Title ~ The Slave (Free Men Book #1)
Author ~ Kate Aaron
Genre ~ M/M/M Romance. Fantasy.
Due for Release ~ 27th October 2014
At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly.
Tam's dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave.
He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed.
Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except... nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?
Monique & Macky Review
Monique: Oh. My. God!!! Did I do it again Macky? This book was stunning and I could effuse for hours on how fabulous it is! Haha… actually I think we did!
Macky: Hahaha...you bloody know you did Monique! How could I resist when you wafted the premise of pleasure slaves and masters under my nose! Like candy to a baby...You know me soooo well! Looks like I'm going to be effusing with you...
Monique: You know it!!! The promise of the blurb was something I just couldn’t resist and as soon as I started reading… well, Kate Aaron pulled me into this story effortlessly, the writing just flowed. I don’t know about you, but I’m in awe of how some authors have the ability to do that, as well as create characters that truly come to life in your imagination, whether through their impassioned personalities or because of the emotional connection an author manages to evoke… How do some authors ...get that? ...do that? I find it fascinating, I mean, it’s all letters on a page, a combination of words, and Kate Aaron does just that and manages to weave it into something magical! I was totally caught up in this world and the lives of these three men, I found it all incredibly moving.
Macky: I agree my friend, I was swept up by the story in exactly the same way and like you it was the style of Kate Aaron's beautiful writing that pulled me in; not just the fact that the idea of this spoke to me as soon as I read the blurb. Then to find that instant connection with the characters was just the icing on the cake. I know most people roll their eyes at Insta love but it was kind of that way for me. I feel a gush coming on! Hahaha....over to you Monique...
Monique: Effusing or gushing, I’m right there with you… because I loved this! It’s one of those books that captivated me from the very first page, and for me that was down to the incredibly gentle and caring voice of Tam, almost hypnotic in a sense that I was totally drawn in, not having the slightest inclination to look away. Initially for me he comes across as melancholy character, unemotional in a way that lacks passion, it’s as if it’s not his place to feel that particular emotion, distancing himself on the surface, but inside his heart is so full of love. And that’s what I liked so much about this book Macky, because as we take this journey with Tam we are allowed to see beneath that surface, until what he feels for not only The Master but also Kai is so powerful and intense it took my breath away.
Macky: Aww...I loved Tam, Monique, practically from the second he started to tell us his story I knew I was going to fall in love with this tale. You just know don't you when there's an instant connection to a character and I felt it immediately with Tam, then that connection followed through to Kai, the captured soldier, sold into slavery and finally: Master, the man who links all of them together. I think Kate gave them incredible presence; which was why I became totally invested in their journey together. Tam being the pivotal character in this book as we see it through his eyes but that didn't lessen the feelings I had for each of them as we got to know them better over the course of the book.
Monique: As we know Macky this will be a trilogy, with subsequent books told from each of the characters perspectives. I think Kate, starting with Tam was perfect. He’s such a sweet and adorable character with a formality to his tone giving the impression of subservience and resignation to his life as a slave. Even though he was taken at the age of twelve, his life is unlike many other slaves, in that he’s happy, despite the circumstances of his capture. Originally a nomad his family were slaughtered and poor Tam saved for his value and sold to The Mistress, although it’s The Master that becomes the person who owns his heart and eventually his body. Luckily for him his Master is a good man, a man whom, over the years he has come to love. So when he is sent to purchase a new slave by his Master, his heart is full of trepidation that he is to be replaced in his affections. There is no bitterness there though, and he ends up purchasing a slave for no other reason than the alternative’s would have seen the man broken and abused beyond physical limits… or so we thought.
Macky: Yes, that scene at the slave auction, which opens the book, was emotional. Not just because of the worries over why the Master wants a new slave but because it brings back memories for Tam of his own capture and sale fifteen years before. He knows the horrors of what can happen to a slave if he (or she) is bought by a cruel master.The fact that he's been given the responsibility of picking the slave himself shows us how much trust the Master places in him, but for Tam it's like a violation of that trust because he wants to be the only one collared and claimed by the man he's owned by and in love with, however as soon as Kai enters the auction cage, still fighting against his confinement, beautiful and unbowed, he knows he has no choice but to try and save this man from the lascivious buyers whose intentions toward him are openly cruel and carnal in nature. Bidding against rich, seasoned patrons, he wins the sale, but wonders how he'll explain to his Master why he paid so highly for a slave who even the slaver warns him will be more than a handful of trouble!
