An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1)


Title: An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore #1)
Author: Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: m/m Sci-Fi romance
Length: Novel
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

A guest review by Jenre

THE BLURB

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.

An Uncommon Whore Series

THE REVIEW

I’m a sucker for a PL Nunn cover so when I saw this book at Loose Id I clicked on the link to see what it was all about. My interest was further piqued by it being a sci-fi romance and an amnesia plot. I must say that I was glad to have taken a risk with this new-to-me author because I greatly enjoyed An Uncommon Whore.

The story begins in a seedy bar on a planet made mostly of dust. The bar itself is a popular stop off point for travellers and miners who come to the planet to work. The bar is also the workplace of several prostitutes who are recognisable by their veils and flowing clothing. One such whore is Pasha whose pimp, U’shma, is a reptilian humanoid. U’shma plays cards with a dangerous looking man with scars and an eye patch and loses – the price being a night with Pasha. Once alone, the man, Griffin, reveals to Pasha that he is not a whore but a prince of Griffin’s people who has been captured and had his mind wiped of all that he was before. The book then follows Pasha – or Helios as he is called – and Griffin as they attempt to escape from U’shma and return Helios to his people.

As with any sci-fi romance it’s important to get the correct blend of unique world building and character based emotional connection. With this book I felt that the author had got this blend just right. The world building is a mix of familiar and unfamiliar. For example, the world where Helios and Griffin originally came from was a planet based world, similar in many way to a Greco-Roman society. The men are warriors and priests and the society is run by kings with trusted councillors and advisers. Politics and religion play an important part in that society too. Although the people of this world are aware of space flight, they themselves were not equipped for space, leading to disaster when their close neighbours betray them to a space-ready enemy. For most of the book Helios and Griffin are travelling and in these travels they encounter many different types and species of humanoids. Everything was clearly described and I got a strong impression of the setting and the characters within it. It made me realise that the author had put a great deal of thought into how each of the sci-fi aspects were going to gel together and I was impressed by the world building in general and how the futuristic ideas join and complemented the more familiar quasi-historical ideas.

Although I liked the characters of Griffin and Helios, finding them sympathetic and realistic, the part which fascinated me most about their relationship was the interplay of domination and submission. This theme spread out through the whole of the book in general, but it was in the interaction between the two heroes where I found it most interesting. Much of this links in with Helios’ memory loss and subsequent role of submissive whore. We learn that before his capture Helios was not at all submissive and yet during his time as a prostitute he has learned the value in submission when necessary. The way that Griffin has to adjust to Helios’ new personality, to allow himself to dominate the man he is used to serving was an unusual theme for a book in terms of characterisation. It also leant their relationship and emotional edge as both men feel out their new roles within their relationship. The sex scenes were then used as a way to show this shift in the relationship so that by the end of the book I felt that the two men were on an equal footing with one another.

The book wasn’t perfect though. My main problem stems from the fact that I saw very little of the king and warrior in Helios. This may possibly be because this book is about Helios’ rescue from slavery and his subsequent regaining of his memories and former strength. Throughout the book we are told of how brave, tough and strong Helios was; how he was a powerful and effective strategist and leader. Yet during the book we see only a shadow of this man. Even when his memories begin to return he constantly defers to Griffin, who seems the one with the strength and ability to lead, not Helios. It’s only a minor niggle but I finished the book feeling rather skeptical that Helios still had it in him to lead his people and I would have liked to have seen some of the strong warrior in Helios to be convinced of his ability to lead. The book ended with many questions unanswered about the future of Helios, Griffin and their people and I wondered whether there may be a sequel in the pipeline. I hope so.

Overall, An Uncommon Whore is an interesting and unusual book. I would highly recommend it to those who like sci-fi and yet who also want to read a character based romance.

26 comments

  • I enjoyed this book a lot… and I ALSO feltthat the ending felt rushed and cursory. As if the book had simlpy stopped, not ended. Loads of seytup there and in fact that last poage felt like the midpoint in a 300 page novel…

    Curious to see the further exploits.

  • Just checking back in. I just finished this and really liked it. And for me, that’s saying something since I don’t usually enjoy science fiction. Add me to the crowd of people wanting a sequel. I definitely want to know more about Helios and Griffin.

    L

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