Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars
Battle of the sexes may sound a little extreme, but when it is critical to survival, it may not sound as crazy. Sharona are a group of selfish women living in the lap of luxury. Lahon are a group men rationing water in order to survive. Whenever members of the two groups meet, it becomes a story of he said/she said.
In this goddess magic filled world, men and women are separated for some unknown reason. When they come together, it is because a woman goes in heat and needs her itch scratched. This blessing or cursed condition is called the libidinal fever. Every woman in this world is born with a crystal embedded on their body. When the crystal turns colours, that is when a woman knows it's time to find a shack in the woods and get some loving.
From a world building perspective, this story is fine. It's a bit simplistic which is good for romance lovers who aren't fans of anything remotely fantasy/sci-fi. The segregation by sexes and how the babies are raised is disturbing. How male babies are returned to their fathers is deplorable because it kind of feels like they are being thrown out like trash. They are unwanted and unloved. The disparity between the males and females in this world makes me wonder why any male would want to anything to do with these shallow females living in lush privilege. Personally, I'd recommend the Lahon men to keep the females prisoner after mating to see if they are pregnant. Only after it's deemed the female is not pregnant, is she free to go. If the Sharona woman is pregnant then the two have to stay together until the child is born and then they can separate. Still, from a conflict perspective, the way this book is set up, it makes sense and it encourages the readers to cheer for the Lahon because many of the Sharonan are crazy.
Character wise, this is my love hate relationship with Ms. Bristol. When I see her name, I can't help but want to read her books. She creates great male leads. This is what I love about her books. Many times her females are so disgraceful that I'm embarrassed to be a female. They embody the worst traits. Or I should say traits that I despise: shallowness, stupidity, overly emotional and pettiness. The villain in this story is pure evil. There is nothing redeeming about them. From the start, it is easy to figure out the plot and who is the one causing the problem and why.
Reena isn't too stupid to live. She's blinded by her emotions which makes her use crazy angry woman logic. This is a pet peeve of mine and a reader preference. I think less of her and don't have much respect for her. To be fair, she does grow up a bit in the story so she does get better. Garat on the other hand is a man I can respect. He cares for his people. He's suffered a terrible loss. He doesn