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The Prince He Loved

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Prince Raphael d’Alleven flees for his life after his family is murdered and the government of Alleven is taken over. Exhausted and unable to find a way off world, Raphael literally runs into his best hope for salvation: a genetically engineered soldier named Hadrian Ice. Ice hadn’t planned on taking service with anyone, but understanding the predicament Raphael finds himself in, Ice is unable to turn him away.

With bounty hunters on their trail and Vicount Alfonso Macchoine, scion of the House responsible for the coup, joining the hunt, it will take all of their combined skills to restore the government of Alleven to its rightful ruler, Raphael’s missing twin sister, Raphaella. As long as they don’t get killed first.

258 pages, ebook

First published July 30, 2013

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About the author

Michael Barnette

64 books67 followers
Multipublished author of erotic romances, mostly in ebook format, many of which are gay (m/m, yaoi) erotic romances though he also writes m/f and menage. He writes in multiple genres--scifi, fantasy, mystery, paranormal and horror--and often blends them into new and interesting forms.

FYI: My domain was hijacked and I'm in the process of finding a hosting service and making a new site. Please bear with me as I'm also moving in the next two months. (31st August 2015)

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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
Profile Image for Nikyta.
1,411 reviews255 followers
August 14, 2016
This review can be found at The Blog of Sid Love.

When his family is massacred, Prince Raphael d’Alleven barely escapes with his life. Forced on the run, he’s exhausted, hungry and in pure terror while trying to get himself off world to get help from the Coalition of Worlds but with dozens of mercenaries looking for him, it’s almost impossible. Lucky for him, he runs into Hadrian Ice, the Augustus Regnant to the Hell’s Gate Clan Hellstorm, a world that creates genetically enhanced soldiers. With Hadrian’s help, Raphael can finally get off world and do something about the Pretenders taking over his rightful position. With so many roadblocks in their way and so many people looking to kill them, will Raphael be able to reclaim his throne or will everything he’s going through be for nothing?

First I want to say that I really loved this story. I was simply captivated by the world that the author created. It’s complex but at the same time simple and, for me, easy to follow. I liked that there were so many different worlds out there with different levels of advancement and especially that we got to see them. The scenarios that Hadrian and Raphael got themselves into, kept my attention throughout the whole book and I loved the fact that we got to see it all. I also liked the fact that we got to see most of the fights they were forced into.

As to the characters, Raphael is definitely a mystery. At first, I thought he was this weak, spoiled prince who didn’t know how to do anything besides run. Over the course of the book, you slowly start to see his true self, what he’s been trained to do, how strong he is both inside and out and ultimately how much he develops character-wise while still maintaining his good heart. It was definitely something I enjoyed to see unfold over the whole story. I liked seeing how much Raphael affected Ice but also seeing how Ice handled things. I found the fact that he was this super soldier simply fascinating; he’s complex but has a sense of honor that I really liked knowing about. More than that, I loved seeing the development between Raphael and Ice and how they got themselves out of some situations that I thought for sure was the end for them. It was sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always held my attention.

My only issue with the story was that there was a bit too much sex for my liking but I still have a few unanswered questions such as what exactly do the marks on Ice’s face mean? But more than that, I wish we had learned more about Ice’s culture and his people. There are some references to it and we do get to see more of his people but Raphael’s culture definitely outshined Ice’s so I was constantly left curious about Hell’s Gate. Did Ice still have parents? How does being the Augustus work? It would be awesome to get deeper into the Hells Gate world so I’m hoping there might be a sequel one day that would let us experience more of this world especially since I think it would be great to see Ice and Raphael after everything has settled down, where they decide to live and to explore more of Raphael’s abilities.

All in all, this was a great book. I adored the world but I also loved the characters. It had a good amount of suspense, action, romance and the world to make this an interesting one and combined with the well-written story it turned out to be a very well done book. I hope there’s more to come of characters in this world because I’d love to explore it more in the future!
Profile Image for Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews.
1,206 reviews43 followers
July 31, 2013
4 1/2 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Raphael finds himself fleeing for his life when a coup is staged against his family, his entire family has been wiped out and the only way he can survive is to get off world and find his sister Raphaella. With mercenaries and bounty hunters dogging his heels Raphael literally runs into his salvation: a genetically engineered soldier named Hadrian Ice, hiring Ice brings to him more than just regaining the Throne. Ice isn’t looking to be hired but having a beautiful young man begging for his aid has Ice agreeing to protect him, all Ice has to do is get Raphael off world and to the Council of Worlds. But, Ice discovers something he never thought possible and is reluctant to let the Prince go.

This is a brilliant science fiction story of a political coup, power hungry madmen, running for freedom and finding love in unexpected circumstances. Raphael is a prince and has many secrets, he has just watched his father being murdered and he has had to run knowing that he faces a similar fate. He has no intention of staying gone though, the people responsible will be made to pay, but first he needs aid from the Council of Worlds and then to find his sister Raphaella. Running into Ice is his blessing as he hires the Soldier to get him to safety but he never reckoned on the attraction he would feel for the man. Ice hides many facts from Raphael as he helps the beautiful young man, he will do all within his power to see the young man get his birth right back but the powerful attraction he feels for Raphael is one he cannot ignore.

I loved this story, it has a wealth of detail that isn’t too heavy and is easy to follow. The storyline is brilliant and we get to know the characters well, Raphael is a lot more than he first seems and Ice also develops into more than a simple Soldier. Together they make a fantastic team, in both dangerous and sensual situations. The science fiction aspect is wonderfully done with simple explanations that still give us a wealth of detail, the coup is carried out excellently with us getting glimpses into the minds of those that carried it out.

The relationship between Raphael and Ice is given to us in great detail so we can see exactly what both men are thinking and feeling, and we can also understand why they both hold back on admitting their feelings. The two men are hot together, their love is much more than just physical. I liked the fact that the coup didn’t overshadow their relationship and that the relationship didn’t overshadow the coup, it was blended together perfectly giving us a brilliant story of both love and adventure.

I recommend this to those that love science fiction love stories, hot capable men, danger and madmen, seeking justice and discovering the love of your life.
Profile Image for multitaskingmomma.
1,359 reviews43 followers
August 9, 2013
Original Blog Post: http://headouttheoven.blogspot.com/20...

I first encountered Michael Barnette through his Dragon and Fenyx books and since then have been on the lookout for more releases. His stories, at first glance of the blurbs, read much too formulaic but those of us who do read him find he has a uniqueness in terms of writing style.

The Prince He Loved is a great example of a formulaic plot of protagonists and antagonists. After reading the first few chapters, the readers are going to conclude that the plot is as formulaic as it can get. However, it is soon apparent that there is a difference in the manner of storytelling. He not only writes with great character and plot development, but he also manages to draw his readers deeper into the tale by involving the antagonists and the other minor characters into the mix in more than the usual formula.

One good example of the depth of character development in the main antagonist, Vicount Alfonso Macchoine. He is a egotistical and sad character, lost in his own delusions of grandeur to the demise of the ruling family scion and most of the relatives and staff. He also manages to attempt to make moves on the d'Alleven politics by installing his brothers and purported coup supporters who have to kowtow to his every whim despite their knowledge and realization of the man's insanity. His was a fantastic read.

As for the two main characters, these two men actually meet, get attracted to one another, but go through the whole process of getting to know the other before taking their relationship to the next level. They both focus on the problem at hand, how to counter the Macchione move, and one way is when Ice decides to train and hone the skills of Raphael. In this process, Raphael perfects his role as the young prince that he had been brought up to be. Of course many would expect lots of tango in the sheets or some garrish angsts that are the expected twists, but no. Author Michael Barnette does not fluff his tale with unnecessary twists, turns and sexually-based-emos that only manage to get the forward button or page turned at the fastest rate possible. The readers have to read through the whole page and the succeeding pages or they miss out on the maze of politicizing Alfonso and other dirty politicos get into to get their hands on the crown of Alleven. Raphael and Ice manage to weave their way through that maze and along the way, their budding romance start to tickle the readers but never take them to the erotic path.

The Prince He Loved is not that fast paced, it is not too long a read to be considered a full length epic novel, neither is it a short read that one could pick up now and fling off to be forgotten in the next hour. This is a book that makes the readers moan the pace could be a tad slow. However, having said that, it is also apparent that this build up is paced just right to make sure the readers do not skim off towards the end. The way I read it, it felt like the story came in waves of ebbs and highs. There were times I felt the lows were just too long and then find the lows went lower, and then there were times when I felt the highs peaked too much. Honestly, it was quite exhausting to read this as this story contained so many political moves - and politics personally exhaust me. Then again, it was quite exciting to see the plot moving at a fast rate and trying to predict what the next political move would be.

