Author: Jessa Slade
Genre: scifi romance
Publisher: Red Circle Ink
Available: Amazon $0.00 (Kindle) 167 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Her body is his prize, but he'll risk the stars for her love... Transformed by empathic crystals into the perfect paramour, Benedetta Galil is the last treasure of her fading world. When raiders attack—seeking to corrupt the crystals and conquer all of charted space—she gives herself as a prize to the one man in the universe who values freedom over power. Mercenary sheership Captain Corso Deynah left oppression behind him on a burning planet and has no use for a sex slave, even one as seductive as Benedetta. But while he stubbornly resists her body, her fierce spirit tempts him, and he will risk everything—his ship, his seclusion, the very stars—to win not just her passion but her love.
What I liked:
Beautiful lyrical writing and descriptions that I adored. Also sex scenes written along the same vein, that managed to be hot and sensual without lots of explicit wording, some of which I often finds spoil the overall descriptions with words that jar me out of the scene. The world building was awesome and intriguing (I have a thing for crystals anyway, so to have these used to enhance a body's sensitivity and enable an empathic kind of union totally grabbed me). Despite the hero's insistence that he was a jerk, he really wasn't, and though I'm not a huge alpha fan I was won over by his devotion to a cause that he hadn't really wanted to take up.
What I didn't like:
The hero calls himself a jerk or similar several times at the start, to the point where I almost stopped reading. It was done too many times and really wasn't necessary after the first couple of mentions. Also, despite the beautifully written scenes, the couple had sex at what seemed totally inappropriate times and places, as if the author had felt compelled to force them in to avoid them being missed out completely. Both times this totally pulled me out of the story. I felt these could have been put elsewhere and broken the flow a lot less. I also didn't like the heroine as much as the hero - in some respects she almost came over as a bit of a wet blanket but just about avoided that label.
This is a good book for fans of scifi romance, especially those who prefer the sex scenes hot and sensual rather than full out explicit, if you can excuse the weird timing and settings. Some SF purists might dislike the science behind the crystals bonding to humans (in that respect, I would point to Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer). I would probably read the rest of the books in the series and more by this author.