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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Enemies by Vonna Harper

Enemies by Vonna Harper
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (156 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Toys
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Aster

Loyalty to her lord compels the Otu woman-warrior Sora to risk her life trying to find her tribe's hated enemy, the Waban. Her mission: to kill their leader. Instead, she becomes the prisoner of the enemy’s powerful war-leader, Hakan. His mission: to turn the bound woman at his feet into a sex-hungry creature worthy of the powerful man who rules the Waban. But Sora is nothing like the submissive slave-whores he’s accustomed to. Instead, he finds himself pitted against a courageous, if helpless, adversary. No matter how completely he controls her body, the warrior spirit that is part of her heart and soul remains.

As days and nights flow together during the long trek back to Hakan’s village, hatred gives way to a wild attraction neither wants but they can’t fight. Long-held secrets become confidences whispered during frenzied sex. But deeply ingrained loyalty to their leaders compels them to continue to see the other as the enemy until treachery and deceit awaiting them at journey's end threatens their survival. Will it bring them together or rip them apart?

Beautiful setting, page-turning anticipation, and compelling, strong characters you can't help but root for. Enemies has all the elements you need for a fantastic escape from day to day life!

I can't tell you how much I love these characters. Sora, a female Otu Warrior, is strong, courageous, and determined. When she's captured by a Waban war leader and sworn enemy, Hakan, she must endure his certain torture to avoid being broken and carry out her mission to get to the Waban Elder. While refusing to back down, she seemingly submits, yet never loses focus of her goal, to collect information about the Waban tribe and bring it back to the Otu.

Hakan, although fierce and threatening, is a wonderfully complex character. His inner turmoil - does he treat this captive as just another spoil of war, or give her the respect her warrior status commands - is gripping and enjoyable. From the moment they first meet in battle, Sora stabbing Hakan before Hakan renders Sora unconscious, you can feel the attraction, admiration and respect the two have for each other. They are perfect equals in a world where neither should have one.

I loved how protective Hakan was of his captive, although he knew she was very capable of taking care of herself. The undeniable pairing of these two was done gradually and with perfect intent, every step of their relationship drawing them closer together until there was no question the love they felt, despite their individual senses of duty and obligation to their respective tribes.

Ms. Harper is an expert in her setting. I know little of native culture, but was never lost in the perfect world she has created. The adversarial relationships, differences in language, and even day to day living were so wonderfully laid out that I was not only able to follow the story, I became lost in it. I felt a part of their world, and that takes a very talented writer.

The love scenes were sensual and erotic, but also served to further connect the hero and heroine. Through both points of view we are able to experience Hakan's struggle with the "spell" this irresistible captive had over him as well as the Sora's attempt to retain her distance from the man who claimed to own her. Their individual struggles were believable and served to bond them even further, since both understood the other in a way that few could.

The only piece of this wonderful story that was missing was their ultimate expression of love. They each thought it, but never spoke the words to each other. Ms. Harper has such a beautiful use of language for the natives, I was hoping to hear how they each chose to express themselves to the other. In the end, it was an assumption, but we didn't get to witness the conversation taking place. I missed it, but even without the words, their dedication was unquestionable.

If you like a story that takes you to another time and place, and a love story that leaves you breathlessly rooting for the hero and the heroine both, THIS is definitely a title to pick up!

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