Title: Claimed by the Order (S-Gods #1)
Author Name: J. Johanis
Publication Date & Length: June 10, 2015 – 241 pgs
Young and eager to join the social playground of the gods, Marduk enters his first day of college at the exotic mountain retreat at the Temple of Power. But he swiftly falls into the clutches of a secret order. Confronted by the powerful gods who wish to claim him, Marduk is defenseless. His only way out: to lure another virgin god into the Order.
Marduk finds refuge in the young god Anu-Akad. Delivering Akad to the order would earn Marduk his freedom, but Marduk struggles to keep his love affair hidden from the Order. Will his efforts be in vain? He failed to save himself. Is he strong enough to save his lover?
Advisory: Contains portrayals of m/m sex, violence, non-con, & abuse. Intended for mature readers.
This book contains graphic scenes of non-consensual sex. They are not used as a romantic plot device.
Marduk starts out as a bit of a playboy, a typical cute-and-mostly-knows-it type. And then his whole world is shattered by unbearable violence. What I love about the way it’s written is that he never becomes fragile, not even when he’s reached the limit on what he can handle. Although he believes himself to be a failure, his actions continue to demonstrate his strength and resilience. He remains true to himself and his principles. Throughout, he is convinced there must be a better way to resolve his problems than the easy route.
By contrast, Anu-Akad is, on the surface, mild and timid. He seems just as unlikely a hero as Marduk, and at first, he seems willing to resign himself to whatever he is told must happen. It’s a pleasure to watch him grow into his nobility. The unfolding of his relationship with his father is both gut-wrenching and heartbreaking as they seek to reconcile their difficult history.
This is really not a story for the faint of heart. It carries heavy warnings for a lot of material of a mature, graphic nature. But that’s not the appeal of the tale. It’s in the grappling with underlying emotions that the real story is told. All in all, utterly captivating.
J. Johanis writes dark GLBT and M/M fantasy and enjoys writing plots that are historical or myth-based. Current Projects: Participating in a writing event for the Goodreads BDSM Group and launching Claimed by the Order (M/M Dark Fantasy-Erotica).