Black clouds of xenophobia gather over Radvadur, the western province of the Empire. The political climate is strained and fragile. A surge of Nymph refugees has stirred widespread hostility towards non-humans. When the investigation of a gruesome triple murder linked to the refugee camp ensues, it takes Inspector Käyru Skaer and his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn, along an unusual path, at the end of which a precious gift awaits.
Käyru and Elly are worlds apart in social standing, but they have found common ground in the bedroom—up against the wall and the stable doors, too. The arrangement between them ought to have been temporary and of no consequence. As their circumstances change, will they find the courage to risk their hearts?
I still have zero idea how Kasia packs so much amazing stuff into so few pages, but she's done it again. : )
With two brand new MC's this time, completely unrelated to the guys from "The Mutt" and the "Highlander" and *bam*, I found myself fully invested in only a fraction of this short story's 51 pages.
Käyru is an inspector who grew above his initial station in life, but is still in touch with his compass of right and wrong. He's also more invested in his relationship with the local Count than what would be accepted, if their relationship turned serious vs. remaining a two year recurring tryst.
Elly is that local Count, caring more about his people than about status or his own wealth. He also cares about Käyru, but has a few health concerns and the obligations of his position to also deal with.
I absolutely loved seeing Käyru investigate a grisly, triple homicide and track down the person responsible, only to then realize what he must do versus what he was obligated to do.
This was one seriously swoon-worthy case of karmic justice for all parties involved and I adored the ending, which was significantly happier than I'd expected.
Yet again, Kasia wowed me with very few pages, which never seems to get old. : )
If I had to find one niggle, I would have liked for Käyru to have come clean to Elly regarding the "poison".
4.5 extremely satisfying stars.
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