Reading Assignment Challenge: Then Englor Affair by JL Langley
In hiding who he was, Payton found himself and the man he would grow to love. After his brother is kidnapped, Prince Payton Townsend masquerades as an Admirals assistant in order to track the culprits through the tangled mysteries of the planet Englor. He finds way more than he bargained for in the form of Marine Colonel Simon Hollister. Simon is no ordinary soldier. He's heir to Englor and his life is mapped out for him: throne, bride and eventually an heir. He never expected a dalliance with Payton to blossom into love, or that the organization that taught him to lead would threaten that love and their lives. Danger and intrigue abound as they learn more about their shared enemy, and about each other. What they learn could help them rise above to an enduring love or pull them apart.
What fun! I really loved this one from start to finish...Payton and Simon are great characters on their own, but together they really shine. Payton has accompanied Nate to Englor to try to break the encryption on a message retrieved from those believed to be working against the Regelence royal family. There are a lot of questions that Payton and Nate are trying to answer: Who on Englor was working against Regelence? What do they want? What are they going to do next?
Payton takes on an undercover disguise as a Lieutenant in the Intergalactic Navy and his job is to break into the secure computers on the Naval base and retrieve any data that might give them answers. He is nervous and excited about his role...being in line for the royal throne on Regelence means that Payton has always had to have a chaparone and his freedoms on Englor are both eye-opening and nerve-wracking. When he first goes to the gym to try to get gossip on the heir to Englor's throne (and an officer in the Englor Marines who work with the IN) he can't believe that there are naked men just walking around the locker room...and then he spies a red-headed Adonis and has a new "rising" problem, ahem.
Simon is worried because the spy he had placed on Regelence has been out of contact for a very long time. He knows there are problems going on and he believes his mother to be in the thick of them...he just doesn't know exactly who wants what or why. To add to the stress, he is a gay man on a planet where it is frowned upon and his mother is also leading the charge in Parliament to establish morality laws targeting homosexuals. When Simon first lays eyes on Payton, he is intrigued. He determines to find out more about the man and soon the two are working out together and then as they begin to trust in each other, they realize they are both investigating the same people and they begin working together.
Simon has a lot of stresses as both the heir to Englor's throne and Payton is one of the few who can really understand what the position entails (even though Simon is unaware of who Payton is for a very long time--even after they start working together). The demands on him as a royal increase partway through the book and then he and Payton get caught in a compromising circumstance. With all of these pressures on both men, how can they sustain a healthy relationship? Watching them figure that out was both wonderful and heart-wrenching. At the end of it all, I really believe that the two of them will successfully lead Englor while enjoying each other and their friends and family.