The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski

Kestrel is the seventeen year old daughter of a General, and is of the people of Valorian. The Valorian's revel in war and enslaves those it conquers. The Herrani people have been defeated in battle with the Valorian's and are now powerless by the invisible chains of slavery. The Valorian's coveted what the Herrani's had, so they took it.

Valorian's encourage both sons and daughters alike to join the military, and in this empire you have two choices. Marry by the age of twenty, or join the military.
Kestrel mistakenly stumbles upon a slave auction one day while out and about with her friend, Jess. The young male slave being auctioned off sparks something in her soul, and hardly believing her own actions she outbids all other bids and comes out the winner.
From there a romance slowly starts to develop.
I can't tell you more then that because I decided to not continue reading. I am 138 pages in and it still is not holding my attention. I keep finding myself comparing my read pages to my unread pages to see how much more I have to read yet. The answer is too much. It's not the writing as much as it is the story. Going in I did not realize that this book is essentially a romance with just the slightest mention of past wars taking place in the background. I hear that the second book excels this one, but I do not think that I will go forward with this trilogy. The characters in general just felt void of all personality, the romantic aspect overruling all other aspects of the book, and the story just inching along.
Did not finish