When is ‘love me love my family’ too much to ask?

When your family is the ruling family of an alien world, you might have reason to worry that your new lover will have some trouble adjusting. In Alien ‘n’ Outlaw by KC Burn,  overcoming some very serious cultural differences is a huge stumbling block for the unlikely love affair between R’kos, son of the Ankylos Emperor, and Darien,  a human Robinhood type who lives always on the run and very much alone.

Confession time!
I read this book the day it was released, early in July. I’ve been waiting to post about it because of scheduling issues on the blog, but I couldn’t wait to read it. I’ve been looking forward to this second book in Burn’s Elora Ki based series since I finished reading Spice ‘n’ Solace earlier this year. Alien ‘n’ Outlaw follows the alien negotiator we met in the earlier book. I do have a weakness for alien heroes and R’kos did not disappoint. Burn has a serious talent for making all of her characters richly drawn and complex. In this story, she did an amazing job of using R’kos’ alienness as a source of trouble and conflict in the story. R’kos may be humanoid but he is still very different culturally and physically.

The Alien Aspects of the Hero Weave a Delightful Layer of Complications
Culturally, the Anklyos have what they refer to as a hive-heard culture that is very different from humans. They don’t value personal freedom and privacy is not even in their vocabulary. R’kos is more adapted to human ways than most of his race, but it still sets him apart from humans.  Physically, his species has adapted for a compatible, but different, environment. They have an excellent sense of smell but poor vision. His poor vision turns simple tasks, like climbing a ladder or navigating a sewer tunnel, into a challenge and an act of bravery. Both this vulnerability and his willingness to face those obstacles to aid Darien made R’kos one of my all time favorite heroes. Darien is a worthy partner for him, and we see this when it is his turn to try to adapt to R’kos’ culture and family obligations.

Action and Adventure – Robinhood in Space
Beyond the well drawn relationship journey in this story, there is also plenty of action and adventure as R’kos helps Darien escape the people chasing him in the opening of the book, then joins him on his black-market trade route designed to help folks in desperate need. On the journey, they learn a great deal about each other and must face danger, treachery, and sacrifice before reaching their happy ending.

Once again, I am blown away by this series and the very talented Ms. Burns!

Primary format: E-book

Length: Novella

Publication Date: July 2012

Publisher: Carina Press

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