Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince #2) by C.S. Pacat

Genre: Fantasy, MM Romance, Explicit

Title: Prince’s Gambit

Author: C.S. Pacat

Release Date: 7 July 2015

23398894

Summary: 

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

What I Liked:

The romance actually became a romance in this book.  Sure, Damen and Laurent only have 1 sex scene together and it’s closer to the end than the beginning, but my goodness!  The long buildup just makes it better.  The scene itself is very sensual and almost gentle.  There are so many emotions!  It really was a beautiful thing to read.

The direction that this book takes is interesting.  While I could anticipate some of the events that would happen, there were definitely things that were giant surprises.  If you had asked me after finishing book 1 what would happen in this book, I would have never been able to come up with anything even close to this!  The political intrigue in this series really is my favorite part.  I like complicated fantasy politics à la Game of Thrones, and this book is that and also about 100% more gay!  I love it!

What I Didn’t:

So, warnings from the previous book still apply (slavery, non-con, dub-con, implied pedophilia, murder, etc.), and let’s also add intense battle scenes, emotional/sexual manipulation, and suicide.  Yeah, this series really isn’t for the faint of heart.  The only things that really bothered me in this book was Aimeric’s storyline and Nicaise’s fate.  I had become so invested in these side characters, that I felt personally betrayed when their stories were revealed.  I appreciate the tragedy of their situations, but I must confess that I much prefer happy endings.

Overall:

This book is even better than the first in the series.  I love the intricacies of the political intrigue and the world that the author has created.  The Veretian and Akielon cultures are richly detailed and feel very real.  The slow burn relationship/romance between Damen and Laurent is complex and full of intensity.  While they finally get together (kind of, anyway) towards the end of this book, they still have many hurdles to face.  While I was not personally a fan o the Aimeric storyline, I did understand it’s place in the story, and I really wish that Damen was a bit more perceptive at times.  As a narrator, he can be very…ignorant about people and their motivations, which is a frustrating trait for an otherwise intelligent character.  This book does end on a sort of cliffhanger, so I really need to jump into book 3 right away!  This series really is addicting!

My Rating: 4/5

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