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The Soldier

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Love is the strongest bond. Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord. Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, he should have been happy, yet they are not how he remembers them. Distrustful and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it Love is the strongest bond. Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord. Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, he should have been happy, yet they are not how he remembers them. Distrustful and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it abundantly clear Kai no longer fits in. Beaten, starved, and tortured, when the chance comes to escape, Kai is barely strong enough to make the journey. Even if he succeeds, how could anybody ever love the thing he’s become in order to survive? CONTENT WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence. Reader discretion advised. 62,000 words. THE FREE MEN SERIES: THE SLAVE THE SOLDIER THE MASTER


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Love is the strongest bond. Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord. Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, he should have been happy, yet they are not how he remembers them. Distrustful and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it Love is the strongest bond. Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord. Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, he should have been happy, yet they are not how he remembers them. Distrustful and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it abundantly clear Kai no longer fits in. Beaten, starved, and tortured, when the chance comes to escape, Kai is barely strong enough to make the journey. Even if he succeeds, how could anybody ever love the thing he’s become in order to survive? CONTENT WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence. Reader discretion advised. 62,000 words. THE FREE MEN SERIES: THE SLAVE THE SOLDIER THE MASTER

30 review for The Soldier

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tanu Gill

    I cannot get enough of my three darling heroes! It was so amazing getting a chance to be inside Kai's head, reading about how he finally realized what Tam had been trying to tell him all along- that even if he go sold as a pleasureslave, he would not want for anything and actually enjoy more freedom than he could ever find anywhere. *spoilers ahead* The events that happened in the story were terrible and so heartbreaking, and while the way Kai thrived and succeeded left me in awe of him, the undis I cannot get enough of my three darling heroes! It was so amazing getting a chance to be inside Kai's head, reading about how he finally realized what Tam had been trying to tell him all along- that even if he go sold as a pleasureslave, he would not want for anything and actually enjoy more freedom than he could ever find anywhere. *spoilers ahead* The events that happened in the story were terrible and so heartbreaking, and while the way Kai thrived and succeeded left me in awe of him, the undisclosed reasons for Lysander leaving him behind is eating at me. I want to know why Lysander did what he did, what was the whole story about his marriage to Neemah, Otto's truth, and everything else. I am seriously applauding the author's magnificent work in this trilogy. Not a single sentence leaves you feeling unsatisfied. Everything from start to end evokes one or another emotion in you. Now I am finishing my barely coherent thoughts here and preparing to start the next and last book, finally from Lysander's POV.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dia

    2.25 stars I saw many of my friends loved this book much more than the first, The Slave. Unfortunately I can't say the same. Actually I'm pretty disappointed. But that's what happens when you have too high hopes. Lately I tried not to start new series with the same characters, knowing it's pretty hard for the authors to keep the flow from the first book. And it's great when the author knows how to bring new elements, unexpected turns and more suspense. Here we kind of got all of these, but I stil 2.25 stars I saw many of my friends loved this book much more than the first, The Slave. Unfortunately I can't say the same. Actually I'm pretty disappointed. But that's what happens when you have too high hopes. Lately I tried not to start new series with the same characters, knowing it's pretty hard for the authors to keep the flow from the first book. And it's great when the author knows how to bring new elements, unexpected turns and more suspense. Here we kind of got all of these, but I still couldn't help in feeling disappointed. This second book is very different than the first one. I don't know why, but I enjoyed much more the lightness and hotness we got in The Slave. I usually prefer angsty books, and here we got A LOT of angst, BUT I got bored while reading this one. I also skipped some pages because I expected SO much more and this book didn't deliver. When I finished The Slave, I was dying to read the next book. I was so curious about Kai's intentions towards Tam and their master. (view spoiler)[They were under attack and Kai hit Tam hard in the head. The attackers were Kai's own people and I had a feeling he knew about their coming and had something to do with the bloodbath. (hide spoiler)] The beginning of this one was way different than I expected. Kai, Tam and Lysander (their Master) were kidnapped and the mercenaries torture Kai to extract information. This book is told from Kai POV. We get how much he loved Tam and Lysander and how much he sacrificed himself for them, but they don't interact much and actually I was SO disappointed by their Master (view spoiler)[how he left Kai behind after everything he's done for them. (hide spoiler)] This story has a lot of action, many cringing scenes and also torture. We do get some suspense and surprises on the way (view spoiler)[like their Master having a child with his mistress - something I didn't really like (hide spoiler)] but I still got bored by all the pages full of descriptions and I really missed their interactions and hot scenes between them. I don't think I'll read the next book, even if it's the last one in the series and it's told from Lysander - their Master's POV. I just don't really care how their story will end.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Wonderful, sensitive, beautiful Kai... I'm in awe... Wonderful, sensitive, beautiful Kai... I'm in awe...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This book was a great continuation of the series. Definitely a different feel to the first book, much more emotional and tense, simply because of the situation our threesome find themselves in. This story pretty much covers the captivity of these men and how they survive. Being told from Kai's POV we learn alot more about where he came from and more depth into his feelings of himself and Master and Tam. It was heartbreaking hearing about how he was always an outsider and never felt expected anyw This book was a great continuation of the series. Definitely a different feel to the first book, much more emotional and tense, simply because of the situation our threesome find themselves in. This story pretty much covers the captivity of these men and how they survive. Being told from Kai's POV we learn alot more about where he came from and more depth into his feelings of himself and Master and Tam. It was heartbreaking hearing about how he was always an outsider and never felt expected anywhere other than those few months at Ortiz. Kai is incredibly strong and loyal throughout this book and while it was tense and emotional throughout the whole book, it was wonderful to see his devotion and love push him through his trials. The three of them do have their moments together but probably 30% of the book is just Kai travelling and seeking help, and i just wanted to see them all happy and reunited. Also another plus point was, this book wasn't super dooper long which i appreciate when reading emotional books, because i don't think i could have handled to much more happening to Kai (view spoiler)[ i feel it necessary to add, (mainly because it was something i wasn't sure about before reading this book and i didn't want to read a book full of a character i love getting constantly tortured) Kai is only tortured once, yes its pretty bad but the scene is short, more of the damage is all the travelling he has to do while in pain and of course the emotional pain of what happened to him and Master and Tam (hide spoiler)] off the read The Master

