This is the first book in a series and as a result the reader is inundated with a lot of information. It is an alternate reality from ours similar to early England in its technology and clothing. There is also a supernatural element that provides the protagonists for the series. Got that? Okay, now onto the main characters Ryon and Penelope. I had a hard time getting a read on who these people were other than their professions; General Ryon and Dancer Penelope. There is animosity as well as attraction going on between these two but it's never truly revealed why.
Ryon exhibits a possessive attitude toward Pen, it is made obvious all they have ever shared is a kiss, and Ryon has been celibate for two years as a result of his feelings for Pen. I assume, based on the descriptions of society, that Pen is a virgin. Hence my confusion later when they kiss but Pen knows how to give an expert blow job. Huh? Of the two, I felt I got a better handle on Ryon as a character. Pen just wasn't there for me other than a spoiled girl. As the story continues with the politics and drama of the shifter nation of Ava's we are introduced to Pen's other sisters, who I assume will be main characters in following books.
I felt this had a lot crammed into a short read and would have benefited from a little more space to spread out in. I'm interested in the story, as well as the resolution to the cliffhanger at the end. An entertaining read.
For years, Penelope Farris, has been narrowly escaped the soul-searing gaze of General Ryon Amadeus Ward. No other in the village has the kind of reputation he had: for being a true dominant. When she learns that the overly-possessive Ryon plans to fight any male competitors on Penelope's first Claiming Day—she is not happy. To win the Claiming is to win the female as a mate. Immediately following the male winning the female, he then consummates their partnership with a wild coupling filled with dominance and mind-numbing pleasure.
But Penelope doesn't think she wants Ryon. He's too big, too strong, too dominating, too everything for her. She wants someone a touch more submissive in her life. The days preceding her Claiming Day offers Penelope and Ryon the opportunity to test the bonds of their attraction to each other. Her greatest fear is of being caged by a man, but can Ryon let her run free even if it tears out his own heart to do it?