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REVIEW

"Enthralling Tale of Mature Romance among the Stars"

No doubt you've heard of someone who has had a near death experience, whose spirit has hovered outside their body while waiting for a higher authority to determine their fate. If indeed there are beings living elsewhere in the universe, perhaps there is a common place where these spirits await the verdict. If so, is it so hard to believe that two spirits from different worlds could connect there and draw the two worlds together? Susan Grant's second novel, THE STAR KING, makes one believe in the possibility.

Lt. Jasmine Boswell, her fighter jet spinning out of control, unexpectedly shot down in the no-fly-zone over Saudi Arabia, has only one thought as her consciousness fades -- eject or die. When she comes to, she isn't altogether certain she hasn't gone straight to heaven.

In another desert, on another world, Romlijhian B'kah is fighting a desperate battle. Sharron, the leader of a fanatic cult, is determined to find bliss in the Ever After and plans to take the rest of the living world with him. Rom and his small band of followers are the only thing that stand between them and the annihilation of the universe. The worst part is that no one else believes him. Eleven thousand years prior, a battle had taken place that was so heinous that the rulers of the eight worlds had laid down their weapons and proclaimed a permanent peace. It has become beyond their imagination that anyone would ever choose to disturb this state. It is even more unthinkable that Rom, as heir to one of the eight, would himself become a warrior.

The battlefield is Balkanor, the rumor that the fanatic has created an anti-matter bomb that would destroy the universe. The cult has already shocked Rom with it's treatment of their women. In his world women are revered, but the cultists have turned them into breeding machines, destroying them once their function is completed. It is upon landing there that Rom finds himself in an untenable dilemma. On the planet he finds his younger and only brother trapped helpless within the wreckage of his star fighter, and Rom's chances of catching the enemy unaware is rapidly slipping away. His brother makes the decision for him, the good of the many over the needs of the one. Rom promises to come back for him but as he turns away, the ship explodes. Rom's world explodes as well. He sustains a serious injury from the blast which tears a rent in his protective suit, allowing radiation to invade his body. Rom, realizing that his ability to perform to produce future heirs is slipping away, and with his only brother dead, prays for death as well. But it is not to be, or is it? An angel appears to him. A beautiful women like none he has ever seen. In his world all are fair, but this woman has hair the color of deepest space and she will not let him slip away to the afterworld. Just when he thinks he's found heaven, she is taken away. There is only one thing left to do, destroy his enemy and return home. This he does, but upon return he finds that his one moment of heavenly bliss has cost him everything. Rejected by his father and his people, he buries his pain and becomes an independent trader of goods.

It is a huge fall for one born to rule, but is an occupation in which he isn't forced to care, about himself or anyone else. Abandoned one time too many, he vows never to do so again.

This changes when his people discover a primitive planet which has an abundance of an item, scarce in the universe, more precious than gold --- salt! It also contains the one woman who has never quite left his dreams, the one he blames for his nightmare, the angel who saved his life, touched his soul, and left him to suffer.

It is nineteen years, a bad marriage, and two children later, when Jasmine learns of the exciting developments. At last Earth has been contacted by alien beings. She hasn't felt so alive since her days as a fighter pilot.

I have not been so enthralled with a sci-fi piece since the first time I heard a rebroadcast of 'War of the Worlds'. Chills went up my spin as the news was announced that Earth had been contacted by another race of beings.

The aliens are human in appearance but speak a language that Jas has heard only in her dreams. Jas is stunned when the unforgettable golden man of that long ago dream appears on screen. But Jas doesn't believe in magic or men anymore, she's been hurt too much. The opportunity to travel in space though, now that's one that is just too good to pass up. Her mystery man has been denied trading rights by his own people and has been ordered to vacate the planet. It's now or never for Jas, and she formulates a plan to stowaway on that ship.

Every black-haired, female Earth dweller has reminded Rom of his Balkanor angel but none are 'the one'. His friends have tried to convince him that she was indeed the figment of a delirious mind. Then came the woman bearing salt! Will he throttle her for the fate she has sentenced him to, or hold her close never again to let go? Can Jas let the pain of her past go and learn to trust again?

I loved this story. Ms. Grant captures the excitement of an alien landing, the obsessive mind of the cult leader and his fanatic followers, and the passion of two people for whom there is no one else in all the universe. Though the pair face grave danger, the author adds just enough humor, through her side characters, to even things out.

Rom is indeed a perfect hero as the line states. He is the kind of men women dream of, he reveres women, practically puts them on a pedestal. While Jas is ashamed of her stretch-marks, Rom worships them as a sign of the great distinction of bearing children. What could be more precious? But modern women want to be a partner as well and Rom readily accepts Jas' abilities, and though his instincts might be to protect her at all costs, they fight the threat to their worlds flying side by side. He adores her, her respects her, he loves her with all his heart, so much so that he knows that even death will not separate them. And she does the same for him. What more can you ask for in a romance? Highly recommended.

Before I forget, by now you've no doubt realized that Jas is a mature woman (I love that!), her children are grown twins, a son and a daughter. Her son, Ian Hamilton, appears in Star King and would make a wonderful hero. Look for him in the sequel entitled THE STAR PRINCE coming to us in 2001.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 2, 2001

SUMMARY

Haunted by a magical encounter in the desert after her jet was shot down, ex-fighter pilot Jas Hamilton is determined to discover why dreams of the mysterious golden-eyed man have derailed her life. When the two find each other after twenty years, they rekindle a passionate attraction.

Author Interview

 

The Star King
(Star: Book 1)
by Susan Grant

Love Spell (Perfect Heroes)
December 1, 2000
Available: December 1, 2000
ISBN #0505524139
EAN #9780505524133
368 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Susan Grant

Sureblood
The Warlord's Daughter
Mysteria Lane
Moonstruck
How To Lose An Extraterrestrial in 10 Days
Bewitched, Bothered & BeVampyred, Season 2: Fangs Again
My Favorite Earthling
Your Planet or Mine?
Mysteria
Bewitched, Bothered & BeVampyred: Season 1
The Scarlet Empress
The Legend of Banzai Maguire
The Star Princess
The Only One
Contact
A Mother's Way
The Star Prince
Once a Pirate


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