Humans have an uneasy relationship with the aliens in their part of space, and Tom hopes that his ship never sees another war. Other than that, he has few ambitions. He’s given up on finding a strong woman who will indulge his need to be dominated, especially since he tends to intimidate everyone. That’s part of his job as a security officer.
However one of his crew is alien, and Da’shay’s seems intent on pursuing Tom. She’s aggressive, which Tom appreciates in a woman, but he doesn’t know if he can trust her. When an undercover operation sends them deep into slavery territory, Tom is captured and he must trust Da’shay or lose his life.
As the danger deepens, Tom begins to realize that Da’shay is more than just their eccentric pilot. He fears his lust is leading him astray, but he can’t help but wonder if Da’shay is the Dominant he’s been seeking—someone who will trust him to shoot the enemy during the day and tie him to a bunk at night.
I’ve mainly read Gala’s M/M sci-fi romances, with Turbulence being the only M/F romance of hers that I’ve read prior to Blowback. So I was excited to read this book. In fact I was anticipating reading it so much that I waited until the review was due to read it because I wanted it to last as long as possible because once I finished it, I had no idea how long I would have to wait for another of Gala’s sci-fi romances. I am both kicking my own metaphorical arse for not enjoying Blowback sooner, while at the same time, basking in the afterglow of a story that was so worth the wait that the anticipation was worth it.
This is not your typical romance and not because there are aliens involved. The animosity and distrust Tom has for Da’shay is so strong you feel it through the pages. When a mission goes bad and a “concerned” party approaches Tom with information about Da’shay that reinforces his ill-feelings toward her, he does the wrong thing for the right reason and ends up having to choose between charges of treason or death. Once he makes peace with his choice, Da’shay steps in and prevents his death, leaving Tom bewildered as he’s made no secret of his feelings toward her. After a series of events ends up with Tom being relegated to slave status with Da’shay claiming ownership of him, Tom’s dislike ratchets up to hate as he tries to figure out whether to kill Da’shay or himself. But when Tom is forced to listen to Da’shay are really hear what it is she is trying to say, his opinion of her takes a 180 and the woman he would have taken pleasure in killing, is now the woman he wants to make happy. But with war looming and Tom, Da’shay and the crew of the Kratos finding themselves smack dab in the middle of it and a possible conspiracy, can Tom trust his newfound faith in Da’shay and his need to protect her outside of the ship, while submitting to her in the bedroom?
I loved this book. Not to spoil the story, but due to a procedure that was performed on Da’shay, her pattern of speech is not normal – not even for a genta. The way she talks in riddles reminded me of the Firefly character, River Tam. As Firefly was one of my favorite television shows, I loved how Da’shay’s character was reminiscent of River – although as the book was written before the television show was aired, it should be the other way around, but I “knew” River first. Once you learned to speak Da’shay’s language it was much easier to understand what she was trying to communicate. Even though Tom was basically forced to listen to Da’shay, I liked that once she finally got through to him, he was willing to reassess the situation and his feelings toward her changed – for the better. I’m sure that the fact the sex between the two of them was scorchingly hot did not hurt his position one bit. I’m not big on the whole submissive male storyline, but I loved it in Blowback and felt like Gala did an excellent job of balancing Tom’s alpha male tendencies outside of the bedroom, with his willingness to submit to Da’shay inside the bedroom. Blowback was an excellent sci-fi romance with just the right amount of action, intrigue, and erotica that kept me glued to my Kindle.