Alone behind the mask, only his Chosen could touch him.
Raine held no hope for his future. Youngest in a line of brutal, warlike brothers, he is judged to be weak and worthy only to be sold off for political gain. Now the worst of his brothers is taking him to the heart of the empire that has conquered their homeland. Taldan, the Imperial Heir of Anrodnes, is holding a traditional choosing of a companion, a Chosen, for when he ascends to become emperor. Forced into the competition for the title, Raine finds himself in a different world, one of culture and science, so different than his cruel home. Even though he feels immediate attraction to the cold, logical, and powerful Taldan, Raine knows he has no hope of winning a place at the prince's side. How can he compete against the other candidates or compare to Hredeen, the mysterious leader of the imperial harem, a gorgeous man of otherworldly grace who is far more than he seems? But if Raine fails to win Taldan's heart, his brother has a dreadful punishment waiting, one he's eager to inflict.
Prince Taldan views the ceremony of the Chosen as nothing more than an annoyance. He will ascend to emperor, don the metal mask, and be granted the powerful magic of his ancestors. After that, he can finally return to his studies and experiments to better the lives of his people. He sets his younger brother and best friend to helping sort through the mass of candidates for his Chosen, seeing the ceremony as a foolish tradition to endure. But when chance leads to him saving a young man named Raine from the violence of Raine's cruel brother, events are set in motion that will rock the empire to its foundations. Taldan knows the emperor must be emotionless and logical, even cold, but Raine stirs feelings and heat in him that he is not prepared for. Now there are ominous rumors of war on the horizon and the threat of betrayals and assassins in the court, and Taldan discovers Raine is right in the middle of it all...
A new epic M/M fantasy romance trilogy from J. C. Owens!