Book Review – The Pet and His Duke by Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus


A Virasana Empire Novel
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 244
Characters: Robert/Thomar
POV: 3rd
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

Blurb:
Robert is a pet, a human pleasure slave, and well past his prime.

So when teenage Duke Thomar of Aylian buys him via mail order, Robert first suspects a dreadful misunderstanding. The duke is young, handsome and headstrong, and the very last thing he needs while struggling to secure his reign over his planet is an aging bargain bin pet by his side.

Only, the more time Robert spends with Thomar, the more he learns that the young duke rarely makes mistakes. Unless, of course, Thomar dashes off on one of his mad adventures, which Robert increasingly becomes a part of…

‘The Pet and his Duke’ is a standalone m/m romance novel in the ‘Virasana Empire’ universe. Written by Rainbow Book Award winners Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus, it is a story of self-determination and love, and Happily-Ever-Afters in the most unlikely places.

Warning: contains slavery, non-con and lots of fluff.

Buy Link

Review

This is the second Virasana Empire story I’ve read, and I loved the references to the overall world and its characters. The authors have built a detailed world with a rich tapestry of descriptions and history, which is populated with interesting characters, and I’m looking forward to reading more. I must admit I was very happy at the appearance of one of the Lotus Knights.

I loved Robert and Thomar’s story, which is so much more than the title suggests. I liked how the wording in that title hints at the clever twist in the trope. Robert and Thomar’s relationship is never that of a typical master and pet, and I enjoyed watching them slowly build a friendship and more. I became invested in their story very quickly.

Robert in particular grows a lot in this story, from a pet who will do whatever it takes to survive, to someone who is able to feel comfortable in his own persona, and making a difference in the lives to those around him. As the story progresses it’s very obvious he and Thomar love each other, even without the words. Thomar isn’t the same person at the end of the story that he is at the beginning either. He matures a lot, and being with Robert is good for him.

I loved Alain, the demon puppy. Cute, yet deadly. T’ark is a wonderful character too. I’d love to read more from his perspective and learn more about him.

The plot is interesting with its own twists along the way, with several edge of seat action scenes. I also loved the friendship between Thomar and Ekai. I hope Ekai’s adventures get told at some point. The final showdown with the thorn in their side didn’t go the way I thought it would. Wow. Go Robert!

Although the ending isn’t the conventional HEA, I thought it was perfect for Robert and Thomar, and for all the reasons Robert makes.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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