Berit is a commander in charge of checking out planets for potential human habitation. His upcoming mission involves a trip to the planet Ligador and part of his team includes a delegation from Nadisc that will help with the exploration. The Nadisc are mostly human looking aliens, but they are much larger and stronger, with long, powerful tails. When Berit meets Tom, he is surprised when the Nadisc pretty much claims him right out of the gate. Berit is not particularly interested in settling down and not quite sure what to do with this guy who has claimed him for his own. Berit is surprised by his strong feelings for Tom, but has a hard time considering that this might be more than some intense attraction.
When the team gets to Ligador, they are in for a shocking surprise. The supposedly uninhabited planet is actually a breeding ground for hideous war beasts, bred and controlled by an enemy alien race, the Tash’Ba. For many years the Tash’Ba seemed to have their sights set on Earth, and finding these creatures on Ligador is a sure sign that their acts of aggression are ramping up. Their only hope is to destroy the creatures, but the chances of making it out alive are slim. Berit and Tom are scared of losing one another just as they are finding their way together as mates, but the men know that they must risk their lives for the sake of both their races.
Breeding Stations is the first book in the new Alliances series by Chris T. Kat and I think we are off to a nice start. I enjoyed the world building in particular here. The story focuses on three races, two who are allied and one who is the enemy. The real fight, however, is between the human and Nadisc teams and the horrible creatures the Tash’Ba have created. These creatures have been bred for maximum aggression and destruction, and I found their descriptions creative and horrifying. We get some nice exciting fight scenes as Berit and his team discover the creatures and try to escape with their lives. At times the rules here are a bit pat (the only way to destroy the beasts is by a special device unique to each planet that spontaneously destroys itself after use, for example), but I think there is a lot of cleverness and creativity here. We don’t really see much of the Tash’Ba within the story beyond hearing about them, but I assume more will come on that front as the series continues.
The other focus here is on the relationship between Berit and Tom (I’m still not clear why Tom has a human sounding name and none of the other Nadisc do). This is a total fated mates scenario, as Tom claims Berit basically immediately upon meeting him. In fact, at first it isn’t even clear they are mates; Tom just pretty much makes it known he wants Berit and expects him to get on board. So we don’t get a lot of relationship development here early on, but we do see these men spending time together bonding and getting to know one another as the story goes on. So while the initial connection is clearly physical with not much behind it, and the bond between them is at least partially due to them being mates, I still felt like we got enough time with them together to feel a connection. They are kind of fun together, as Berit is a bit of a snarky brat and Tom pretty much just manhandles him and hulks around when Berit gets out of line. FWIW, Tom is an alien race so we get some non-human sex here, including creative uses of his tail. Things are pretty tame, even for the squeamish about this kind of thing, but just wanted to mention it.
So I enjoyed this one and I think we get a nice short term resolution while still setting us up for future books in the series. The book brings in some nice side characters, including Berit’s best friend and his new mate, that seem to be continuing with them in the next book. So I am looking forward to seeing where Kat takes things in future stories. Overall I found this one a nice, easy read with some interesting world building and nice suspense elements.