I know, I am confusing you readers, I am just trying to make you all realize that I found reading this a bit tasking at times but it was a very enjoyable tasking process. It was also quite strange to get addicted to this story despite its peaks and lows, and just like any addiction, it was hard to put down.

This is a book not for those who want to have a quick read, neither is this the type for those who want to imagine romping within the sheets of these science fiction fantasy men. I would say the heat ratio would be around a 2 out of 5 and that is quite low. The story was fantastic though, it did not show us a weakling, whinging, submissive or hide-behind-the-back-hero-mate in Raphael. Ice is not the I-am-alpha-do-what-I-say type either. Alfonso was a deluded Napoleonic type of man and was very believable in his delusions.

Overall, I may have sighed and stomped my feet a few times but I must rate this high: 5 Stars. I totally enjoyed this and if I get to ask the author a question it would be: could we have more of Marcus if there is a second book? Please?
Profile Image for GayListBookReviews.
472 reviews53 followers
September 8, 2013
Loved this book! It had action, adventure, sword-fighting, duels, treachery, romance, space travel, a vision of possible future worlds and cultures, genetically engineered super humans, kick ass fighters and just a whole lot of awesome.

I like an epic storyline. I really enjoy a complicated journey in a well crafted world. I love a hot romance where the men are tough yet sweet and can’t help falling in love. I like a story that can get me smiling and hot, sometimes in the same scene. This story had all of that and so much more.

Raphael is a fantastic mc. Innocently seductive, intelligent, sweet, vulnerable, strong, independent, capable, and unimpressed with his own stunning beauty. He can kick ass and fight his own battles yet he is able to look to and respect Ice in and out of the bedroom. His growth through the story was so much fun and so wonderful to witness. He had been through so much already when he finds Ice, who saves him and helps him to find himself. I adored that he was no helpless whiner who wrung his hands in the corner as the big man fought his battle. He was an asset and saved Ice when needed as well.

Their dynamic and the respect and care that they showed each other was beautiful. The heat between them was palpable and I was so glad when they finally gave in to it. They were breathtaking together. This book is worth reading for the happy naked scenes alone.

Ice was just, wow! He was the consummate Alpha male, he had actually been genetically engineered to be one. He was so sweet and tender with Raphael from the very beginning. I loved that even though he is a hardcore fighter he wasn’t harsh or cruel or oblivious. He wasn’t a thug or all brawn, but was instead a Soldier of the highest order. He was everything that Raphael needed and deserved.

The world building in this was very cool and totally fun. I loved the detail and the scenes that were painted for us. It was an interesting mix of cultures and eras spread over many planets and I had a great time experiencing their universe with these delectable men.

I recommend this book to all of you guys that love an epic journey into the future with men who try to right wrongs and save the day as they fall in love.

Reviewed by Nina
Profile Image for Kristy Maitz.
2,502 reviews
August 15, 2013
Michael Bernette done really great work with his book. Story plot if really full and pulling. Both main characters are unique and reading goes very smoothly.

But still I have few negative pointers like:
- I did not feel the passion between main characters and if Ice couldn't gave Raphael what he wanted or rather needed he would not stay with Ice even if he loved him. So I was not convinced about there love,
- compare to the whole story ending did not felt right,
- what happened to all of Alonso's brother is unknown all what reader gets is knowledge that whole Macchione family were exiled.

I had really great time reading that book.

Profile Image for Trip [Laura H].
602 reviews19 followers
April 20, 2020
This one ended up being rather unexpected in my enjoyment of the plot along with the amount of world building, it truly grabbed me from the start and I loved learning about all of the little details so much.

I adored Raphael and Ice from the start, the alternating povs were fun along with all the reveals throughout that were awesome and the amount of action scenes here are incredible. The romance is pretty quick, sweet and soft with all of the chemistry yet it seemed fitting to these two and their historys along with the circumstances so i loved it!

