Darkling by Em Petrova
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Sci/Fi-Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (73 pages)
Other: M/F, voyeurism, masturbation
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Carnation
Niles Walker, a social worker in the ’hood, stumbles across what appears to be a gorgeous homeless woman heaped in rags in the middle of a heat wave. Drawn to her beauty, he struggles to keep from peeling the layers off and taking the tantalizing curves beneath. Finally he gives in to his urges and offers his apartment as refuge, though it puts his job on the line. And too late, he realizes he can’t keep her from his bed.
Vega is a fallen star looking for the magical object used to light newborn stars. She can’t believe the human who gives her shelter can also inspire such need in her strange new human form. She’s so hungry for his kisses and the fire he kindles inside her, she nearly forgets her purpose for coming to Earth—retrieving the starscale, or risking her future and those of her fellow celestial beings.
When a celestial being takes human form for the first time, she's besieged with unexpected sensations and emotions. The experiences of smiling, tears and thirst are small surprises compared with the overwhelming desire that suddenly comes over her when she is kissed by the handsome, passionate man who has decided to take care of her.
Vega is a star in the galaxy who has fallen to earth to find the magical Starscale she dropped here by mistake. When she arrives in the city she's overcome by the heat of the sun and wraps herself in rags she finds in the park. When social worker, Niles finds her under some bushes in a sleep induced haze, he assumes she's a homeless woman. When she proves unable to communicate well he believes her to be an illegal and the only way to shelter her legally is to take her home with him.
Niles hasn’t counted on her sweet charms or beauty and soon falls hard for her with a heat that matches her own. Unfortunately Vega only has two weeks to find the precious Starscale and return it to her kind in order to give light to the newborn stars soon to appear. She's unable to tell Niles of her dilemma and is swept into a raging hot affair with him that overshadows anything she has ever experienced as a Celestial.
Will Vega choose her duty to her own kind or the irresistible, exquisite love and passion she has found while in her new body? The decision is sure to leave her broken in spirit, either way.
Ms. Petrova has written this beautiful fable with sensitive prose and realistic force. I was swept through this magical tale in captivated delight. The problem posed seems impossible to resolve, but leave it to the creative imagination of Em Petrova to find a believable and touching solution.
The story was written with the precision and capability I have come to expect from this author. This fanciful tale succeeded in every way, including in delivering a singeing-hot erotic romance. Here's an example of the way Ms. Petrova reveals the tender love that bursts between Vega and Niles: “‘Vega, my rare beauty. Who are you?’ ‘Yours,’ she whispered.”
I recommend, Darkling to all lovers of fantasy and romance.