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    Kai. My poor Kai, what a brave and tortured soul you are. Strong, resilient, damaged...but you're no longer alone. Brilliant yet again from Kate. 5 stars. Just one quote. 'Lost and damaged I may be, but some fragile thing fluttered in my breast, its wings broken and feathers torn, longing to be set free.' Kai. My poor Kai, what a brave and tortured soul you are. Strong, resilient, damaged...but you're no longer alone. Brilliant yet again from Kate. 5 stars. Just one quote. 'Lost and damaged I may be, but some fragile thing fluttered in my breast, its wings broken and feathers torn, longing to be set free.'

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kazza

    This book is killing me....gah! The Soldier is told from Kai's POV, it starts the same day The Slave concludes on its cliff-hanger. Kai is explored so much more. What he endures, what he has already endured, is gut-wrenching. I was so heartbroken at times, so angry, so unsure what was going to happen....I lived it. There is less sexual interaction in this book, more stolen moments in an enemy camp, more psychological issues, self-doubts, expanded world-building, some sadistic moments, tension, This book is killing me....gah! The Soldier is told from Kai's POV, it starts the same day The Slave concludes on its cliff-hanger. Kai is explored so much more. What he endures, what he has already endured, is gut-wrenching. I was so heartbroken at times, so angry, so unsure what was going to happen....I lived it. There is less sexual interaction in this book, more stolen moments in an enemy camp, more psychological issues, self-doubts, expanded world-building, some sadistic moments, tension, and action. It leads beautifully into The Master with an excerpt from that book at the end - I think I am going to be an emotional wreck when I read it. There is no cliff-hanger ending here, but one critical factor is left up in the air and several other issues are purposefully left dangling. I cannot wait until November 24th. You get some details from The Slave in this book, but you really need to read The Slave first to gain the full impact of this beautiful (ménage) relationship. Longer review http://ontopdownunderbookreviews.com/...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    My handsome soldier. Tortured hero par excellence. Great reading experience. Recommended. My handsome soldier. Tortured hero par excellence. Great reading experience. Recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ⚣Michaelle⚣

    4.0 Stars So, in my review of the previous book I complained a bit about there being a bit too many sex scenes. Well, that'll show me, won't it? Because in this installment there was hardly any sex. LOL. Feast or famine I guess. Of course, I really liked the story in spite of this. (Or maybe because of it?) Having all of Kai's thoughts and emotions on display like that as he figured his shit out, decided what he wanted and how to go about getting it (even as he worried he wouldn't be loved in retu 4.0 Stars So, in my review of the previous book I complained a bit about there being a bit too many sex scenes. Well, that'll show me, won't it? Because in this installment there was hardly any sex. LOL. Feast or famine I guess. Of course, I really liked the story in spite of this. (Or maybe because of it?) Having all of Kai's thoughts and emotions on display like that as he figured his shit out, decided what he wanted and how to go about getting it (even as he worried he wouldn't be loved in return) actually made me warm up to him more than I did in the last book. I loved the dedication he showed to Tam & his Master and given the context of his original purpose & his ambivalence (and sometimes hostility) toward them, it showed a lot of character development. That kind of growth endears me to a story more than any other aspect of a book. Can't wait to read Lysander's part of the tale, especially since I think those mercenaries might have been on the right track about his origin/birthright... (Just thought of something: Kai describes Tam as "sex"- like maybe sex incarnate, but not in a slutty or shameful way, more as a manifestation of love and lust and intimacy - and since the last book was Tam's bit of the story, I guess it fits that there would be a lot of sex scenes in that installment. Huh...I think I might need to re-read the whole series once I'm done with The Master to see what else I might have overlooked or not connected. Like how the violence and torture in this one fits with Kai's personality/history.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    OMG this book tore me up inside, it was a difficult read, but also amazing and I could not put it down! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helena Stone

