The Official Description: Dr. Aristotle Campbell is a desperate man. His twin brother has been abducted, and Ari will do anything to find him. Forced out of the comfortable solitude of his laboratory, Ari must leave their home world of Britannia and search the farthest reaches of space for his other half. He hastily equips himself with a flawlessly tied cravat, a handful of clues, and his small science vessel. Now, all he needs is a pilot to get him across the Verge, a barrier separating the civilized world from ungoverned space.
Pilot Orin Stone is a desperate man. No ship, no pay, no prospects. He spends his days barely scraping by in the rough colonies lining the Verge interior. When he gets an offer from a frantic, upper-crust professor in need of a pilot, he has no choice but to take the job. He just can’t believe it when the professor turns out to be the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen and that his offer includes a ship of Orin’s own. If Orin can keep his heart (and other portions of his anatomy) from leaping every time sweet, innocent Dr. Campbell looks at him, this should be his easiest job yet.
Rugged Orin and aristocratic Ari work together to navigate the lawless areas of space beyond the Verge, soon discovering that they work well together in all areas. Their immediate and intense attraction to one another is an obstacle to their plans that neither saw coming. More than sparks will fly when they break through the force field and enter restricted space, all alone together for the perilous journey, leaving barriers to their growing attachment far behind.
In their search across the stars, can two desperate men find their home in one another?
Just the facts: M/M romance, space, and adventure
When Aristotle goes off in search of his twin he begins an epic journey into love and danger. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: Restricted is the first book I’ve read by A.C. Thomas. This is the first book in a series (I’m unsure of the series length), that features Dr. Aristotle Campbell. When he discovers that his twin brother is missing, Ari seeks out a pilot to take him across the verge. Hot on his brother’s trail, Ari faces violence, intrigue, and danger… he also comes face to face with his own desires.
The future world created by Thomas is a bit of a mixed bag. Ari and his twin, Theo come from an academic setting. The pilot Ari engages to help him in his search comes from a very different world. Orin was raised in a brothel. He’s rough and ready, prepared for violence, and always trying to think one step ahead of the people around him.
The differences between the two main characters and their upbringings provide a lot of the conflict in the book. Ari has a lot of skills, but most of them don’t serve him well once he leaves home. Orin becomes a needed ally at the same time as he becomes a source of attraction.
Ari is buttoned up, proper, and intelligent. He just can’t pilot a ship so he’s unable to take off after his missing brother on his own. His character is lovely: likable, intelligent, a bit clumsy. One of the striking things about Ari is his devotion to his twin. The moment he thinks that Theo may be in danger he charges forward to attempt to find him. For someone who has never lived a life of adventure, Ari takes to it quite well. He has moments of sheer terror but always seems to be able to summon up some bravery when it’s needed.
As Ari explores a physical relationship with Orin, he begins to become emotionally involved. It’s clear early on that Ari hasn’t explored his sexual identity much and he does so with Orin. As their mission becomes closer to its end, Ari has to face the idea that he has forged a connection with Orin that he doesn’t want to end.
There’s not a lot of work-building in this novel. There are certainly a lot of details about the ships, and the places the characters visit that I would have liked to see expanded upon. There is a bit of POV switching which was a nice way of rounding out Orin’s character.
This book sits closer to the erotica side of things. There’s a plot but it’s not an overly-detailed one. Much of the time the two characters are getting to know each other physically. I’m looking forward to the second book in the series. From the teaser I read, it looks as though it’s going to be Theo’s story!
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) violence, forced confinement, sexual harassment, injury, blood
I received an ARC of Restricted: The Verge 1 by A.C. Thomas from Ninestar press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.