The Heracian Affair
Title : The Heracian Affair
Author : Liv Olteano
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Science Fiction, BDSM/Kink
Length : 131 pages (e-book)
Published : March 20, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
Even years after Rizzo Berg’s lover and Dom died in combat, the memories torment him. Following a particularly disappointing date, Rizzo goes to sleep in his apartment only to wake up on a spaceship with tall, gorgeous, alien Captain Conrad D’Ollet of Heracia, a man so deliciously dominant Rizzo’s knees turn to jelly.
Apparently the Heracians need help, and Rizzo is a humanitarian through and through. Spending more time around Conrad is totally not one of the reasons he wants to lend a hand.
Soon Rizzo finds himself completely conquered and blissfully owned. But neither he nor Conrad is willing to risk his heart, let go of the past, and dare to believe in a future that won’t end in catastrophe.
Liv Olteano’s The Heracian Affair has me a bit perplexed. I know I liked it but don’t know how to sum it up in a tidy package. Rizzo Berg was ambling around in his love life. No one he met had that certain something. No one had it, whatever it is. Then he was kidnapped by aliens. Surely it could happen to anyone. The Heracians are a genetically engineered race that needs a new influx of DNA. Many of them see their offspring die at birth or during infancy. Rizzo saw it as the horror it is and agreed to help them. There is one particular Heracian that has Rizzo on edge. Conrad D’Ollet is in charge of the vessel that kidnapped Rizzo. Kidnap is a strong word. The Heracians will return Rizzo to his bedroom with his mind wiped if he wants to go back home. They aren’t actually holding him against his will and Rizzo doggedly refuses to deal with what Conrad makes him feel.
Every society has rules specific to it. On Heracia the etiquette surrounding food is significantly different to that on earth. Rizzo refuses to take this on face value and accidentally enters into a relationship with Conrad with a simple offer of food. Really. Yeah, it was way simpler than he realized to get involved with someone. Only Conrad isn’t just someone, Conrad has it. That indefinable it. The last person that had it was Rizzo’s first lover. He died a war hero. Conrad is a war hero and his spouse died a war hero. They had watched their two children die. This is more than Rizzo wants to handle. He can’t stand to let Conrad down, nor can he go through that loss again. Of course that’s when the bad aliens show up and change the situation immeasurably.
Rizzo tried to outrun his problems and failed. He reminded me of Reese Witherspoon’s character in “Legally Blonde.” There was a valid and respectable person beneath the sass and evasion. He would retreat into safer territory every time he proved himself to be a good guy. Any time he received recognition for doing the right thing he became upset or embarrassed. Rizzo never imagines himself the hero and refuses to see being the support system to a hero can be just as heroic. Conrad just always did the right thing. In some ways Conrad was a little too good to be true. He was a larger than life war hero. I get that was the point, but it ventured into unbelievability.
This story was significantly deeper than it appeared at first blush. I was expecting a sexy sub to meet a toppy alien and have a lot of sex. End of. Instead I found myself wondering what it is about someone that draws us to them. What makes us the person we are and can we lose it. Rizzo and Conrad face more hardships than overcoming past loss and comedic cultural clashes and do so without changing their core values. They also learn the best ways for themselves and their relationship to serve a greater good.
Rated 4 stars by Faye