Reviewed: February 25, 2010
Genre: LGBT-M/M SciFi Romance
Series: Sci-Regency, Book 1
Rating: 3 Stars
Length: 312 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
I find myself in the difficult position of feeling differently about a book than I thought of it, so the 3 star rating (how I felt about it) and the review (what I thought about it) are going to be at odds. And in truth, the star rating would really be more like a 2.5, but it's not because of the story itself, and therein lies the dichotomy.
I don't know quite what I was expecting from this book, but the blend of SciFi and Regency romance wasn't badly written, really. The characters were perhaps a bit two dimensional and maybe an argument could be made that they were very cliched, but in all honesty, that's sort of the nature of a Regency romance and I'm very familiar with the themes. It was a bit odd to see so classic a theme as the ton and society mavens parading around in a genetically engineered, predisposed M/M culture, but it wasn't done poorly. From the standpoint of plot development and characterization, I'd simply say I wish there had been a bit more fleshing out of the world, making the blend of historical and futuristic a bit more visceral and clear. And while I don't think there was anything wrong with the plot of the action part of the book, in which an IN captain goes undercover in the house of the King of a Regency planet to discover the perpetrator of massive weapons theft and ends up discovering a conspiracy that threatens war between worlds, I didn't think it was given enough attention to really be the core of the story.
Admittedly, it is a personal genre preference when reading romance novels that the romance happens either in hand with or around a central core that is not related to the romance and not the other way around.
But it wasn't badly written. I did think some of the situations were a bit too contrived and didn't really feel organic to the plot and story, especially as the conflict reached it's somewhat disappointing and too-pat peak. I did like the characters, though. I would've really enjoyed much more about the King and King-Consort and their children. I thought their characters were quite interesting and would revel in reading more about them, especially with a vehicle that fleshed them out and gave them more face time. I enjoyed the main characters, uber-alpha naval captain Nate Hawkins and artistic dream boy with a flash of spine Aiden. They're interesting and likable, and there was enough story there to provide both some depth.
Honestly, if I was rating the story itself and how it was told, I'd give it a 3.5 stars, but I've realized that neither this particular genre, the SciFi-Regency, nor this particular type of M/M pairing, with the big brawny alpha and the submissive effeminate boy, is my preferred cup of tea for M/M romances. I prefer a bit more equality between males. That doesn't have to always be sexual equality; I don't mind a bit of bondage or dom-sub in the bedroom, but I really don't prefer when submissive becomes synonymous with feminine and it extends beyond the bedroom, like it did in My Fair Captain.
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