Have a book that wrenches so many emotions out of you? This book did it to me. Fear, passion, pain, grief, love, caring, suspense, action, protection…so many more emotions than I can ever list here.
Hannah Black had a beautiful life before being kidnapped and tortured all for the futherment of the Imperial government. She has no idea what they want from her. She counts days by scrapping the back of her neck since they cover up her attempts on the wall. The brush of her hair on her face, her blanket and a corner are the little things that are allowing her to hold on to some semblance of sanity. When a man approaches her in her room saying he is going to save her, she clings to the hope and allows him to help her escape.
Vincenz Fardelle is the exiled son of the leader of the Imperialist Universe. Having barely escaped his father, he helps the Federate in their fight against an oppressive regime. After years of doubt, he has won over the people who matter and now is a full member in the Phantom Corp, a group of special soldiers protecting the Federation.
Julian Marsters has only known a hard life, but the Phantom Corp saved him from himself. When his best friend is murdered in the war, he turns into himself almost destroying himself. But Vincenz sees his pain and the two grow close as lovers and friends, becoming a team for the Phantom Corps.
When Vincenz shows up with Hannah, Julian feels a need to protect her from all the harsh realities the healing process will bring. The two men start off with only Hannah’s best interest and a brotherly concern to help her heal that grows into a deeper appreciation for her and eventually into passion and love.
While Hannah has been saved, she has endured a lot of pain and sensory deprivation. The healing process could take months or even years, but with the help of a doctor and his experimental treatment, they speed up parts of the healing process to just a two months. As Hannah starts to heal, her personality starts to show to the men. The small two member family grows to three with little hesitation.
When I read about Hannah, I wanted to go in and destroy everyone that hurt her, just like the men. It broke my heart to see the things she had to do to retain a part of herself. A blanket, hair brushing her face, a corner so no one could come at her from the back. She fought hard to retain some part of herself. It was hard to read about, but you see how the men are extremely protective of her. In now way were they inappropriate to her as she was healing. They did speed the healing process because they needed to debrief her and quickly since they were at war. Eventually they do find out why they had detained her.
The depth of the characters was refreshing. It was not a book based totally on sex. Each character had their own demons to overcome. Hannah her center of being, Vincenz being the son of a homicidal dictator and Julian over the loss of his best friend, Marame. The war is ever present as each character had a vested interest to save lives and end the war. There was no one dimension to them. They were caring and hard at the same time.
One thing that confused me was Hannah’s need to be dominated during sex. I don’t know if this was a symtom of the captivity or if she was submissive before the event. She just took to be restrained very easily, and even to the BDSM elements that were thrown in. While there were scenes for all three of them together, they never breached her anus, which was a relief because I don’t think Hannah could have taken that kind of intimacy. A big turn on for this ménage was that the male characters had a relationship. In most it is just the men loving the woman, but here Vincenz and Julian love each other and add Hannah to that love. There was no exclusion. Everyone was involved in a very loving way.
While I loved this entire series, I felt it came to and end very gracefully. It was kind of a let down some of the events in the end, but it all came out in the end. A great series that I will have to re-read in the future as it is always be on my favorite list.