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When I Fall by Belinda McBride
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The fascinating political and personal developments that began in book one of this series (and I think it is essential you read that first since you will not understand what is going on in this sequel without it) continue in this second book. It is set about a year after King Helios and Captain Griffin return to their people’s new homeworld, Neo Domus. The royal council is being obstinate, the search for the traitor who told the alien invaders of their original planet where to find the royal family continues, and Helios and Griffin’s personal relationship is beginning to buckle under the pressure of too many secrets on both sides and not enough time to be together.

Helios is finding it hard to be king. He has great plans, one of them making sure their new planet is protected against a repeat invasion from space, and since he is both a priest and an ex-soldier, he is uniquely qualified to ensure his people’s future safety. But he does so at great personal cost. Keeping the temple’s secrets (or at least most of them) from his lover is tearing him apart, yet he has no choice. The author really brought out the conflict between Helios the man and Helios the king, and how Helios learns to deal with the problem of being both. He came close to the edge of what is bearable several times, and I was figuratively biting my nails the whole time. What a guy!

Griffin may not struggle with being king, but he is fighting his own battles. His professional position may be cemented, and his role as royal consort secure, yet his past still haunts him. Not telling Helios one of the most important personal details, one that Helios’s memory loss stops him from remembering, brings Griffin to his knees. The nightmares that plague him are crippling, and, of course, instead of opening up, he withdraws. Gah! When he finally understands what being a partner and lover really means, it is almost too late. “When I fall” is Griffin’s greatest fear, and it is also the true test of whether he and Helios can make it as a couple.

But there is even more to this book than the continuing story of Helios and Griffin’s love and their struggle for survival of the entire population of Neo Domus. A subplot that began to take shape at the end of book one is growing in importance, and the role of Helios’s cousin Markus, left behind on Warlan, is clearly more important than that of a traitor. Caius, one of the members of Helios’s guard, also clearly has some sort of secret to hide. And as for the safety of Neo Domus—I am afraid there are more threats around the corner on that front as well.

If you like political drama of the futuristic kind where whole species and their planets are at stake, if you want to know what Helios and Griffin are up to, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful and dark, full of intrigue and treason, and will most likely grip you and not let go, then you should give this series a go. I think it is fantastic and can’t wait to read the third book!

NOTE: This book was provided by Loose Id for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.
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  SerenaYates | Oct 14, 2017 |
When I fall is the sequel to the amazing book An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride. In the first book we meet Pasha, a slave who is actually the lost king Helios. Griffin (his old friend and quasi lover) was the one to find him and bring him home. I didn’t know what to expect from the sequel. At the end of AnUncommon Whore I knew that the council wasn’t happy with Helios returning to power, but besides rebuilding and restoring I wasn’t sure what could be enough plot to make a sequel. McBride has a lot more imagination and intrigue left and When I Fall blew me away.

The story is told from Griffin’s point of view instead of Helios. We get to see inside his head, what happened during the invasion, and how he feels about now being a consort to the king. Helios is petitioning to join with other peaceful species in a sort of corp, but he has nothing to offer in the way of skill, trade or product (besides the dangerous sunstone Candar). Or so he thinks. Politics and violence take a front seat as traitors and inborn plots are revealed. This book was amazing. There are secrets, plots and high treason. It was fast paced, exceptional and I am so pleased that the author hinted at a third book starring Caius, who isn’t who he seems… I highly recommend starting this series if you like romance, adventure and political intrigue!

~ Bitten by Books for AReCafe ( )
  AReCafe | May 23, 2014 |
This was told from Griffin's point of view. He felt different from the Griffin I got to know in An Uncommon Whore. And as he often seemed to be out of the loop of all the intrigue in this book, so was I. Not a bad story, yet I didn't really feel connected to the characters or the plot. ( )
  Nightcolors | Apr 8, 2013 |
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