by Michelle M. Pillow

March 2005
ISBN: 1-58608-369-4
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When Human Intelligence Agency agent Ulyssa Payne’s mission on Qurilixen ends, she just wants to get off the planet and on to her next assignment. However, her director’s news that a ship won’t be by the planet for another three months is very annoying. She doesn’t know what she’s going to do for three months, but her plans certainly didn’t include getting kidnapped by the King of the Var, Attor.

When Ulyssa comes to, she discovers she’s been put into Attor’s harem. Meanwhile, a new problem has cropped up. King Attor has died and his son, Prince Kirill is now in charge. When Ulyssa unexpectedly meets him while trying to escape, the attraction is instant.

However, it isn’t until she’s tied to Kirill’s bed and declared his woman that things really heat up between Kirill and “Lyssa.” Because of her declaration, Ulyssa makes a bargain with Kirill. She will be his mistress for three months as long as, at the end of that time, she gets to leave the planet when her ship comes for her. Ulyssa is hardly the fawning and adoring mistress that Kirill expects. She’s feisty, funny, argumentative, and makes his heart pound in a way that no other woman ever has. But King Attor taught all his sons never to fall under the spell of a woman, and Kirill has learned that lesson well. As much as he likes being with Ulyssa, he vows never to lose his heart to her, to never make her his Queen.

Things get even more complicated when Ulyssa discovers an evil plot that King Attor was making, a plot so evil that it could ruin the planet. Is Kirill part of the plot or is Ulyssa’s intuition correct, and Kirill is truly the honorable man she has come to know and love?

The Savage King is the first book in Ms. Pillow’s new Lords of the Var series. It is connected to her Dragon Lords series. This book, however, stands on its own quite well. I truly can’t find words enough to describe how much I enjoyed this story. As a big fan of the Dragon Lords series, I had high expectations for The Savage King, and Ms. Pillow just blew those expectations out of the water.

Ulyssa and Kirill’s love story is a touching and emotional bonding between two people who have both discovered that sometimes life just isn’t fair. However, with their meeting, Ulyssa and Kirill seemed to have discovered the other half of their souls. I loved how these characters truly balanced each other. Kirill was a bit intimidating and harsh at times, but with Ulyssa’s more spontaneous and open nature, he learned to open himself up to love and all the raw emotions that come with it.

The love story, the plot, and the secondary characters (the other Var Princes) make this story a stellar read. Ms. Pillow is quickly establishing herself quite clearly as an amazing and talented voice in futuristic romances. This is one story you won’t want to miss.

Reviewed in May 2005 by Sarah.

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