Attraction isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.
It is the year 2070. Generations ago, the world was annihilated by catastrophic environmental events. The survivors were driven to live in big city centers ruled by the Company. To rebuild the world’s population, the oppressive Company had one rule: all homosexuals must be exterminated.
Commander Caspar Cannon has a stellar military reputation—and a life-threatening secret. When a revolution rips through the territories, Cannon is ordered to escort Company executive Nathaniel Rice to a secure location. For months, the commander has harbored illicit desire for Rice, knowing he cannot act on his attraction. Privileged, polished, and groomed to one day take over the Company, Rice is drawn to the rugged, military man. Yet Rice has his own mysterious agenda, and he knows their love can be as dangerous as the wasteland they must traverse.
Now leaving the besieged city behind, the two men embark on a journey that becomes a minefield of sabotage, betrayal—and forbidden passion. But when danger catches up to them, can Cannon trust the secretive man who holds his heart—and his fate?
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I picked it up feeling a bit wary. I don’t read many books with gay characters for one reason: discouragement. Three quarters of the erotic stories I’ve attempted to read are just smut. Where are the love stories?
Of course, I could say that of erotic fiction in general. I’m often asked to review books with flat characters and no plot. No, thanks.
In His Command was entirely different. Yes, it’s an erotica. Prepare for graphic (and educational) love scenes. But that’s just the thing: these are emotionally charged love scenes, written with honesty, grit and moments of softness. There happen to be a lot of these scenes in the book, but I’d have read this series without them.
Caspar and Nathaniel inhabit a dysfunctional world where prejudice reigns. It all started with the culling of people in the 2020s that didn’t fit the mould of a so-called utopia. After that, a plague wiped out almost everyone else. Now, there are four nations that rule humanity with an iron hand, wiping out anyone who lives contrary to their harsh, restrictive beliefs. The implied rules are:
Judge, for ye will be judged.
Do not love one another.
Love not thy spouse as ye love thyself.
To thine own self be false.
Fear thy neighbour.
In the name of preserving life, the leaders have made the world a dystopia. Young people have the survival mandate drummed into them and when they reach maturity, they must prove they can reproduce by copulating with a genetically viable partner. Objectification of the opposite sex is an obvious side effect. Many of these arranged couples –decent people- are terrified to perform, especially in front of officials. This is institutionalized rape.
Anyone who resists risks his or her life.
Anyone who deviates from the norm is scapegoated, castigated and eliminated. It doesn’t stop them from being themselves; the best way to make something (or someone) more attractive is to ban it.
What happens when people are oppressed? Rebellion.
Caspar and Nathaniel are fascinating alpha males. Neither is effeminate. Both make credible warriors. Caspar is a secretly-gay man employed by the anti-gay Company to kill rebels. He lives in a constant state of turmoil. Nathaniel infiltrates the Company in order to destroy it. Of course, when they first meet, neither has any idea that the other is his enemy, and they fall fast and hard.
Allegiances to country, family and friends are all challenged. This is a war that takes no prisoners. The series arc is addictive. This is the first book and it would not work to read the other books out of order. A couple of short stories add to the canon. The second full length novel, On Her Watch, is now available.
I highly recommend this book, not as a piece of gay fiction, but as a work of fiction. Period. Five stars.
Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command.
A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.
You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website https://www.riewarren.com. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency. http://www.corvisieroagency.com/Saritza_Hernandez.html