Monique: And trouble he was... Kai is a Granthian soldier and only knows life as a free man, well, as much as a soldier's life is free. A man in his twenties, Tam knows he won’t be easy to train but his constant resistance to submitting and even accepting Tam’s own compliance of his fate becomes a constant bone of contention between them. Bickering and finding it hard to accept, they do however become friends as Kai’s conflicting emotions and pre-conceived notions of life as a slave are dispelled.
Macky: Yes he finds it hard to accept why Tam is so complacent of his captivity and in Kai's view...loss of freedom. We learn snippets of his history along the way, one being that there is a person in his past — another soldier — who he loved but was never physically intimate with. There's a tragedy there that we still don't really know about Monique, and it's definitely something that has shaped his views on life and love. In some ways, however strong and astute he is, Kai is still an innocent in the emotional sense. His first impressions of The Master, are of a man he sees taking his pleasure from a slave he can command at will. Granted he never sees cruelty or humiliation but it's still beyond his comprehension that someone would not fight the indignity of slavery.
Monique: I think that’s helped by the fact that he never see’s Tam at any point controlled by fear, The Master treats them both kindly and with respect, and Kai can’t seem to comprehend the trust and freedom he places in them, all be it within the compound. Plus he knows all too well how much Tam genuinely loves the man who has held his heart for so long, and as we do, he see’s that love mirrored in The Masters eyes. So all the time it was in the back of my head as to why The Master would want a new pleasure slave.
Macky: Mine too Monique. We're fed hints that tantalisingly drive the story in a direction that keeps your interest right the way through, I never lost focus or became distracted and I know like you I was completely immersed in the lives of these three enigmatic characters. This was another book that had us excitedly discussing it's why's and wherefores during and after our reading sessions...not that it was one we found we COULD put down, as we practically inhaled it!
Monique: Haha… I love it when we both get excited about a book, neither of us could put the bloody thing down, and for good reason too, because there is such an emotional connection and intensity between Tam and The Master the tension was palpable and I had to smile at Kai as he has no immunity whatsoever to the sexually charged atmosphere between the men, still struggling to equate being a pleasure slave with what he himself feels and witnesses between The Master and Tam. And despite that, the stubborn little sod that he is, was still holding himself back even though, what these men share is what his body is yearning for.
Macky: Oh Monique...those scenes between Tam, Kai and Master were deliciously hot and sensual but I have to say really beautiful too. You could see Kai was torn in his reactions to seeing Master and Tam’s passion, not wanting to witness the intensity of it which practically pulsed when they were together. As a voyeur he's turned on by it physically because nothing about their lovemaking is humiliating or debasing. It's actually through those scenes that we see how kind and solicitous Master is...he never forces Kai to participate, nor is he doing it to embarrass or break him. He's just letting him come to terms with it all in his own time. In a sense, gently letting this once proud soldier become a part of their dynamic by giving him the freedom to choose how he wants that to finally happen. Not in words but in actions. In fact Master encourages Kai and Tam to pursue a relationship of sorts outside of their own trio which in turn has Tam conflicted. He loves Master deeply but he's also drawn to this feisty, reluctant slave who at the end of the day he fears will usurp his position at his Master's side.
Monique: I loved how he did that Macky… teasing Tam and seducing Kai into discovering his sexuality, manipulating, but in a sensual way, working them both into a frenzy of passion, encouraging them to explore each other. As much as I loved both Tam and Kai… it was the Master that really got to me, a totally selfless man, full of compassion, with it becoming all too apparent the real reason for wanting another slave. I can’t wait for his story!
