Enter a twisted Regency-like world where women hold all positions of power and men born to the ruling class are coddled, protected, and taught to cherish their virginity or face social disgrace from the “Top Slice.” These young men have a “come-out” when they reach maturity and do their best to charm the influential women (“name-givers”) of the Select Quarter. The women make a bid for their favorite and, if it is acceptable to his family, an unbreakable alliance is formed. He’ll then spend the rest of his sheltered existence raising their children. Most men accept this as their lot in life, but like many a feisty young heroine, our hero has different ideas.
Jorlan Reynard, at twenty-five, is nearly on the shelf. This is his final season to catch the attention of a name-giver before he officially becomes an unclaimed male. His doting grandmother and his reputation for being difficult and headstrong have helped him remain a free man and he intends to stay that way. He has grand and dangerous dreams of equality and freedom and refuses to spend the rest of his life living by society’s rules.
Marquelle Green Tamryn is thirty-five (yes, an older heroine!) and a high ranking member of the Select Quarter. She enjoys her life and has no interest in settling down and taking on a name-bearer. She has a kept lover (“pleasure-giver”) who meets her needs without demanding any ties and complications. To satisfy the Top Slice she attends her first soiree in two seasons and is drawn to the wildly attractive Jorlan. After a dance and an unforgettable kiss, Green resolves to steer clear of him.
Grade: B+Check Review