Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild
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About The Book
A secret revealed. A plot within a plot. A battle to reunite.
Headed in opposite galactic directions, Rowland Hale and Toar Grithrawrscion must find a way to reunite despite the myriad of challenges dogging their every step. An unwelcome surprise finds Rowland picking up the pieces of what he thought was his life, and Toar learns the hard way that the Pryok’tel always settle the score.
Can their blossoming relationship survive, or will it be torn to bits between needle-sharp teeth?
In Barons of Oartheca, the action-packed sequel to Allure of Oartheca, James Siewert plunges our two heroes into an epic fight for survival with adversaries both old and new, and asks the question, ‘Is family those you love, or those you trust … with your life?’
Advisory: this book contains scenes of explicit male/male romance, sex and sexuality, and is recommended only for readers ages 18+.
If we have anything at all to be grateful for during this endless pandemic, it’s that it allowed (forced?) authors to sit and imagine and write. Book 2 of the Oartheca Star Saga was as welcome to this reviewer as Toar’s first sight of Hale will be after they both get through the mess that seems to have cropped up during intermission between the two books.
James Siewert’s world-building is engaging and interesting. Yes, yes, there’s lots of Star Trek and Star Wars cultural memory to ensure that anyone who enjoys this sort of story will feel they’re on familiar territory. But Siewert has made this sci-fi fantasy his own, maintaining his distinctively sincere, romantic, and surprisingly raunchy embrace of “where no man has gone before” throughout.
Toar and Hale are separated, but have vowed to find each other as soon as possible and to finish what they started. However, Toar finds himself immediately in trouble again—through no fault of his own. Apparently, the Oarth barons they rescued from the Pryok’tel vulture are more than they seem, and the normally efficient Pryok’tel are determined to avenge the loss of resources wreaked by the earthling and the Oarth.
Hale has to come to grips with the altered reality that his entire career as a Robin-Hood-like rebel was in fact an elaborate con staged by the Coalition of Allied Planetary Systems. He quickly learns that his CAPS superiors are willing to carry on the ruse in order to help him rescue Toar, even if their ultimate goal is to find a way to bring Oartheca into the CAPS family and force the Pryok’tel to negotiate a treaty.
Toar, meanwhile, his reputation on Oartheca in worse shape than it was already, has to save the two barons he rescued, and to understand who they really are. With years of public shame and denial by his family behind him, Toar has to find the hero in himself and live up to his love for Hale while remaining faithful to the culture of his people.
It’s a complicated set up, and the author does himself proud, plucking every emotional string possible to keep his readers on the edge of their seats as the story careens from adventure to violence as our two heroes fight for what is good and loyal and furry.
Once again, we have a cliffhanger, but it’s a good one. I never thought it was a skill I would appreciate, but Siewert knows how to handle this most annoying of all book endings.
Because, you see, there’s a book 3 in the works. Rawr.
Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.
Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.
By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.
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