More promising…alien BDSM

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The Heracian Affair by Liv Olteano
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For my second choice I went with a BDSM choice from Dreamspinner. There’s a slight improvement with the cover, which again I didn’t see, but a huge improvement in the writing. DSP is hit or miss but I’m extremely pleased I seem to have hit with this choice. The writing is smooth, engaging, and interesting while there is a considerable amount of hot sex, almost too much. I’m not complaining as this is smutty good fun with some solid writing and decent, if sketchy, world building. As far as sci-fi/erotica offerings go, I quite enjoyed this quick novella and would definitely go back for more from this author.

The story is about Rizzo, a disgruntled human who gets kidnapped by an alien race that look exactly like humans. This alien race, Heracians, is part artificial intelligence and part human biology. They need to mate with humans to ensure the AI part of their makeup doesn’t take over. If the AI does take over, the end result is usually death. So basically their species is dying out without the intervention and help of humans breeding with them. Enter Rizzo! He’s willing to help out with a “donation” but his attitude and blundering place him solidly within the dominant grasp of Captain Conrad. Just when the two seem to screw each other into love and happiness, their future is uncertain.

To start with I was uncertain about Rizzo because he’s basically an asshole. There’s very little that redeems him for most of the story, though I can’t say I hated him. He definitely grew on me and his dedication and strength at the end was touching. I have to give the story credit as it built a very nuanced and layered character in Rizzo. I think it wasn’t entirely successful but for the most part he’s definitely interesting. Conrad is the picture of a control freak dom. I liked him even though he’s not the most developed character. I especially liked the two of them together as they have some scorching chemistry and fit each other well.

There is a ton of erotica in this short novella. That’s not a bad thing as it’s very hot and only mild BDSM, more so D/s with the whole claiming “you’re mine” motif through sex. It works for both the characters and I quite enjoyed it. The story did focus a bit too much on this and tended to make simplistic transitions. For example any time the scene changed, Rizzo just passed out and woke up in the new place. Since this seemed to happen every time, I became frustrated with the lack of a more smooth and interesting transition.

Likewise the ending left me wanting, considering I quite enjoyed the story up til then. I don’t want to give spoilers but I thought the scenes with the Zak and recuperation were simply thrown in to add last minute drama. It helped develop the connection between Rizzo and Conrad but the story never says exactly what happened and how they ended up together. It’s just an unfortunate ending to an otherwise strong novella. The sci-fi aspect is interesting and well done. Despite the limited space the world building is sufficient and I personally would love to read more stories set in this world. There are definite holes in the creation and some unexplained questions, just as there are in the plot, but I found these minor and didn’t affect my reading enjoyment.

Overall I’m very pleased with this offering and can recommend it. It’s short, just over 100 pages, so not much of a commitment and there’s a lot of sex (which makes for a fast read). Sci-fi and mild BDSM fans will enjoy this the most but I think the smooth writing and creative imagery are worth checking out as well. I’m looking forward to reading more of this new-to-me author. Success!

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2 thoughts on “More promising…alien BDSM

  1. Tam says:

    I’m sorry, but when I see the name Rizzo I either want to break out into a rendition of “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” or have visions of the rat from the Muppets. Sigh. Just can’t get past it. LOL

    Sounds kind of fun when you are in the mood for some smutty goodness. Glad this one worked out better for you.

    • I wonder what I’m missing out on that neither of those references occurred to me at the time. I see them now, after the fact, but I guess they didn’t make a big impression on me because I didn’t connect them with the name. Now I won’t get it out of my head I bet.

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