Keta Diablo has created an alternative/ medieval type-world as a backdrop for this m/m love story. Owen is a sin-eater. He carries a magic gift that allows him to relieve the dead of their sins, so their spirits can go on to a better place in the afterlife. But despite the service he performs, he is shunned by his community. His power is considered dark and he lives alone and in poverty. The only people who show him kindness are a sweet young girl named Carys and Andras, the doctor who took her in after her parents died.
Owen is deeply attracted to Andras, but never dreams the feelings would ever be returned. He finds that they are, just about the same time he finds out that his beloved doctor is a vampire. Andras was turned against his will and he protects an ancient sword that the bad-vamps want. Andras' enemies will do anything to get the sword, including using his love for Owen against him.
I liked both main characters. Owen is humble, brave and loyal. Andras is sexy and powerful. And he holds on to his innate goodness, despite the tempting lure to succumb to his baser instincts. I wanted things to work out for them. But I did have some problems with the book. While I appreciate the passion Andras and Owen have for one another, nothing ruins a m/m sex scene like a lack of lube. It completely takes me out of the moment and no matter how hot the scene gets, all I can think of is Damn, that's got to hurt.
My second issue comes with the overwhelming attraction that both our hero and villain have for Owen. Is this supernaturally based? If it were just Andras who was crazy-hot for the guy, that would be one thing. But the bad guy wants him just as bad after meeting him once. Why? --And later, we learn all kinds of new facts about Owen's powers, but to what end? And how would they be affected by what happens to him near the end of the book? Too many questions remain. Too many red herrings, perhaps.
I liked the premise and it did have some titillating moments, but it didn't quite live up to its potential. 3 stars.*ARC provided by author for review