Publisher: Love Spell (November 2004)
"She's a fighting Saurian Knight." He put a slight emphasis on "fighting" and smiled self-deprecatingly. "Getting her into bed is more work than turning a Gravity-class war-star."
"Are you telling me that she fought you? You?"
"My Imperial Machismo forbids me to confirm or deny something so damaging to my reputation," Tarrant-Arragon replied with a mocking twist of his lips. "I will admit, she doesn't know what she's up against. I'm conducting and experiment to see whether I can get a virtuous girl to love me --not the next Emperor, but me-- for my sweet nature and sense of humor."
His half-sheathed-weapon smile became a sudden chuckle.
"My fierce little Saurian would probably try to castratee me if she knew who I am. She cheerfully toasts my impotence."
Madam Tarra kenw the toast to which he referred.
"How very provocative of you to choose one of the Saurian Dragon's Knights for your carnal experiments," she replied.
"I didn't take her because she is a Knight." He threw back his head, half closed his eyes, and tapped his upper lip with two fingers. No doubt the wicked boy was deciding how much of the truth to tell her. "Ah... I think I've fallen in love."
I just had my first experience of reading a sci-fi romance novel with Rowena Cherry’s Forced Mate and I can truly say I was fully entertained! The book is divided in three parts. The first part made me feel like an explorer of new worlds with various races and many titles and names to remember. The second part is where the characters grew on me and the third part is where all the separate storylines came together giving it a fast paced conclusion. In the end I closed this book with the fulfillment of an adventurer that came out on the good side of a new experience.
Tarrant-Arragon has found himself a half Djinn/Earthling, but as it happens also the last female of the Djinn race and he will use every trick in the book to mate with her. Tarrant –Arragon is a gruff, brass somewhat blunt man that together with Djinie has many “men-come-from-Mars, women-come-from-Venus” moments. So it is a bit of an understatement that his royal courtship is not going the way he originally planned. It is the irrevocable humor that is intertwined within this sci-fi romance story that elevated Tarrant-Arragon’s one-track-mind from becoming annoying. Moreover, the effort of Tarrant-Arragon to understand the whole dating ritual and earths customs of wooing a woman just made me think underneath his attitude he’s just a man trying to cope. He grew on me with his ever present attitude and humor as he deals with the situation and Djinnie of course. I would almost say he is like a bull with a red flag that is called Djinnie. She just doesn’t flaunter around him in awe and passionate worship or obeying his every whim. Oh no, Djinnie is a woman that both verbally as well as physically gives as got as she gets from him. This is a sparring between genders that is universal and well versed by Rowena Cherry to create some genuine firework between the main character. This is something I always enjoy.
The romance gradually progresses with on the backdrop of this story a royal intrigue with various key secondary characters. J-J, Madam Tarra, Helispeta and the Saurian Dragon are compelling characters with which Rowena Cherry keeps you on edge whether they are the good guys or the villains. Each tells a bit more of the Saurian ways and history and if one secondary character leaped from the pages it was Grievous. An Earthling himself he becomes the right hand of Tarrant-Arragon in matters of all Earth affairs. His down-to-earth comments and advice to the specific views of Tarrant-Arragon adds a specific vibe to this tale and was one more thing that kept my attention to the pages.
It took me a while to get used to all the terms, names, world building and it took me a bit more time to fully get drawn into this sci-fi tale. However, ones captured by the charm of various characters I flipped the pages as to find out how it all would end. Rowena Cherry has the talent to create colorful characters with a healthy dose of humor and plotting. Add a provocative romance to it with an imaginative intergalactic world and customs and I feel the sci-fi romance readers will have a pleasurable read from start to finish. I know that I’m intrigued enough to further explore this new genre. Rowena Cherry has broadened my horizon in the crowded romance genre with the lovers journey of Tarrant-Arragon and Djinnie!
Quote Tarrant-Arragon & Djinnie:
Suddenly he was struck by a preposterous image of himself. “Nice, you said? Dependable? Popular? Me?” He laughed. “Oh Earthling! Why not add ‘loveable’ to your list?”
I look forward to pick up the second novel in this series: INSUFFICIENT MATING MATERIAL.