Plot: R’kor doesn’t fit into his hive and has no desire to go through with the marriage that his father-emperor has planned for him. Working as an ambassador among humans, he discovers a deep desire for human males and runs off to indulge it. Darien is a smuggler and a thief. He encounters R’kor while escaping a theft gone wrong. The two hit it off immediately and spend a month discovering each other. But when R’kor is injured, Darien must turn to the alien’s own people to save him.
This review is based on a review copy received through Netgalley.
Should I be embarrassed that my 100th book of the year is a truly cheesy sci-fi romance? Nah. I am what I am, guilty pleasures and all. 🙂
This could have been a great science fiction romance. There are some fascinating plot points: a Robin Hood-like smuggler, a runaway alien prince, an intolerant religious order that cares for the victims of a debilitating disease and the danger of interstellar war. If Burn had put more work into her world building and developed her characters, this could have been a real sci-fi epic… with some hot sex scenes thrown in for good measure. But the story is weighed down by exposition and alien species (and the characters’ emotions for that matter) aren’t revealed to the readers but explained in painful detail which slows down the plot considerably. Worse she skips the really exciting or emotional plot points (Darien’s incarceration for example) and merely tells us afterwards how traumatic it was. For this reason, I never felt emotionally invested in the story.
Even judged only as an erotic novel, it’s a bit clunky. The idea of compatible but different sexualities is very promising and occasionally used to great effect. A flexible, self-lubricating, licorice flavored penis sounds awfully convenient, after all. But at other times the pace is interrupted by awkward explanations of human and alien physiology and customs.
The ending was sappy and I was unconvinced by R’kor and Darien’s professions of love.
Alien ‘n’ Outlaw has some interesting and unique sex scenes but that, unfortunately, isn’t enough to carry the whole story.