A Caryn Review: An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) by Belinda McBride

Standard

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

A bit sci-fi, a bit fantasy, a romance rekindled after tragedy, and just a little challenge to the psychology of traditional male gender roles…  This book ended up being a little more wide-ranging than I expected, but I truly enjoyed it.

The novel opens on the planet Warlan – mined out, ugly, and full of dangerous and desperate beings from all over the galaxy who seemingly have nowhere lower to go.  Pasha was a slave, a whore, controlled by a chip in his brain that not only suppressed his memories of who he was, but also guaranteed obedience to his owner.  Pasha was always looking for escape, but his many attempts over the years were unsuccessful, until his pimp lost him to a pirate over a game of cards.

That pirate was Captain Griffin Hawke, and he had been searching for years for his king, Helios Dayspring.  He’d heard rumors that Helios might be on Warlan, and was thrilled to find him, but horrified by what Helios had become.  He was equally horrified to learn that Helios had no memory of who he was, what had happened to their people, or how the two of them had been lovers before they became guerrilla warriors for their people.

This is the beginning of a series, so the entire restoration of the kingdom of Astrum will take a few more books.  An Uncommon Whore is all about the restoration of Helios Dayspring, as Griffin takes him off Warlan, through a series of adventures to recover his memories and return to their new homeland.  Along the way, they reunite with unexpected allies, confront traitors, and most importantly, learn more about themselves and their relationship with each other.  Helios found ways to use his experience as a slave to become a better man, and convince Griffin they could be partners despite their difference in rank.  There was a lot of discussion between the two of them about the role of dominance and submission – not in a BDSM type of way, but in regards to all the roles and positions in a sexual relationship.  Is the man on his knees submissive?  Is the top in anal sex the dominant?  Is it possible to switch roles?  What does that mean when they have political and leadership positions to maintain as well?  I think I liked that part of the narrative best, even though it was overdone at times.  This quote, Helios talking to Griffin, kind of sums it up best:

I’ve discovered that humility is not such a bad thing and that strength can be found through submission.  I’ve learned that I am not always right, and being wrong is not a bad thing, nor is it a weakness.

Some things I didn’t like were how the dialogue sometimes seemed less like Astrum and fantasy world, and more like 21st century America.  There was also a definite feeling of insta-love between Helios and Griffin – and I didn’t really buy that a man who had been an abused sex slave would be so instantly attracted to anyone.  But that aside, it was an enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Cover art by Aaron Anderson captures Helios well, and the background clearly shows the sci-fi aspect of the story.

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon |  Barnes and Noble:

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd edition
Published August 27th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 25th 2010)
Original Title An Uncommon Whore
ASINB07TZ2FRZS
Series An Uncommon Whore #1
Characters Helios Dayspring, Griffin Hawke
setting Warlan
Neo Domus

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