    In my review of “The Slave” I tried to be objective and talk about the story and all the subjects it addresses without getting to gushy about it. I can’t do that again. Every review bone in my body is screaming at me to quote from and gush about this book, and so I will. This is Kai’s story. We got to know him through Tam’s eyes in “The Slave”. In “The Soldier” we hear what happens after Tam, Master and Kai were attacked at the end of the first book, leaving both characters and readers on a knif In my review of “The Slave” I tried to be objective and talk about the story and all the subjects it addresses without getting to gushy about it. I can’t do that again. Every review bone in my body is screaming at me to quote from and gush about this book, and so I will. This is Kai’s story. We got to know him through Tam’s eyes in “The Slave”. In “The Soldier” we hear what happens after Tam, Master and Kai were attacked at the end of the first book, leaving both characters and readers on a knife’s edge. This book takes us into the heart and mind of the soldier who lost the man he loved before being captured and sold as a slave. The sentiments with which he remembers those moments in the desert stole my breath. “I wished it [the sand] would swallow me, wished I could disappear completely beneath the surface and sleep the eternal dreamless sleep.” And that was just the first of many times Kai’s pain tore at me. Be prepared to have your heart broken as you watch him suffer. I almost wanted to curse Kate Aaron’s descriptive powers as I could almost smell his scorched skin, as his pain became so vivid I could almost feel it. “I was my agony.” Kai is a beautiful soul. His first concerns are always for the two men he’s grown to love during the three months of his enslavement. Being back among his own people doesn’t change that loyalty and neither does the torture he has to endure. His fears for their safety are bigger than concerns about his own life. Kai’s biggest fear is that the damage done by the torture he endures at the hands of his own people might turn both Master and Tam away from him in disgust. “Yet, despite everything, I couldn’t find it within me to wish I’d never been his slave.” With ‘The Slave’, Kate Aaron gave us a relatively pain and angst free story with a massive cliff-hanger at the end. The Soldier is anything but pain and angst free. Physical as well as emotional pain is visited upon all three men. Poor Kai is lost. While Tam and Master at least have the certainty of having been captured by enemies, Kai is left with what feels to him like nothing. The people who captured him are his own but don’t want him anymore. Tam and Master feel closer to his heart than any of those who hold them prisoner, but is he still with them now that the situation has changed? “We could never go back to the way life was before, but as long as Master and Tam would have me, I was theirs.” I did mention Master was an enigma in my review of ‘The Slave’, didn’t I? Well, an enigma he remains. More suggestions are made and a few veils are lifted, but the story seems to present more new questions than it answers old ones. Who the Master is and what his motives are remains something of a mystery. One which I guess won’t be solved until the final book. Like I said, your heart will break, time and again and not just because of the ordeals Kai has to face and the feelings he is struggling with. Tam is suffering at least as much. “I can’t do this again, Kai. I can’t. When they attacked, when I thought Master was dead and I was going to have to watch them murder you too, I couldn’t bear it. I wanted it to be over. When you hit me, before I passed out, do you know what my last thought was? (...) I thought you’d killed me, and my last thought was ‘thank you.’ – Tam Kate Aaron’s language is beautiful whether she uses it to describe her men, the ordeals they face or Kai’s inner thoughts: “Overhead, the rings glowed cold and white, indifferent to the toils of one small man lost and alone in the middle of the vast and unending desert.” Oh Kai, how you broke my heart. “I cried for what I could not have because if I allowed myself to cry for all the things I had lost, I feared I would never stop.” And this, o my God, all the feels: “Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear, because I want to believe you so badly, and if you’re wrong, it will only hurt me more.” Just in case you’re starting to worry this book is all violence, pain and heartbreak, let me reassure you. There are moments of astounding tenderness, life confirming selflessness and pure beauty a plenty. “We were more than possessions, more than dumb animals of inanimate things. We were men; we got to choose who owned us. In that moment we both chose him.” I fell in love with Tam when I read his book. Now that I’ve read Kai’s story I feel like a bit of a traitor. I still adore Tam but my heart firmly belongs to Kai. The precarious balance between his strength when it comes to physical challenges and his fragility when dealing with matters of the heart touched me on a very deep level. Four weeks from today the final part in this trilogy will be released. I will be marking of the days between now and November 24th. The world Kate Aaron has created has sucked me in. Her characters have lodged themselves in my heart. And her words, her beautiful words, have made me a fan for life.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dee Wy

