Rabble rousing resulting in rape is not what Wid thought would happen when he decided to rile up the invading alien oppressors. Wid regrets not listening to his mother when she warned him that his friend Joel was a bad influence. When Wid is taken by the aliens and not executed, he thinks he may be safe. His punishment for his behaviour may end up be worse than if he were executed.
This space opera is a quick and easy read. Ms. Cayto is new to me and her writing is right up my alley. Her main characters are likeable and her non-con sex is delicious. This world she's created is easy to visualize. The Travian males which are the superior aliens in this world are prime specimens for spank bank fodder. Kell as the captain and alpha male is definitely sexy. Kell is a character who wants to do the right thing. His societal norms dictate his behaviour yet he still sticks to a morale code he will not cross. This makes him admirable. Wid is a funny character for me. He's a cross between a good ole farm boy hick and protective sheep dog. The way the two characters interact is amusing because it is clear they don't understand each other even though they can speak the same language. The conflict between the two is well written from a prisoner of war perspective as well as an officer following orders.
The action in this story helps keep the story moving. The conflict is well done and makes the relationship between Kell and Wid gel better. What really is lovely about this story, is the rape. Yes, I said it. The scenes where Kell forces himself upon Wid are arousing and enjoyable for dark erotica readers. It's just the right amount of graphic description paired with human emotion. It isn't sadistically cruel which is why it isn't blazing hot erotica. The non-con turning to dub-con lessens the erotic heat and increases the romantic index. Turning Wid into a sexual pet complete with collar and leash definitely tripped my trigger. Whilst it may be a bit humiliating for Wid, there are no degrading scenes. Ms. Cayto does a lovely job of balancing between arousing non-con and humiliating sex object.
Since this is the first in the series, a reader can only hope the next books are published in the near future. The exposure to this matriarchal alien world is only the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully there is more shared in the next book about this alien world and their High Council. It will be interesting to see if the next story will include more non-con sex toy slavery. A reader can only hope. This space-opera is recommended to m/m readers who enjoy enemy to lovers themes.