My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MM
The Iskat Empire rules its vassal planets through a system of treaties – so when Prince Taam, key figure in a political alliance, is killed, a replacement must be found. His widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with the disreputable aristocrat Kiem, in a bid to keep rising hostilities between two worlds under control.
But Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and when Jainan himself is a suspect, he and Kiem must navigate the perils of the Iskat court, solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war…
Winter’s Orbit was a great slow burn scifi romance book. I loved the slow burn romance between these two guys who are total opposites, but work so well together. The world building was subtle and interesting. And the plot is engaging as slowly more comes to light about the accident involving Jainan’s previous partner.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book at first and it took me some time to get used to it. The writing style as well as the setting and world building took me some time to adjust too. Once I got into the book I was hooked. I liked reading about Jainan and Kiem and seeing how different they are, but also how they share similar goals as to make this marriage work. It’s a political arranged marriage and I liked seeing them go from strangers to more.
I had expected the book to be more epic in scope and more story driven, but I found the book quite character focused. Which was a pleasant surprise and I appreciated the character focus. While at times I would’ve liked to be even deeper in the characters minds I also understood why the author decided to not reveal some things till later. I am glad I read a spoiler at one point as I kept getting distracted about Jainan’s behavior and my lack of understanding about his previous marriage. Once I understood things I was able to focus more on the story and these two characters.
I really liked both Jainan and Kiem. They are both characters that really come alive and feel real. I liked how different they are. While Jainan is quiet and deliberate. Kiem is outgoing, talkative and good with people. My favorite part of this book is seeing them both from the others point of view. The way Kiem talks and how that comes natural to him and how Jainan really saw this as something wonderful, while Kiem appreciated the way Jainan always choose his words carefully and is always so composed. It was really wonderful to see the way they saw the other. The romance is very slow burn, but I love a good slow burn romance and this book definitely delivered. And seeing them grow closer bit by slow bit was awesome to see.
Besides the romance plot line there is a bit of a political plot line going on. Kiem and Jainan have to get married to secure the treaty and there’s a bit more about the treaty and how it all works. There’s also a bit of a mystery plot line almost surrounding operation Kingfisher and Taam’s death, which seemed almost straightforward at first, but turned out way more complicated. I liked seeing it all play out and how Jainan and Kiem figured things out.
To summarize: This was a great m/m scifi romance book. I loved the slow burn romance between Jainan and Kiem and how they slowly grow closer. My favorite part is seeing how these two very different character see the other and can appreciate the things that come natural for the other. I needed some time to adjust to the writing style and settle into the story, but after that I was hooked. The focus is on the characters and their relationship, but there is a political type plot line as well as some mystery surrounding Taam’s death as well which plays an important part. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author.