Mask of Fire by Michel Prince
Barton Nuril has attended the Harvester's Gala for more years than most. He'd given up the dream that a woman would want him for more than copulation until a dark haired beauty he dubs Fire fights to get him in bed. Even as those from his province plot to take down the establishment and all its traditions, Barton for once, is discovering love may exist.
Abigail Stone knew the Rules chapter and verse. Even as others perverted their purpose, Abby stayed true and attended the Harvester's Gala to find her soul mate. Just as she feels she's found him the fates step in between omens and a battle no one could have foretold Abby is sure her choice is doomed. Will she see beyond her traditions and still stay within the rules to find love?
Can love ignite when one believes it no longer exists and the other fears the fates have doomed the union?
My Review: Abby goes to the Harvester's Gala, intent on following traditions and finding a man to claim. Barton goes because he has no choice. He stopped having faith in the traditions long ago, and never expected to find a woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. There's instant chemistry between them, but a breach of tradition causes Abby to have doubt in what she feels for Barton. And that's before all hell breaks lose.
Prince has created a fascinating futuristic world where women have an advantage in the balance of power. Or do they? When a society is out of balance, peace will never prevail. Betrayal and secrets collide at the Harvester's Gala, and Abby and Barton are caught in the crossfire. I enjoyed the fast-paced action in this story, but I liked learning the "rules" of the Lextran culture even more. The romantic relationship between Abby and Barton is more than love-at-first sight and the spark of attraction that starts it all. Barton and Abby develop true feelings of love and respect for each other.
Romance lovers, particularly those who like science fiction, will love this book!
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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