This is a Gem (oops wrong stone lol) of a story.
We have Solon a army a highly decorated general who fears he is nearing the end of his career, when he is sent on a diplomatic/spy job to a Emerald Mine, where it Is suspected that stones are going missing. He is not ready for retirement, though he thinks he has his future mapped out. Solon has high Morals and can be stubborn and a little grouchy.
Then we also have Temaj, a concubine of Viceroy Abasi. Temaj, is a flirty, feisty intelligent young man. He may not be a free man, but he knows he has it easier than a lot of concubines. His master is mostly kind, and he wants for nothing. As for being a Concubine, he is good at sex and mostly enjoys his work. So yes, things could be a lot worse for him.
And then we have the main suspect for the missing stones Viceroy Abasi himself. A quirky man, that seems friendly and hospitable but there is something odd about him.
This is an exciting mystery and suspense read, As Solon digs deeper and deeper into the missing emeralds.
But it is the two main characters that really bring the story to life. Each from a very different world from the other. Yet they mesh perfectly. Solon is constantly amazed by Temaj’s quick thinking and intellect. But has difficulty with Temaj being gifted to him for the period of his stay.
The banter and flirty between them, well mostly Temaj’s flirting, makes this an enjoyable fun read. He is the half full glass to Solon’s often half empty glass.
The sex is sizzling, the action is exciting, and the characters are solidly developed as is the story world.
This is the fourth book in the Immortal Jewels series, and probably one of the best so far.