This is definitely leaning more towards sci-fi erotica than romance, but there’s actually a really interesting plot going on with the xeno-anthropologist heroine (who’s from India, another pleasant surprise to find a PoC heroine in a sci-fi romance) and her quest to save primitive civilizations a shadowy group of ‘bad guys’ want to wipe out so they can provide pristinely ‘uninhabited’ worlds for colonization.
One note for the author, though; using the word ‘exotic’ is considered fetishizing when used to describe women of colour. It’s maybe less unacceptable here than in most situations because it’s being said from an alien viewpoint, but as a general rule, I’d stay well away from using the word in descriptions.
I would actually have liked a lot more of this plot, especially in unmasking the villains, and rather less of what I can only call really, really trippy alien sex. Sula, the heroine, is a ‘normal human’ woman from Earth, and Aidan, the hero, is Zetithian, a feline-humanoid-like male with genes from other species which have given him some psychic powers. Zetithian biology wins out, though, and, well… if you’re into really unusual male genitalia including secretion of more than one mind-altering substance, plus inevitable triplet pregnancies, then you might enjoy the several erotic scenes included in this novel.
Personally, I found it more hilariously campy than titillating. Each to their own, though. I ended up just skimming the sex scenes because the weird anatomy was tripping me out and the mood-altering nature of Aidan’s secretions (and the hilarious alien names for them) was just too much. I’ll give it three stars because I did like Sula and the plot premise had promise, but if trippy alien sex is your thing, you’ll probably enjoy this a lot.
Mystic is available now.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.