Review: A Vital Chemistry by Darrah Glass (Ganymede Quartet Book 3.5)

First love, new love. 

On Valentine’s Day, Martin prepares to tell Henry he loves him. It’s not appropriate for a slave to burden a master with his feelings, but Martin doesn't think Henry will mind. He won’t let himself hope for Henry to return the sentiment, but the truth is that he feels loved. He knows how that feels because he was loved before—by his friend Richard at Ganymede. 

Martin treasures his memories of Richard, but he’s glad to be with Henry here and now. There’s a vital chemistry that draws Martin to Henry, and it’s unlike anything he’s experienced before. There’s more between them than Martin thought possible between master and slave, and he wants to believe it will endure, but he worries Henry will someday fall for a free man. Can Martin trust in Henry’s love? 

This story is told from Martin’s point of view and runs parallel to events that take place in Chapter 12 of A Willful Romantic (Ganymede Quartet Book 3). 


A Vital Chemistry perfectly exemplifies why I like Martin. He's utterly and completely devoted to Henry, is comfortable and even relishes being a slave, particularly Henry's slave. It squeezes my heart because Henry really needs someone to love him, show him he is loved by matching his demonstrativeness. Martin is more prudent, but no less enthralled.

Every day, when he combed his hair and brushed his teeth, he saw the vivid blue of his tattoo in the mirror and he was glad of his mark all over again because it connected him to Henry and put him in this house, at Henry's side.

These accompanying novellas compliment the full lengths beautifully. Here we are given more background information on Martin's time at Ganymede as a boy in love with his partner, Richard. I always enjoy these peeks into Martin and I especially loved how Darrah tied in the bittersweet of his relationship with Richard to Martin's devotion to Henry and how one facilitated the other. We were also treated to more world building and... 

Martin had heard that some of the richest women in the city had manservants who answered only to them, whose public duties were vague, and who doted on their mistresses in private, and it was further rumored that these male pets had been purchased by the women's husbands.

Hmmmmm... *taps chin* foreshadowing? I say foreshadowing and... I like it. I like it a lot for multiple reasons. Martin and I agree that Henry should procreate which makes me like him more. I want Henry to find a beard of a wife that'll be his best friend, have his children, love and accept him and leave he and Martin be which is yet another reason why I want 20 books so I can read about this. Begging is in my wheelhouse.

All told, A Vital Chemistry leaves me with a very happy feeling and also a little verklempt at the prospect of Henry and Martin's story almost being over. *see begging

I'd dearly love to see more of the lighthearted moments they shared in this novella in the next installment. It brings a different dimension to their relationship.

Experience had taught him that love made a person stronger, both giving one's heart and having the sentiment returned, and by that token he'd made Henry stronger, too.

I hate to sound like a broken record but this series is special and keeps getting better with each installment. 

A review copy was provide by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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