Formats available: ebook
Genre: Science fiction romance
Series: Alien Next Door, #1
Length: 83 pages
Date Released: April 29, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon
Erotic dreams fill her with need…
Night after night, Rachel fantasizes about her sexy, playboy neighbor. But in her small town, no one changes, least of all the bad boy next door. But when Luke rescues her not once but twice from disastrous dates, she dares to believe her knight in black leather armor may be the right man for her after all.
Until she learns the truth…
Life on Earth has never been easy for Luke. Stranded as a little boy, he struggled to craft an existence for himself, but he never forgot the first human he met–and he never stopped wanting to see her again. Returning to Hanton, Luke longs for Rachel. Yet, nothing goes as he plans, and Rachel barely notices him. Convincing her he isn’t like all the jerks she’s dated means telling her the truth, but can she handle it?
Can she overcome her fears, or will she deny her alien adoration and leave him stranded once more?
I read Alien Adoration after I read the second book in the Alien Next Door series, Alien Admirer. That means I already knew most of what was going to happen in Alien Adoration. More relevant for the purpose of this review, I bought Alien Adoration because I enjoyed Alien Admirer so much, and I was hoping that the first book in the series would be as much fun as the second, while filling in a few more details.
Which means, unfortunately, that I didn’t adore Alien Adoration as much as I admired Alien Admirer. This first book in the series was definitely cute and sweet, but didn’t seem quite as polished as the second book.
(And I’m aware that someone should take my punning license away, but the temptation was irresistible.)
As with Alien Admirer, in Alien Adoration we have our alien hero and our “original recipe human” heroine.
But while in book 2, the heroine’s story had the most depth, in book one we have Luke, an alien from outer space who played with one too many buttons on the control panel of his parents’ spaceship as it passed by Earth.
Luke stranded himself here as a boy, seeming to be about eight years old. He appeared in the middle of the night in an unprepossessing small town, and is observed by a little girl staring out the window. She lets herself out of the house, and meets her first, and last, alien. She never forgets the night, but can’t remember his name.
Rachel grows up, and sometimes wonders if that night was a dream. She dreams it over and over as the years go by.
She still lives in the same small town, a place that seems to be the divorce capitol of the universe. Or at least Earth. Marriages don’t last (her parents’ marriage certainly didn’t) and relationships have an incredibly short shelf life.
Especially the “relationships” that the hottie next door seems to have. Gorgeous women come home with him in the early evening, and leave screaming in the middle of the night.
It’s too bad for Rachel that she can’t help thinking about her neighbor, and that there don’t seem to be any decent men in town. The local church ladies feel so sorry for her, they fix her up with one “nephew” or “cousin” after another. Too bad they all turn out to be scumbags.
She has no clue that the hot neighbor with the revolving front door is the grown-up version of the little alien boy. Or that he’s come to her small town to find her.
Escape Rating B-: There’s a sweetness to the romance between Luke and Rachel that lets the reader overlook some of the fluffy shortcuts in the storytelling while reading, but this one just isn’t quite up to Alien Admirer.
We never do know what makes Rachel’s small town of Hanton such a rotten place for people to build lasting relationships. It doesn’t just seem to be Rachel’s perception, the place really is that bad. But why? Is it something in the water? Is everyone in a high-risk profession? Alien influence?
Luke comes to Hanton with the express purpose of finding Rachel. If she’s the woman he wants so badly, why is the skank parade passing through his front door? Especially with her right next door and having a ringside seat for the show? Some part of this combination didn’t work for me.
Particularly when added with Rachel’s own unfortunate dating history. She has kissed more than a few of the town frogs. A lot of the guys in Hanton are real jerks. When they confirm they’re jerks, Rachel dumps them. But Luke’s behavior looks awfully jerk-like, and rightfully makes her wary.
Although I do wonder if the so-called “church ladies” don’t have something to do with the high divorce rate. They seem to have a corner on the destructively evil gossip market. Maybe they’re witches?
This review originally appeared in Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly.