Wasteland: The Breeder by Eden Bradley
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (76 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/M, Ménage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Reviewed by Holly
Destined to serve the desires of an entire city, all she wants is one man. Or maybe two…
Wasteland, Book 2
Born to the Temple, Nitara knows the Great Goddess’s plan for her: to bring life into what is left of an arid and wasted Earth. Since puberty she has been trained to arouse and titillate, to ensure the continuation of the human race.
As is the custom, the man captured for her is strong of blood, though considered little more than a wild animal. Yet when she looks into his eyes, she sees no primitive creature, but the man whose face and hands haunt her sensual dreams.
For Akaash, a hunter and warrior, it’s his shame that he will be sacrificed to a goddess he doesn’t believe in, for a people who are not his own, leaving behind his Wanderer clan—and his bonded lover, Dhatri. Locked in the bowels of the Temple, he has a month to ponder his fate, all while falling helplessly under the spell of the virgin temptress who will soon take his life.
With each tortuously erotic encounter, however, Akaash realizes that Nitara is as much a prisoner as he. If he can just get a message out to Dhatri, there may be a slim chance both of them can escape…
A massive solar storm and the radiation it generates bring 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.
Nitara knows her purpose in life is to be a Breeder—to bring new life and help repopulate the Earth. Her whole life has been in service to the Goddess, preparing to entice and seduce the man who will take her innocence, give her his seed, and become a sacrifice. The Temple has been Nitara’s existence, and now it is time to become the woman she has been trained to be. Nitara and the other young woman chosen to be Breeders have been led to believe that the sacrifices are mere animals, drugged to remain docile and aroused until the ritual of the Sacrifice, then killed by the hand of their Breeder. But Nitara questions the ritual, especially after meeting Akaash, the Wanderer captured to be her “sacrifice”.
Nitara discovers that her doubts are well placed, as she finds Akaash to be intelligent, strong and attractive. Her doubts lead her to follow the family curse, and she chooses to help Akaash escape and journey with him—and his bonded lover Dhatri—into the Wasteland, leaving all she knows behind. Can Nitara escape her fate, and save Akaash in the process? Will Akaash still desire Nitara once reunited with Dhatri? Can Nitara accept Dhatri as her lover, along with Akaash?
Nitara is a wonderful character — strong and determined not to just follow along a course she feels is wrong. I loved the interaction she had with Akaash, learning to see him as more than just a means to an end. I found her courage, and her need to do what is right in spite of any consequences, to be a refreshing light in the darkness of this future society. Nitara uses her intelligence to find another way of life, one that will ultimately save many from dying needlessly.
Akaash is a warrior, strong and determined to find a way out of his predicament, although he knows his clan will shun him for his capture. But he is determined to escape and return to Dhatri, his lover. I loved the fact that Akaash held firm to his beliefs and his determination to survive, even while he was held captive—it showed an inner strength, one that would serve well in the Wasteland. I was fascinated by the interaction between the virginal Nitara and the captive warrior Akaash — it was some of the hottest action I’ve read, and without any touching between them.
The Wasteland is a harsh and unforgiving place, and Nitara is ill-equipped to deal with it. This is where Akaash and Dhatri shine — both are strong and protective of Nitara, and through them she learns what it means to be in a true loving relationship. Do these three have a happy ever after? It’s a hard-won happiness, and well worth reading.