Author: Ann Mayburn
Release Date: 4 October 2011
Number of pages: 126 pages
Publisher: Loose Id
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Loose Id
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Prince Devnar of Jensia is goaded into raiding the wrong space ship, springing a trap that captures him for use as a Royal pleasure slave, a Concubine, on Kyrimia. He vows to do everything he can to escape and keep from forming a psychic bond with his captors that would render him absolutely and totally in love. This proves difficult to do when the female Breaker assigned to turn him into a Concubine, Melania, is the epitome of his perfect woman.
Melania has been raised and trained to help reluctant and abused Novices to break through their personal blocks and attain the ultimate prize of becoming a Concubine. When she is given Devnar to train, she finds herself in danger of doing the forbidden and falling in love with her Novice. This angry, scarred, and utterly seductive male tests her self-control like no other.
Devnar and Melania find themselves at the heart of a galaxy wide political battle that will test a love that they must not acknowledge, and cannot live without, to its very limits.
As you can see in the blurb The Breaker's Concubine starts off with the premise of forced seduction. Prince Devnar is captured and they want to train him as a concubine for the empress of Kyrimia. However, because he is a strong-willed alpha warrior and submitting is just not in his nature he resists all attempts of seduction and pleasure training.
I have to admit that when I saw that Ann Mayburn would be exploring this quite controversial theme I was intrigued and curious to see how she would handle it. As it is such a delicate and tricky topic, the balance so hard to find. But I am here to reassure you, that in my opinion the forced seduction scenario in The Breaker's Concubine is not offensive because despite being a handcuffed captive, Devnar retained his dominant quality and remains an alpha male throughout the story, he is as active participant or should I say he is even more active in seducing Melania than she is in seducing him. So despite the circumstances I felt that as he was strongly attracted to Melania and his feelings were in it, and especially because despite him being the prisoner the way he took over the reins of seduction it wasn't really forced.
The extremely rich world-building of The Breaker's Concubine was stunning. I usually fear when reading sci-fi stories that I'll feel lost not being able to picture all the extraordinary settings and creatures, but the descriptions of the culture, worlds and settings were so vivid in The Breaker's Concubine that I had no problem picturing them at all. They were colourful and lush, as if seen in a video.
I'm still new to the sci-fi genre but I appreciated not only the vivid descriptions, but how Ann Mayburn developed the local traditions and customs of the two planets (Jensia and Kyrimia) to the very last detail giving the reader a knowledge on the background and way of living of these people. We are introduced to the Jensian custom of bonding:
To bond to a mate was a commitment that blended the souls of those two people together. They would be able to feel each other’s emotions and sometimes thoughts. Their pleasure became your pleasure, their pain your pain. Once bonded, it was physically impossible to do anything that would hurt your bond mate.and when we get a glimpse into the Kyrimian ones we discover that concubines are cherished people, the only ones who are able to give children to their lovers and even the word concubine means "my most beloved".
Of course as The Breaker's Concubine is a sci-fi erotica I cannot not mention the sensuality and hotness of the story. The chemistry between Devnar, Melania and Khalim was palpable, I could feel the heat emanate off these three and Ann Mayburn wrote some seriously scorching scenes! The primal virility and sexuality of Devnar was overwhelming, his need and sensuality were felt even through the pages.
"You are mine to play with," she whispered against his chest, her lips trailing over his skin. "I will give you pleasure like you never imagined. All I ask in return is your complete obedience. Let yourself go; let me make the decisions. The only thing I want you to do is feel."
I guess what also softens the overpowering heat of the seduction scenes and gives them a new meaning is the tender and all-encompassing love which develops between Devnar and Melania.
She felt…complete. It would have been an amazing sensation if she didn’t also feel like she was going crazy. He was inside her, filling her mind and body, his presence growing stronger with every beat of her heart.
Cover: 10/10 - gorgeous cover and suits perfectly the story!