In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.

In 1842, Captain Gabriel O'Riordan of the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir.

On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interests. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev's intense scrutiny. After all, he's working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations.

When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he's desperate enough to turn to Valentin to help and offer him anything in return. What he doesn't expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.

Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin's past tears them apart.

Can they set the past behind them and move on together?

Review 5/5 and highly recommended

Captain Gabriel O’Riordan and Valentin Yakolev meet in very unexpected circumstances with one offering his body to the other in return of a favour. Neither is who they first appear to be. Think undercover and stealthy, think sacrificing self for others, think hero…

Secrets, journeys, danger, misunderstanding, love, and some incredibly beautiful love scenes make this a seriously cool book. This is *historical fiction* but if you don't normally read that sub genre of MM don't be put off. This is a timeless love story with a perfect HEA and if it means anything to anyone reading this I seriously just sat and read the whole book in one sitting.

The writing is utterly gorgeous… SA has a lyrical way of writing that just transports me to the scene. I even got tired of the heroes having to eat rice… ROFL

Highly recommended. Seriously.

Buy Links

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)