Popular Highlights

Continuing the series of popular highlights from my kindle readers – another of Vell’s POV chapters from Prince for Sale. What I am getting from this is that you all like Vell’s POV!

Vell spat on the ground, smiling through bloody teeth. “I am Warprize-Thrall Vell. David Thomen of Earth is my master. He has not abandoned me.”
Outside the gates, David smiled grimly. “No, he hasn’t,” he said to the air around him, “No he hasn’t. Just hang on a little longer, baby. I’m coming.”

I love it when Vell says that line, when he claims his identity as David’s slave not because he is forced to, not with any reluctance or shame, but with conviction, with knowledge that it is true. David is his master, and that bond goes both ways, David has responsibilities to him, and Vell knows that he will fulfill them.

Remember back at the trading hall, when David had to chain Vell to the post and leave him there?

Concerned, David stepped closer. “Vell, I’m not going to sell you.”
Vell choked on a laugh, eyes wide, breath coming fast, “My own father sold me,” he said. “And my mother let it happen. And I am chained to a display post in the trading hall. You can make me no promises, Master.”
David leaned in, placing a soft kiss on Vell’s jaw, slipping the key to the cuffs into the pocket of Vell’s tunic as he did so. “Trust me,” he said. “Trust me. I won’t let you down.”

Yeah, that bit. David told Vell to trust him, and when it counted, when Vell is kidnapped and caged and tortured in the heart of the impenetrable forge, Vell does trust that David is coming for him.

*my heart*

Popular Highlights

I recently realized that the kindle versions of my books shows the most popular passages that readers have highlighted. As an author, it’s wonderful to see what lines really resonated, so I am going to go through the popular highlights and share some secrets and thoughts about each of them.

Up first, the most popular highlight of book one – Prince for Sale, this extract from Vell’s point of view chapter “A Glimmer of Hope in the Dark.”

What Hreidmar had had from him through cruelty, David Thomen was likely to get through kindness. His compliance, his obedience, his service, the use of his body. Vell found himself willing to give those things to his master, should he want them. Even though it was merely the novelty of gentle treatment that was making him think such things, still he thought them. He should hold back, he should not trust the man, but it was hard to resist. The gifts he gave him, to eat with him from the same table, to speak to him as an equal, to enjoy his conversation, to make him a drink with his own hands. They were small things, yes, but each one of them reminded Vell that he was a person; he was a person, not just a thing to be used. And Vell was hungry for that. He needed it.

I loved writing this whole chapter. It’s the second of Vell’s POV chapters, and in contrast to the first of his POV chapters “A Bloody Spear, A Promise of Rescue” where he is thinking only about tactical survival – how to get food, how to avoid punishment, how to please David – in this one he is starting to think more strategically. He is trying to understand why David is treating him kindly, trying to plan ahead with what truths to reveal and what to try and keep hidden, and trying to understand and control his own emotional reactions. He knows how dangerous it is for him to let his guard down and trust his master, but at the same time, he is so desperate for that connection that it’s overwhelming his defenses and it is almost impossible to resist.

This chapter is a turning point chapter for Vell, alone with his thoughts while David is sleeping beside him. He is aware that David is not like his previous owner, and still not like anyone he knew on Otharn either. He certainly does not love him at this point, it is far too early for that, but despite his best efforts he cannot stamp out that little spark of hope – perhaps one day he may regain his freedom.

Do you have a favorite passage or chapter? Let me know in the comments and I will give you the lowdown.

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