ISBN# (10) 0-7582-1468-5/(13) 978-0-7582-1468-3
Aphrodisia/Kensington Publishing Corp.
850 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022
Rating: 3 cups
Sureya is a young, fair-skinned, red haired servant girl living in a land where those with her skin color inhabit the lower echelons of society. Nearly everyone else is dark-skinned and dark haired, so she is something of an anomaly. She only wants to continue to be a nanny to the children she loves and live with the family that she has been with since her family was killed by barbarians. However, fate and the gods have other ideas when prophecies signal that Sureya is to be the next Supplicant. Terrified at what this means, that she will have to be a whore to all the land in order to bring peace, she at first tries to resist her fate; that is, until it becomes clear that her heart will not allow her to do so.
King Kalief falls in love with Sureya almost from the first moment he sees her. He knows what will be expected of her as the Supplicant and does what he can to help her avoid this fate, and yet still fulfill her duties as the Supplicant. However, Kalief has a hard time with the idea of sharing Sureya in any way with his people, and if he is not careful, fate and the gods may step in and change his world in ways he cannot imagine.
When Sureya commits an act that Kalief takes as a betrayal of the worst kind in order to save his life, he becomes very angry and possessive of her and will not allow her to be anywhere without him. He lets his anger blind him, and Sureya is kidnapped by his enemies. By the time he gets her back, she has committed further acts that, in his mind, are a betrayal of him and their relationship. She sees the same acts as only using her sacred gifts to unite the lands and stop the warring. Will Kalief be able to accept what Sureya must do as the Supplicant, or will he forsake her?
The Supplicant is a well-written book that, for the most part, I enjoyed reading. The love scenes between Kalief and Sureya are erotic and emotionally fulfilling to read. The characters, cultures, and worlds Ms. Betts weaves throughout the book are imaginative, and I savored reading about them. The very real turmoil that Sureya experiences is written in such a way that the reader can relate to it easily, as is the jealousy that Kalief experiences. However, I was a bit disappointed with the resolution to their problems, and felt the reactions of both Kalief and Sureya were not realistic given the situation. In spite of this, I have no problem recommending this book, both for the fantasy and erotic elements, as well as the exceptional world building.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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