For most, the Earth/Kalquor War ended years ago. Yet veteran destroyer captain Zemos and clanmates Oret and Miragin have been captured by a renegade Earther battlecruiser. They’ve been held in a cell for months now, with no idea where their ultimate fate lies. Threatened daily, they know their lives can end at any moment. The only bright spot during their imprisonment has been the lovely woman who brings them their meals and offers the one friendly face amongst their enemies.
Elisa Mackenzie is among the desperate Earthers trying to survive in the wake of Armageddon. Surrounded by fanatics who won’t give up a long-lost war, she can’t let herself care for the Kalquorians the ship has taken prisoner. Her lonely heart, empty for so long, has other ideas. Knowing the Kalquorians are dangerous and her fanatical shipmates are even more so, Elisa fights her feelings in vain. Ignoring the harsh lessons of long-lost youth, she falls in love.
Zemos, Oret, and Miragin know they must escape before the Earthers deliver them to an unthinkable end. They also know the key to opening their cage means turning on the woman who has infiltrated their fierce hearts. Elisa already has their adoration. She deserves their protection and care as well, but enemies both new and ancient threaten the Kalquorian Empire. To save their people and themselves, the three men may have to destroy the woman who would complete their clan.
Alien Caged is one of the few Clans of Kalquor books I’ve only read once…until now. That actually has nothing to do with the book itself, but more that prior to reviewing for the blog my reading tended to go in cycles by genre and I didn’t hit another sci-fi erotica read-a-thon before being recruited to review. So it was with immense glee that I jumped at the chance to reread Alien Caged this month. Sci-fi erotica is my favorite genre and St. John’s Kalquorians are one of my favorite of the alien races. How can you go wrong with a race that forms a clan of three men who hold their woman so dear that she is practically worshipped by them? Add to that the Kalquorian men’s anatomical advantage over earth men and said woman is in for the pleasure of her life.
One of the things I have enjoyed about this series is that after the first few books where the author took the time to build the universe of Kalquorian-Earther conflict and did so with the obligatory young, attractive child-bearing women, her heroines began to grow, if you will. In the case of Alien Caged Elisa is still the requisite virgin as dictated by Earth’s now-defunct government, but she’s a 48 year-old woman who has spent the past several years serving as a dietician on a military ship. The only woman on a ship full of men with nowhere to dock for “shore leave.” Knowing how crude men can be when they have no sexual outlet and the respect with which Kalquorians treat women, it is no surprise that she found herself responding to the gentle attentions of Zemos, Oret, and Miragin. While Elisa’s attraction to and fantasies regarding Clan Zemos have increased over the past three months, she finds herself torn between the clan she’s come to love and her fellow Earthers when she learns the fate of the Kalquorians. When Elisa is caught up in the Kalquorians’ escape attempt she learns first-hand how determined the warriors are when they set out to conquer – both their foes and their woman.
As almost all of this novel takes place on the Earther ship that Elisa works, the romancing and seduction occurs in less than favorable conditions. Prior to their escape, Clan Zemos is behind bars and their time interacting with Elisa is limited to the brief meal delivery that occurs twice a day. Yet it is apparent from the outset that they have made the most of this time and getting to know one another whenever a guard wasn’t present. While it may seem odd at first, the men actually ramp up their seduction of Elisa while in the midst of their taking over the Earther ship. Most of their efforts are undertaken by their Imdiko Miragin as he has no military training and was on the Kalquorian ship when it was captured only becasue he was conducting interviews for a book, thereby giving him the freedom to focus on Elisa rather than the fight. This does not mean that neither Zemos nor Oret take no part in convincing Elisa to join their clan, but that their time with her is shorter. But less time doesn’t mean less intense when the seduction gets physical. Even as the men wage war on Elisa, the author keeps the battle for control of the ship front and center. The combination of action, intrigue, romance, and off-the-charts hot ménage sex keeps me returning to the Clans of Kalquor series, and Alien Caged certainly delivers in all of these areas. I cannot wait to read Alien Indiscretions next as its release snuck by me earlier this year.