By Jessica E. Subject
Copyright 2011 by Jessica E. Subject
Published by Decadent Publishing, ISBN 978-1-61333-094-4
"Celestial Seduction" is one of the short stories in Decadent Publishing's 1-Night Stand series. Don't be deceived, these aren't your typical one night stands, they are arranged by the mysterious, and possibly magical Madame Evangeline whose goal is to find the perfect partner for her one night stands. This time she might be a little in over her head though as her subjects aren't your average clients.
Frey is an alien from the planet of Ginnun, where his fiancé has thrown him over for his former best friend. Not only does he not want to go home because of that, but he has another reason, he likes having and showing emotions, something frowned upon on his home world. Frey is determined to stay on Earth, and, much to his commanding officer's disgust, to mate with an Earth woman. Searching for the perfect companion he goes to Madame Evangeline for a one night stand, but what will happen when his one night stand finds out he's really an alien.
Carrie has been through a difficult divorce and has suffered a terrible blow to her self-esteem, she seeks out Madame Evangeline hoping a one night stand will help jump start her recovery process and get her out into the dating world again, but Carrie wasn't counting on how having s one night stand would make her feel.
I really enjoyed this story. There was just enough backstory to make it interesting from then on the characters moved the story forward effortlessly. I liked the characters and I liked that in his natural form Frey was obviously alien, but also very much a male humanoid. His reactions were the same as any red-blooded human's would have been and he was a genuinely likable character. You immediately felt a sense of connection with him and you couldn't help but empathize with poor Carrie who has been through so much and then has the date that is supposed to help her jump-start her life show up hours late. The foundational tension was all put in place well and naturally and built incrementally throughout the story until the final pay off.
I would recommend "Celestial Seduction" to fans of romance, science-fiction, and short stories. I liked it enough that I'm going to look into adding some other titles from the series to my library. If they write as well as Ms. Subject they should offer some interesting reads.