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TITLE: Alien Revealed
SERIES: The Confederacy Treaty #1
AUTHOR: Lilly Cain
PUBLISHER: Carina Press
PUBLICATION DATE: June 14, 2010
A copy of this book was provided by Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Inarrii agent Alinna Gaerrii was tasked with observing the Starforce base on Earth. Crash landing her observation pod onto the base was not part of her mission briefing. Neither was making “m’ittar”–mind contact–with Major David Brown, the human who discovered her amongst the wreckage.
David thinks she’s a psychologist sent to evaluate his Special Forces team, and Alinna goes along with his misconception, seizing the opportunity to observe humans up close. But their daily contact has unexpected side effects, and Alinna soon invades David’s dreams. Through their intimate mental connection she allows him to express his forbidden physical desires.
Alinna delights in the sensory exploration and grows excited by the prospect of a treaty with the humans and a potential life mate in David. But an attack from an unknown ship sends the base into chaos, and Alinna may be forced to reveal her lie, erasing all hope of a successful treaty, and driving David away forever…
Ok, full disclosure: I don’t read a lot of science fiction and I don’t read any erotica. This is the first book I’ve read that can be considered erotica or erotic romance. And I enjoyed it. Cain does a good job of creating a steamy, science fiction romance with an interesting world and a great sense of tension.
What I really enjoyed about Alien Revealed was the world Cain creates. We are thrown into an Earth of the future, where space exploration is common, but alien life forms have yet to be discovered. Humans perceive other humans as their biggest threat to creating colonies on other planets. Meanwhile, the Inarrii are an alien race who have been observing humans, undetected, and gathering information about the planet and its inhabitants in order to determine whether or not to make contact and offer membership into an intergalactic confederacy. The Inarrii are similar to humans but have distinctive henna-like designs on their bodies which are actually nerve endings that react to emotions – anger, fear, sexual attraction – by raising up in ridge-like swirls all over their skin. For the Inarrii, m’ittar, or mind contact, is an essential part of communication and healing for their people, and the Inarrii agent Alinna is excited to discover humans also have the ability to achieve m’ittar. I thought this was a fun setup. Even beyond the romantic plot of the book, my interest was held by the idea of the Confederation and the politics that will come into play once first contact is made and humans are forced to understand the bigger world out there. And the idea of the Confederation itself was interesting and makes me curious as to what other new alien races will be introduced in future installments of the series.
The tense, quickly paced plot was also fun. Once Alinna crash lands, it is only a matter of time before Major David Brown realizes things are not what they seem with her. Inarrii do not lie and so Alinna finds it increasingly difficult to maintain the façade of a Starforce psychologist. Without giving too much away, tension quickly builds as Alinna’s cover starts slipping and both she and David are forced to make major, life altering decisions.
The main characters were good. I especially liked Alinna as a lonely woman, far from home, isolated in an alien land, pretending to be someone she is not. Her stress and personal conflicts were believable and you had compassion for her as a character. However, I was not able to connect with David as much. He always seemed angry and I did not fully understand why. This distanced him from me and I had a hard time caring about his own conflicts.
Now, the sex is not…demure, flowery, or genteel. David has a domination fantasy and Alinna lets him play out these fantasies in both their physical and mental sexual encounters. She uses m’ittar to connect with him pretty early on in the story and what he thinks is a sex dream, is actually a psychic connection between the two. This mental contact continues until their desires are made physical. The language is graphic. So, if that’s not your thing, this is probably not a good book for you. It is definitely steamy but, in my opinion, not very romantic. I had a difficult time connecting what David and Alinna were feeling for each as more than sexual attraction. The sex was raw and exciting but I just didn’t feel any deep emotion there, contrary to what I think the characters are meant to feel. There is also a final mating ritual that is sacred to the Inarrii. When I learned what that was I had to giggle. Let’s just say I thought it was going to be some big, romantic act, and, in my opinion…it’s not.
All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was a good intro to science fiction-erotic romance, and it was entertaining with an interesting world to explore. Though there were a few things I thought fell short, there was enough that I did appreciate to make me recommend Alien Revealed and The Confederacy Treaty Series to anyone interested in sci-fi erotica. In fact, I’ve already read the second in the series and will post a review soon!