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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Topaz Embrace: The Oracle Standard by Antonia Pearce

The Topaz Embrace: The Oracle Standard by Antonia Pearce
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy, Futuristic, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short (98 Pages)
Other: Ménage, M/F/M, Voyeurism, M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewer: Holly

In 3050 a global network of hereditary, gem-based Oracles—The Oracle Standard—rules a technology bereft Earth. The greedy Intercontinental Federation seeks to wrest power and wealth from the Oracles.

Ankhet, Topaz Oracle, near the end of her reproductive years, must produce legitimate issue or the Topaz Oracle Office will fall, and the The Oracle Standard's power will revert to the Federation. By law, she must allow all sincere Consort Candidates to attempt the test of worthiness. Only a Worthy Consort can bring an Oracle to her sexual peak and serve as a life-mate.

After years of failure, Ankhet discovers not one, but two Worthy Consorts, Tallon Sinclair—a bitter stranger shipwrecked on her island, and Danar D'Aubois—her trusted Personal Guard. As she struggles to save the Standard, Ankhet discovers, despite the exquisite pleasure the two bring, both have secrets, and the Federation may not be the only threat.

The Topaz Embrace: The Oracle Standard is a story of political intrigue, lust, love and passion. It is the tale of a future Earth where the Federation wants to rule, and does everything it can to overthrow the Oracle Standard and seize the gemstones given to them by the gods to help protect mankind.

This story takes place on the Topaz Oracle Island in the Indian Ocean, in the year 3050. The Federation seeks to destroy Ankhet, the Topaz Oracle. If she can be replaced, the Federation will usurp her power and come closer to world domination. If she dies without choosing a Consort and providing a successor, all will be lost. Into her temple, her acolytes have brought a shipwrecked merchant, and chained him to the wall. But he is not what he claims to be. Tallon Sinclair has secrets that could destroy the Topaz Oracle, and all that she stands for. Ankhet is attracted to him, and also loves her personal guard, Danar. But Danar is supposed to be asexual, so is not a candidate for Consort. Will the Federation succeed in eliminating the Topaz Oracle and all that she stands for? Will Tallon pass the test to become Consort, or will he fail as others before have failed? What is Danar’s secret? And who is the traitor working with the Federation to ensure their victory?

The Topaz Embrace: The Oracle Standard is part of the Ménage Amour imprint. It is filled with danger, intrigue, and lots of hot and heavy three way action. The author has created a strong woman in Ankhet; a woman determined to help those in her area of power. The heroes are both sexy, and I like that, although Danar is described as asexual, nothing could be further from the truth. He is also not perfect, and many mentions are made of his scars, but how they just make him more manly to Ankhet. I loved how, in the beginning, Tallon didn’t like or trust Ankhet and was working with the traitor toward her downfall. The change in attitude as he gets to know her is fun to see. I laughed at Danar’s outburst of jealousy, especially when both he and Tallon pass the test and find that they have to learn to share.

There is definitely a happy ever after here, but is looks to be in doubt many times. I recommend that this book be read while sitting by the fan, and keep the cold drinks handy.

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