Velasin vin Aaro never planned to marry at all, let alone a girl from neighboring Tithena. When an ugly confrontation reveals his preference for men, Vel fears he's ruined the diplomatic union before it can even begin. But while his family is ready to disown him, the Tithenai envoy has a different solution: for Vel to marry his former intended's brother instead.
What emerges is a complex portrait of love and recovery focused mainly on one character. Caethari Aeduria is the hard-bodied cinnamon roll that every romance novel needs, yet it is Velasin who holds our attention. The survivor of a viciously homophobic parent culture and brutal mistreatment from loved ones, Velasin has a past that will be sadly relatable to many readers. But his will to live and his profound emotional intelligence are also familiar, and it is Velasin’s refusal to surrender to despair or hate that gives the book its title.
... unfolds on two plot lines: the very sweet romance between Val and his husband-to-be and the very bloody political intrigue that erupts due to objections to the political alliance their marriage represents. Overall excellent and I highly recommend it.