by Lilly Cain
The Confederacy Treaty
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…
I must admit I began reading this book with some reluctance as science fiction is one of those genres I've had better experience watching on film or television. The science tends to confound me but if I have a visual depiction, I don't get bogged down trying to figure things out. Fortunately, this story doesn't waste a lot of time creating new gadgets or space ships to analyze. They're mentioned and it was left up to me to form an image and that worked for me, letting me focus on the story and characters. And, it seemed credible (mind you, I'm not the expert here but nothing stood out as absurd).
There's not a lot of detail provided about Alinna and David's backstories but surprisingly, I felt I knew them pretty well by the time I reached the end of the story. They were plausible in their roles as trusted, ranking officers in their respective worlds and the heated attraction didn't feel forced, not immediately jumping each other, which would have seemed silly given their levels of responsibilities.
I thought the premise of the book was pretty creative, once I got past my sci-fi fears. It was an interesting and unique approach to use for a seduction, and this one was done quite well. Alinna and David come from separate worlds but they had enough in common physically for it not to be weird and where they were different it provided intrigue. And speaking of seductions, the sexual encounters were highly erotic using metaphysical connections as a means to form relationship and trust. I LOVED this aspect and it helped suspend reality when they developed deep feelings fairly quickly. It's a good device and was extremely effective and arousing. Not only were they able to scratch those itches but had some new and provocative discoveries about themselves in the process. The encounters were sexy, steamy and had absolutely delicious amounts of naughtiness that caught me by surprise. You'll need to discover that on your own.
There was, however, a bit too much repetition sometimes. David's concerns in being assigned to the upcoming mission to the new space station, his team needing to pass a psych evaluation in order to be approved...both were reiterated too often. Same goes for Alinna being worried about her discovery; a valid concern but one I got without needing to be told over and over. And, once both of their scents were described, a reference to it would have been enough instead of alliterating it time and again. This bogged down the story somewhat.
There were a couple of very interesting characters that were standouts and I'm sure we will see them later in the series. They were fleshed out just enough for me to want to know more.
Overall, an interesting concept, story and created world with really good erotica to wrap around. A common complaint with the genre is it's sex looking for a story and you won't find that here. I wish the ending could have been a little more elaborate but it's one I can live with.