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Anthelion

Love and War, Book 4
Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
Series: Love and War, Book 4
Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ash is dead. Okay, that’s a lie. He’s not. Not really. Somehow, that doesn’t make things any better.

After reports of a fatal hovercar accident outside the Capital - complete with a charred body and DNA identification - it seems at first that all is lost in the Shadow Wing’s quest to infiltrate the Premiere’s inner circle.

But one member of the vigilante group refuses to accept the evidence of his human comrade’s death. Draven knows Ash. He knows that devious mind, and more importantly, he knows the martyr complex that lies beneath it.

He should know. Draven is also a master at hiding. He’s done it for most of his life. Now, though, he’s done living in the shadows.

Can Draven track down a man who is so intent on not being found that he would stage his own death to prevent it? And if he does succeed in finding Ash, what then?

No one ever said that emerging from the darkness of the past was easy. No one ever said that forbidden love was painless.

Especially when the object of that love is convinced he’s damaged goods.

From USA Today best-selling author R. A. Steffan comes a sizzling sci-fi romance series, perfect for fans of J. R. Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon. 

Strap in tight, because all's fair in LOVE AND WAR.

Author’s note: Ash and Draven are gay. This is their story. If that’s an issue for you, please don’t purchase it. While this book is part of a series with an overarching plot, it may be listened to as a standalone with a satisfying conclusion for the two main characters. If you do not intend to continue the series, you may wish to avoid the epilogue.

©2019 OtherLove Publishing, LLC (P)2019 OtherLove Publishing, LLC

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ASH... 😱 What Have You Done!!

This one is a WOW.
Ash has become more and more implanted in the story as the books progress. I finally see the Hell of a world he’s been maneuvering through all this time. The team is getting desperate for allies in their fight against the Regime and Ash knows how to get close to one, but at a cost greater than everyone will allow him to pay.

Then he dies. The team is devastated and attempts to move on but Draven knows Ash is an extremely talented computer hacker and would not allow his real identity to be available for DNA identification. And Draven is in love with Ash, never telling a sole in order to keep his family and pride.

The pain and recovery that in in this story makes it a very emotional listen. I was sucked in and didn’t get spit out until the end. I don’t know how Gwendolyn Druyor does it but she made everything real.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. My review is HONEST.
Woo-HOO! 👍🏻👍🏻🔥

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • JulieM
  • Louisiana, United States
  • 06-05-19

Ash and Draven's story

In this 4th installment of the Love and War series, we get to the character of Ash. Maybe. When the Shadow Wing gets a report of Ash’s death, Draven refuses to believe that is a possibility. He does everything he can to save the human man that he finally lets himself acknowledge he loves.

For those of us who have been reading the series, Ash has been one of the most interesting people in the small rebel group, but he’s also been used sparingly, which further makes his appearances all the more effective. We get a lot of insight into Draven in this book, too, which is good because the only time I’d previously noticed him was as a grumpy presence on the fringe of book 3.

In general, I am a fan of RA Steffan’s books, and if she keeps writing them with Gwendolyn Druyor narrating them, I’ll be there! There is so much care she put into this book. She put effort and creativity into it that I recognize and admire. This was admittedly a tough balancing act for everything that she wanted and needed to do. But there is stuff in this book that fell flat for me at the end of it all, and mostly it was Draven.

When Draven decides to get over his internalized homophobia, he also decides to let Ash know how he feels as soon as they’re reunited. It’s a fantastic personal breakthrough, but have we gotten ANY indication in the previous books that Ash might have an attraction for Draven, too? If we have, I seriously missed it. It feels a little bit like “I’m gay; you’re gay. We should be together.”

Once they finally talk and try to get over their issues, I can see it working. But not before then. Up until the point of the first love scene, everything seemed hella presumptuous on Draven’s part. As they work through their issues, they really work at it, and that part Steffan handled with grace.

Maybe I’m feeling the weight of the balancing act because there was no way this novel with these characters was ever going to be sunshine. Maybe Draven had to be the bonehead before either one of them could get to the place where they could be something more than two gay men in the same resistance cell.

Final thoughts: Part of an engaging SFR series. For readers who came for the het, don’t let the MM scare you away. For lovers of angst and such, yes, this has it. It’s not the lightest of reads, but I wouldn’t call it dark fic.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Outstanding performance for an excellent story

R.A Steffan is a new to me author and I have not read the prior books. This story can be read as a stand-alone and I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything.

Such a heart-breaking story! Ash is an idiot. I realize that is harsh because he suffers greatly for a cause but he also makes his own suffering worse. The most redeeming part of him is his willingness to admit a mistake and try something, anything to fix it.

So apparently Ash and Draven have been attracted to each other for some time. I sensed that neither really respected the other as an equal until this tragedy. Both men are broken down to their emotional core and wow, this packed a punch. People process assault differently and I believe we get a good sense of how a male may process rape. It was a difficult and beautiful scene when both Ash and Draven deal with what it means for them.

There is some great political maneuvering and darn it I listened to the epilogue so now I gotta pick up the next one.

Can i just say the audiobook is outstanding? The performance is remarkable and really brought the depth and compassion needed to make this story more. So while some may be turned off by the m/m MC’s, I say take a chance and listen to the audiobook. You will be amazed!

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great sci-fi

This book was a great listen. I admit to taking a while to get into it but since I had already listened to the first book of the series it wasn't too hard. RA Steffan's world-building skills and continuity throughout the series is so on point. I love the character development in this series. The M/M aspect of it was an added bonus that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Gwendolyn Dryuor's performance was on par and great with making us feel the emotion that the characters are feeling. I have had the pleasure of listening to her narrate several other books. She is good.

Even though this can actually be a standalone book in the series, I suggest that you do read the previous books so you are not lost with the series' overreaching plot.

This book was given to me by request for my unbiased review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVED IT!

I loved it! The narration was great as always. The author always does a great job with the character builds and plot. This story is a M/M relationship which enhanced the entertainment. This series has been the typical F/M couples so I found it to be a great change of pace. I really enjoy this author's style of writing and look forward to reading more of her books. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.