Today I bring to you an exciting and unique story with lots of steam from Sylvia Ryan, Being Amber. This is a story that pulls you in and today to you get a glimpse into the pages along with my impressions. Visit the other blogs hosting this tour to get an even more in-depth look and make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win this book to see why it's rave-worthy.....
Both danger and sex are inescapable in the Amber Zone.
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.
She was a mess. After filling a bowl with warm water and grabbing a washrag, he began cleaning her. With a tentative hand, he tenderly wiped her face with the warm water, washing away the blood under her nose and the grime from her cheeks. His hands trembled with unreleased rage that he forced himself to push away as he continued his task. But that emotion was quickly replaced by another. His throat tightened, the muscles squeezed away his ability to swallow. He cut her shirt off so as not to disturb the IV in her arm. Earlier, he saw the ripped shirt, but his mind, at the time, rejected the direction of that train of thought. But now, he let himself go there. If they’d raped her…
Tears rolled silently down his face while he methodically cleaned her arms and torso. Her wrists were marred by deep bruises and worn away skin from being cuffed too tightly and for too long. When he cleaned the dried blood on the inside of her arm and found the needle mark underneath, the sudden surge of rage that he felt made him want to kill. They drugged her.
This had not been ‘questioning’, this had been plain, old school torture. His hands were shaking as he finished her arms and upper body. He dumped the dirty water in the kitchen sink and refilled the bowl before returning to her.
He braced himself for what he might find when he took off her pants, but he found that the bottom half of her body was in much better condition than the top. As he cleaned her, relief dulled his anger. They’d not let her go to the bathroom. Her pants were stiff with dried urine. But otherwise, she seemed untouched everywhere below the waist.
He dumped the dirty water and pulled off his own clothes. Gingerly, he lay down next to her and pulled her to him. He curled the full length of his body around her to give her the comfort and healing of his touch. He covered as much of her skin as possible with his and held her without moving underneath the soft blanket of their bed.
For hours, he relished the feeling of his skin on hers as well the even in-and-out of her breaths. What a dumbass he’d been trying to keep her at arms length. It took almost losing her to truly understand the huge part of his heart she owned, and to realize how much of his life was her now.
She was his. He would not leave her vulnerable again.
It was then, in those quiet hours of holding her in his arms, that Xander was finally able to think past getting Jaci back and start considering the larger implications of the events that had taken place. The Gov would expect that Amber authorities had been mollified by Jaci’s return.
He wasn’t. This time was different from every other injustice the Gov had done to Amber. This time they had concrete proof of the Gov’s outright murder of Ambers.
They were growing dangerously brazen after more than two decades of the population’s utter submission to their authority.
The Gov’s absolute authority needed to happen during the dire circumstances immediately following the pandemic. They needed control and cooperation to do the things necessary to create order, provide for basic needs, and protect the survivors flocking to the city.
But their society wasn’t struggling like it had been twenty-five years ago. The genetic qualities that were near extinction back then, were thriving now.
Many of these restrictions, these measures to safeguard humanity, were no longer necessary. If the Gov went unchecked by its citizens much longer, the United States would no longer be a democracy. The country wouldn’t grow as it did the first time when settlers in covered wagons set out to populate the land beyond the borders of their cities. It would be a military dictatorship that never loosened its control over the population.
The more he thought about it, the more he was willing to bet that the Gov controlled the lives of all its citizens, from Ambers to Diamonds, in more ways than anybody realized. The fury faded and determination gathered within him. Changes needed to be made. Now was the time to start.
He looked down at his woman, caressed the hair away from her cheek. Xander was overcome by the intense love he felt for her. He understood why Amber women gave up control, gave up authority to the men around them. Without that small submission, every man in Amber would be impudent with no control on any aspect of their lives. It was a true gift and it was time that the men took that gift and did something with it, did something to truly protect their females, themselves, and their country.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Sylvia Ryan has created an intriguing blend of futuristic, post-apocalyptic, erotic, and ménage themes in the first book in her New Atlanta series entitled Being Amber that sucked me in from the very beginning and has me clamoring for the next installment! Through vivid worldbuilding and immensely appealing characters I was left in awe of what Ms. Ryan created and applaud this unique story. America has gone through many catastrophes and to keep things running they've created different communities whose members are chosen based on genetic markers and IQs. Each community is named after a jewel with the most desirable individuals living as Diamonds while one of the lower classes is Amber. Amber society doesn't deal in currency just credits. They all work for the same amount of credits so there's virtually no crimes since there's no way to better yourself. Unlike the other societies who frown upon physical contact Ambers are highly sexualized from an early age and you often see groups participating in menages wherever you look. There's lots of touching for reasons of just comfort and creating closeness. Unmarried women live with men in their designated apartments who act as brothers and protectors. Women newly brought into the community are automatically sterilized and referred to as "fallow" and revered for their great sacrifice.
Into this harsh community comes Jaci Harmon who was born into a more desirable community, the Sapphire Zone. Her classification means that for the most part she'll have to cut ties with her family. Her future has been determined by the Gov and such drastic changes weigh heavily on her at first. It was heartbreaking seeing such a smart woman deemed undesirable because of the small chance she might exhibit signs of disease. The emotional low she starts at is understandable but as she learns the truths about being an Amber she discovers some positives. Coming from a society where touching/sex is considered slutty, the openness she sees here excites and her, particularly once she meets her roommate, Xander.
Xander Dimos was born into a family of Ambers and still has his mother to count on as family. He's normally a badass in full control of everything around him except when it comes to his mother who brings out his boyish side. He prides himself on knowing how to please a woman but never wants a relationship because of his own genetic secrets. He's immediately drawn to Jaci but is keeping many other secrets from her too. He wants to protect her and for the first time sees her as someone he'd marry if only he'd let himself enjoy happiness. His mission is more important than his heart though, and as a police officer hunting the person killing fallows, his first duty is acting as Jaci's bodyguard. Guarding her body and watching her interact with other men has jealousy rear its head but once she learns the truth about his attentions she pulls even further away from him and puts herself further in jeopardy.
The identity of the killer is kept well-hidden and in fact seems to come out of left field. Their reasons for committing these killings are never explained either which leaves a bit of a cliffhanger. What IS here is a thoughtprovoking story reflecting issues of today involving government interference and class warfare. Along with these heavy issues comes lots of steamy sexual interludes that are nicely spaced throughout the story to enhance the overall storyline. The cast of secondary characters adds even more excitement and heartbreak to the story and I look forward to seeing more of them as each is distinctly appealing. Jaci and Xander are a remarkable couple drawn together through their perceived defects and the chemistry and sexual tension between them was palpable from the very start. These two became stronger through their commitment to each other and it sets up a storyline for future installments where the citizens will no longer be manipulated by the government. A rebellion has started and I can't wait to see it flourish!
My rating for this is an A!
*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/SXyRqM9vlqY
Sylvia lives the life of a run-of-the-mill wife, mother, and professional in Midwest Suburbia, USA. She reads voraciously and loves to lose herself and fall head over heels for the alpha males in her favorite novels.
When she gets the chance to shed the prim and proper persona of average wife and mother, her secret identity, Sylvia Ryan, emerges. This alter ego strives to write original ideas in extraordinary settings for her readers to remember long after the book has been read. Her dream is to transform her racy thoughts and naughty nature into tangible works of erotic fantasy for others’ secret identities to enjoy.
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