Beauty is only space deep
Taken from the only family she has ever known on planet Vaaden, and forced into slavery as a young girl, Rena has no knowledge of her human origins. Given as a gift to a Zelthranite officer, her damaged body incites only pity from Commander Ryx, who in turn charges his lieutenant Beren with her safekeeping. Having long abandoned any hope of a suitable mate, the battle-scarred and disfigured Beren soon finds a kindred spirit in the fragile and mistreated Rena. Can two damaged souls of vastly different species find beauty and healing beyond their beastly exteriors?
I was delighted to discover that this story is a continuation of an earlier-reviewed installment of this series, Jennifer and the Alien Badass. Jennifer and Siril's relationship lay the groundwork for this saga, and happily make a reappearance near the end of this book. Again I am struck by the juxtaposition of futuristic high tech vs age-old human struggles; unthinkable that slavery should still exist in societies advanced enough for space travel, but there it is. I guess some things take longer to transcend above than others. The writing itself is straightforward and easy to read but by the same token lacks inspiration or interesting vocabulary. In spite of that, I love this series for its exploration of the not-so-perfect hero and heroine, whose physical deformities affect but do not define them, and allow them the pursuit of love, happiness, and a hopeful future.
Equally enjoyable is the gentle but steadily growing attraction between Beren and Rena, their progression from strangers to lovers happening in a sweet and natural way, yet leading to Nova-magnitude hot sex--several times! If you're looking for alien encounters of the sexy kind', this book will definitely get your ticket on the rocket to interspecies intimacy punched and validated!!
Love at the End of the World ...
On a future Earth, 38-yr-old single mom Jennifer Montgomery has resigned herself to making do, living her life solely to raise daughter Lila, and abandoning any thoughts of personal or career happiness. But Jennifer's narrow world blows apart as the spoiled Lila turns 18 and disappears, presumably to another planet. She'll do anything to get her back, even attacking a Terran Station official for information on her daughter's whereabouts.
Enter Siril, Zelthrane3's most notorious warrior and defender, battle scarred and missing a few body parts, but intrigued by the hotheaded Jennifer, whom he offers his help in finding Lila only on the condition Jennifer accepts him as a mate.
While it's a bit sad to think women will still have these struggles x-number of decades into the future, the parental instinct will never die. The heartbreak and frustration Jennifer feels at the loss of her daughter is completely relatable. Putting herself last is another all-too familiar theme of parenthood, and it is nice to see Jennifer gradually let go, give in to the advances of Siril and accept pleasure for herself. Also a nice change, the noble Siril comes across as sexy and desirable in spite of his age, battle scars and prosthetic parts. (This reader could do nicely with a Siril on the scene!)
However, as the two grow closer (and engage in some unconventional sex that will get your hormones firing on all thrusters), we are left wondering what has become of Lila. Told in beautifully simple language, you will have to read this story for yourself to find out. But seeing Jennifer find lasting love along the journey to finding her only child is happy ending enough for any reader, no matter which planet you read it on!