Rating: 5 of 5 Kinks!
Fight like a man, or die like a slave.
Brooklyn Marshall used to be a policeman in London, with a wife and a promising future ahead of him. Then he accidentally killed a rioter whose father was a Member of Parliament and had him convicted of murder. To ease the burden on the overcrowded prison system, Brooklyn was sold into slavery rather than incarcerated. Now, he’s the “Mean Machine”, a boxer on the slave prizefighting circuit, pummelling other slaves for the entertainment of freemen and being rented out for the sexual service of his wealthier fans.
When Nathaniel Bishop purchases Brooklyn’s services for a night, it seems like any other assignation. But the pair form an unexpected bond that grows into something more. Brooklyn hesitates to call it “love”—such things do not exist between freemen and slaves—but when Nathaniel reveals that he wants to help get Brooklyn’s conviction overturned, he dares to hope. Then, an accident in the ring sends Brooklyn on the run, jeopardizing everything he has worked so hard to achieve and sending him into the most important fight of all—the fight for freedom.
I am a somewhat newbie to the whole M/M erotic genre. I used to just turned away from anything that had to do with M/M, I read one story awhile back, and I felt that I was reading about a man and woman. That put me off. Although, I know that is the stereo type to most M/M relationships, for some reason it just doesn’t do it for me when I am reading about intimacy with two males. I want masculine, I want fire, I want heat, I want some dirty talk. I want two sweat, hot, delicious pieces of men getting it on for my wicked reading pleasure. But I need story too. For some reason I have this sick need to read a good plot with my smut. Call me an old fashion kind of girl, but I need meat to my reading. Even if I am reading the genre of fiction most people go “Oh, you read THOSE kinds of books.”
Well, I hate to break it to the haters, but this was one of the best books I have read so far this year. Not only did it give me grit, guts, and passion. It left me wanting to rail at some of the characters in the book. I was engulfed, imprisoned in this pseudo reality where punishment for crimes can mean jail time or to become slaves. I have to say, the men might just have it better than the women in this world. Women seem to be, like always, just breeders or sex objects. And although Brooklyn was subjected to sexual slavery, he was a warrior in his own right. Brooklyn is the type of male I hope to read about in a M/M book. He is strong, clever, witty, and yet he holds a key vulnerability that put me on his side the entire time I was reading this book. It was both impressive and intoxicating to read.
Every inch of this story drew me, consumed me, and I had a hard time putting it down to get other tasks done around the house. The story had a smooth plot that didn’t jerk me or jar my reading. In fact, it was like watching a movie in my mind. I could see this on the big screen or sitting in my room watching it late at night. I feel in love with Brooklyn, if I was in that world he would be my hero. I would also want to free him, which to be honest, I don’t think I would fall into the 1% of that time period. The story had some very light BDSM elements that wetted my appetite for a little D/s. I wouldn’t really call this a ‘romance’, for me the plot was so intricate, so well done that it was just a great story to read.
Nathaniel was a character we all fell in love with. He was masculine and sensitive and we all wanted fall into his arms. Even if he didn’t swing towards the ladies, he was a man you wanted to admire, and at the same time you just couldn’t understand some of his actions, which were all sorted out in the end. The villain element was brilliantly executed. Not only did I want to kill them, but I wanted to subject them to the same torment that Brooklyn was after an incident in the book(trying to not spit out spoilers). I have to say, from beginning to end the book was a very satisfying read, and even if you aren’t sure about a M/M read, I would take a chance on this book. Well written, fantastically executed, I recommend this to all readers!