Title: Opening Worlds
Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: Short Story
Jason Kim is the captain of the Silver Star, a commercial ship that carries both cargo and passengers. His latest job is to transport three Perelan young men on the end of a year-long travel adventure off their home planet before they return home to settle into their domestic life. The Perels are a sexual and sensual species, and the men are known for being friendly and fun, although a bit wild. But Jason has become a bit of a loner since the end of his latest relationship and is not thrilled to have to do more entertaining before he can take some much anticipated leave.
When the Perels arrive on this ship, Jason finds himself immediately drawn the striking Ferran. And although Jason tries to stay in seclusion as much as possible while the Perels are on board, he eventually gets dragged into dinner where he finds himself alone with the alluring Ferran. Jason finally lets down his guard a bit and begins to dine regularly with Ferran, finding him both incredibly attractive and wonderful company. But Jason is worried about taking things too far with Ferran; Jason has never been one for casual hookups and he knows there can be no future with Ferran who must return to his home planet, one that is very insular and doesn’t allow almost any outsiders. Not to mention that Ferran is expected to take a wife soon upon returning home. But as they spend more time together, Jason can not resist Ferran and the two start up a sexual relationship as well as a deepening emotional one. However, as Ferran’s time on the ship draws to a close, both he and Jason must guard their hearts, knowing this must be the end of their relationship. But as their time together ends, it may be too late and their hearts already lost.
Cari Z does such a wonderful job with this story, creating a fascinating world that feels rich and fully developed, even within the confines of a short story. We get a clear picture of the reserved Jason and the pain and loneliness he has felt since the end of his previous relationship. It is clear from his internal POV, as well as from the support and caring of his crew, that this has been a difficult time for him and it is rewarding to see him happy with Ferran. We also get a great sense of both Ferran and the Perel society, from his physical description, to the world’s social structure and customs, all without the dreaded info dump. The world felt real and detailed and well developed and the story was interesting and well written. I really enjoyed this story and am quite looking forward to the longer sequel, Changing Worlds, that features the return of Jason and Ferran.
Cover Note: This story was originally part of the Wild Passions anthology so the cover depicts characters from a different story. Jason is human and Ferran has a different appearance than than the characters on this cover.
Opening Worlds is now available for free with the purchase of the sequel, Changing Worlds. You can purchase Changing Worlds from Amazon or All Romance eBooks. You can also purchase Opening Worlds as part of the original Wild Passions anthology, along with other short stories, at Amazon or All Romance eBooks.
P.S. Cari Z will be stopping by the blog later today for an interviews and to share an excerpt from the sequel, Changing Worlds. Be sure to stop back by!