Author: Misa Buckley
Genre: M/M Scifi Romance
Available: Amazon $2.99 (Kindle)
Rating: 4 stars
When Malik Foster crashes back into his life after a three year absence, Damaris wants nothing to do with his ex-lover. Especially once he learns that Malik has cybernetic implants - something made illegal by the Restoration. Dam does not want a Purity Squad beating down his door. Yet neither does he want to leave Malik to their less than tender mercies. He agrees to use his surgical talents to remove the tell-tale tattoo that's been branded on to Malik's wrist.
As they reignite their past relationship, Dam learns about the life Malik has led since the Restoration came into power. He has to face the fact that his future as a plastic surgeon is increasingly insecure in a city that's becoming ever more obsessed with "natural" bodies. Then the Purity Squads come looking for Malik, and they know an escape is now or never.
But can there be an escape from a regime that wants to erase anyone not falling into their definition of human?
What I liked.
The world building was concise, summing up a bleak, and scary setting with a quasi-religious group forcing the populous backward in terms of technology. The relationship between the two central characters was taunt and touching, and beautifully played out. I don't think a single word was wasted. The sex scenes were tastefully done (and in detail if you're worried they might have been glossed over), and the inner turmoil of both characters were believable and engaging, without being OTT on the angst.
What I didn't like.
This was only my second m/m story, and I can't say I'm a huge fan - my preference is definitely for m/f or f/f. Having said that, this was a short, snappy and emotionally satisfying read, and I'd come back for more of it. I did feel their escape could/should have been done in more detail.
If you're a newbie to m/m romance (like me) and/or a newcomer to scifi romance as a genre, this is a great place to start. Tight world building that won't overwhelm even the least technically minded, well done sex scenes, well balanced between the two characters, and emotionally satisfying. Be warned though - this is a short story, not a novella or novel.