Although it was the story overall with all of the different worlds, genetics and the way everything flowed I just enjoyed it all so much. The journey was worth every moment from the disguises, the battles, training and all the intrigue it was just full of fascinating moments. Not to mention the alternating povs, we get not just Ice and Raphael but also the villains in Alonso, Alphonso and Amerigo which I thought was awesome. I hadn't expected that but added so much more to the story, getting to see all the different views and pieces come together was just amazing.

Overall I found this book wonderful! It surpassed my expectations and I adored the whole adventure, to that beautiful happy ending xx
Profile Image for Riayl.
1,088 reviews38 followers
December 30, 2019
Had a review written, but Internet Goblins interfered and I lost it, now I am too lazy to retype the whole thing. Over all I liked the book but there were some consistency issues that drove me mad, especially the ever changing answer to the question "does Ice know about Raphael's sister".
Profile Image for Alison.
328 reviews14 followers
September 19, 2013
Right from the start, this story captivated me. The world building was so realistic I could almost see (literally) the market, the spaceport, the ships, everything, as if I was really there. Having read Michael Barnette’s work before, I had expected a good story, but I think this is one of their best to date. The adventure is ongoing and kept me riveted all the way through, with small mysteries cropping up here and there even though some things are a given. By the time I got to the last chapters, I was both looking forward to the conclusion and dreading it at the same time. I didn’t want to finish reading, but knew it was wrapping up.

The characters were well-conceived and realistic, and I loved Raphael as a prince with theoretical training but no practice but plenty of courage when it’s required. My heart was with him the entire time, from the heartbreak of the coup (even though you don’t actually see it “on scene”), to his desperate escape and evolution to a man with confidence who is strengthened by his love for his people and sister (and, of course, eventually Hadrian).

I was briefly confused by the names of the Macchoines, with Alonso, Alphonso, and Amerigo, but that was normal for me. And the names are logical, given that the planet seems to have a tradition of similar names (as shown by Raphael and Raphaella, and their father, Raphael).

I will definitely be re-reading this story again and again. If you like adventures, science fiction, fantasy, or even just a good “justice must be served” story, I would recommend you try it. You won’t be disappointed.
854 reviews5 followers
January 8, 2016
Prince Raphael witnessed his family murdered before his very eyes and he's well aware he's next on the list. So he does the only logical thing he can - he runs. With all mercenary hunting for him escape seems a distant dream until he literally smacks into the very broad chest of one man who may help him survive. Ice, since that's his name, is a genetically engineered soldier. Much stronger and faster than any non-altered human has any hope of becoming. What's more when a Soldier enters a contract he will fight till death for his master. And it's very hard to kill a Soldier.
Profile Image for Tame.
301 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2013
4.75 Stars...wonderful story of a new world, filled with Emperors, Amazons, Generals, mercenaries, cut-throats, and a Prince of his people who is so much more than how (and who) he appears, and the mysterious Soldier he's hired in to protect him in a moment of desperation...the Strip scene was so hot, I almost self-imploded :-)
Profile Image for Meggie.
4,899 reviews
August 16, 2013
In overall, this is a fine written story by Michael Barnette. I liked both MC's but their so called love story, didn't feel sincere. A word for their love is Mechanical, it felt like that, to me at least. Their huge silent problem to hide their love from each other was so unimportant, it weakened the storyline as a whole.
I'm sure this storyline could be way better.
Profile Image for blub.
2,040 reviews
August 29, 2013
3.5 stars

The premise was interesting and the MC's were fun to learn about. The relationship development between the Raphael and Ice felt weird to me and a tad weak. I didn't feel as if they were really in love even though in appearance they seemed deeply in love. Other than that I don't have any complaints.
Profile Image for Damian Serbu.
Author 14 books113 followers
April 9, 2014
This is a really fun book to read! I loved the futuristic realms he creates in outer space, the tension of the love story, and the political circumstances that thrust the two main characters together. It's original, and that totally rocks.
Profile Image for Marsha Spence.
1,269 reviews16 followers
March 29, 2022
I really enjoyed this and will be checking out more of this authors work

2/1/2014 reread; enjoyed it as much on the reread...Would really like more of this world!
Profile Image for  ~♥ Elle ♥~.
304 reviews5 followers
August 8, 2013
Beautifully written. Loved the intrigue,action and the attraction between the MCs.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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