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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rogue by Cheryl Brooks

Rogue by Cheryl Brooks
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full (384 pgs)
Other: M/F * M/F/M
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Xeranth

Trag and Tychar are brothers sold into slavery when their planet was destroyed. Their race carries a feline gene, giving them sinuous beauty and extraordinary sexual powers. Tychar's female conquests are legendary, but they never meant much to him, and Trag just laughs at his playboy brother. Living on Darconia, a planet of friendly but unattractive lizards, neither has been with a woman in many years. When the queen hires Kyra Aramis, a human from Earth, to teach piano to her children, Trag and Tychar agree to share the female and set out to win her over...

But suddenly Tychar becomes possessive - Kyra is unlike any woman he's ever known. But he's sure he's ruined any chance of her trusting him with her heart...

Rogue is amazing romance adventure that takes a reader on a fascinating journey that explores the senses. Ms. Brooks has the astounding talent of world building for each and every book of this series and so far the results are incredible.

This story is told in first person POV, following the courageous Kyra as she ventures off world for the first time on a life changing mission: to teach piano. Because this is told in Kyra’s words, I learned the same time as she did about the new world she ends up on and the strange inhabitants of Darconia. Well, they think she’s strange too because she’s totally different from them. You see, they are lizards but as the story goes along you start seeing them the way Kyra does – as people. I forgot that they were lizards after awhile because their emotions and feelings were not unlike my own. Ms. Brooks has Kyra embracing her new students and in doing so discovers hidden depths and talents thought to be impossible. The heroine is a catalyst that shakes up the status quo and the excitement left me turning pages at a fast clip.

The brothers Trag and Tychar are exceptional men who have been slaves for a long long time and have become resigned to their fate. They even have a sense of humor about it all. They are a major source of steamy possibilities and for a bit I wasn’t’ sure which brother was going to get his HEA. I enjoyed their passion and their talents in the bedroom and out. Both Trag and Tychar are strong characters with the ability to be gentle and earnest with Kyra. At one part, one of them broke my heart.

There is a vast array of secondary characters that enhance the story. Zealon is one of Kyra’s students and plays a sweet and surprising role. In fact, Ms. Brooks tackles alien politics, prejudice, and unconventional sex with a deft hand. Every twist and turn pulled me deeper into the story and I was filled with hope that all would be resolved in a way that Kyra’s romance would not be the only ‘happily ever after’.

As I’ve come to expect with Ms. Brooks’ talent, her sense of humor and sense of the silly is alive and well in Rogue. She had me giggling when it was revealed that a fast food chain in space is just as addictive as it is here on Earth. I challenge anyone who reads this story to keep a straight face about it. There’s even a pratfall moment that is not only critical but hysterically funny and I expect the cause will leave you snickering as it did me. That mental image was pure genius.

Rogue is a story chock full of witty and fast moving dialogue, unique and diverse characters, hot sex (one during which your heart strings are tugged) and alien politics sure to please the sci-fi fan inside the reader. I think you will laugh, fall in love with an alien or two, and be truly agog at the richness Ms. Brooks brings to her worlds as two people find their HEA in the most unexpected of places.

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