Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A desire for status has brought Ondry and Liam to a human world to trade, but dealing with humans has brought up all the old pain in Liam’s heart. Even though Ondry would do anything to protect his beloved palteia, he doesn’t know how to protect Liam from himself. Worse, Ondry isn’t sure how to shield Liam from the shifting politics on the Rownt ship where the Calti Grandmothers are nothing like the ones they left behind on the planet.
With everything in their lives changing, Ondry and Liam have only each other. If Ondry can’t find a way to defend Liam from the ghosts of the past and overcome the impossibly short life span of a human, their small family might be over long before either of them is ready to let go. Ondry has always been a dominant and possessive Rownt, and with Liam in danger, those traits are necessary as he challenges the world to protect his lover.
In this third installment, the pace is slow and languid (maybe even a bit too slow at times which is why I couldn’t quite give it five stars), but it’s also full of depth and endeavors on some deeper level.
We get a dual POV with Ondry and Liam this time, which I very much enjoyed. Seeing his side of Liam’s claiming, and all that led up and went after, was fascinating. Diallo is there but not a focus this time, which I was pleased with. The story focuses more tightly back on the relationship of Ondry and Liam, how they interact with each other as well as with Rownts and humans.
The author also explores new territory by taking us off the Rownt home planet and into a huge Rownt where Ondry and Liam plan to advance his status through trade as well as eventually get in contact with a much advanced race to try and extend Liam’s lifespan to be a bit more in sync with Ondry’s.
The sex scenes were hot, and not just because of the tail sex! What I enjoyed most in this one was Ondry learning about. On a trading expedition with humans, Ondry happened to see two humans kissing. After some explanation about this tradition, Ondry, who is ever determined to give Liam everything his palteia wants/needs, proceeds to explore. Wouldn’t you know it, kissing ending up being something they could both enjoy at the same time. Yay.
As for depth, well, I loved the nuance of meanings and Ondry’s protectiveness and pride, and the further exploration of the whole concept of palteia and of value. How amazing to be valued so highly–to have someone always willing to listen. Swoon. Also saw depth because in seeing how humans are so different from aliens, this story also points out to us just how different each individual human is from each other one. Which got me to thinking how much effort we have to invest if we want to truly understand another individual. Unfortunately, in my life experience anyway, there are very few people willing to actually put in the time and effort to attempt to do so.
It’s hard for me to really envision Ondry and the Rownt. On the covers, we’ve seen purple skin and muscles and a tail. In the description, we get height and mass, talk of laying eggs and cracking out of shells (a mention of a claw caught in a shell). For some this this has evidently brought turtles to mind, but I’m not quite seeing that. While thin lips might fit with turtles, most don’t have sharp teeth. Regardless of what Ondry looks like, his other traits are enough to have won me over. Again.
There’s a twist at the end involving the introduction of a new human. I find that interesting and hope that we will get to explore the relationship between Mora and the Grandmother further.
The cover adds very little to what we’ve already been shown of the guys but does give the feel of being in space.
ebook, 186 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Loose Id
Series Claimings with links to BJ’s reviews:
- Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (Claimings, #1)
- Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities (Claimings #2)
- Affiliations, Aliens, and Other Profitable Pursuits (Claimings, #3)