“Jaci Harmon was born a Sapphire, but after she’s summoned to receive her final designation, the testing reveals she carries a gene slated for eradication. Within a day, she’s sterilized and dumped in the Amber Zone, where the damaged are corralled away from the rest of New Atlanta. Scared and alone, Jaci would rather die than face her future as an Amber.
Born in the Amber Zone, Xander Dimos is a product of a lifetime spent under the oppression of the Repopulation Laws. Decades of suffering have taught the Ambers to make the zone a place where touch, sex, and unconditional acceptance ease the pain of their fate. Jaci has a lot to learn about her new home, and it’s Xander’s responsibility to guide her through the differences and the dangers safely.
With the simmering undercurrents of sexual chemistry growing between them, and in the midst of discovering the Gov’s true motives, Jaci and Xander must overcome his secret and accept their love as undeniable…even if the time allotted to share it is short.”
From the very first page the Author gained my admiration by an admirable attention to detail. Beginning with a superb Prologue the story instantly drew me in and kept me captivated until the last page. In the beginning there was Influeza, an outbreak which killed 90% of human population. To regain control and start rebuilding the society, the new order of things was established. The society rebuilt under a strict military control and Repopulation Laws to preserve the most sensitive genes, blue eyes and blonde hair. Very shortly the society is divided into three casts: the ruling cast (Diamonds), the equivalent of middle-class (Sapphires) and the working, undesirable class (Ambers). Such a concept of selective breeding and segregation are not new as history has proven over and over again. Hence this apocalyptic scenario sounds frighteningly familiar and, worse, plausible. In the Amber Zone the lives are tightly controlled and the people are under constant governmental scrutiny. Sex is the only repast, the only time when a person can forget about the outside world. The only time when they can regain bits of control thus submission and dominance are important components of sexual relations. Each person lives by the rule: “We can all be dead tomorrow so let’s enjoy the today” as in this cruel and cold world every hope of better tomorrow is superseded by survival and preservation of remains of humanity.
Furthermore, to perfect the human genome women diagnosed with ‘disqualifying qualities’, a predisposition to long-term, incurable illnesses are prevented from procreation. The Government explains that as a future drain on the precious resources which could be used to treat those who have chances to get better. Another frighteningly reasonable concept in such precarious times. The women are sent to the Amber Zone following an immediate sterilisation. For their sacrifices they are one of the most cherished members of the Amber society, called ’the fallen’. And when the story begins, someone in the Amber Zone is secretly eradicating them making it look like a suicide…
Xavier, a member of the Amber Police Force, is charged with finding the killer.Each Amber citizen is assigned a room-mate of the opposite sex, an equivalent of a foster brother or sister. When Jaci is sent to the Amber Zone he is assigned as her roommate to provide protection and constant vigilance. She is introduced to a society where touch is the most important aspect of life. It is used as a reassuring tool, making people connect to each other, to offer consolation in those precarious circumstances, and companionship to remind them that they are not alone. Xavier is eager to show Jaci that she can still lead a meaningful life as Amber, but somewhere along the line these platonic, brotherly feelings turn a carnal shade, finding in Jaci the missing piece of his soul. Xavier introduces Jaci to the norms of the Amber society where women are cherished and protected at all cost. It seems they don’t have a need for control as they willing submit to their men. The Amber men execute dominance over their females. In a world where the government controls every aspect of their lives, only in the bedroom can they be truly in control. Carrie Ryan, as an established Erotica author, describes beautifully the sexuality of the Amber society, how touch and sex are vital for the preservation of human sensitivities and as a mean to survive the grim realities of this New Atlanta. Suffice to say, the story is rich in steamy sexual scenes between two and more partners. However, what I found interesting was that the story itself was so captivating that the sex, even though enjoyable and artfully described, felt almost unnecessary. I still can’t believe I’m writing that.
Book 1 in the series but don’t worry. Unlike Fortune’s Hero by Jenna Bennett – it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger though there’s plenty for the next book, Being Sapphire, to follow from. Enjoy.
Note: the book can be purchased from majority of online bookshops and via Author’s website.