Virtue and Vice by Megan Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews
5 Kisses, 2 Peppers (anal play, sex toys, public sex)
Notsah Mevoot stole a loaf of bread, and ran for her life. Looking for a place to hide from her pursuers, she stumbles into a small private room where a young man is pleasuring himself. But it’s not just any man; it’s Jarron Bydelay, prince and heir to the throne of the Second Province. The prince shows her mercy when Erekon, the captain of the king’s guard, catches up to her. The prince is afflicted with a pox that makes blisters on his face, and because of his condition, the king sheltered him when he was growing up. So as an adult, he is unaccustomed to and uncomfortable with social situations.
Ten years after Notsah's run-in with the prince, his pox has cleared (though he’s still prone to breakouts, especially when he’s stressed) and he has ascended to the throne. She has changed her name to Redemption, or Demi, and has returned to court as a Handmaiden of the Order of Solace. Her role is as simple as it is complex. She is to give him everything he needs and make him happy, including sharing his bed, but it’s so much more than that. She has been extensively trained in a wide variety of areas. When she has helped him find absolute solace or when he decides it’s over, he can end their association. But he may never want it to end.
Virtue and Vice is full of passion and political intrigue. The setting is a fantasy realm, which isn’t usually my favorite sub-genre but this one is amazing. The setting and language resemble a historical romance, and there’s just enough of the unusual to set it apart as a fantasy realm. I find the whole notion of the Order of Solace intriguing, and Demi's peaceful and calm character is enjoyable to read. I also love a damaged hero, and King Jarron is fantastic. At first I was ready to diminish the severity of his illness as being glorified acne, but later found out it’s much more serious than I realized and it definitely explains his refusal to marry and beget an heir.
Megan Hart has created a rich setting, likeable characters, a fascinating plot – it’s just a really terrific book. I will absolutely be going back to read the others in the series, and if I picked up the hint correctly about the next book I can hardly wait to read that one, because it will be very interesting. Do not miss this book!
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