Rating: 4.25 stars
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Years after losing his lover to war, Rizzo Berg still lives in pain, never finding someone else with whom he shares that spark and connection. Though he continues to date and hook up with men, none of them have “it,” that special something that bonds them together and makes a relationship worth having.
One night Rizzo finds himself amidst what he assumes is a dream or a hallucination. He is aboard a space ship with human-looking aliens and a particularly hot and sexy captain. Captain Conrad D’Ollet pushes all of Riz’s buttons, both turning him on and firing him up with his arrogant and domineering nature. But Rizzo quickly realizes that this is not a dream, that he has actually been kidnapped by aliens from the planet Heracia. The Heracians aren’t out to harm him, however. They are a people made up of both artificial and biological parts, and they need human DNA along with Heracians to keep their people healthy. The Heracians hope that Rizzo and other humans they bring to their planet will want to stay and mate with one of their people, or at the very least donate sperm or eggs to aid in reproduction. Rizzo finds himself moved by their plight, and although he has no intention of forming a partnership, he is willing to at least make a donation.
But the Heracian customs are quite different than those on Earth, and soon Rizzo finds himself with an unintended public mating with Conrad. After losing his first love to war, Rizzo is wary about risking his heart again to another military man. But he soon finds that the connection between them is incredibly strong. Conrad’s domineering personality pushes all his buttons and his aggression and intensity turns Rizzo on like crazy. But just as Rizzo is accepting that maybe their relationship is really meant to be, the fragile peace on Heratia is broken and it may destroy what has been built between them.
So I picked up this one in part of my efforts to expand my reading beyond so many contemporaries. Futuristic/science fiction is a genre I rarely read and this one intrigued me from the blurb so I figured I’d give it a go. And I ended up really enjoying it. First off, Olteano really gives us some interesting world building here. There is more happening than the typical kidnapped by aliens plot. We learn so much about the Heracians, despite this being a fairly short novel. We can really feel for them as they watch their children die, searching desperately for a way to save the future of their people. Despite the rather abrupt way they come to take Rizzo to their planet, he is treated with nothing but kindness, and in fact reverence, for his role in helping to save them.
I also really liked Rizzo and Conrad together. They are just that perfect mix of fire together, each pushing each other’s buttons until anger and annoyance fan into incredible passion. Conrad is hard and dominating and expects Rizzo to do what he is told. And Rizzo goes wild for all that intensity, loving that domination. Rizzo loves to challenge Conrad, pushing his buttons just to see him fired up and lose that calm and control. There is a bit of spanking here as both men totally get off on the intense play. But even aside from the sex, these two guys manage to form a connection. They have shared pain in their pasts, and when Rizzo stops resisting opening himself up, they really bond with one another.
I found this one an interesting and enjoyable read. I really liked the world building and found Rizzo and Conrad a lot of fun together. If you are looking for a good space adventure with nice heat and some sweet emotions, The Heracian Affair is a great choice.
Cover: I hate to say it, but I have no idea what is supposed to be happening with this cover. Is that purple stuff smoke? Fabric? Something sort of turban like? And why is his face partially covered? Is that Rizzo or Conrad? Maybe I am just not understanding this one but to me it is just weird. Not only does it tell nothing about the book, but I have no idea what it is even supposed to be.