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Marius has returned to Rome with Kyle, more determined than ever to keep the slave by his side. Of course, there are pressures from all quarters for him to conform to the demands of his high position as the commander of the military and nephew of the emperor. Ultimately he gives in to demands for him to take another wife, but he does so on his own terms. Claudia proves to be more than just a beard, and the three form an odd sort of family.
Rama is a young dette from the sub-continent who is raised to be submissive and obedient for any drake he is ultimately paired with, but he's promised to be pampered as the precious treasure that dettes are. However, after his first heat, his father ‘trades” him to an American dragon in exchange for a dowry of land for his brother in the new world. It turns out that the drake isn't what Rama expected, and he spends 40 years isolated from the world under his drake's thumb, bearing him no pups at all.
Andrew's life seems to be falling apart. First he lost his teaching job at a small college when the staff had to be downsized, and that lead to the breakup of his relationship with his partner, who also happened to be the department head. To help him get some distance and a new perspective, Andrew's best friend offers the use of her husband's old family retreat in a small Florida town for the summer.
Eddie's stand-up comic mother goes into labor while on the road. She ends up sharing a hospital room with another woman, who as it happens lives not far away from her. Although coming from two different social circles, the two women become good friends, as do their sons, Eddie and Brian. At seven years old, the two boys are separated when Brian's parents have to move to another state, leaving Eddie on his own.
Homeless and living on the street since his father threw him out for being gay, of all the humans taken by the Thorzen, Beau has the fewest reasons to ever want to return to earth. He may be kept in a cell in a lab, but he's fed and doesn't seem to be in any danger, even if the lab's leader Crux does sneer at him. And there's definitely a small bright spot: Crux's son Vorian, who just about everyone avoids, seems to have take an interest in Beau that is more than a little friendly.
Joe is a successful psychologist with a sideline running a corporate retreat that also offers training in the BDSM lifestyle. He is a respected dominant in his own right, but feels he wants more than the occasional scene with a willing submissive. One night he pays a social visit to The Underground club, where his good friend the owner introduces him to Olly. The young man is definitely just the kind of submissive Joe likes, but he's also got a troubled past with a sadistic master who isn't quite ready to give him up.
Tom wants to surprise his husband Kalon on their one-year anniversary, which also happens to be the Danzaith version of Valentines Day. It's not just a romantic gesture. The young man feels the two have grown apart due to royal commitments and taking care of their two children, which Tom gave birth to. It's not easy to clear the schedule of a busy king, especially when there's someone who keeps breaking into the palace's computer systems and taking data.
Kindly note: This series is very much meant to be read in order. If you haven't yet read the first books of this series, this review may contain spoilers about how they turn out. After taking a year off from school to settle into life with the pack, and all the things that happened, Matt is looking forward to going to college, living the life of a normal student. Of course, things don't quite work out that way, and the growing threat of the Völsung to the Vargr packs shows no sign of abating.
Sorry, but this is one of those books that's hard to review without a few minor spoilers. You have been warned. Earth's first alien contact is with a species that becomes known as the “Hush”, who come from a planet of mostly ice and have technology far more advanced than humans. Initially friendly, the Hush exchange come of their tech for farm produce. But then they begin to see humans as stupid and short-sighted for their lack of care for the environment they're blessed with.
When academic researcher Fergus lands in a remote mining camp in the far reaches of Western Australia, he's expecting a change of scenery, but he's totally unprepared for the extreme conditions of the desert, as well as the quirky collection of permanent residents that call the town home. The biggest surprise of all is Davo. The muscular mechanical supervisor has a sunny disposition with a totally disarming smile, and likes to wear skirts.