Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C.S. PacatCaptive Prince by C. S. Pacat
Published by Penguin on January 28th 2014
Genres: Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 209
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Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

Welcome to The Book Geek’s monthly feature, affectionately called The Genre Spotlight. It’s where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We’ll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month’s chosen genre.
We’re hoping to expand our reading horizons to genre’s we haven’t or have barely read, and, hopefully, usher in gems our lives have been missing out on.
For sizzling August, our spotlight is on Romance.

For Romance month, I decided to take the opportunity to read something I wouldn’t normally pick – this highly-praised M/M Fantasy Romance.
The first thing you should know: this is a character-driven story. I think you will enjoy it as long as you don’t go into it expecting a lot of grand world-building. The focus of this book – indeed, the whole series, it would seem – is on the relationship between two men, and their relationships with other royals, guards and slaves around them.
As romances go, it has everything I could ask for:
1) A really slow burn that makes a nice change from all the instant gratification NA romances I’ve read.
2) Complex characters that grow and develop with the plot.
3) Chemistry, both sexual and otherwise. Plus, a nice bit of hatred turned to reluctant partners in crime turned to…?
The main story goes like this: Damen is a prince and the heir to the throne of Akielos. But when the king dies, Damen is captured and bundled off to Vere, disguised as a slave, while his half brother takes the throne. Vere is an enemy to Akielos and Damen must continue pretending to be a slave if he wishes to live.
Enter Prince Laurent – heir to Vere and a pampered, spoiled and vindictive brat who becomes Damen’s new master. Laurent is extremely unlikable at first, but Pacat manages to successfully do what only a few authors can – she grows him into a well-rounded and eventually likable character. I loved his growth and how our perception of him changes gradually.
Not surprisingly, the two princes despise each other at first. But what starts as an attempt to “break” one another, eventually becomes a reluctant partnership and a mutual understanding and respect.
The book is quite dark at times and is definitely an adult novel. The romance in this first book is pretty much non-existent but the tension is set up nicely to deliver on that in the next two books. However, romance/sex aside, the book contains some graphic descriptions, floggings and rape scenes that could be upsetting for some readers.
I enjoyed it, though, and will definitely be picking up Captive Prince: Volume Two.

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