An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride

An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride

Blurb:
“As a general rule, you won’t find the love of your life while you’re on your knees under a table.”
— Helios Dayspring

Pasha is a slave, whoring for travelers at the most dangerous bar on Warlan. He has no memory, no future of his own, yet deep inside Pasha knows that that he is meant for better things. The day that Pasha spots the dangerous pirate in the bar, he knows that he mustn’t let the stranger slip away, regardless of what he must do to attract his attention.

Captain Griffin Hawke spent the greater part of a decade searching for his lost king, only to find Helios Dayspring crouched between his knees, swathed in the robes and shackles of a whore. Though he is appalled by the downfall of his king, the hardened officer finds himself falling for the allure of the sensual creature who has taken his place. Returning Helios to his position on the throne is the only right thing to do, yet Griffin knows that in doing so, he risks losing his lover forever.

“A whore is a whore is a whore, unless he’s something else completely. I guess I must be an uncommon whore.”
— Helios Dayspring


Review:

This book has received high praise from the usual suspects even though a few said it’s not perfect but still great. So intrigued, I set about reading this knowing very little about the plot – I didn’t even read the blurb – and expecting a great sci-fi book. Well the setting is simply fabulous and definitely delivers for any fan, creating a complex and fascinating culture. The characters of Helios and Griffin are well beyond classic stereotypes and bring a great conflict and interplay into the mix. If anything the story ends too soon, leaving many questions dangling, and with so much possibility that it will be a real shame if the author never writes a sequel. Hint: Please write one. Now. Yesterday. Already being published if possible.

Told in first person point of view from Helios’ perspective, the story starts in a seedy bar on a disreputable planet as Helios is sitting behind his large reptilian pimp. From there the scene feels very similar to classic Star Wars with a few twists and thus the setting mixes familiar elements with new thus able to offer something ultimately different and unique without spending long paragraphs obsessing over detail. There is richness to the setting that is constantly offered no matter where the characters are so the science fiction atmosphere is always vibrantly present. The interplanetary politics and actions are offered and given depth, but this complicated side plot could have been fleshed out to double the space and still captivated readers. Here the story streamlines certain aspects and uses classic themes to keep the plot quick and interesting. I would have preferred a more complex and fleshed out detailing of events but the quick recitation is common in this story.

Similarly the complex relationship between Griffin and Helios focuses on their present as they reconnect while Helios slowly and agonizingly gets his memory back. Since his memory has been wiped several times and he’s been programmed as a slave, his journey from nameless slave to leader of an exiled people focuses on his reestablished relationship to Griffin. This is both good and bad since their chemistry is incredibly hot and their dynamic fascinating. Griffin and Helios struggle with the concepts of dominance and submission as both are naturally dominant men. It takes Helios’ time as a slave to understand the strength in submission and that receiving sex is not weakness. So the interplay between the men is mostly sexual and emotional as they come together again.

Unfortunately for the plot, Helios’ past actions as a leader and his hope for the future of his people is very glossed over and shortly summarized. Helios spends the entire length of the book struggling to regain his memories while vacillating between wanting to know and fearing the knowledge. He never really emerges as a strong, capable leader. His actions are mostly sexual and in combination with strengthening his connection to Griffin with only a few off hand comments about his people’s future and their current planet. The lack of additional detail about his past doesn’t help and ultimately leaves Helios as a two dimensional character at best – even though he’s interesting, engaging, and immediately draws your eye. Perhaps any sequels would help develop this aspect of his personality and delve more deeply into his heroic past.

The tightly paced plot is all there with a wealth of atmosphere and solid, well developed characters. The sexual chemistry is smoking hot and the sex doesn’t stop. This strengthens the main romantic relationship but does weaken the additional side plots about political intrigue and ruling a planet. This story would have benefited from being twice as long with more attention paid to the various details, especially focusing on the socio-political implications. Even so, this is a very entertaining story that no doubt delivers exactly what the author intended – a light and interesting read.

Get it HERE!

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2 thoughts on “An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride

  1. Kassa, if you pop in at your Vintage review at TDB, this is actually where I meant to post “Phew… again.” Apparently the internet needs to come with a ‘do not operate if suffering from fatigue’ warning. *snort*
    Cool that you still liked it regardless of the problems. The author is apparently writing a sequel which is to be told from Griffin’s POV. That should be interesting, especially in terms of the way he sees Helios.

    • Oh interesting! I’d be glad to see something from Griffin’s POV and see if any of the hanging problems are resolved. I enjoyed reading it – even with the problems. Great recommendation. thanks!

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