Dead or Alive by L.J. Garland
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (47 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aster
Rhykar Evierse has been on the Most Wanted list for years. His attempts to expose the evil deeds of Vast Innovations’ founder, Mertan Graiton, has landed him on the wrong end of the law—and on the wrong end of a sexy bounty hunter’s pistol. Now, Rhykar’s wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. Desperate to clear his name, he contacts the one woman who can save him. He hopes she’ll give him one night to prove himself.
When Selea Val’keer receives Rhykar’s call for help, anger and lust rip through her. How can she be attracted to a criminal? Unable to resist, she accepts his invitation to meet through Madame Evangeline’s 1Night Stand service. But what will she do when she sees him again—kiss him or shoot him?
How much can be packed into 47 pages? Read Dead or Alive, and you may just find out!
Rhykar Evierse is a wanted man. With multiple entities hunting him, he struggles to escape and eventually contact the only person he feels can help him, a bounty hunter by the name of Selea Val'Keer. But, with a bounty on his head - dead or alive - he needed her to listen, not shoot him on sight.
Selea is good at her job, but still struggles to pay her rent. When she sees the bounty offered for Rhykar, a criminal she's hunted many times, she's tempted, but cannot get past the memory of their last encounter. He'd kissed her, a kiss that she felt with every fiber of her being, but which turned out to be nothing more than a way to distract her long enough to drug her so he could escape. A cryptic message she receives from Madame Eve proves to be from Rhykar, and with little further thought, she's off to meet with him.
This story is packed with a little bit of everything: action, suspense, intrigue, romance, fantasy and sex. Initially I thought it was set in the future, but it could be considered present day when you find out there are multiple planets involved. I'd never read a science fiction romance such as this, so it wasn't an easy read, yet it was laid out well enough that I wasn't confused. The language was consistent with the topic and the characters were well developed, considering the brief nature. Madame Eve played an incidental part in Rhykar and Selea's meeting, being not much more than an intermediary in communication, but this book stays true and fits well with the 1Night Stand series.
The one negative I'd give this one is it was difficult to picture the environment at times. This could have been because I am not as familiar with science fiction, or because of the brevity of the story, but if more time had been spent describing the surroundings, maybe it would have been easier to make a mental image. That being said, it in no way took away from the other aspects of the tale, and I was intrigued from start to finish.
If you like fantasy, and love to get lost in a world unlike your own, this is a romance to pick up!