*I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
First of all, I would like a pat on the back for the fact that I actually spelled that series name correctly without looking it up first. But now for the actual review…
Even though I gave this 3.5 stars, I think this could easily rate higher for some people, depending on what you like.
The main issue I had was that it was questionable whether the feelings between the two men were real or just a product of the alien bonding thing that was forced onto them by the scientists. Or maybe it was more like a fated mate thing? Either way, it’s just not a trope that’s for me. It made me doubt how real their love was and took away the chance for that fun, tension-filled build-up I like.
Another smaller issue I had was that the first sex scene seemed kind of forced into the story. It didn’t seem fitting for Ryker’s character considering he’d been raped for the previous five years (though I suppose his trust and enthusiasm was explained by the bond).
That being said, the characters were still cute together. Seral was overprotective at first, but never in an alpha way; he was just worried because he knew that Ryker had been through a lot of abuse. I loved how they both respected each other and how healthy their relationship seemed once Seral got past his overprotectiveness.
The characters themselves were also enjoyable to read about, as was the whole alien race and the planet they were living on. I liked seeing the differences between our culture and that of the aliens—there was a lot of delicious-sounding food mentioned though, so take my advice and don’t read this on an empty stomach! The differences in physiology were cool too. I found it especially neat the way they communicated with vibrations rather than speech and the way they were all so fascinated with Ryker’s laughter because of how the vibration felt.
I also liked that Ryker had a lot of inner struggles to get through because of the terrible things he endured. Even after he got off the ship, the poor guy just could not get a break! The inner struggles subsided pretty quickly though, so this wasn’t a dark or heart-wrenching book, but that’s another thing that could be good or bad depending on what you like.
As for the plot, it started off slow-paced since it was focused on Ryker healing from his past and the start of his and Seral’s relationship, then around 50% it picked up and got more action-filled. So there was more than just romance, but the romance was still the focus.
In the end, even though the backstory and a few of the things that happened during the novel were heavy/dark, the story itself was still a sweet romance with a hopeful tone. Overall, I liked how caring and respectful the relationship was, the way the plot picked up, and the the alien aspect, so, despite the issues I had with the romance, I enjoyed the book!
In the distant future, humans wage war against the alien planet Caeorleia, with no tactic off-limits if it will help the humans get their hands on Caeorleia’s resources. Ask Ryker. He thought he volunteered for a simple experiment that would help his government in the war. He didn’t realize sadistic doctors would turn him into the experiment—by injecting him with blood from a captured Caeorleian, Seral Iorflas.
Nor did Ryker realize he’d be sent to sabotage a planet full of the very beings his world is battling, beings who kill humans on sight. But then, thanks to the experiment that irrevocably changed him, he isn’t exactly human any longer—and with each passing day, as his blood bond with Seral strengthens, he’s less and less sure as to whose side he’s on.
Book Author: Alicia Nordwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Series: Saving Caeorleia
Genre: LGBT, Sci-Fi Romance, Science Fiction
My Book Rating: 3.5
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series, Standalone within a Series
Setting Location: Space/Other Planets