Title: In Enemy Hands
Author: M.A. Church
Release Date: 12-30-2016
Genre(s): M/M Paranormal, M/M Fantasy
Page Count: 214
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Two very different civilizations—one bathed in bright sunlight, and the other veiled in shadow.
Bad decisions, declining resources, and a king on the brink of madness force Prince Varo Kutchif, third son of the royal family and a starship captain, to attempt the impossible: barter for Black Phospolrock, an energy source the mysterious Helkan kingdom has in abundance. Varo opens a line of communication with Adlar, an intriguing Helkan who seems to reciprocate Varo’s interest. He hopes so, because if negotiations collapse, Varo has orders to attack.
The Helkans preside over a planet shrouded in perpetual darkness. Several species have tried to exploit its natural resources through trade with them, but all have failed. Adlar Mondur is the older brother to the Helkan ruler. An assassin of the highest order, he’ll do anything to protect his king and his people—including tracking down the Yesri prince who crash-lands on their planet, leaving an ugly scar across its untouched beauty.
Thus begins a journey where two men from disparate civilizations grow from enemies to lovers. (less)
Prince Varo is sent on a suicide mission by his father to negotiate mining rights with the Helkan King for Black phopolrock, a source of energy that has become vital to Varo’s home planet survival. There’s one small problem however, The Helkans, do not allow outsiders on their planet. The Helkans also, refuse to share their Phopolrock because to do so would invite every other planet in the solar system to try and exploit (and drain) their planet’s natural resources. Prince Varo’s true mission, however; isn’t to “negotiate” mining rights (his father knows the Helkans will never allow this). Varo’s true mission is to assassinate the Helkan king or else his crew’s families would be put to death. The king is well aware that this would be an impossible mission and deliberately assigned his “weakest” son to the task.
Resigned to his fate, Varo, made contact with the Helkans and from that moment on this reader was baited and hooked to find out how this story was going to unfold.
The breath froze in Varo’s chest as he stared. There on the screen was the most gorgeous creature Varo had ever laid eyes on. Long, glossy black hair cascaded over his shoulders and disappeared from sight. A narrow face that was hauntingly beautiful peered back at Varo. Full lips that tilted up in a slight smirk drew Varo’s attention. A tingle raced up Varo’s spine and nailed him in the back of the head. Varo was suddenly achingly hard and more than a little horrified by his response.
The Helkans, were assumed to be backward and uncivilized. Varo is about to learn how wrong those assumptions were when he is captured by the King’s brother, Prince Adlar, after he deliberately crash landed on the Helkan planet. As a “captive” Varo, came to learn that the Helkans were a civilized society, technologically more advanced than Varo’s home planet and a tight-knit family clan, fiercely protective of their kin….unlike Varo’s family.
This is a wonderful enemy to lovers story minus what could easily be misconstrued as Stockholm Syndrome because of the immediate enslavement of Varo at the hands of Adlar ( despite the fact that we know both are immediately attracted to each other). I liked these two together. I liked how Adlar takes care of Varo and my heart broke a couple times for Varo as he stared enviously at the love and camaraderie between Adlar and his brother. There are a couple things I didn’t care for which kinda spoiled my enjoyment of the story.
My first pet peeve is the name errors in the book. I kept wondering who is Caleb? It was a typo which occurred a couple times, pulling me out the story. My second pet peeve was the epilog. Varo’s upbringing in comparison to Adler was night and day. His father didn’t care if he died and growing up his siblings treated him deplorably…. or so he thought until he learned a few things concerning his older brother. Which brings me to my third pet peeve. I liked Lars (Varo’s oldest brother) and really wanted him to have his own book, however; the epilog summed up everything and pretty much guaranteed there would be no book two.