Title: Nature of the Beast
Series: Outside the City, #1
Author: Amylea Lyn
Genre: Paranormal Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from author
Published: August 2012 by Silver Publishing
The City is a cold, sterile place. What lies Outside it?
Raine O'Kelly has a gift. The very power of nature is his to command. When his gift lands him in trouble with the government, Raine find himself thrown into The Prison; one of the most feared punishments for those citizens who won't conform to The City's ideals.
Abused, scared, and slowly dying of deprivation from the one thing his body truly needs, an accident lands him in the infirmary, which leads him to be given to The Prison’s most feared inmate… The Beast.
When The Beast defends him from the guards, Raine finds himself inexplicably drawn to the misunderstood man. A man with unique abilities of his own, the Beast’s animalistic desires form a connection between them that cannot be denied. When he learns The Beast comes from Outside the City, is Raine willing to take the chance on escape with the mysterious man?
Escape won't be easy, and there are dangers waiting for them on The Outside, ready to strike at the fragile relationship between the two men. When The Beast’s past comes to light, will Raine be able to put aside his own fears in order to fight for the life the two of them could have together? Or will he fold under the pressure?
Will he get his happily ever after?
Or will he become just another victim of the Nature of the Beast?
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: This book captured my attention within the first 20 pages and held my attention the entire time. Excellent world building combined with an emotional and sexy MM romance makes this a high recommend.
The Set Up: Raine grew up in the oppressive City, where government monitors all its homogenized citizens. Raine can commune with plants, a grave crime in the concrete City. He’s sent to Prison where he’s abused until he’s thrown into the Beast’s den. The Beast is also a prisoner but one unlike any Raine has seen. These two unlikely men are drawn together but escape from the Prison may not be possible, let alone life outside the City.
Why I Read this Book: I’m always on the hunt for paranormal MM romance and this dystopian world of the City appealed to my conspiracy paranoia.
What I Liked: I knew by page 20 that I was going to love this world and the book. The oppressive City is extremely well described and perfectly creepy with its big-brother drones and sinister guards. The juxtaposition of this sterile world with Raine’s lush plant power is brilliant and very well written. I don’t want to talk too much about the second half of the book because it may spoil the first half but suffice it to say all the world building is well constructed and kept my picky-pants attention.
What I Also Liked: As great as the world building is here, this is a romance and what a romance it is! Raine is a compelling character that I wanted to see live a meaningful life, especially after he suffers such abuse in Prison. The Beast, Ash, is a perfect mix of strength and vulnerability and readers will love seeing him grow emotionally as he connects with Raine. Their romance is certainly sexy but heartwarmingly emotional, which for me is more important. I’m a sucker for a couple who battle the world around them to stay together in a world they build for themselves and this is exactly what I got in Raine and Ash’s romance.
I also like the secondary characters here. Again, can’t say too much about them since it may ruin the book’s second half but the moment I was done with this book I was looking for the next so I could read the secondary characters’ stories.
What I Didn’t Like: This book has an extremely well imagined world and a tender and heartfelt romance so the ending irritated me since it employs an over-used romance convention. Raine and Ash fight everything to be together and then at the end Raine overhears something that makes him run from Ash. I was like, WHAT?! Nut-uh, I didn’t buy that a guy strong enough to fight the entire world for Ash and his love would suddenly run away because he overheard something. Yes, on the surface it would be crushing but it seemed out of the romance’s character that Raine wouldn’t talk to Ash first. Up to this point their romance was mature and this just didn’t fit with it, in my opinion. Still, I get that this leads to the plot conclusion but I can’t help wishing the author accomplished this in another way. To be fair, I’m likely comparing this little detail to the extremely high quality of the rest of the book and it’s just coming up a tad short.
IMO: An outstanding MM romance set in a great dystopian world. Highly recommend, even with the ending not quite living up to the same high caliber as the rest of the book.