I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Choices by Grace R. Duncan
Published by Dreamspinner Press on 2013-03-01
Genres: Erotica, Gay, Historical
Reviewed by Lisa
Born and raised a gypsy in the late eleventh century, Teman values freedom over everything. He and his best friend, Jasim, are thieves for hire-until one night they're caught and their precious freedom is revoked. Given the choice between the dungeons or palace pleasure slavery, they become slaves, but Teman vows to escape someday. Bathasar doesn't want the throne. He supports his brother instead, which suits their sadistic father, Mukesh. When Teman, the handsome slave Bathasar has secretly been watching, saves his life, Bathasar requests a slave for the first time. Before long, Bathasar and Teman fall in love. But all is not well. One day Mukesh brutalizes Teman before the court, angering the empress of a neighboring nation. To appease her, he then offers her Jasim as a gift, and Teman decides to stay with Bathasar for now-despite the abuse he may suffer. The peace doesn't last. Mukesh plans to invade Jasim's new country, and Bathasar must find a way to stop the destruction. But if he succeeds, he'll ascend to the throne and have the power to grant Teman his liberty. Then Teman will surely leave him. What other choice could a gypsy make?
Gypsy thieves by trade Teman ibn Basara and Jasim ibn Janem figured out too late that the theft they were hired for was a set up. Captured by the Palace Guard red handed the pair are headed straight for the dungeon.
In the year 1095 criminals in the city of Neyem typically die before being released from the Palace dungeon. Luckily for the best friends since childhood the Captain of the Guard takes pity and gives them the choice of the dungeon or becoming pleasure slaves in the Palace where they will be trained for sexual servitude. Brought before their ruler, the Malik Mukesh for approval Teman is quick to realize the royal has a cruel streak that borders on sadism.
Fully trained they serve at the whims of royalty each day and when it’s Teman’s turn for a night with the Malik his insight proves right, most painfully. Even so, days later when attending a banquet as part of the decorations Teman’s fast thinking stops an assassination attempt at the Malik and his oldest son Amir Bathasar.
The Amir requests Teman for the night and the slave learns that the son is nothing like his father in personality or morals. Night after night Bathasar calls the slave to his bed while Jasim spends his time in the arms of a female ruler of a bordering nation. As the Malik sinks further into debauchery a plan forms to rid the kingdom of his perversions. Teman finds himself in the middle of a royal intrigue knowing he will do anything for the man he loves, Bathasar. And the feeling is mutual.
Depending on the decisions made, Choices takes the characters down to the depths of hell or to the gates of heaven. This is an ancient tale of a kingdom run by a Sultan sinking into madness, a son whose hands are tied by law, and the slave he falls in love with, Tamen. The gypsys’ arrival is the catalyst for change. Vivid descriptive detail of a time gone by gives Choices the perfect setting. Extremely erotic with a definite BDSM flavor adds to the overall plotline. Incredibly sensual, lush with drama and suspense, Choices is a treat for the senses.