Scions of the most powerful House in Ylandre, Ashrian Mithani and Eiren Sarvan were more than just cousins. Lovers of long standing, theirs was a bond that would have been the envy of all were it not for one glaring flaw—Ashrian’s inability to commit himself wholeheartedly to Eiren. Despite the dismay of some and the derision of others, Eiren bore his inconstancy, displaying a loyalty Ashrian seemed incapable of returning. That is, until Ashrian crossed a line and the transgression proved one Eiren could not forgive.
In the wake of grief and remorse, Ashrian
seeks to make amends and win Eiren back. But something stands in his
way. Or rather someone. And the irony of it all is that Ashrian can
neither hate nor help befriending the Deir who is his rival for the
heart of Ylandre’s most beloved physician.
Comment: This is another installment in the Chronicles of Ylandre series. This is a world where there are only men and the species has evolved, and all men are hermaphrodites. The stories focus a lot in the romances between the main couple as well as some minor society dealings.
This is the story of Ash and Eiren, they've been together forever although Ash hasn't been faithful all that time. After one argument, Ash leaves Eiren angry and betrays him again, but this time his choice of a partner is someone Eiren can't forgive him for. They separate, Eiren goes abroad to work and when he returns, he's married.
Ash regrets his actions terribly but he can't hate Eiren's new husband. In fact they become friends. Then he finds out something he didn't foresee but Eiren is there to help and to be the person he always wanted to have...
I liked this story. Despite the not as appealing theme of cheating, I kind of liked how Ash turned his ways and admitted he did wrong and that Eiren didn't deserved what he did to him.
This story is more focused on the main character's lives than on the society or other plot lines. In a way, it's good, because it provides a bigger look into each one of the guys and what they are feeling and thinking, but it also feels the story is as a specific zoom on them and everything else is just setting, which I don't like as much. But I can't say it's a bad thing, just a different focus.
Eiren and Ash have been in love for a long time, but they never said it with words and their roles were pretty much decided from the beginning. Eiren is a healer, he's special and very dedicated. His fault is maybe he doesn't realize what Ash was really feeling, but one can say Ash didn't came forward with what was on his mind and heart, so how could Eiren guess? Their relationship was based on assumptions and attraction but it changed. What the guys didn't see was how their feelings evolved too..but in a way the feelings and the minds didn't went at the same pace.
Ash was always led back, assuming his life would follow a certain path and he didn't accepted to himself why he felt so dissatisfied and why he cheated. When he finally does, he's too late and Eiren has gone to another stage of his life.
The biggest part of this story is the time and the things needed for the guys to deal with their feelings, with the disappointments from the past and the hope for what might be in their path. Several things change, mostly in terms of expectations for the future, the meaning of each other's roles in their relationship and in life...but it was good to see them admitting what was real then and how they could work things out to have a future together and also shared.
This book is an interesting study of emotions, of expectations and changes of heart, of forgiveness and love and it offers good lessons in how to care for what others think, feel and deserve.
I liked it even despite the slightly less good things here and there.