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REVIEW

"A futuristic romance that evoked mixed emotions"

Xera-Harris-d had hoped to find adventure when she signed up as a translator for a Galactic Explorers team. The experience sours quickly as she discovers the G.E. is far less than ethical. When the captain orders the team to explore a planet in Scorpio space in direct violations of I.C. treaty, a battle ensues which results on both their vessel and one of the Scorpio's crash landing on the planet which as it turns out is extremely hostile to both life forms. As the only woman on either team, she is in a uniquely dangerous position. Who to trust?

The decision is not an easy one as the first crew member to approach the Scorpio is shot down in cold blood by their ship's flame eyed commander. This is later explained away as a cultural insult. Still our hero has not made a very sympathetic beginning. However the Scorpio are familiar with the planet, its hazards and know where to take refuge. It quickly becomes obvious that in order to survive the G.E. crew will have to trust the Scorpio at least temporarily.

After braving the dangerous terrain the combined group finds shelter. Xera is quickly pushed into service by her insecure and irrational captain. She soon realizes that she has been set up as scapegoat for any disagreements or misunderstandings. She also realizes that friendly help may not be quick in arriving and that as the only female in either crew she would have to sleep with one eye open. But while the Scorpio are a patriarchal society, they revere woman. Her own crew is not so noble. When Xera's captain abuses her, the Scorpio Commander, Ryven Atarus, takes her as a war prize and installs her as the Scorpio Ambassador to her home world.

As expected the Scorpio rescue ship arrives first, leaving the enemy G.E. crew as bargaining chips. But Commander Atarus has special plans for Xera. On the Scorpio world it quickly becomes apparent that Xera's new appointment is to be a mere formality. Ryven is Scorpio nobility and heir to one of the ruling powers of his world. He plans to wed her and protocol insists that she be of equal rank in order for the ceremony to take place. With her home world far away on the other side of a wormhole, Xera accepts her fate knowing that she will never see her family again and expects to be branded a traitor among her own people.

Ryven is not without compassion and promises to delay the wedding night until Xera can contact her sister with the news. Suffice it to say that this is not a case of dubious consent, but Ryven also has enemies and Xera could easily become a pawn once more.

I love futuristic romance and am always looking for new authors to read, and have heard great things about Ms. Dawns previous e-published novels. I've also known Dorchester publishing to put out some spectacular futuristic romances in the past, so it pains me to have to say that I found myself somewhat disappointed with this one. The premise had great promise and the last paragraph which tied in to the title was great, but the tale that went before it robbed it of it's "awwwwwwww" factor.

First the characters failed to stir my emotions. Xera was ambivalent at best. She thought constantly about how she missed her family but never made any attempt to escape. She had every excuse in the book, the distance, the danger, etc. One might accept that she was lukewarm about escape because she was so in love with her new husband but the romance didn't gel for me either.

Xera comes to believe that Ryven is schooling her in how not to show affection in public but not once does she try to break down that wall and force him to tell her how he feels. In fact the only time Xera showed strong emotions (outside of a few love scenes) was in her relationships with the two other downtrodden women in the story, Ryven's divorced sister and the Leo slave.

The reader is supposed to understand that the Scorpio culture is different, that public and verbal displays of affection are unseemly and the females know that their men's actions speak of their love for them. But the two are apart for significant time periods of time and if Xera doesn't get it, why should the reader? Even when Xera discovers that the two races are genetically compatible, she is horrified rather than pleased. I just didn't get it. I will definitely give the author another try, but if you are thinking about exploring futuristic romance for the first time, you might want to start out with one of her other works.

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 2, 2009

SUMMARY

Sometimes love shines like a billion stars.

As the only woman in a team of marooned explorers, whom do you trust—your friends...or your enemy?

When Xera is stranded on a desert planet with a hostile crew and a cadre of murdering aliens, her friends aren’t who she thinks they are. As the translator, she’s the only one who can forge a truce. As the only woman, she’s the prize they lust for, and when her captain turns on her, she’s going to need the help of her enemies to escape his wrath.

Because on this inhospitable world, the warlike Scorpio were her only chance. Looking into the fiery eyes of their handsome leader, Xera saw a nobility and potency she’d never before encountered—a reaction she knew her fellow humans would despise. A future with Commander Ryven was…something to consider. But first they had to survive.

 

No Words Alone
by Autumn Dawn

Love Spell
November 1, 2008
Available: November 25, 2008
ISBN #0505528010
EAN #9780505528018
320 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Autumn Dawn

When Sparks Fly
Interstellar Lover
Once Bitten
Through the Looking Glass
Bad Moon Rising
The Woman Inside
Something Wild This Way Comes
Ride the Stars
Teasing Danger


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