    4.5 stars - Whoa! This 2nd book in the series follows immediately after the cliffhanger of book one. Where book one was in Tam's POV, this one is in Kai's more masculine POV. Now prisoners of the mercenaries who killed their guards and destroyed their home, Kai is tortured for information he doesn't have and Master and Tam are held in a single cell with no food or water. Amazingly, Tam comes up with a plan for their salvation. But it won't be easy. Kai, the soldier, shows us he's not only loyal t 4.5 stars - Whoa! This 2nd book in the series follows immediately after the cliffhanger of book one. Where book one was in Tam's POV, this one is in Kai's more masculine POV. Now prisoners of the mercenaries who killed their guards and destroyed their home, Kai is tortured for information he doesn't have and Master and Tam are held in a single cell with no food or water. Amazingly, Tam comes up with a plan for their salvation. But it won't be easy. Kai, the soldier, shows us he's not only loyal to his Master and Tam, but that he has the heart of a lion. He shines in this story, all the while worrying how they can still love him after his torture has left his manhood in question. I was deeply engaged in this story, on edge at what would happen next. A number of surprises here too. Couldn't read this one fast enough. Love this series!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tess

    Book 2 is told from Kai's perspective and it has a much different feel than book 1. For a good part of it, Kai is on his own trying to rescue Tam and Master and, as a result, there was very little intimacy between the three. On to book 3 where hopefully these guys find their HEA! Book 2 is told from Kai's perspective and it has a much different feel than book 1. For a good part of it, Kai is on his own trying to rescue Tam and Master and, as a result, there was very little intimacy between the three. On to book 3 where hopefully these guys find their HEA!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Tonlet

    Review is for the series as a whole rather than the individual books that comprise it. Gah, sooo damn good! Without a doubt the sweetest 'slave story' I've ever read. *happy sigh* Review is for the series as a whole rather than the individual books that comprise it. Gah, sooo damn good! Without a doubt the sweetest 'slave story' I've ever read. *happy sigh*

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily Seelye

    Better than the first.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Loved it! It's as simple as that! Although I got really hooked by Kai's story after about 25-30%, it just flowed smoothly from there... For me, this part of the Free Men trilogy was better than book 1 The Slave - maybe because this part's narrator, Kai, is so much more a complex figure than Tam... He's tortured, he's damaged, he's troubled... and yet... He's also fierceless, resourceful and disarmingly, shyly devoted to the two men he grew to love. I loved that little scene over the mountain pass w Loved it! It's as simple as that! Although I got really hooked by Kai's story after about 25-30%, it just flowed smoothly from there... For me, this part of the Free Men trilogy was better than book 1 The Slave - maybe because this part's narrator, Kai, is so much more a complex figure than Tam... He's tortured, he's damaged, he's troubled... and yet... He's also fierceless, resourceful and disarmingly, shyly devoted to the two men he grew to love. I loved that little scene over the mountain pass when he... (view spoiler)[ showed so much combat skill and killed that f*cker who dared to mess with him! (hide spoiler)] . It showed his other side, his former self - so vital to be brought back to Kai in those horrible, ugly moments of captivity and then his single-handed quest for a way to help set Lysander and Tam free. This part of Kai's journey brought to my mind: The choices he makes (both consciously and deep down in his big, stout heart), the way he fights and cares, and his warmth in dealing with those seemingly nonsignificant - Strawberry and Sara - it all makes me love Kai even more! I'll definitely carry on with this beautiful, eventful story...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise H.

    *** This futuristic, fantasy, is devastating, and the dark side of Sci-Fi is riveting. Magnificent descriptions of the events and terrain. We do see lots of abuse and torture that was so cruel, and we give our hearts to Kai. He is a warm, tender-hearted, giving lover to Master and Tam, who deserves to be treated humanely, instead of looked down on at every turn. Plus we see the squalid conditions the men lived in the prison, no water of food, unless Kai could sneak it in. The leader where they a *** This futuristic, fantasy, is devastating, and the dark side of Sci-Fi is riveting. Magnificent descriptions of the events and terrain. We do see lots of abuse and torture that was so cruel, and we give our hearts to Kai. He is a warm, tender-hearted, giving lover to Master and Tam, who deserves to be treated humanely, instead of looked down on at every turn. Plus we see the squalid conditions the men lived in the prison, no water of food, unless Kai could sneak it in. The leader where they are imprisoned is a slime named Andor, and with a plan in place they may be able to get Master's wife to pay a ransom. Andor is greedy. Times are tough and none of the army or mercenaries are happy. Everyone is barely scraping by, except for the royalty. Kai must travel alone to the mistress and beg for the ransom. The trip is dangerous, but Tam and Master will die in the dire cell. Travel was easier once the two suns set. He reached the Mistress and got help. There are internal musings of Kai, and his insecurities, self doubt, and fears are shown, but his love for his men shines through. After the rescue, the bad guys try to sneak attack them on their way home. The next book is the Master's turn to meld their relationship, and see how it all turns out. Highly recommended ! ENJOY ! ======================

