Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
Larz has been kidnapped and sold as a slave to King Janos of the Herkos Empire on the planet Laltana. Fearing that his position might give undue power to King Janos if he decides to use him as a bargaining chip in his fight against the Axis Empire, Larz has to live out his life as a slave turned soldier in the Herkos Empire.
Meanwhile, Janos is fully aware that Bastion is actually Prince Larz of Tygeria but has no idea what to do to with him. He can’t ever forget what the Tygerians did to him but he can’t see himself perpetuating the same crimes the Tygerians did. So, Janos decides to stick him in a place where Larz will be out of his sight and more importantly, out of his mind.
But, when Herkos’ war with Athelon places them in close quarters both Larz and Janos will have to figure out what to do with the attraction between them.
This book was almost a disappointment especially if you compare it with the other books in this series. Weirdly enough, it seemed like this book was written just to deliver on a deadline, though now that I have checked I realise that this book is 230 pages. I am really surprised to find that out this book is that long because it felt really short like about a hundred pages. Wow! That is one thing I will have to give Shannon West she has me so engrossed in this series and this family that I really can’t stop reading.
I love Davos and Blake’s family. These characters are now so real to me that you don’t even need to define them for me you can just mention them by name and I know what they are like. I am very invested in this series to the point that the author can get away with passably okay books but even though I know I will read the next book in this series despite not being wowed by this one, I really want good stories for these characters who I’m already in love with.
So, what went wrong in this book? Well, for one Davos, Blake, Mikos, Ryan, Mikol and even Renard stole the show completely. This might be a problem with this series because there are already so many characters that you love that they steal the show with just a single dialogue, and thus, I as a reader find it hard to get invested in a new character like Janos in this story. Though I feel the author does a good job of giving the love story in focus the time to breathe separately from the family, especially Blake.
Secondly, Larz and Janos are just not that developed. They are developed as characters and when they shared their first kiss, I was excited for these two but the author doesn’t have them meet up again till quite a while after that. The second time they meet after sharing kisses with each other, is in a very tense situation and sorry but I am with Annie Porter from Speed in this one, tense situations don’t make for lasting relationships. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if not for the fact that this situation is the entire breadth of their relationship as featured in this book. We never really get to see Larz and Janos in another situation and the ending really screwed these two over. Larz at the end just finds that Janos knew who he was all along and we never get to see Larz and Janos sort out this problem between themselves, the book ends before they get a single private moment again which left me feeling very shortchanged.
Also, this book doesn’t leave Larz and Janos on solid ground at all. Not only have they not talked about how Janos’ knew Larz’s true identity all this time we also don’t see Larz having to deal with the consequences of making decisions for Janos. The decision that is made for Laltana by Davos makes a lot of sense from Davos’ and Mikos’ perspective but Janos ends up losing his entire kingdom without any say in the matter which considering that he is Larz’s nobyo he should have had. Even if it was protesting and rallying for remaining a king even though I feel not being a king actually works in Janos’s favour but still, he should have had the liberty to make decisions even bad ones. So, yeah I am not happy with where we left Larz and Janos or how we leave them.
Now let’s talk about the third thing that has me outraged. Where is Nicarr? I can’t imagine that the author decided to have a book featuring overbearing omak, Blake at his most overbearing and Larz without one single scene featuring Nicarr. Like, this is not a movie it doesn’t cost you anything to have Nicarr show up so, where was he? This fact was actually so jarring because Nicarr and Larz have been very close since the beginning of this series and added to the fact that Nicarr can no longer claim the title of being Blake’s baby, I was shocked that Nicarr was not up there stealing the show with the rest of his family. Like seriously, where is Nicarr I really, really want to know, which in hindsight is probably a calculated move by the author to have us so curious to find out about Nicarr that we will definitely pick up the next book which fingers crossed will be Nicarr’s story because I really want an answer.
So, initially I was talking about how Blake & Davos and Mikos & Ryan totally stole the show in this book and they totally did but these are also the best scenes in the book. I liked that Blake called out Davis on all the bullshit he spewed at the end of “Inconvenient Mate” and I am glad to see these two work it out.
Mikos, in a totally unexpected move, stole the show. I feel like this was one of the better resolutions to the baby question. In recent times in popular media we have had a lot of individuals who are couples but are on opposite sides of the baby question and there have been a lot of solutions offered but I think I liked how Mikos and Ryan went about finding their own solution and I like the answer they came to. Also, Renard talking back to Blake and finding out that Blake truly believes no one will ever be good enough for his children was so golden.
Overall, this wasn’t the best instalment in the series but it makes for an exciting read.
Cover Art by E. Keith. I really liked the cover for this book.
Sales Link: Amazon
Published August 1st 2019 by Painted Hearts Publishing LLC
Edition Language English
Series Mate of the Tyger Prince #8