Desert Ice - Rose Maefair

Desert Ice is the debut novel by Rose Maefair and was a fantastic read. A misconstrued good deed, an antagonistic relationship, two men unable to communicate but forced together on a dangerous adventure. Can the warrior forgive the guilt-ridden magi that owns him and find love and a new place to belong?

From the blurb:

Standing under the hot sun in the slave market, Wyl thought his fate couldn’t get worse. He’d been
betrayed by his family, exiled, and sentenced to slavery in the desert lands where he doesn’t know the language or the customs. Yet, as he faces the scrutiny of an interested buyer, Wyl realizes he was wrong. With an exchange of coins, he went from life as a warrior and a prince to that of a pleasure slave.

Lysander finds the stench of the slave-trading city almost unbearable. He longs for the quiet shelter of his home. Yet, Steed’s Hold is under siege, and he has come to the city to find a warrior willing to fight for the cost of his freedom. However, Lysander does not expect to find the handsome northerner or the new desires he sparks inside of Lysander. He also does not expect the terrible stipulation attached to the man’s sale, which would demand a heavy price for them both.

Lysander is a mage more used to commanding earth, metal, and wood than people. How is he to be master of a slave, and the slave’s desire, when Lysander hasn’t fully mastered his own?

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Paranormal fantasy adventure. Slow burn. 

Exiled former prince Wylham is to be magically bound as a pleasure slave, although he doesn’t realize it, he is saved from that prospect by a young mage in search of a warrior. While Dysander hopes to bargain for an additional fighter to protect his home, he does not realize the difficulties of being bound to a man he cannot communicate with and regrets not being able to offer Wylham his freedom. 

Dysander is a gifted magi, beyond honorable, hoping to help his family while desperate to save them from destruction. Wylham is defiant and proud, unwilling to submit in any way and misunderstanding all of Dysander’s motivations and, unfortunately, attracted to the owner he hates. 

This story was a well-written story of two men thrown together trying to navigate dangerous situations while being unable to communicate, having unexpected feelings of attraction, misinterpreting situations, struggling with feelings of guilt and anger, acts of kindness and caring, and two men that eventually come to admire and respect each other. 

This was an intense read at times with Wylham striving to accept and overcome his betrayal and forced servitude and Dysander attempting to give Wylham as much freedom as possible to the man he cares for while being miserable with feelings of guilt. 

The push pull of Dysander and Wylham’s power exchange as well as their yearning to be closer along with the bits of adventure made this a really entertaining read. 

Fantastic debut from author Rose Maefair.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Desert Ice is available to buy as an ebook or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.