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ISBN# 1-59374-492-7/1-59374-491-9
February 2006
Whiskey Creek Press
145 Pages
Science Fiction
Rating: 2 Cups

Venice Dylenski is Chief Security Officer on the earth colonization ship Excalibur. She is married to Lieutenant Commander Steve Dylenski. When the Excalibur encounters the Archeonite III, it very quickly becomes obvious it is of a superior technology. Venice is highly suspicious of its motives.

Azareel is the captain of the alien vessel. He states that his purpose is curiosity and an interest in an exchange of information, but in reality, he wants something else entirely.

When Azareel puts the Excalibur in a crushing force field and threatens to destroy the ship unless it hands over Venice and another woman, Allie, the entire ship is stunned. After the children’s section of the ship is nearly destroyed, Venice and Allie voluntarily turn themselves over to Azareel. Almost immediately, Azareel has them cosmetically altered to look like his people, the Archeons. The women are informed they are to be his concubines and breeders for his dying race, of which he is the last. Nearly five years later, both ships colonize the same planet. It is only then they are able to begin to reconcile.

Ms. Dodd is a good storyteller and is able to accurately convey the emotions of her characters. However, I had several problems with this book. For a good portion of it, Venice was sexually subjugated to Azareel and forced to bear Archeon babies. Azareel consistently forced his will upon Venice, even going so far as to use pain to get what he wanted. The author uses cultural differences to excuse his behavior. However, I was not convinced. Another thing that bothered me was Steve’s calm acceptance of the situation when he finally became aware of it. I did not feel his reaction was realistic.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books