Spoils of War by Kari Gregg

Enslaved during the invasion of the rival King of Herra, Micah cut off his emotions and adapted to his new life in servitude. Xerxes, the Herran King, abuses his captive to keep the neighboring kingdom of Alekia under his yoke, but after Micah nearly dies when plague sweeps Herra, the Alekian King sends Eli to bring his beloved son home. Conditioned by his slavery, unable to cope with his freedom, Micah seeks to please the new master he’s found in Eli throughout their harrowing journey to a homeland he no longer remembers. Eli protects the young man and introduces Micah to
the pleasures denied him as a prisoner.
Will Micah accept his noble birthright when they reach Alekia, and more importantly, can he accept Eli as the devoted slave his father has given him rather than the master he’s come to love?

Note: This book was previous released under the same title by another publisher. It has been re-edited and revised in this version.

I wasn’t exactly sure of how to describe this novella and, thankfully, in the Epilogue the main characters did it for me. Micah tells Eli “And it’s a grand tale, one worthy to be told. Of heartbreak and  rescue. Fleeing a terrible foe. Of heroes, war, magic, and adventure.” To which Eli responds, “You are mistaken. Ours is a love story.” The truth is that they are both right.
It’s impressive that Ms. Gregg was able to pack so much into a novella without it feeling rushed or incomplete. I will admit that at the very beginning of the book, I had an issue with the way she had  Micah narrating his story. It was so matter-of-fact and report-like that I feared I would not be able to connect with the character and enjoy his story. It soon became apparent that this was done purposefully in order to demonstrate the way with which Micah had to deal with his life as a prisoner – he had to distance himself from his emotions so that he could live with what he was forced to do. Once I realized this, I quickly connected to Micah and found myself immersed in his story.
The way with which Eli approached and dealt with Micah as he adjusted to his freedom was beautiful. His patience with and protectiveness of Micah were vital to the development of their relationship and the success of the eventual role change that takes place towards the end of the book. It also added a level of intimacy that made the sex that much hotter.
I thoroughly enjoyed Spoils of War and look forward to reading more of Ms. Gregg’s work.
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