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nile Princess

    2.5 Not as good as Book 1. Most of this book is focused on the rescue, treks through the desert and other things I couldn't care less about. I also wasn't happy with one of the Master's actions about 75% through the book, and it tainted the rest of the book for me. Let's see if he redeems himself in Book 3. 2.5 Not as good as Book 1. Most of this book is focused on the rescue, treks through the desert and other things I couldn't care less about. I also wasn't happy with one of the Master's actions about 75% through the book, and it tainted the rest of the book for me. Let's see if he redeems himself in Book 3.

  18. 5 out of 5

    LIGHTSONG13

    See my last two updates. I am pissed off!!!!!!!!!

  19. 4 out of 5

    K

    When I finished, The Slave, book 1, of Kate Aaron’s trilogy, Free Men, I was crushed. Kudos to the author for the best executed cliffhanger I have ever read. Not knowing what was going to happen next was excruciating. But, thanks to the author and her generosity or maybe her foresight of reader reactions, book 2, The Soldier, was right there…ready to grab and delve back into once again. The Soldier is told, for the most part, in Kai’s voice. He was quiet in the first book, which was understanda When I finished, The Slave, book 1, of Kate Aaron’s trilogy, Free Men, I was crushed. Kudos to the author for the best executed cliffhanger I have ever read. Not knowing what was going to happen next was excruciating. But, thanks to the author and her generosity or maybe her foresight of reader reactions, book 2, The Soldier, was right there…ready to grab and delve back into once again. The Soldier is told, for the most part, in Kai’s voice. He was quiet in the first book, which was understandable considering everything he had gone through and continued to go through. The Kai we first met was quiet and reserved. He also had an anger problem and was very cautious with handing over his trust. But, whether he trusted them or not, Master trusted him. When the soldiers were burning down their home and murdering anyone in their path, Kai was given a sword to help fight. And, fight he did. The Granthian soldiers are on a mission of greed. Who they hurt or kill is of no consequence unless you have the information they seek. They have no compassion or sympathy for Kai even though he was one of them just 3 months ago. Granthia, Kai’s homeland, is against two men being together. Finding them in the same bedroom during the attack will only add fuel to the fire. The soldiers are too happy in their quest to throw rude insults and punches. They are crude and oafish in their behavior and nothing like Kai. Being more concerned for the safety of his two lovers, Master and Tam, Kai takes what they pass out. Your heart will absolutely break for him as he takes abuse after abuse from the Neanderthals that were his fellow countrymen. Each carried a bladder filled with water, from which he regularly sipped. I looked longingly at the one the man nearest me carried but received only a swift kick in the back of the knee for my trouble. I fell with a startled cry, and the men laughed as I was jerked along behind the carriage before I could find my feet again. I scrambled to standing, spitting sand out of my mouth as best I could, the grains sticking in the gum collecting at the corner of my lips. My eyes stung, but I refused to let them see me cry. Regardless to the amount of times Kai finds himself at their mercy, the brunt of their jokes, the insults and punches, he takes all of it. Hopefully, this part of their journey will be just a setback and not their future. With Tam and Master locked behind bars, unable to help Kai, he takes it on himself to find a solution for their rescue. When he is summons before the guards with questions of his living situation for the past 3 months he is confused and hesitant in answering them. They are asking him things he knows nothing about. They don’t believe him and set out to torture the answers from him. The abuse that he suffers and the torment he is put through is very hard to read. His punishment is severe and will take months to erase the damage done to his body, if ever. His pain is very palpable and you want so bad to grab him in a hug and hold on tight. Throughout the entirety of this story, Kai hangs onto his convictions, his determination, and his perseverance is mind-blowing. Most would have given up in his situation but not one time did he ever consider backstabbing his lovers or leaving them to their own fate. Before coming to live with Tam and Master, Kai didn’t know love. He had never had affection, nor had he ever been with a man sexually. He loved his best friend Maal, who had been killed on the battlefield, but he had never spoken the words to him. He really hadn’t even admitted to himself that it was love. However, in the 3 months he has been with Tam and Master, he has found something that he never thought to have of his own. He found love and passion, not with one man, but with two. He also realized as a slave he has far more freedom and choice than he ever did as a soldier. He has never had feelings of security, safety, and contentment, but he does now and he doesn’t want to lose that. He will struggle with self-doubt and low self-esteem. He will grapple with feelings of unworthiness and nothing to offer his lovers in return. His body is severely damaged and scarred and he’s not sure if his manhood will work properly anymore. It will be up to Master and Tam to assure him they still want them to be together, all three of them. Kate Aaron continues to weave this storyline with edge of your seat suspense. The dialog is authentic and the events that unfold, hard to read as they were, are told with details and descriptions that were easy to visualize. Every facet of Kai’s journey is hard, yet he shines through with so much strength and vitality. For him to come through this journey victorious will be something that I will be hanging onto very strongly. This story is not only about Kai even though he is the strong one this time. Kate equally gives Tam and Master a voice, and through expression and patience, healing will begin. The three of them are forming a bond beyond the sexual equation that will become a formidable wall no one will penetrate. This series is told with originality and an artful blend of creativity and imagination. It grabs you from the beginning and you will quickly become infatuated with each character. Just like the main characters, there are a few side characters that help to add depth to the storyline. The execution of the plot flows seamlessly and you are at the end before you realize it. The Master is the third and final book in this fast-paced gratifying story and I’m headed their now. An incredible story of love, strength, and perseverance that you don’t want to miss. * I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

