Aoki by M.D. Stewart

Earth’s inhabitants have found out about aliens, and in order to help introduce all three species, hidden facilities all over Earth will have equal numbers of Otronians, Beings, and Humans living together to learn from one another.

We met Aoki back in the last series, in The Hunter. He’s a cousin to the Caomhanach brood, but his life was much different.

Caomhanach by blood, he’s adopted by the Uisneachs, a family on a neighboring farm, after his parents are killed. He grows up idolizing his brother, Iosef and becomes incredibly close to the older boy. After reaching the age of accountability (around sixteen), he moves to the city to train to become a Hunter. He quickly rises in rank, is highly decorated and esteemed on Otron for his ability to bring in the most dangerous intergalactic criminals.

In Aoki’s absence from Otron, his brother became mentally unstable and obsessed with Leila Caomhanach. He started a rebel movement known as the “Traditionalists” hoping to force her into mating him. After the rebellion is quelled, Aoki is shamed by his brother’s betrayal and volunteers to participate in an experiment on Earth called The Exchange House Program. There he meets the two people who will change his life if he’s willing to open himself up to them and let them in his bruised heart.

Charley Aldridge is a self-proclaimed overweight, plain, history teacher. She’s had one boyfriend who used her and tossed her aside, keeping her already low self-esteem down in the dirt. Her roommate tries to get her to volunteer for the Exchange House Program, but Charley can’t stand being rejected by humans, much less two sets of aliens. Cassie pulls strings to get her sweet best friend accepted, and reluctantly Charley agrees to give it a try. Because of her name, she’s placed in a private exchange house with two males. She’s attracted to both men, but cant’ trust they could feel the same about her.

Flynn is a Being scientist, a doctor to be precise. He’s just started taking the injections to restore his emotions when he’s given the opportunity to stay on Earth instead of going back to his dreary home planet. He meets Aoki and instantly likes the Otronian’s open and friendly personality, but when he sees Charley, he’s head over heels for the curvy human. Never having emotions before, being in love is a new experience and the thought of sharing Charley with Aoki should scare him, but it doesn’t.

But humans are afraid of what they don’t understand, creating a misunderstanding that could kill one of the housemates and destroy the other two.

In this story, even though it’s a menage, my two guys are more interested in their woman, not each other. In Ours, it was a threeway sexual attraction, but here, the men are happy putting Charley in the middle. It was a strange experience to write a “no swords crossing” relationship, but this book is my favorite because of the way the characters interact AND we see some old friends in this book too!

Harliss by M.D. Stewart

Harliss a Watcher assigned to help women in shelters on Earth. Harliss loves humans and decided to give up her Watcher status and participate in the Exchange House Program. She’s sent to the largest underground facility in America where hundreds of other participants live. One night she’s in the Social Center (think nightclub atmosphere with music, a bar and lots of dancing) when she sees a sexy Being but he disappears before she can meet him.

Micah has had his emotions restored for a while before he heads the largest Exchange House in the world. Calm, dedicated and organized, he feels lonely watching dozens of people hook up every day. He glimpses a gorgeous Otronian in his Social Center but loses sight of her before he can introduce himself. A chance meeting in the facility gym leads to a mind-blowing encounter causing Micah and Harliss to mate. But things start to change inside the stoic and rock-solid Being. His emotions are suddenly out of control, causing danger to every unmated male in the facility, just as an attack on Harliss puts her life at risk. With nowhere to turn and Cougar blood running in his veins, Micah must find a way to save Harliss or he could murder his closest friends and colleagues.

Harliss was a surprise really. I hadn’t planned on a female lead, but she is a persistent woman! She’s strong, confident, sexy and she goes after what she wants! Related to the Caomhanach clan through their mom, Shayla, Harliss is Kai’s cousin, but not Aoki’s. This is the first time an Otronian female and a Being male have mated, and the consequences shocked even me, but it leads to a visit from Aoki and Kai plus a few others. This book was so much fun to write!

Talia by M.D. Stewart

Talia is the head of her government, an Elite and very serious about the safety of her people on Earth. Twice Otronians have been the victim of an attack, and Talia wants to find out why. She’s agreed to meet the military liaison at the above-ground Exchange House and learn about Earth and it’s people. The problem is, the man she’s sharing the house with is her mate, and he hates her and her race. Being an Elite, having a mate is forbidden, but she’d give up her position if Elio would only open himself up to her. How can she spend so much time alone with him and not walk away with a broken heart?

General Elio Vargas is a life-long military man, raised by a strict military father. He chooses the military over the woman he married but is devasted when she leaves him when he’s deployed. Coming home to an empty house and a broken marriage, Elio builds walls to keep his heart protected. He’s less than thrilled to be stuck in the Exchange House with the sexy leader of the Otronians. He feels drawn to Talia in ways that scare him, so he does what he can to protect himself; make her hate him.

But Talia and Elio can’t fight their attraction for long, and soon the walls they built crumble in a moment of passion. But treachery from inside Talia’s government causes chaos, resulting in a freak accident separating the couple and putting Talia in a life-or-death struggle. If Elio wants to save Talia, he’ll have to expose their forbidden love but risk losing her in the process. Will she be willing to lose everything she’s earned to keep him, or will she resent him for taking away her choices.

Throughout the series, Vargas has been an antihero, so when he told me he was Talia’s mate, I balked. I mean, he’s an asshole. But writing this book I learned more about him and realized he wasn’t beyond redemption. I don’t seem to be able to write a bad guy and keep him bad! So what’s a girl to do? I do plan on writing the fourth book, and have it started, but dang if I can’t find the time to finish it, but I will because those characters are wanting their story told too! I’ve spent a lot of time in Iowa in the last two series, so the next time, I’m taking the reader to my home state; West Virginia.

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