’s slowly changing.

Ok, on to Angh’s story. We’re two years after the last book and he’s been living on the Colony for those two years. He’s tired, bored, and lonely. The people on the Colony are either mining for resources or protecting the miners and those resources. That’s important for the Coalition, but for men who were trained to be fighters and who have a whole bunch of rage because of what the Hive has done to them, it’s just not enough. One way that they deal with it is to fight in the Pit. The guys can take their aggression out on other guys who are in the same place. Angh is one of the regulars in the Pit. He figures that’s the only place he will ever get some peace because he’s never going to get a bride. He tested for the program a couple of years ago, but no match yet. Then, he sees her.

Kira teaches at the Coalition’s academy, but that’s not her only job, she’s also a member of the Intelligence Corps. She goes in and helps extract high-profile prisoners from the Hive before they can crack their minds. Those prisoners generally have info that would be very hurtful to the Coalition if the Hive were to get it. But she does that on the down low. Her public job is being a teacher. Right now she’s supervising some students who are just about to graduate who are doing a course on the Colony. They are using the caves for simulations since it will be similar to a lot of places where they will be fighting the Hive. She has a friend who is a student and together, they decide to go see the fights in the Pit. That’s when she sees Angh and fixates on him. She decides that she can have one glorious night with him, but she can’t give him any more than that, because the IC basically owns her. That turns into a huge problem for Angh, because while they are having their wonderful night, he offers her mating cuffs. Too bad he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone, with the cuffs sitting on the bed.

OK, you know what time it is. I love Kira and Angh’s story. I love it so hard. It isn’t an easy journey for anyone. There are a lot of shitty things that happen. There is a vice-admiral that didn’t get near what she deserved. Not nearly. I really wanted to go smack the absolute shit out of her, because damn. That was just wrong. If you love the Atlans, this is a definite book for you to read. Angh has been a fan favorite, and like I said, is my fave Atlan. I’m pretty sure that I kind of hate Kira for ending up with him. Oh well, at least he’ll be happy, right? Watch out for a guest appearance from Denzel Washington.

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OK, that vice-admiral knew what was going to happen when you threaten an Atlan’s mate. Of course, that was in her plans, devious bitch that she was, but I want to know if she was aware just how far that he would go. I’m betting she didn’t expect him to go to the extent he did. And Kira really needed to kick her ass.

I can’t wait to see more of this world. I never can. Of course, I think Grace may be sadistic to make us wait. Of course, I think most authors are more than just a little sadistic. So, go check this out, along with all the other books, and get the mad Atlan love. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Broken by the Alien

Does it seem like I’ve had a lot of Loki Renard posts here lately? Well, there’s a very good reason for that. Loki has been ridiculously prolific lately. I’m not complaining, since that just means more books for me to read. And, I don’t know if you knew this or not, but I LOVE to read. If it came down to giving up chocolate or giving up books, I’d give up chocolate. But, since I don’t have to choose, I will eat my chocolate while reading, just like I did while reading Broken by the Alien.

Loki tends to write on the darker end of things, and this one fits in really well with the other books of hers that I’ve recently blogged. It is a scifi romance though, instead of being here on Earth.

This is the way that the story goes. The Rathkari have invaded Earth. They are very much into breeding. They want to do everything they can to make sure that their species continues. Each person is going to be the parent of millions, so it’s important to mate and breed. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to let humans keep doing that. No, their plan is to take all the human males off of Earth and do heaven only knows what with them. Then they take all the women of breeding age and go make happy little Rathkari babies. Either they do that through a mating bond or there are breeding facilities where women can go and just keep having babies. Women who are too old to breed are used as slave labor on Earth to produce food for the Rathkari fleets and people.

In the very intense first chapter, we meet Era. She has lost her father and brother, and her brother’s fiancee is now one of the women having Rathkari babies. Era literally has no one left on the face of the Earth. She’s of prime child-bearing years, but instead, she’s laboring in the rice paddies, planting, harvesting, and hauling huge bags of rice around. She’s hiding and trying to make it look like she’s older than she is. The fact that the Rathkari don’t treat their slaves well or feed them all that particularly well makes it even easier to sell her masquerade. But, when the overseer sees her period blood on her leg one day, he decides that she’s broken and is going to take her to the recycler, which will let her be used to nourish the fields.

That’s when Karlo shows up. He’s the superior officer in charge of the particular quadrant that Earth is in. He just happens to be doing an inspection of the fields that day and sees Era struggling with the overseer. She wants to live, so she’s trying to get him to let her go. Karlo recognizes that she’s probably of childbearing years, so he goes to save her. Era suddenly changes her mind and decides that nope, the overseer can just go toss her in the recycler if that means that she doesn’t have to go with Karlo. She quite literally would rather die than to have him save her life. But since he’s bigger than she is and much healthier, she doesn’t have a lot of choice. He takes her, straps her into the shuttle, and takes her back to his ship and his quarters. He’s planning on taking her as his mate, but first he has to get her healthy, and it turns out that she’s going to keep fighting him the whole time.

