Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact Book 1) by Lexi Ander
This here’s an M/M, Sci-Fi romance. Or maybe it would be more correct calling it an M/living-snake-tattoo/marsupial romance? Because technically it’s a threesome (even though two of the involved beings are in fact merged together) involving three different species of unclear biological gender.
So I’ll be honest. I didn’t like this read as a romance even a little bit. But as a Sci-Fi adventure, I adored it!
Blurb: The main character is a guy named Zeus. Found on an abandoned space-ship as an infant, he was adopted by the Mar’Sani royal family. Despite him being human and the Mar’Sani being big, scaly, lizard-people. Raised like a prince but never truly accepted by the Mar’Sani people, Zeus works as a master mechanic on a space station when he crosses paths with Dargon (which I constantly read as Dragon in my head). Dargon (and his symbiote, Alpha) desperately need to repair their ship but they’re also running from Psionics that are hunting them. The solution? A minor kidnapping of Zeus. Also, it appears that Zeus and Dargon (plus Alpha) are destined mates who are instantly insanely attracted to each other.
As a space adventure, this was utterly entertaining. The world-building was really awesome with the amount of detail Sci-Fi lovers usually only dream about. Sure, it was a bit overwhelming, the sheer number of sentient beings being introduced, but that can often be the case with the first book in a series. And I loved it in any case. The story sucked me in immediately. It was emotional but also with fast-pacing action. Zeus was totally endearing and I adored him immediately. There was a dual POV with both Dargon and Zeus getting their own chapters, but I didn’t really feel any connection to Dargon. Instead it was Zeus all the way. There was never a boring moment in this book, several plots were introduced. There’s the mystery of Zeus’ origins. The kidnapping (obviously) and the chemistry between Zeus and Dargon. There’s Zeus’ Mar’Sani brothers chasing after Dargon to get their brother back. There’s also the Psionics hunting Dargon, or more correctly, hunting Dargon’s cargo. There’s also a bigger plot involving an insect-like species threatening to break through the defences of the Valespian Pact. It’s spectacular entertainment. That humans were bad guys in this scenario was also bloody brilliant.
But as a romance, it kind of sucked. And that was mainly because of two things. First, making this into a threesome just didn’t work. The third party – Dargon’s so called symbiote – was basically a snake-thingy-tattoo that is attached to Dargon. No matter what that thing does, it’s not sexy and it’s impossible to view it as an equal third party in the relationship. It’s just freaky as all get out. And Zeus declaring his feelings for that thing is really not credible at all. Second, Dargon is some kind of shape-shifting creature looking a bit like an orangutang in his original form. And he has a stomach pouch for nurturing young. So really. I just… Let’s just say that the sexy-chapters were creepy as fuck.
Basically, I’m a bit conflicted. I want to read the next book in the series because I want to know what happens next, but… I don’t know if I can take more of the freaky threesome. Naw, who am I kidding. Of course I’ll read the next one. I’ll just have to fight my nausea when it’s sexytime.