Author: Lyn Gala
Genre: Science Fiction Romance (M/F)
Format: Novel (392 pages)
Book sites: Author | Publisher | Goodreads
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publisher: Loose ID (June 2015)
4.5 stars (out of 5)
Tagline: Tough alpha male soldier submits to the crazy, strong, and blue alien woman
An amazing tale from one of my favorite authors, some of the writing was more difficult and slow than typically found in light romances, but the payoff in the end was absolutely worth it for me. Lyn Gala writes a wide range of stories, including one of my absolute favorite m/m romances, Claimings Tails and Other Alien Artifacts, a gently firm and a bit erotic exploration of a strong but submissive human man submitting to powerful alien. Blowback is an earlier work by this author (although recently revised) with similar themes, except in this case the outwardly buff human man with a submissive side is submitting to a powerful female alien.
Reading this work reminded me of the writing progression of another of my favorite m/m romance authors, Amy Lane. Her early Little Goddess series, a paranormal erotic series (with a female protagonist) had a rough-edged but wild prose style that was engaging but perhaps a bit undisciplined, as well as highlighting some of the strengths we see in Ms. Lane’s later works. I find a similar progression in Ms. Gala’s writing – her early work Blowback is a bit rough to get through at times but it showcases the author’s love of linguistics and cross-cultural communication issues that are so brilliantly built into her later Claimings series. In short, I find in both of these authors’ early works plenty of genius a somewhat “rough around the edges” but still extremely engaging writing styles that are clearly honed to great effect in very enticing later works.
I read this genre primarily for escapist reads, so the alien (and traumatic) confusion of the main character wasn’t as easy to navigate as I usually expect in romances, but in the end any struggle through the sieve of an injured alien mind was well worth the eventual payoff for me. Of course, I greatly enjoy stories where strong men are able to find comfort and joy in submission to another, especially when the relationship focuses on the mental and emotional side of Domination and submission. For this reader, Blowback was an absolutely enchanting tale and the wonderful jumble of the blue woman’s crazily enticing vocabulary was an extremely enjoyable escape that paid off handsomely in the end.
Heat: 4.5 stars (just a few scenes, but I found them to be very smoking for my tastes)
Relationship Chemistry: 4.5 stars (slow boil of enemy to prisoner to lover)
Characters: 4.5 stars (tough, alpha male who secretly wants to submit and an uber-strong, apparently crazy, and wonderfully blue alien woman)
Setting: 4 stars (military operatives undercover as smugglers caught on a slaving planet)
Plot: 4 stars (caught in a web of deceit among slavers, aliens, the military, and the government)
Writing: 3.5 stars (excellent hints of the author’s future xenolinguistic exploits, but sometimes dragged a bit much in the crazy alien woman’s mind)
Themes: Aliens, Slavery, Enemies to Lovers, BDSM (submission, control, light bondage)