- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 413 KB
- Print Length: 105 pages
- Publisher: Carina Press (25 Jun. 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007M8S3PM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,340,464 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Undercover Alliance (The Confederacy Treaty) Kindle Edition
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John is the man Sarina is charged to protect. He is a human who is part of the treaty negotiations between her people and his. He is actually more than that, though. He is also an undercover operative tasked with seeing the treaty completed.
When Sarina and John come face-to-face, they are both attracted to one another. Sarina doesn't believe she can really reach her peak with him, but she wants to try. Lo and behold, the sexy human manages to take her to heights she thought she would never reach again. But is there any kind of future for them? And even more important, can she keep him alive long enough to find out?
The story was definitely sexy. Sarina's entire race is filled with sexual beings and their way of life made her quick and fiery sexual relationship with John more palatable. The psychic connection also eased the way for their emotional bond. The sex was hot and I really liked that the author did not force a permanent solution on them after such a short time. I was very satisfied with the ending we got.
Sometimes I felt like Sarina's alien idiosychrocies made it "easy" to overcome the roadblocks most couples would face in their situation... And the public sex wasn't great for me. But overall, I liked it well enough. It wasn't all that emotionally stirring, but it did have action and a good heat factor. This is book three in the Confederacy Treaty series, but this would work fine as a standalone.
Through the actions of Captain Susan Branscombe in the previous book, Sarina is left permanently scarred in a way that makes sexual fulfillment difficult and makes her a pariah to her clan. The glimpse we saw of her in the previous book was one of a saddened woman unsure of her future and place in society. She's still uncertain and the therapy she's going through isn't helping things. I liked seeing this vulnerable side to a woman who's very commanding when doing her job. She's also very outspoken and not afraid to admit her sexual needs, which made for some very hot and heavy sexual encounters.
John Bennings is a man full of secrets who's more capable than he appears. Those secrets have put his life in danger and consequently Sarina's life as well. This danger brings them together almost immediately in some refreshingly honest and sexy sexual interludes. The Inarri's blatant sexuality makes for one particularly steamy public scene that fits in naturally with what we know of their culture. John's an immensely likable character with a bit of brashness and cockiness that adds to his sex appeal. He treats Sarina as an equal and doesn't see her as damaged, unlike her own people. This made me like him even more.
The secondary characters continue to excite me, particularly the Examiner helping Sarina. Many intriguing tidbits about him were dispersed throughout the book that have me dying to know his whole story. The world-building continues to be top notch with its amazing technological advances that added to the suspenseful roller coaster storyline. Each book can be read on its own but it's a much richer experience reading them sequentially. Fans of sci-fi will definitely find much to like here as well as those wanting some steamy romance. Undercover Alliance was satisfying from start to finish and I hope Ms. Cain revisits this world soon.
Undercover Alliance by Lilly Cain lives up to its claim of being erotic science fiction romance. And it does a very good job of it, too!
But the alien race in her Confederacy Treaty series, the Inarrii, are not merely empathic, they literally require sexual healing as a means of processing tension and staying sane. Their bodies, although very similar to humans. are covering in l'inar, lines of nerve endings that convey and express pleasure, pain, stress and every emotion.
Undercover Alliance is the story of an Inarrii woman, a warrior named Sarina. Her l'inar were permanently damaged in battle, but she survived. However, with her l'inar severed, everyone believes that she will eventually lose her sanity, because she cannot achieve the full mind-contact and sexual release that is needed for an Inarrii to de-stress and remain sane.
Sarina thinks she'd be fine if she could just keep working. She's a trained warrior. She thinks if she keeps doing her job, eventually a battle will solve the problem for her. The enemy won't mind if she's damaged goods.
But her own people are afraid that she'll go berserk and don't trust her in a combat company. So they assign her as a bodyguard to a low-status human during the final stages of the Human-Confederacy Alliance treaty negotiations -- while they wait for her to crack.
The only problem is that her supposedly low-status human charge isn't. He's an undercover Spaceforce Security agent sent to make sure that the treaty does get signed. There are both human terrorists and alien Raveners out to break the alliance before it begins.
And John Norton absolutely hates pretending to be a bureaucrat. But not quite as much as he hates having to even let it look like he's letting someone else handle his security. He's used to working strictly alone. No partners.
It's only in the silence of his own mind that he can think about how much he really wants to be in charge of everything...including his strong and beautiful bodyguard. It astonishes, and delights him, when she reads his thoughts enough to decide that maybe they can try being in charge of each other. Or take turns. Or all of the above.
Then someone tries to blow up their section of the ship. And only their section of the ship. Along with John's cover story. While they are fleeing from marauders and fighting for their lives, John and Sarina discover that the moments between life and death are a great time to reach past the broken places for something wonderful.
They're just not sure if they can hang on once the shooting stops.
Escape Rating B+: Undercover Alliance is the third book in Cain's Confederacy Treaty series, after Alien Revealed and The Naked Truth. The series keeps getting better.
Undercover Alliance reveals a bit more of the world behind the story, and I enjoy seeing how they get where they are. Unfortunately, not everyone on Earth would welcome an alliance. There would be terrorists, damn it. Whatever we do, someone is always against it.
The Raveners remind me a bit of the Reavers from Firefly. I don't think they're that bad, but the name is close. There are always the good guys and the bad guys. And politics. Undercover Alliance has the political story in the background, making sure the treaty gets signed.
We also see that the Inarrii are just different from humans. Some of those differences are physical, not just the l'inar, but also that they are stronger, see better in low light, have better hearing. But also their society works differently. And it should. They aren't human.
I hope there are more books in this universe. I want to see what happens next. Now that the treaty is signed, do the Raveners come in force?
Originally published at Reading Reality.
When the story begins, Sarina is damaged; her external nerve system that defines her race has been severed, and she's unable to reach a sexual climax, which her people determine is necessary to their mental health. As a result, this female warrior is about to be put out to proverbial pasture after she completes one last assignment: protecting a lawyer who's working on the alliance contract between humans and her people.
Of course, things aren't as they seem, and John is actually undercover, assigned to make sure the contract is signed, and everyone involved is protected. And if he's attracted to his bodyguard? Well, he probably shouldn't act on it. Too bad Sarina's people are matter-of-fact about sex, and she can see the sexual fantasies about her through her mind-reading ability.
Undercover Alliance is a solid three-and-a-half stars. The world-building is excellent, and the relationship between the two characters is believable, even if the novella length makes it feel a bit rushed. I'd have liked to have seen this story in a full novel length, with more tension between the two characters for a bit of time, and perhaps more explanation of John's position; the opening scene, for instance, never did seem to make complete sense to me.
The only other quibble I have with the book is that the alien language falls into the trope area, with a bit of overuse and the ubiquitous apostrophes that often trip up sci-fi fans. However, there is a good balance between the plot and the sex scenes (which are actual plot movers in this one due to Sarina's presumed disability), and the combination of good sci-fi world-building with the erotic scenes led me to round up instead of down.
I'm looking forward to reading the previous two books Cain has set in this world as a result.
This review previously posted on Goodreads.