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

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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

Belinda McBride on Writing, HFN, and her new release An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) 

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An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1) by Belinda McBride

Dreamspinner Press
Published August 27th 2019

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

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

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Belinda McBride here today on tour with her new release An Uncommon Whore. Welcome, Belinda, and thank yo for agreeing to answer our author questions.

✒︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview  with Belinda McBride

  • How much of yourself goes into a character? 

I don’t think a writer can avoid inserting themselves into a character to some point. I mean, we all bring our own feelings, experiences and expectations when we read or write. But I think for me, I write characters I’d like to know…or who I’d like to be.  I guess there’s some projection going on there. I wish I were as steadfast as Griffin Hawke or as accepting as Lefi Drahan, or as uninhibited as Belle Oakley.

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I wind up doing a LOT of research regardless of genre. I am constantly Googling obscure poets or gods or trying to figure out what sort of trees could possibly survive on a specific planet. But it wasn’t until I tried my hand at a Civil War era novel that featured a hero that was half Muscogee and visits London in 1871 that I knew I was in over my head! LOL!

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Since I write romance, I’m committed to a HEA…eventually. LOL! Helios and Griffin from An Uncommon Whore get a HFN in their books. They’ll get their HEA eventually.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

Yes, I stumbled across my first romance when I was in Jr. High. It was Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer and set a high standard for my love of romance. I love historical romance and I particularly love an unapologetic anti-hero. The romances of the ‘70s and

‘80s were really not to my taste and I set them aside for a long while. I plunged back into romance when I picked up a Christine Feehan paranormal romance and started devouring the genre like I’d been starved!

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I don’t always get to choose them, since most of my work is with publishers. But I had a lot of input into the new Uncommon Whore cover. I wanted it romantic but reflecting the fact that it’s science fiction. And I wanted it to jump out at the viewer, both from thumbnail size and paperback size. I think we succeeded with this one!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m continuing on the re-release of the Uncommon Universe books and trying to prepare some of my older material to be re-released. For new material, I have a paranormal m/m/f that’s almost ready to go, and an Mpreg (!!) in development for next year. I have several WiPs that are really overdue for some attention as well. And of course, I’ll have another Helios and Griffin book out eventually.

  •  What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

Flaws and weaknesses fascinate me. Addictions, self-destructive tendencies, emotional damage and so on. I’ve met people who’ve battled demons and prevailed. Some of my characters have terrible weaknesses. Helios tends to be indolent and vain. Griffin is jealous and overprotective. Afton (the Bacchi) is puritanical and judgmental. Dierdre Dayspring is depressed. Caius is an addict of a different sort. These are all building blocks to develop character and conflict.

  •  Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

The Bacchi comes to mind. I set that aside for about 3 years. In fact, when I returned to it, I had to re-write what I’d started because my writing had evolved during that time! When I Fall went through several false starts as well. 

  •  Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Well, my readers will recognize that addiction and human trafficking are recurring topics in several of my books. Addiction is a nasty feature in my family—both on my mother and my father’s side of the family. When I wrote The Bacchi and Prince of Faith, a loved one was battling opioid addition. Human trafficking…a friend of mine vanished into forced labor. We’d track him down and make contact and the people who had him would move him. He’s a legal immigrant and a skilled chef, and in the end, he was high profile enough that they couldn’t keep him because his loyal “fans” followed him from restaurant to restaurant. But it took years and did a lot of damage.

  •  What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

Yeah…sex while falling from the sky. I did write it. In fact, I should put it up as a freebie…LOL!

  •    With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write?

The general chaos of the world cripples my writing, and I had to learn to wean myself from TV and social media. I think some real-life seeps into my writing but I try to avoid inserting contemporary events. Or if they’re included, there’s goodness. In An Uncommon Whore, the refugees of a planet-wide destruction are rescued by alien people they didn’t even know existed. And as the story continues, the Vash and the Somian and others continue to ally with them, helping them recover. Maybe I’m modeling how I believe. people should be in real life.

 

Blurb:

An Uncommon Whore Story

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most treacherous bar on Warlan. The day Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, no matter what he must do to draw his attention. 

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the better part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his legs, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, Grif falls for the sensual creature who has taken his place. After a brutal invasion stripped his people of nearly everything, they desperately need Helios to lead them. But returning him to throne means smuggling him off the planet, disabling the chip that keeps him submissive and forgetful. They will face old enemies, traitors, and greedy opportunists who’d like to strip their new planet of its wealth. 

It might mean Grif losing his lover… and they’ve both lost too much already.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Loose Id LLC, January 2010.

About the Author:

Belinda is an award-winning, top selling author of erotic romance, speculative fiction and LGBTQ romance. She lives in far Northern California with her family and a pack of Siberian Huskies and a few rogue Salukis

A graduate of CSU Chico, she managed to attend the notorious party school without once getting drunk, arrested or appearing in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. Her main focus of study was classical and archival history, cultural anthropology and 

theatre arts.

After several years in the workforce. Belinda purchased a laptop computer and from there, never stopped writing.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Belinda-McBride-49209583129/

Website: www.belindambride.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/belinda.mcbride/