Concubine by Jill Knowles

Title: Concubine
Author: Jill Knowles
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: M/M Fantasy/BDSM/Suspense
Length: Novel (148 pages)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Lily

Review Summary

An entertaining fantasy story about a Prince who finds himself  unexpectedly falling for the Master he’s been forced to accept. An interesting premise that worked well due to solid writing and engaging protagonists.

BLURB

Scholar, captain…war prize. Prince Kael of Korai is stunned when his father gives him to an enemy warlord in a desperate attempt to salvage Korai’s reputation. With his country’s honor at stake, Kael resolves to submit to Warlord Taren’s every debauched whim.

But life in Zandria isn’t anything like what Kael imagined. Instead of pain and cruelty, Warlord Taren seduces Kael until the bewildered prince craves his Master’s every intimate caress. As he sinks into the decadent, sensual life of a concubine, Kael makes a powerful enemy, one who wants him removed from Zandria by any means necessary.

Betrayed by his body, trapped by his honor, Kael must learn to trust his Master or get them both killed.

REVIEW

Despite being the Captain of the Gold Company in his father’s kingdom Prince Kael of Korai is a gentle man who would have preferred a more scholarly life for himself. When an ill-advised war ends with Korai’s loss to the neighboring country of Zandria the Prince finds himself a casualty of war when his father, and King, gives Kael to Warlord Taren of Zandria.

Taren is a half-demon and Kael, honor bound to serve, has no idea what his future will be like when he is forced to submit to the other man’s every wish. But Kael is in for a surprise when Taren sets out to seduce, rather than force, his new concubine. As Kael and Taren grow closer outside forces conspire against them and before long they’re fighting for their very lives.

What I liked…

I really liked both protagonists, Prince Kael and Warlord Taren. The men are very different from each other, not only the fact that Taren is half-demon, but also their temperaments and lifestyle choices. While Kael led his men out of duty but would have preferred a life other than that Taren excels as a leader and truly seems made for that life. Taren is also a Master and slowly brings out Kael’s submissive side and I felt the Master/concubine (sub) aspect of the story was well told. The sex scenes in the story are well-written and quite erotic and only got better as their relationship deepened.

I also really enjoyed the world building and found the medieval-styled kingdom quite interesting. The author gives enough detail to make the storyline, settings and goings-on feel ‘real’ and I was invested in Kael and Taren throughout.

What I didn’t like…

As the story progressed I found the author’s repeated use of the phrase half-demon excessive and annoying. Also while I appreciated the fact that she chose to make Taren the smaller of the two after a while that too was overused. I feel the same when I read stories where the Dom is the taller and more imposing man and the other is always referred to as the smaller man. The constant reminder feels unnecessary.

Overall…

Concubine is a well-written and entertaining story. Kael and Taren are well-drawn characters and their relationship is quite interesting. It’s BDSM-lite enough that it won’t be a problem for most readers and the addition of magic, a bit of a mystery and some very erotic yet tender moments made this an engaging read.

There are no heavy scenes or painful punishments in this story. In fact Taren is a surprisingly caring and understanding Master. This fantasy tale is a must read for fans of the author and should appeal to readers who enjoy both fantasy and BDSM themed books. Recommended.

9 comments

  • I read Concubine a few weeks ago and loved it. I am a sucker for a sweet, sexy love story with a little D/S thrown in for spice. Lily’s review is spot-on. I’d highly recommend the book as a light, relaxing read.

    I tried looking up other titles by Jill Knowles but they seemed to all be m/f. Does she have any other m/m books out?

  • Lily
    This sounds like quite an unusual story. I haven’t read anything before by this author so this would be a “new to me” which I love.

    The comment you made about the overuse of the size difference to emphasize that this is a D/s relationship shows a lack of experience I think b/c most of the books I’ve read didn’t need to “tell” that one was bigger. However I think that I will try this because I’ve read a few books with demons and I love them. Jen’s quirk is D/s – mine is demons. LOL

    Thanks Lily.

  • I got this the day it came out cuz I enjoy this author. My “issue” with it was that there were a lot of add’l characters added about halfway through. When these new people were mentioned, I would have to go back to figure out their role in the household. After awhile I quit cuz I didn’t care and figured it didn’t really matter.

    • Sherry, this is the second book by this author that I’ve read and I enjoyed it very much. I’ll have to check out her other ones. 🙂

      You’re right there are a lot of characters in the story but overall it was a very entertaining book.

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