  20. 5 out of 5

    JustJen "Miss Conduct"

    A review by The Blogger Girls. Thank goodness, this book picks up right where The Slave left off, with all three now prisoners. It is told from Kai’s point of view, as opposed to the first story, which was told in Tam’s. This was every bit as captivating as the first book, but I had different feelings about it. The men are now prisoners of a rogue band of the very people Kai used to fight for. So, while he is a prisoner as well, he is given a lot more leeway. He is somewhat free to roam the compou A review by The Blogger Girls. Thank goodness, this book picks up right where The Slave left off, with all three now prisoners. It is told from Kai’s point of view, as opposed to the first story, which was told in Tam’s. This was every bit as captivating as the first book, but I had different feelings about it. The men are now prisoners of a rogue band of the very people Kai used to fight for. So, while he is a prisoner as well, he is given a lot more leeway. He is somewhat free to roam the compound while Tam and Master are locked up. The conditions are horrible, and if it weren’t for Kai, they would probably have all died of hunger or thirst. It seems the leaders of the group believe they captured a missing prince (the Master) and are hoping for rich rewards. Unfortunately, neither Kai, nor Tam, know any of this to be true. To them, Master is merely an Underlord. Kai is brutally tortured for information about this prince/his Master, to no avail. His injuries cause him great harm and distress, both physically and mentally, but Tam and Master are quick to reassure him. With their release now uncertain and their worthto their captors seemingly nonexistent, the men must come up with a Plan B. Their only hope is to convince the leaders that Master’s wife would be willing to offer a reward to get him back. Much of this story is spent with Kai on his own trying to make that happen. He endures so much for Master and Tam, more than he ever would have thought possible. He has such incredible strength, and his feelings for the men really help him through. We meet some of the other characters, such as Master’s wife, and learn a bit more about the circumstances surrounding their marriage, why she left, etc. It seems Tam was a bit in the dark about everything, and it will be interesting to see how things play out from here. Just as The Slave pulled me into its world, so too did The Soldier. I didn’t love this quite as much as the first, for the mere fact that Kai was on his own for a lot of it, but the writing is just as wonderful, very descriptive and vivid giving you a real sense of being there or that such a place truly exists. This was another really fast read that I didn’t want to put down. Unfortunately, I now have to wait for the third installment, and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This story switches us to Kai’s POV and it does a great job of not just continuing the main story arc, but giving us a window into Kai himself. The Soldier is much more action oriented than the first book and we see these guys in peril pretty much the entire time. Although the mercenaries don’t fully accept Kai, he is still not a total outsider and gets a little more freedom than Tam and their Master. So Kai works hard to help take care of the men he loves, as wel A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars This story switches us to Kai’s POV and it does a great job of not just continuing the main story arc, but giving us a window into Kai himself. The Soldier is much more action oriented than the first book and we see these guys in peril pretty much the entire time. Although the mercenaries don’t fully accept Kai, he is still not a total outsider and gets a little more freedom than Tam and their Master. So Kai works hard to help take care of the men he loves, as well as desperately searching for a way to free them. This story is fast paced with lots of excitement and tension as Kai works to save his men, risking his life over and over in the process. One thing I noticed is how cleverly Aaron matches the tone of the story to the POV character. In The Slave, the book reads very sensually. There is a lot of sex, but also just a lot of intimacy and connections forming between the men. It is about Kai learning to love these two men, and the close bond they have with one another. They live in lush surroundings, swim in the beautiful pool, and have lovely possessions. It fits perfectly with Tam as our POV character because Tam just exudes sensuality and has a need for touch and comfort. In this book, the tone shifts much more toward action, again befitting a soldier like Kai. Although the feelings between the men are very clear, there is virtually no sexual intimacy between them. Instead this story focuses much more on action, on strategy, and on fighting to save all of their lives. It is such an interesting contrast and something that is subtle but works well. Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Diverse