OK, it’s that time. Era hates the Rathkari, and I gotta say that I can’t blame her for that at all. If I were in her place, I would probably hate them as well. But, it also sounds like the occupation may have been mismanaged, so if things had gone better, would that have changed her feelings? I dunno. I often play what if… with books, but I don’t think this is one that I’m going to do that with. The fact is, she hates the Rathkari in general, and quite often, Karlo in particular. He doesn’t do a whole lot to endear himself to her either. Of course, they both have very different POVs so there are a lot of misunderstandings, but he doesn’t really try to get where she’s coming from. I liked Karlo, but there are times that I was really furious at him. I will say that there are times when I’m mad at Era too. Just as he doesn’t really try to get her POV, I don’t think that Era really tries to put herself in his shoes. There are just huge chasms between the two of them that are almost impossible to bridge at times. The book made me feel happy, sad, angry, stressed, and joyful, sometimes all at once. I totally loved it.

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The rope work that Karlo does is pretty damn awesome, and I would totally love that. Not entirely sure that I’d want the first punishment he does with it, though.

I was really mad at Karlo during the whole explanation that Era couldn’t get pregnant and his reaction. Of course she’s going to be angry about the whole thing, but anger is a secondary emotion, and it’s always easier to be scared than it is to be afraid or to be vulnerable or to tell him that she has some kind of feelings for him. It’s not like I expected him to read her mind, but I did expect something better out of him.

So, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

 

Aubrey Cara-Night of the Monrok

Today is another entry into the Night of… RH series. We have one more to go after this, Ava Sinclair’s book. But before we get to Ava’s book, we have Aubrey’s book.

For Aubrey’s entry into this grouping, we’re visiting her Monrok universe in Night of the Monrok. I love the Monrok. I own all the books because I love their universe and those big guys so much.

So, here’s the basic backstory on the Monrok warriors. They are genetically and cybernetically enhanced humans. As babies, the Zapex warped them, did surgery on them, and just all around treated them horribly. When the Monrok had the chance to kill the Zapexian prince who was in charge of them and escape to freedom, they did. The impetus behind their rebellion was that the Zapex had kidnapped human women and were planning on forcing the women and the Monrok to reproduce so that they would have a ready supply of babies to turn into Monrok. None of the guys wanted that to happen, so they rebelled. Now, they have been declared free by the council that rules the galaxy. Of course, that’s mostly because the council wants to have the Monrok as allies in case they need to go to war.

So, on to today’s story. It can be read as a standalone because you get enough of the history of the universe to figure out what’s going on. But, it also slides in quite well with the rest of the universe and it does expand and advance the overall storyline of all the books.

Banx, Jor, Tawn, and Ast have been a very tight unit for many, many years. They pretty much act and think as one when they are in a fight. They are good friends and brothers, even when they sometimes want to strangle each other because of whatever reason. They are currently on Ak’ba and have been told that they should go to the slave auction later that evening because there is going to be something that they would like to see.

When they get to the auction, they are amazed to see Sana. She is a veran concubine. The veran are lower-class Zapexian women and are sold as concubines. They are also seers. It’s very rare to see any Zapexian woman out and about on her own, and nearly impossible to find them being sold as slaves. When Banx first sees Sana, he knows that she is his, so he jumps on the stage, throws a bunch of money at the slavers, and carries her away, followed and guarded by his brothers. When they get to their ship, there are a bunch of Zapexian warriors waiting there, ready to fight. They want Sana back and they were willing to be stupid enough to go after a quartet of Monrok warriors.

Sana has been the concubine of a high councilor of the Zapex king. While she’s been a concubine, she’s never really been used because her master is more into the gearan, which are the male equivalent. Most veran are sterilized so that they can’t get pregnant, but some of the veran aren’t because they have special powers. Sana is one of those. Her master’s honored mate wasn’t real happy about having a veran concubine around, and when it came time to breed her, her master’s mate had Sana beaten. Pippen, Sana’s only friend, arranges to get her off planet and tells her to go to the Galactic Unity Council so that she can tell them things that she knows. He tells her to be brave and trust her fate.

The 4 Monrok guys are very similar in some things and very different in others. They each have their own personalities and their own way of doing things, especially when it comes to Sana. Banx, Tawn, and Ast are very excited to have a a mate, because they know that she is there mate. Jor, who is my favorite, by the way, isn’t as sure about it and while he’s happy to get his dick wet, he’s not so sure about Sana. He’s pretty sure that she’s going to be trouble. I’m really digging RH stories for so many reasons, but the fact that each of the men answer a need in Sana and she answers a different need in each of the men. They all show her how much they care for her, even Jor.

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So, the reason that Jor is my favorite is that he is so broken, but he takes the biggest chance when it comes to being with Sana. He really makes himself vulnerable, especially before she gets taken away. It’s beautiful. That breakthrough and the fact that he was willing to do something that would make him feel so vulnerable just shows to me how strong he was.

Anyway, that’s all of this one. Happy reading!