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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wasteland: The Priestess by R.G. Alexander

Wasteland: The Priestess by R.G. Alexander
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly

Damn the rules, damn the gods…even if he has to share her, she belongs to him.

Wasteland, Book 4

High Priestess Xian has followed the Path of the Peaceful Sun since she was chosen at birth. Yet the joy she receives from helping others is overshadowed by her growing belief that the world they live in is…wrong.

At a crossroads, unsure of her ability to do her job—unsure of anything—she journeys to the ruins of the old city, hoping to uncover secrets that will give her clarity. Instead she finds the path to her goal clouded by an unexpected desire for her handsome guard, Hel, and for the battered stranger they find along the way.

Hel can’t prevent Xian from reaching out to the mysterious Siraj, but there is danger in allowing him to stay. Siraj belongs to no caste, follows no rules but his own. And Xian’s fascination with him makes Hel’s blood boil. No one can know that Hel has always loved her, or the secret he’s kept hidden for years. But Siraj’s advances and Xian’s curiosity force Hel to cross lines he never before dared…

A massive solar storm, and the radiation it generates, brings life on Earth as we know it to a screeching halt. Those that emerge in the aftermath are survivors who must learn to deal with conditions in the Wasteland. More men than women survived, but the women who did are strong and determined, and fall into four distinct categories: Wanderers, Whores, Breeders and Priestesses.

What would you do if you discovered that your whole belief system was a lie: that nothing was as it should be, and you had helped to continue the lie? Xian has followed The Path of the Peaceful Sun since birth; raised to take the position of High Priestess. But increasingly, she has doubts that what is being done, in the name of the Goddess, is wrong. Taking a solitary journey to The Vault, the depository where all the rituals and knowledge originated, Xian takes only Hel, her personal Sun Guard and leaves in secrecy. Along the path, they encounter Siraj, a wounded traveler, of no clan or tribe. What Xian finds at the Vault will shake her beliefs to her very core, and change the future for all those in the Wasteland. And she also discovers that High Priestess or not, she has needs like any woman, and one of those is for her handsome Sun Guard Hel. Can Hel and Xian forge a new life away from the Temple? Can she bring the truth to her people and stop the senseless murder of innocent men? And where does Siraj fit into the new life Hel and Xian are embarking on?

R.G. Alexander has created characters that are intriguing and well defined. I like Xian, a strong and devoted woman, who sees that what is happening in the Temple is not right or good. She questions, and decides to find answers. She is innocent, but she is also wise in so many ways. When she realizes that she wants Hel more than she wants to be High Priestess, she sets out to make the changes that need to be made.

Hel is a marvelous character, a man of secrets and hidden desires. Of course he is handsome and strong, but he also is that rare man who actually listens and doesn’t instantly condemn or prejudge. He takes command in an emergency, and sets the rules and the pace for what happens between them.

Siraj is the wild card, thrown in the mix, by fate or by design, and he brings a different angle to the dynamic. Siraj is one who likes to stir things and people up.

Of course, this would not be R.G. Alexander without hot, steamy sex, in several variations: Xian and Hel, Xian and Siraj, Hel, Xian and Siraj, Hel and Siraj-everyone gets into the act. I loved how Ms. Alexander tied this book in with the other three, bringing in the characters we met and enjoyed, in a natural progression. It seemed right that these people should all cross paths at some point, and it was dome with superb style.

I would recommend this series to those who like their stories on the hot and steamy side, with lots of action, adventure and passion. Each book can stand alone, but they are much more when read as a series.

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