Author: Christine D'Abo
Title: No Master
Series: Bounty 3
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
No man in the galaxy inspires more fear than Korbin, the Admiral of the Black. His life as leader of the biggest pirate band in space leaves little room for trust, so when Korbin’s second-in-command disappears without a trace, he suspects the worst.
Zain Strand has left his life as a sex slave behind and risen within the pirate ranks. But he abandons it all to rescue an old friend from recapture by the slavers—even if that means a suicidal confrontation with his old master. He doesn’t expect Korbin’s arrival, doesn’t want Korbin’s help . . . but Korbin gives Zain no choice.
Posing as master and slave to infiltrate a slave auction, Korbin and Zain embark on a journey of lust that rapidly reveals their deeper feelings. When Zain’s old master discovers their ruse, Korbin must do everything in his power to save both their lives and their newfound love.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
In my opinion, every previous book in this series has included an interesting plot, engaging characters, and terribly timed sex scenes. I've enjoyed the overall stories, but found myself skipping large chunks of them because the sex interfered with the flow of the plot and quickly became repetitive. No Master breaks that pattern by finally getting the sex right, and it didn't lose the parts of the story I also liked in doing so.
Zain has lived a difficult life. He was born to poverty on his home planet, then kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. He is eventually (accidentally) rescued by Korbin, the Admiral of the Black and the leader of all the space pirates. Zain eventually settles into his role as a pirate, but has to hide his growing feelings for Korbin in order to keep his position secure. Then Zain receives word that one of his fellow ex-sex slaves has been recaptured and needs his help. Zain immediately goes to her rescue and is followed by Korbin who initially believes he is stopping a mutiny but instead becomes embroiled in Zain's plans to save his friend. I really enjoyed reading this story and the twists and turns it took as the plan unfolded.
What really surprised me with No Master was how well the sex was weaved into the plot. Finally, a story in this series focused on needing to use sex to further the plot, rather than detract from it! Zain must pretend to be a sex slave again in order to infiltrate the facility where his friend is being kept and Korbin pretends to be his owner, which means that they have to have sex in order to make their pretend roles believable. It made sense when the plot paused for a moment for a sex scene, unlike the previous books where it didn't. Towards the end of No Master the sex did start to feel a touch repetitive, but overall it worked and I enjoyed reading this story so much more because of that.
This was a fun read. The plot was interesting, but the best part was the fact that D'Abo finally figured out how to properly weave sex into her stories. The plot wasn't stilted or interrupted like in the previous books, which made this story the best one in the series and the one I therefore recommend the most.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.