Macky: I'll tell you what Monique, I knew this was going to be a trilogy but I wasn't expecting that ending!!! How sneaky was that? It was very clever how Kate lulled us into a false sense of security by concentrating throughout the majority of the story on the dynamics of their relationship, but with the underlying thread of the war raging in the background. Like Tam and Kai we felt safe in the knowledge that nothing could touch them in the haven created for them by the Master. To be honest I thought it would end with Kai's acceptance of his role within the threesome and that the next book would be all about seeing them move on to the next stage of their life with the master through his eyes....well, I think we both know now that, that isn't the case! Omg! The next book cannot come soon enough...I'm chomping at the bit now for more of these three men.
Monique: Guess what I have in my hot little hands????
Macky: How soon can it be in my hot little ones... Is now too soon?
Monique: I’m open to blackmail!
Macky: Hahahaha...don't tempt me!
Release Date Monday 27th October
Pre-Order Your Copy Here
The Night the Mistress left
I watched the last mules of the caravan disappear into the shadows at the foot of the distant mountains, a queasy combination of elation and fear churning my gut. All week, even as my Mistress gave orders for the compound to be emptied and the household to pack their bags, I hadn’t believed it. Hadn’t imagined she would really abandon Master. Hadn’t dared hope she would finally leave us alone.
I scrambled down from the top of the perimeter wall as a guard mounted the ladder to resume his post as sentry. He stood aside to let me pass, a sneer curling his lip. I ignored him. The guards were hired hands, free men, and it was obligatory for them to look down on slaves such as me, even if my position made me more important in the eyes of our mutual master. The guard probably sneered at me for that, too.
The house was eerily quiet. I was used to a constant, low-level activity: guards patrolling the corridors, houseslaves slipping from room to room, quiet as mice and twice as busy. Mistress had taken most of them with her to her new home, which was somewhere in the mountains. That much I had gleaned from Master the previous evening, but he had been distracted and returned me to my chamber without telling me more. I burned to know why she was leaving, why we weren’t accompanying her. Was their marriage over? Could I truly hope Master would be mine, and mine alone, from now on?
I hurried to his chamber, my bare feet silent on the cool tile floor. I passed no slaves, no guards. We weren’t completely alone, but it certainly felt that way. Possibility hummed in the air.
He was sitting at his desk when I entered, a scroll before him and quill in hand, but I didn’t think he was working. Indeed, as I approached, I saw a messy inkstain where the quill’s nib had been resting against the parchment for what looked like some time. His noble brow was furrowed, his full lips pulled into an unhappy line. Gently, I took the quill from him and set it aside.
“Will you miss her?” I asked.
Impertinent, yes, and I held my breath as I waited for him to answer, but he looked so... lost, somehow. Like he couldn’t believe she was gone, either.
He turned to me, his dark eyes flat and unseeing like they looked right through me. “I don’t know,” he admitted, after a silence so long I thought he wasn’t going to speak. “I should, shouldn’t I?”
There seemed no right answer to that, so I said nothing. Instead, I sat in his lap and tucked a strand of greying hair behind his ear. He wrapped his arms loosely around my waist and I rested my chin on his shoulder. “You’ve always got me,” I said softly.
He laughed, though not unkindly. I didn’t think he would punish me, but I had still forgotten myself and spoken out of turn.
“Forgive me, I didn’t mean—”
“I know what you meant, Tammy.” He twined his fingers in the long, loose strands of my whiteblond hair. When he met my eyes, I saw a spark of warmth and affection. “Whatever would I do without you?”
I grinned wide enough to make my cheeks ache. It wasn’t exactly a declaration of love, but from a man who owed me nothing, it meant everything. Buoyed by happiness, I rose and straddled his lap, linking my arms around his neck and rolling my forehead against his. Mistress had left, for reasons I neither knew nor cared to know. All I understood was that finally, after fifteen long years, I had the man I loved all to myself. I planned to make the most of it for as long as it lasted.
Meet Kate Aaron
She holds a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature and an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture, and is an outspoken advocate for equal rights. When not hitting the campaign trail, doting slavishly on Elvis or simply trying to earn a crust, she does what she does best – writes about men in love.
We will be gifting a Kindle eBook of the Slave, the first book in the Free Men Trilogy. For your chance to win, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.