    There are no words to describe this book, but I will try. This is book 2 of the Free Men Series (Book 1 is The Slave) The Soldier is written in Kai's POV. The Soldier is heartbreaking and soul cleansing. Kai is so brave, so giving. I was somewhat shocked as I meandered through his mind in this book. In the first one we are in Tam's POV so we can only guess where Kai's mind is at. Kai is sacrificial is so many things in this tale. I cried CRIED reading this. You want to protect Kai and many times There are no words to describe this book, but I will try. This is book 2 of the Free Men Series (Book 1 is The Slave) The Soldier is written in Kai's POV. The Soldier is heartbreaking and soul cleansing. Kai is so brave, so giving. I was somewhat shocked as I meandered through his mind in this book. In the first one we are in Tam's POV so we can only guess where Kai's mind is at. Kai is sacrificial is so many things in this tale. I cried CRIED reading this. You want to protect Kai and many times throughout you feel he is forgotten. That was the hardest part for me. I was overcome by the loneliness he carries. The second book in this saga is the meat to this story. Book 1 we were swept away in the pureness, hope, and love that is Tam. In The Soldier we are left breathless by the darkness, despair, and unknown adoration of Kai. God only knows what Kate Aaron has in store for us in Book 3. EXCELLENT BOOK!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristie

    I really liked this. Really, really. It's a sad tale and beautiful at the same time. What would you do for those you love? How much would you be able to endure? Kai goes through it all. I love him. He need a place where he's allowed to be himself, and where he's loved. He'd found that in the first book, only to have it ripped away. His journey to try and get even part of that happiness back, to save Master and Tam, is a hard road. Book 3! I want it now. Until it's out, I'll miss Tam, Kai, and Ma I really liked this. Really, really. It's a sad tale and beautiful at the same time. What would you do for those you love? How much would you be able to endure? Kai goes through it all. I love him. He need a place where he's allowed to be himself, and where he's loved. He'd found that in the first book, only to have it ripped away. His journey to try and get even part of that happiness back, to save Master and Tam, is a hard road. Book 3! I want it now. Until it's out, I'll miss Tam, Kai, and Master.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shira Anthony

    Dubcon/slave fiction is my guilty pleasure. I really enjoyed the 1st book in this series, and went immediately on to read this book, which I think was the best of the bunch (although the others were very well done). Much as I loved the sex scenes, it was the characterizations that really stuck with me in this series, and this book did the best job of putting the characters front and center for me. I ended up reading all 3 books back to back over a weekend.Highly recommend (and I already have, sev Dubcon/slave fiction is my guilty pleasure. I really enjoyed the 1st book in this series, and went immediately on to read this book, which I think was the best of the bunch (although the others were very well done). Much as I loved the sex scenes, it was the characterizations that really stuck with me in this series, and this book did the best job of putting the characters front and center for me. I ended up reading all 3 books back to back over a weekend.Highly recommend (and I already have, several times!).

  25. 5 out of 5

    La*La

    4.25 stars. First read on January 30, 2015. Re-read on April 5, 2016. Oh, Kai. You broke my heart into little pieces. This one was certainly the best in the series. 4.25 stars. First read on January 30, 2015. Re-read on April 5, 2016. Oh, Kai. You broke my heart into little pieces. This one was certainly the best in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jo * Smut-Dickted *

