Wendy reviews ‘Alien Eyes’: An Interstellar M/M Romance (Alien Love, book 2) by Storm Caywood. Published by Carnation Books June 26, 2020, 173 pages.
Rainbow Gold Reviews is happy to be one of the hosts of Storm Caywood’s Release Blitz. Congratulations Storm!
Now on Yalaphor, the two care for Sehthe, a young girl who has been orphaned by the same war that cast Esihle out of his home.
To keep their new family safe, Esihle and Adil must come face to face with the worst of Yalaphor, eachother, and themselves.
This heartfelt follow-up to Storm Caywood’s debut novel, Alien Hands, continues a story of redemption and love.
*A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review
Grab your copy here:
Book 1 – Alien Hands
Adil joined him in the kitchen. “I saw the bread in the cupboard. Did you make it? Where’d you get flour?”
Esihle ladled the stew into bowls as he answered.
“I made it from thana grass. Nyaniso taught me how.” He remembered his father’s lessons more every day now. He would never be able to tell him this. Living here, and trying to be a good man, made the loss of his father and his own betrayal of his father’s goals a never-healing wound.
“Mm. You’re amazing, Love. We’re eating fresh-baked bread. Incredible.”
“And saving our energy credits for something more pleasurable than mere sustenance.”
They sat down with their bowls and plate of bread. Adil raised his bowl to his lips and drank in some broth before he spoke.
“It also helps the hospital. Blackouts there are a disaster.”
“Was today hard, my dear?”
Adil shrugged. “No more than usual.” He scooped a piece of vegetable onto the piece of bread and chewed it thoughtfully.
As the meal went on, their silence grew companionable. After they ate, Adil did not return to his chair, instead joining Esihle in his sunken nest and stretched out with his head on his belly. Esihle stroked his hair and felt himself begin to rumble. He had almost dozed off when Adil’s voice roused him.
“So, have you thought about it more?”
Esihle hesitated. “I want to. I really do.” He paused, and let his mind wander to child-sized garden tools, a smaller basking rock beside his own. “But, is it really a good time? Are we, would we be, good?”
Adil shook his head. “There’s never a perfect time. As for being good potential parents? Yes, we are, but even if we weren’t ideal, state care is terrible for children. You know that we can offer so much more.”
“I never imagined myself as a parent.”
This wasn’t true.
“I’ve always wanted it. I put aside the desire for a long time, on the station especially.”
Esihle remembered the man he had met. He wasn’t one who put aside desires, though perhaps the deeper ones. He wouldn’t have imagined Adil with children, but that was harsh, in retrospect. He was there, after all, to take care of people. But it seemed like his position on Orbital Base 7 as a relief doctor was as much about the responsibilities he was evading as the ones he was taking on.
Adil kept talking. “But I always wanted it. A chance to do better.”
Do better, do worse. Esihle never thought of his own parents in that way. As if Nyaniso and Zola had been working on a task, and it was his to evaluate. But then, he was always aware, almost always, of the powers that had constrained them. In many ways the Regime had been his parent.
“Esihle? Are you listening?”
He shook his head. “I’m sorry, Dear, my mind wandered. You want us to do better.”
Adil wriggled up by his face, leaned in and kissed him. “I know we’ll do better.” The kiss grew deeper. “I want us to do it. I think it will create a lot of joy. And love.”
The warmth from Adil’s body soothed him, merging with the warmth from the heated floor of their nest. Earth-style furniture was seen as a symbol of the Old Regime, and more and more homes now had nests in place of sofas. Adil, of course, was delighted by the authenticity. Esihle was sure there was nothing more or less authentic about furniture styles. It was all ultimately arbitrary. He suspected Adil was enamored with this reminder of his people’s reptilian roots. Though he couldn’t judge him for that, not with the satisfaction he took in stroking Adil’s soft hair and soaking in his mammalian warmth.
Adil grew warmer to the touch as they kissed more, pressing their bodies to each other. Esihle could feel his chest rise and fall in the rhythm of his breath. He straddled Adil and began kissing down his body, stopping to lick and bite at his nipples. He’d been so fascinated by these on Adil, his first Human lover. By the feel of them to his fingers and lips and tongue, by the whimpering noises he could draw out of Adil just with a twist, a little bite. He nipped his right nipple a little harder and Adil cried out. He soothed it with his tongue, put a comforting hand there, and continued working down his body…
Why I read this book: I always love to try new to me authors and the blurb sounded fantastic.
This might just be my favorite Sci-Fi of 2020. The duet starts with phenomenal world building (I’ll be posting my review of Book 1 soon) and this book is the perfect completion. This is not a stand alone book and you will need to read the first book in the duet.
Both of the MCs have pasts that haunt them. I could feel for Adil who left his home planet, Earth, angry. He had reason to be. But this story to me was more about Eshile and how he was such a tormented character. Especially now that both he and Adil were back on Eshile’s planet, Yalphor after the war that Eshile was very much a part of… on the losing side.
His trying to find a way to fit in while raising a child with Adil touched me deeply. Living in a society that is rebuilding itself after being ravaged by war wouldn’t be easy for anyone, but for Eshile, who is known and despised by some…well, I could really feel for him.
There were great scenes that were full of drama and suspense blended perfectly with the struggles any couple might face while raising a child. I loved the sense of how realistic this felt.
I also loved that these characters had a little kink going on in their lives. While not predominant in the book, there was definitely a Dom/sub dynamic between Eshile and Adil. It worked for them and the story.
I highly recommend this duet to any of our Sci-Fi fans.
10/10 Pots of Gold or 100% recommended
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one of 10 ebook copies of the first book, Alien Eyes
Storm Caywood is a lesbian author living in Western New York with her family and pets. Her writing career started with distributing her girl-detective stories to friends in the third grade. Alien Eyes is her second published work. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, puttering in the yard, or swooning over Star Trek.
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