Freeing Luka by Victoria Aveline
Sci Fi Romance
Publication date: 07/08/2020
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
I love the smell of a new, 5-star release in the morning...
Plot Overview: Human Alice is kidnapped and held prisoner on an alien ship with Luka, who is a prisoner (a Clecanian), as well. They bond during their captivity, and need to learn how to hold on to their bond and overcome the obstacles and enemies that stand between them once they're rescued and grounded on Luka's home world.
Trope bingo: Forced proximity, fated mates, mars needs women, protective alpha male
First of all, it has to be said that I was a HUGE fan of book 1 in this series, Choosing Theo. While Freeing Luka CAN be read as a standalone, I wouldn't recommend it. You could follow what's going on in book 2 without reading book 1, but you'd miss out on some super cool world building that took place in book 1. Trust me...it's worth it to go back and read book 1 before diving into this one.
That said, I'm not normally a huge fan of the fated mates trope, but when it comes to aliens, I guess I'm just more accepting of it. I mean, I've already set aside my disbelief long enough to pick up a romance about alien captives finding love, so why wouldn't they be fated mates, too? Long-story-short: this book is fated mates done right. Sure, they bond really quickly. Yes, he recognizes her as "his" at first sight. But that doesn't mean that their romance is unrealistic (it isn't), or that they don't actually take the time to get to know each other (they do).
Alice is a pretty cool heroine. She's reasonably calm under pressure, can take a leadership role when needed, and is very open-minded about pretty much everything. She's also feisty without being annoying, which I really appreciate. (There's a fine line between "feisty" and "a walking disaster" sometimes. Alice doesn't cross the line at any point.)
Luka is a great hero, too. Now, I will admit that I didn't love Luka as much as I loved Theo. Theo was just a giant, scarred, emotionally battered teddy bear, so he was my own personal catnip. Luka is more of a traditional protective alpha male. That's OK, though, because he never ventured into alphahole territory. Fans of Ruby Dixon's Ice Planet Barbarians will love Luka. (Even though he's got fairly human-compatible body parts, unlike Dixon's men. Ahem.)
I'm not going to go into the plot because this is a sci fi romance, and it'd be really easy to spill the whole thing. I'm not a spoiling spoiler who spoils, so I'm not going to reveal too much. Just know that Luka's planet/race needs Alice just as much as he needs her, and that leads to conflict--internal and external. Again, long-story-short, the plot is solid. You'll just have to trust me on that one.
And on a totally shallow note, can we just take a minute to appreciate this cover? The colors, the fonts, the half naked buff dude...it's all working, and I adore it!!
So, in short, I'm happy to report that this is a lovely second installment in a series that is very quickly becoming my gold standard for sci fi romance reads.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushes the stigma! No rehab needed.
And don't forget to read Theo's book! It's FABULOUS:
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