by Joely Sue Burkhart
Published 2011 by Carina Press
72 pages. ARC.
Rating: 3/5

Bred for him…and for his bed.

Golden-eyed Jin has spent her life preparing to be the Emperor’s consort. She knows her destiny is to serve the Emperor by indulging the dark desire that he has buried deep inside his heart—the desire to give pain.

Only she can take the pain he yearns to give, and transform it into the most unimaginable pleasure. But to enjoy all the Emperor can give her, she must survive assassination attempts from those who would keep them apart.

Seducing the Emperor is risky…but it’s the only way to fulfill her destiny.

This wasn’t exactly what I expected. I mean, the synopsis is okay. It’s not really that. It doesn’t explain the situation exactly, but when does a synopsis do that? I did expect it to be longer. I thought it would be a full-length novel. It was still pretty good.

Jin was trained to be a mate to the Emperor. She was trained to find pleasure in pain. She was trained to defend herself against the assassins she would surely face as his favorite. She was trained to understand politics and the way of court. She’s bright and tough. I liked all that about her. She’s so clever and she loves the Emperor more than anything. He’s her whole world, which makes sense in this situation since he’s all she has and all she’s ever been taught to want.

The Emperor is a good man with dark desires. He’s turned on by the power he holds over others. It’s apparent by the punishments he gives to Jin and the scene with his wife. He is the ruler and he takes his power very seriously. He’s rough with Jin. He satisfies his desires and hers with the pain he causes her, but afterwards he shows her his tender side. He cares for her and heals the pain he’s caused her with such gentleness, it’s hard to imagine that it’s the same person.

Though there is sex, the book seems more about the dynamic of their relationship and Jin’s scheming to become the Empress and bear the Emperor a son. It focuses on the power each person wields in a BDSM relationship. The Emperor holds physical power over Jin, but Jin holds emotional power over him. They give each other complete and total trust. It’s fascinating, really. There’s also plenty of action. Jin has to keep from being killed off before she reaches her goals. She’s pretty crafty, and I like that.

This book contains detailed sexual content. 18 and up, please!

Source: NetGalley
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Carina Press

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