Good morning my lovelies! I am finally back from the whirlwind my life became thanks to working in medicine during a global pandemic. Although things are not back to business as usual, I am finally finding time for things I love like delicious books and sharing my thoughts on them with you all.
I am kicking off my return to the readerly world with The Rose Contract, the debut erotic romance fantasy by Scottie Kaye. This is a book that I think can appeal to a wide variety of readers because it pulls elements from many beloved genres and melds them into a unique end result.
We meet our heroine when she is only a child, young but not so innocent in the ways of the unique and complex world she lives in where people wear nullbands around their wrists to keep those who possess magical powers from controlling them. The form of magic that Ms. Kaye created in her world is an intriguing one that I truly enjoyed. It wasn’t the typical magic that made people and objects move or behave in a certain way, but one that manipulated the senses. Sometimes in very positive ways to minimize pain in others.
Just as Raena does for Jorr when they first meet as children, both battered, bruised, and forgotten by many. She tunes out the sounds of the storm frightening him and relieves some of the pain from his clearly broken leg. The opening for The Rose Contract is endearing and descriptive.
However the story takes a sharp turn in the next chapter when we see Raena and Jorr a decade later. At first I thought we’d fallen into a happily ever after already, but that is far from the case because Jorr is training for a career as a spy while Raena is being tested to become a Lily, a special handmaiden to the queen that has many strict rules… one being complete purity.
However, as the entire work does, The Rose Contract takes another twist when Raena declines her offer to be a Lily in favor of training as a spy as Jorr is. On the polar opposite end of Lilies, entering the world of assassins and spies requires using whatever means needed to get the information you seek. Including trading your body. While this could have taken another turn into a land of questionable consent that is a hard line for me, Ms. Kaye emphasizes the need for consent, even when both parties are using the other for more than just sexual gratification.
The Rose Contract is a fast-paced, fantasy erotic romance that has a wide diversity in not only the ethnicity of the characters, but sexual orientation as well. Ms. Kaye creates lush descriptions and does an excellent job at world building and you’re immediately immersed in the universe she has created.