The course of true love never did run smooth. Ryan is settling into his role as a new father and the royal consort of Mikos, the fierce and handsome Prince of Tygeria. He’s still deeply in love and happy—most of the time. But the former Alliance colonel is a bit restless, and even though he loves his child and his mate, he needs a bit more to occupy his time. Mikos thinks giving him more babies to care for will help, but Ryan comes up with a different idea for some diversion and physical challenge by forming his own team for the dangerous Arena Games.
Meanwhile, Haggoz and Kevin are deeply involved in a much more serious game of their own. The king warned Haggoz that punishing his own mate and holding him prisoner would be nearly impossible, but Haggoz can’t bear to be parted from him. Locked in a seemingly endless war between his love for the former marine and his duty to his king, Haggoz is struggling to survive. Just when it seems that they’re hopelessly deadlocked, Mikos and Haggoz go on what should be a routine mission against an ARes training facility on a distant moon.
When disaster strikes and word gets back to Ryan that Mikos and Haggoz are both in terrible danger, he embarks on a desperate mission to save them and bring them safely home. Ryan finds an unlikely ally in Kevin to help him save the men and discover that even though the course may be rocky, true love will always find its way.
I loved the first book in this series, and when I found out book two had been released, I had to go grab it right away.
In book one we meet Kevin, who does some really, really bad things to Ryan, the Prince Consort of Tygeria (and mate to Mikos whom I love to death). Book two is mostly Kevin’s story, and we find out that things we thought we knew weren’t exactly true. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Kevin did those things, and he’s being suitably punished by Haggoz, the man who holds him prisoner, but it tears out a piece of Haggoz’s soul to inflict any kind of pain on Kevin. Still, his king says it must be, so he makes it happen.
The story blends Mikos and Ryan as well as Kevin and Haggoz. In this book, Ryan has stepped out of the shadows a little. He shows he’s still a soldier, and he does it in a way that’s sure to piss Mikos off (and boy does it ever!), but he makes it known that he’s not the pretty little spouse who is going to sit at home and raise the children. I love the interactions between the two of them. When Ryan decides he’s going to remind Mikos who he married, there is quite a bit of tension. Especially when Haggoz suggests that he knows the person who can work with Ryan. Oh, and it just happens to be the man who tried to kill Ryan and his child. Mikos is….less than thrilled with the idea. But once again, Ryan shows his stubborn streak.
As Ryan learns new facts, he’s forced to reevaluate what he believes. And to consider that not everything he thought to be true is. And that’s how the whole mess gets started.
When Mikos and Haggoz are about to leave for a mission, Ryan feels that something is wrong, but doesn’t act on it. When things go tits up, he steps in and reminds the king that he’s not just the progenitor of the King’s grandchild, but a former colonel of the Allied Forces. He will save his husband, and bring him back. To do it, he’s going to need help, and who better than Kevin, a former Marine?
Shannon’s descriptions of Ryan and Kevin, their anguish, and their desire to show that they are more than what is expected of them are delicious. Mikos still rocks my world very hard. He loves Ryan with his whole heart, and he doesn’t always understand why Ryan lashes out. My favorite line in the story occurs after Mikos is forced to spank Ryan for his out of line behavior:
“Mikos sighed. “My father said this would make you settle down, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”
I love Mikos (in case you couldn’t tell), because he is totally besotted with Ryan, just as Haggoz is with Kevin. The men of Tygeria fall in love hard and fast, and when they do, it’s forever.
Who wouldn’t want that kind of mate?