Queen of Starlight (Sheerspace #1)

Had anyone ever wanted to be his sky?

Queen of Starlight
Jessa Slade
Sheerspace, book one
ebook, 133 pages
Published July 20th 2014 by Red Circle Ink
ISBN unknown
FREE read from Amazon

Her body is his prize, but he'll risk the stars for her love.

Transformed by empathic crystals into the perfect paramour, Benedetta Galil is the last treasure of her fading world. When raiders attack—seeking to corrupt the crystals and conquer all of charted space—she gives herself as a prize to the one man in the universe who values freedom over power.

Mercenary sheership Captain Corso Deynah left oppression behind him on a burning planet and has no use for a sex slave, even one as seductive as Benedetta. But while he stubbornly resists her body, her fierce spirit tempts him, and he will risk everything—his ship, his seclusion, the very stars—to win not just her passion but her love.

*Originally published as "Enslaved by Starlight" in Hotter On The Edge: Science Fiction Romance Anthology.

I've only read one other book by Jessa Slade. That being, Seduced by Shadows. It was not one of the greatest reads of my life. It was actually closer to being one of the worst. That said, when Queen of Starlight popped up on my Recommendations list, I figured what the hell. Let's give this another go.

Opening up, Captain Deynah is abruptly contacted by Benedetta, a slave-whore as he so eloquently refers to her, with the promise of credits and ownership of her very self if he will come to the aid of her planet and defend it against those who would claim their precious crystals for their own. Crystals that have the power to create bonds between two people and thus create a form of mind control.

The money isn't much. And the idea of owning of pleasure slave is not only bothersome to Corso in the no need for it sense, but also in that he can't fathom why someone would willingly allow themselves to be sold and owned. Prepared to turn down the offer, Corso's plans immediately change when Benedetta threatens him with the destruction of the only thing he has left that matters to him- his ship.

Successfully blackmailed, Corso heads straightaway for a world that holds the balance that could mean the complete and utter control of the sheerspace and freedom as they know it.

Benedetta wasn't raised to just be some male's plaything. She'd been educated and trained to be more of a help-mate. An adviser. A partner. But even with romanticizing her role in life, Corso's perception bleeds into her way of thinking and even she must agree, a pleasure slave has no place with a mercenary.

This story has a rough, drawn out start, but once the romance kicked in, the temperature, as well as my interest, sparked to a more favorable height. Until now, Corso has only craved the blackness of space with its wild freedoms and endless wonder. In meeting Etta, he finds that maybe the darkness of his life could use a bit of light, Maybe, he doesn't want the same things he once did.

In the end, Etta comes to terms with being nothing more than a glorified slave and breaks free from her torque and the binds of its key. Of course, she does this on the heels of Corso's confession of his desire to be with her... his willingness to buy her key despite having refused that very thing as payment for his aid. Apparently, she wanted exactly what she was about to get but on her terms. Yays for freedom of choice.

3 out of 5 stars.

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