Jacob Dawes has every reason to be wary of anyone in authority. He should be miles away from the Emperor of half the galaxy, not in his bed.

The social rules of the Empire are simple, one should never aspire above his place. Jacob should never have seen the world outside the slums he was born into. But when his scientific genius is discovered, he’s brought to the Imperial Intellectual Complex. His brilliance will fuel the future of The Empire.

The Empire may want him, in spite of his origins, but the scientists and scholars at The Complex don’t. Jacob beats them at their own game by making groundbreaking discoveries in the study of physics and securing his place at The Complex.

The Emperor himself notices and has Jacob brought to the palace — the last place Jacob wants to be. To Jacob’s surprise they become friends. To his astonishment they become lovers. And though he’d really prefer not to, Jacob falls in love with him.

Jacob is right to be wary. The status obsessed crowd around the Emperor would happily push Jacob out of an airlock. He’s just given them a great opportunity and now even the man he loves may not be able to save him from execution.