Jax has the perfect job on the perfect world, looking after subs while their owners are away. But Brysen’s no ordinary sub and his owner Layne is a threat to the safety of every sub on the planet.
Dealing with the heartbreak of a failed relationship, Jax is slow to realize Brysen’s adoration for his stern owner passes all reason, and breaks every rule. By the time he does, there may be time to save Brysen, but in the process, Jax stands to lose everything from his job to his chance at love. Will the protective instincts that guide his actions hold steady or will the darkness Layne wakes within him prove stronger?
My feels are mixed on this one. I was expecting an intense slave training story. In spaaaaaaaaceeeeeeeee. Because space makes everything more intense somehow. It's not that sort of story though. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Control by Cordelia Kingsbridge only not as dark and with less mystery/thriller storyline.
Jax is a slavesitter. He is well respected in the community for being able to handle different levels of slaves and whenever their owners have obligations wherein their slaves cannot accompany them he ensures they are cared for in their absence. It becomes clear early on that he's had his heart broken and I also sussed out that he was a pretty hardcore sadist which filled me with glee. I thought for sure I'd be in for some serious PAIN! You know my feels on this. #TeamPain
Alas, there wasn't that much pain either.
Jax gets hired by Layne to slavesit Brysen and it's clear immediately something is amiss. His devotion seems canned, robotic and disproportionate to what's required. All slaves wear a color-coded collar that denotes their level/preferences and also dispenses beneficial nutrients, so it's not difficult to discern that something's wonky with the collar. The reason why the collars dispense this stuff still eludes me. I'm guessing it has something to do with the atmosphere? Aside from that the world building is in the fair to good range. I'm probably biased after reading Lyn Gala's sci-fi stuff. That's hard to match, though, and isn't reflected in my rating.
Make no mistake, Layne is an turdface asshat of an owner and I did wonder if he was always like this or if he just let his insatiable need to inflict pain override all sense and reason. Who knows?
However, Layne's mostly a background figure and only comes into play towards the end.
Be forewarned that scene is brutal. But, really, it's only one scene in the grand scheme of things and afterwards there is a lot of push/pull between Jax and Brysen regarding their future. I liked both of these characters especially Brysen's evolution. I also thoroughly enjoyed the visual of Jax...
But neither really got under my skin and made a home. It's well written with good characterizations and a nicely paced plot, but left me wanting. I wanted it to be darker or kinkier or more romantic than it was. There are slivers of all three and maybe that's the problem-it tried to be too many things at once? Maybe my expectations were too high going in? I don't know. I do know that I wound up liking but not loving it.
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