All I Want For Christmas

Bad Boys on Board

Casey

Caught in the Act

Duets 23

Fantasy

              Gabe

I Brake For Bad Boys

In Too Deep

Jamie

Jordan

   Jude's Law

Little Miss Innocent

Morgan

Murphy's Law

        Sawyer

Say No to Joe?

Sex Appeal

Sizzle

Simon Says

Too Much Temptation

Treat Her Right

Wanton

When Bruce Met Cyn...

When Good Things Happen to Bad Boys

Wild
 

 
My Man Michael
by Lori Foster
(Berkley, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-0-425-22629-2
****
Michael “Mallet” Manchester is a Supreme BattleChampionship fighter (think mixed martial arts) on his way to the championship. Tragically, before he can get there, a brutal car accident severely damages his right leg. He is in constant pain, bedridden at the hospital and wondering what he will do now.

In the midst of his pain and misery, Kayli Raine appears to him at his bedside. Her unexpected presence has a calming effect on his surly temperament. She has a strange way of speaking, and she’s a tough lady, but he’s intensely attracted to her right from the beginning.

Kayli is the Claviger, the head of defense from a futuristic colony, and she’s asking Mallet to come back with her to act as a savior to her colony. She tells him that she will be able to have him heal en route to the colony, and he will be given a place in the hierarchy.

Mallet is intrigued by Kayli, and desperate to relieve his pain, agrees. In short order, Kayli transports him in her vessel and Mallet is amazed that he is whole, pain free and walking.  He is fascinated by the vessel and its supercomputer Hauk, and everything that’s happened in the future.

Mallet is introduced to the Council of Mavens, a women’s group that runs the colony and he meets with the Arbiter. Raemay runs the colony with a tough attitude; and no room for disobedience. She is Kayli’s mother, but keeps her at a distance and treats her coldly. Mallet also meets Kayli’s two younger sisters, vapid Idola and young Mesha.  One of the reasons the council has called for Mallet is to save the colony from a neighboring colony that has been attacking them, kidnapping their women and demanding that they sacrifice their virgins - leaving one a month to an unknown fate. Mallet is sickened by this treatment and has come up with a plan to use the men of the colony to help defend it while sending in robotic replacements for the sacrifices.

The Council has also called Mallet to form a union with one of its young ladies, so that he can be more firmly bound to the colony. As the colony lacks men, they also want him to procreate in his union to further strengthen it. Mallet is offered a room full of beautiful virgins, but he’s already in lust with Kayli and declares that he wants her.

Raemay is disgusted with the way this savior is turning out, and she doesn’t want him to take part in a union with Kayli, who is supposed to remain untouched as Claviger. She schemes to tempt Michael away with her other daughters. Meanwhile, the attacks are coming closer and another sacrificial day is looming. No one knows if Mallet’s plan will work. Kayli is in a completely unfamiliar situation and she wants to gain control, but she isn’t sure how to with the domineering Michael taking over. Kayli’s not-too-functional family is falling to pieces. She has to figure out what to do, and how to save her colony, her family and herself, from a man by whom she’s very, very tempted.

My Man Michael is a good story, based on a pretty unbelievable premise. If you can swallow the space travel, futuristic colony and sacrificial virgins, then you will really enjoy the rest of the tale.

I had a hard time at first getting through the fantastic plotline. Michael’s initial pain after the accident is very well told and I got sucked into his emotion and pain. That made it a tiny bit more believable to see how he could go along with Kayli’s crazy story when it comes into the tale.  However, his quick adjustment and enthusiasm for the future and every change that’s thrown his way just seemed hollow, false and frankly, unbelievable.That was difficult to reconcile with the rest of his character.

Once past that hump, Mallet is an earthy, alpha male hero ready to save the day and I loved him.  He can be crude, brutally honest and takes over every situation he gets in, but he’s still hot, sexy, and more real than his circumstances to be sure.

Kayli is a great character, very layered. She takes her duty to her colony seriously, is a little childishly naďve when it comes to life, and is completely thrown for a loop by Mallet’s tough ways and his steamy focus on her. It would be safe to say that Kayli never thought that the savior she sought for the colony would ever show any interest in her. Kayli  realizes her dependent relationship with her mom and sisters but is uncertain how to deal with it. She’s charming, honest and is definitely a good foil for Michael. Their chemistry is perfect. When they work together to defend the colony, teach each other new things, and as they get more intimate, their relationship grows and becomes more powerful throughout the book.

My Man Michael is a little surprising, a character-based story that grows after the initial jolt of a very unusual premise. 

--Amy Wroblewsky  


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