THE POISON WITHIN
by Kasia Bacon
Black clouds of xenophobia gather over Radvadur, the western province of the Empire. The political climate is strained and fragile. A surge of Nymph refugees has stirred widespread hostility towards non-humans. When the investigation of a gruesome triple murder linked to the refugee camp ensues, it takes Inspector Käyru Skaer and his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn, along an unusual path, at the end of which a precious gift awaits.
Käyru and Elly are worlds apart in social standing, but they have found common ground in the bedroom—up against the wall and the stable doors, too. The arrangement between them ought to have been temporary and of no consequence. As their circumstances change, will they find the courage to risk their hearts?
Warning: Contains mentions of off page sexual assault.
My thought immediately upon finishing this story? I…want…more. This short story did exactly as I’m sure the author intended it to do—it drew me in and entertained me for a quick spell, and made me crave more of these characters and this universe. I want to know what happened before to bring Käyru and Elly together, I want to know where they go from here, and I want to learn more—a lot more—about this universe and the people and creatures in it.
With this story being as short as it was, there wasn’t really an in-depth look at the characters but what was obvious was how loyal and trusting Käyru and Elly are of each other, and how both of them are willing to risk so much to do the right thing. It is quite clear how enamored they are with each other, and even here in this short story you can see they have great chemistry together. It’s a case of opposites in terms of their class as well as their physical size, which I always find to be a great contrast for a couple.
The setting and circumstances in the story are eerily reminiscent of similar situations in our own world’s past, and parallels can easily (and sadly) be drawn to current circumstances today as well. The author created a supporting cast of characters that both drew my compassion and my ire, and I found myself quickly taking sides. Through these things and the intriguing match of Käyru and Elly, I became easily pulled in to this world and now I my interest is piqued for more.
The Poison Within gets 4.5 stars from me, and I’d recommend this story to any M/M fantasy romance fan. Fair warning—it will leave you wanting more, but don’t worry-that’s a good thing! There’s a small amount of M/M sexual content, but it’s enough that I’d say this is for readers 18+. The information we get in this book shows there are many more stories that could be found in this particular universe, and I for one am really looking forward to everything that’s to come.
About the Author
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
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