Review: In His Command by Rie Warren

in his commandReviewed by Jen

I picked up this book because I loved the idea of a dystopian m/m romance. It promised a unique story, riddled with angst.  It delivered in those respects, but it did not work for me in more ways than it did.  In fact, I actually had a hard time making it though to the end.

I had several problems.  The pacing was uneven.  The first person POV was not engaging, nor did it make me sympathetic to the hero.  Frankly, I didn’t like Casper, which made it difficult to root for the romance.  I never got any perspective from his love interest, Nathanial, which left me further disconnected.  And there was way too much sex.  Yes, I know that may sound strange coming from me, but it was so excessive, I actually had to fight from skimming them after a time.

In this futuristic world, the human race is in dire straights after a series of cataclysmic events nearly killed them off. Now, the government rules with an iron fist. Conformity and reproduction are the top priorities. Homosexuality and any deviant sexual acts are punishable by death.  It’s a terrible time to be gay.

Casper is actuallly one of the military men who enforces the law.  And he knows what a hypocrite that makes him, because he goes to underground sex clubs for anonymous gay hook-ups.   There is a beautiful blond man who has caught his eye. And as the story begins, they are finally about to get together, when a rebellion rocks the city and he is called back to duty.

A new assignment, escorting a high profile official out of the danger zone ends up putting the man right back in his orbit.  Nathaniel is not only his assignment, but the man he was infatuated with at the club.  The story follows their journey out of the city, as they leave behind a life of hiding, fall in love, and have lots and lots… and lots… of sex.

I understand Casper has had a rough life, but he was very difficult to relate to.  It was nearly the end of the book before I really felt anything from him. He fights his own desires and isn’t particularly kind to Nathaniel, even as they connect physically. I hated how he called him “Blondie” and I hated how Nathaniel called him “big man” and “honey.” The sex is hot, to be sure, but it just got old with its frequency and there just wasn’t enough on page relationship building to make me believe in deeper feelings.

I liked Nathaniel from what I could learn of him in Casper’s POV, but there are things he does toward the end of the book that were hard for me to swallow, and seemingly too easy for Casper to forgive.  I wanted to like it, but… I didn’t.   It got better toward the very end, but it wasn’t quite enough to turn the tide for me.  It needs more feelings, more emotional resonance for me to buy into it.

Rating: C/C-

*ARC provided by Forever

Click to purchase: Amazon

In His Command
by Rie Warren
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Forever

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