Author: Jayne Faith with Christine Castle
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Published: October 16, 2015
Genre: SciFi, Romance, Paranormal
Synopsis: Twice a year, the alien Lord Toric demands a selection of human women between the ages of 18 and 20 to compete for a place in his harem. Maya must get through just one more selection and then she can marry the man of her dreams. She should have been safe, but when a young woman who was supposed to compete dies the day of the selection, Maya is forced into the competition.
Thrown into the fight of her life with no preparation, Maya must shed her innocence and win Lord Toric’s favor. And there is only one winner in the competition. The losers will be sacrificed. Will she survive the first round, or will she pay the ultimate price for her inexperience?
This book was fun. I found myself very curious after the first few pages when Maya discusses the Obligate Elect and that she was looking forward to getting past the age that she would be in danger of being chosen during the selection. The breadcrumbs left along the way were enough to keep me reading. For instance, Maya worries about her sister, Lana and it isn't clear why Lana is so dependent on her at first. (Not telling you here, so you'll have to read!) Maya also hints at a relationship with a man she has strong feelings for named Court. She wants more time with him, but because of the quota they are responsible for reaching, she is denying herself. I was not sure what the quota was for and had to keep reading.
It soon becomes clear though that the Selection process is not going to go the way they'd all hoped and Maya is chosen to represent their area. She has to say good bye to her mother and sister, hope that someone will help them meet their quotas and that she will survive whatever waits for her on the other side. Maya and her family are from Earthenfeld, who's people are required to send several of their youngest and brightest as an offering to the leader of Calisto, Lord Toric. They think they know what happens to the Select, but none have ever returned home to tell of their fates.
Lord Toric is an interesting character as well and finds Maya fascinating from the moment he lays eyes on her. He has his own family issues to deal with however, and cannot show his hand too soon or it could mean the end of Maya before they even have a chance to see what could come of their relationship. Maya has to figure out how to win the contests and meet each obstacle that comes at her if she wants to survive and explore Lord Toric's world; especially since the connection she feels to him is overwhelming and confusing for someone so innocent.
The story is action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are likable and relatable, though a few times I wondered if it was going to be another Hunger Games as it appears to be a dystopian society following a war over Earth. I was so wrapped up in the story, however, when I hit the last page, I was shocked. The end is a cliffhanger and I am anxiously waiting for the next installment. Well done!