    I love me some scifi and dystopian and this delivers. I really loved reading from Kai's viewpoint and how he comes to terms with his new life is masterfully written. The sex is hot, the world building and what happens is even better, and I could not put this down. I love me some scifi and dystopian and this delivers. I really loved reading from Kai's viewpoint and how he comes to terms with his new life is masterfully written. The sex is hot, the world building and what happens is even better, and I could not put this down.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    The Soldier is the darkest of the three novels in the Free Men series. There is very little steam at all, and, frankly, it wouldn't fit anyway. The Soldier is more about survival against the odds and is brutal in spots. The action picks up immediately after The Slave leaves off. Our guys have been taken prisoner by unknown mercenaries that are of the same race as Kai. Think they might treat Kai better because he is of their race? Think again. This group of marauders are brutal and they don't care The Soldier is the darkest of the three novels in the Free Men series. There is very little steam at all, and, frankly, it wouldn't fit anyway. The Soldier is more about survival against the odds and is brutal in spots. The action picks up immediately after The Slave leaves off. Our guys have been taken prisoner by unknown mercenaries that are of the same race as Kai. Think they might treat Kai better because he is of their race? Think again. This group of marauders are brutal and they don't care who they have to kill or torture to get what they want. Apparently, they were after Master because they see him as an easy meal ticket and they aren't above torturing a couple slaves that Master obviously cares for, in order to get what they want. And, since among Kai's people, homosexuality is far more likely to get you killed than not, he knows that there is a real chance he won't live to see tomorrow. My heart broke for Kai when he was tortured; but more so during his recovery when he wondered if he would ever be whole again. His captors are brutal sociopaths and in my dream of the future of this story, they are flayed alive. Slowly. This story takes place over a couple weeks and we learn a lot about Kai, but also Master. We learn why it is they were taken, we learn Master's name and we learn why Mistress left. Master is still a bit of a mystery but he still tries to protect Kai and Tam. But Master also still tries to hold a piece of himself back. He's not allowed to actually love his slaves (that would cause quite the scandal), so he won't acknowledge his feelings. He might as well try to hold off a tidal wave with just the palm of his hand. The bulk of the story takes place when Kai is sent, alone, across the desert, to get the ransom. He has such a strength to him and a determination. No one expects him to make it back; if anything, everyone expects that he would simply take off, but he doesn't. Once Kai's loyalty is earned, he does not abandon those that have earned it. There was also a time, or two, where I questioned Master's actions. I can't say what here without spoiling too much, but there was one point int he book where I was ready to shake Master. We later learn his mindset, but still. It was only through Kai's own fortitude that everything turned out as well as it did. By the end of The Soldier there is absolutely no question as to where Kai wants to be. Slave or no, he wants to be with Master and Tam. He's still healing, physically and mentally, from his ordeal, but he's pretty damn stubborn, so we know he will be ok. Though The Soldier doesn't end on a huge cliffy like The Slave did, things are not exactly resolved, so you'll be happy that the third book is out.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Simms

    5 stars for book 1 and 2 The Slave and The Soldier I need to be in the right frame of mind to write a review that does this series justice. Needless to say I had a big to do list for today that was push away to tomorrow because I could not put this book down. Right after it, I had to immediately download the sequel, which I also loved, even though poor Kai went through hell and back. I like that each book in the series is told from one of the MCs point of view: the first one is told from Tam's po 5 stars for book 1 and 2 The Slave and The Soldier I need to be in the right frame of mind to write a review that does this series justice. Needless to say I had a big to do list for today that was push away to tomorrow because I could not put this book down. Right after it, I had to immediately download the sequel, which I also loved, even though poor Kai went through hell and back. I like that each book in the series is told from one of the MCs point of view: the first one is told from Tam's point of view, the second one is from Kai's point of view. The upcoming third book will be from the master's point of view. Though I like Dom/sub stories, Master/slave stories make me a tad uncomfortable because I don't feel that the slave is on equal footing as the master. Let's face it, where is the element of consent? This book handles that well, both Kai and Tam don't do anything (at least sexual) that they don't want to do. I grew to like the master once I saw that he was indeed a benevolent man. I can't wait to read things from his point of view since there could be more of him in the books. What does he think/feel/plan? The mistress (once she appears in book 2) is not a black and white character. She is not good but she is not bad either which makes her a more interesting character. The first book is slow building, has great great sexual tension and angst. Loved it. The sequel is much darker. Poor, poor Kai. He is a true hero. I want him to get all the love that he deserves. The author is a great storyteller. I will be checking out her other books. Bring on book 3!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vallie

    Wow, this was completely different to the first book. Told from Kai's POV, the story picks up right at the end of book 1. It's an action-filled plot, serving to showcase Kai's character and the depth of his emotions for Master and Tam. Sadly, there are hardly any sex scenes in this one but the storytelling and the world-building were so spectacular, I only missed them a teeny bit. I am curious to see how the story will continue after the devastation of book 2. Recommend! Wow, this was completely different to the first book. Told from Kai's POV, the story picks up right at the end of book 1. It's an action-filled plot, serving to showcase Kai's character and the depth of his emotions for Master and Tam. Sadly, there are hardly any sex scenes in this one but the storytelling and the world-building were so spectacular, I only missed them a teeny bit. I am curious to see how the story will continue after the devastation of book 2. Recommend!

  30. 4 out of 5

    ~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~

    ★★★☆☆ Kai had a lot to think about and obsess over. He was realizing that he was falling for Tam and Master and he did like men. Kai has to step and play against his own people to somehow protect and rescue Tam and Master and still be unsure where his place was with the other two. Good book but minimal sexual contact and more angst than book 1. It was ok.

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