Exiled: Brides of the Kindred #7

"I'd rather have pain from you than pleasure from anyone else..." -Saber

Evangeline Anderson
Brides of the Kindred, book seven
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Evangeline Anderson Books

A timid priestess turned Mistress...

A proud warrior posing as her slave...

Lissa is madly in love with Saber and it seems he returns her feelings but she has a problem. She and the man of her dreams both come from the same clan of the Touch Kindred. By the archaic laws of their people, they are too closely related to be bonded. Which means that even though there is no blood tie between them, they are doomed to remain apart.

But their personal dilemmas will soon be the least of their worries. Sacred scrolls, vital to the defense of the Kindred people, have been stolen and sold to a collector on the barbaric slave planet, Yonnie Six. To retrieve them, Lissa and Saber must go undercover as Mistress and slave on the savage world where domination, submission, and kinky sex are the order of the day. Will the love between them survive this trial by fire? Or will Lissa lose everything and be Exiled from the one person she loves above all others?

I missed the release date of this one which is unforgivable given how much I was looking forward to getting my hands on it. Picture Perfect, as you should know, remains my favorite of Anderson's, and this, book seven, revisits the precipice of the taboo that two people, raised as siblings, can't become romantically involved, despite the lack of blood relation between them. But in the case of Lissa and Saber, it goes a step further. In their culture, not only can one not mate with one of the same family, but neither can they marry within the same village. They can't even touch! What sucks, is that Lissa wasn't always a part of Saber's clan, but after the death of her family, she was adopted by his parents. Fate is a cruel master.

Lissa is *so* the wrong girl for this mission. Modest, innocent, and downright sickeningly sweet, to obtain the stolen documents that will help them defeat the Hoard, Lissa must turn herself into a tyrannical bitch and mistress to her body-slave, Saber. First, she has to get accustomed to her new garb and all of the goods it will expose. To say the least, she's doing all kinds of freaking out.

Saber, on the other hand, is a well trained warrior with complete self control. And utterly transparent. Lock and Deep have a two minute conversation with the guy and they manage to figure out he's smitten with Lissa. Of course, he's bound and determined not to act on any of his 'forbidden' desires.

I've wanted a story for Draven since we met the bastard. And I suspect such want was in the author's design, for despite his award winning villain performance, there's a human side to him. One that's suffered greatly. And L, shadow caster/Lauren's clone/shape shifter, a villain in her own right, plays perfectly into getting into Draven's backstory and pairs him nicely. Just in time, too, because Draven is lonely! The man practically begs her to just talk with him.

Things advance quite nicely. Even without the Dream Gas, though that was an interesting, albeit brief, treat. Kudos to Saber in that event. If it wasn't real, it wasn't worth it. Gotta love a guy with standards. And finally, enough is enough, and the two confess their feelings for one another and promptly make plans to wed once the mission is complete. Nothing like a bloodbath to bring things to fruition. And there's certainly nothing like taking a rod up the ass to know you've given your all to save your people. Ah, Saber. Yonnie Six chicks are so fucked up.

Which, in turn, fucks everything else up. With a loss of pride, and a gain of an indescribable amount of humiliation to bear, Saber cuts himself off...

Just in time for me to burst with uncontrollable laughter. Draven, you twisted son of a-- You think you know all the ways a bad guy can torture someone, but I did not see that one coming. And L's redemption? Way too easy. Almost as easy as Draven's. Just aweful! They deserved their own book! Draven was far too awesome to be thrown in as a side story.

  • “Stop!” he roared aloud. Putting his hands to the sides of his head, he squeezed as though he could halt the endless flow of painful memories by physical pressure alone. “Stop, I can’t stand it anymore!”
      “Master?” An imp—a real one this time—came rushing into the room, its face gray with worry. “Is there a problem?” it asked, its voice trembling with fear.
      “It’s nothing.” Draven squeezed harder, willing the painful thoughts away. “Nothing, leave me.”
      “But I thought…is there something, anything I can do to ease you?”
      Slowly, Draven looked up, a cruel light kindled in his blank silver eyes. “As a matter of fact, there is something you can do.” Leaning forward he frowned at the imp. “Take the dagger from my dresser—that one there with the jeweled handle.”
      “This one?” The imp grasped the lovely but lethal instrument carefully. It was a trinket Draven had picked up on yet another world the Hoard had despoiled. He forgot which one now—they all ran together after a while.
      “Yes, that one.” Draven nodded. “Have you got a good grip on it?”
      “Yes, Master.” The imp’s claw tightened around the jeweled grip.
      “Good.” Draven leaned forward, his eyes narrowing. “Now kill yourself. Slowly.”
      And as the imp made the first cut, he smiled.

At least I didn't have to wait a year to read it, I suppose. Although, it appears I still have some waiting to do, as this doesn't look to be the end. Far from it actually.

5 out of 5 stars!

What a way to kick off 2013!

Author's Note
Some of you who have friended me on FaceBook know that I thought this was going to be the last book in the Kindred series. I was so sure, in fact, that I wrapped up Draven and L’s storyline along with Saber and Lissa’s. Imagine my surprise when an idea for book 8 came to me while I was writing the next to last chapter of book 7! I’m pleased to say that there will be another Kindred book and probably more than one after this. In fact, I promise to keep writing the books as long as good plots keep coming to me and I feel like I can give my readers a satisfying reading experience, which is very important to me. A few of my advance readers have asked if Draven will appear in any future books. My answer is I’m not sure but it’s certainly possible. He was a great bad guy and lots of fun to write but he and L might still have some adventures together in the Goddess’s realm. For the next book, however, I want to stick closer to home. I don’t know the name of the heroine for book 8 yet but I do know that she’s an Earth girl and Reddix, the Touch Kindred with the reversed Touch sense, will be the hero. I’ll probably start working on their story in early 2013.

Previously in the series: