Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: 'Khrel' by Ashley L. Hunt

Colorado author Ashley L Hunt earned her degree in Philosophy at The University of Colorado. She lives in Denver where she creates stories with heroes with great strengths, physical and mental, and pairs them with strong heroines who test their limits, in the end finding deep, passionate love.
Science fiction is an acquired taste – and that taste seems to have infused the entire globe as books and television shows and games and movies all fight for top place in this genre. Ashley has her hand solidly in this realm, having published four series of books that deal with aliens peppered with erotica. She continues her new series – ALBATERRA MATES – and presents KHREL as the fifth episode in the series.

Ashley knows how to launch a series about life on another planet that includes a visit from an earthborn creature whose presence creates the change in atmosphere the new planet poses) the new planet is of course Albaterra). She opens the stage for her main characters with some preparatory background so that when the new soon to be lovers meet we are aware of what they bring to the encounter.

The synopsis is concise but a fine map as to where the story will take us, ‘There is nothing he wouldn’t do for his kingdom…except lose her. Lena is a life coach who has dedicated her career to helping others find their purpose. After realizing she had lost her own path somewhere along the way, she made the journey from Earth to Albaterra in the hopes of finding her calling. When three months on the alien planet pass and she is no closer to the self-actualization she needs, however, Lena begins to feel like a fraud. Khrel is a no-nonsense War Chief in the swamp kingdom of Pentaba, and he knows exactly what he wants. His life is a tribute to his Elder and his people, and he is willing to compromise everything for the Council. Until he meets Lena. She is able to burrow past his hardened exterior and see him for his deepest self unlike anyone else has before, and his unwavering alpha demeanor is thrown into question as he finds himself craving to know her and lusting after her voluptuous figure. The Council has permitted a camp of Novai to settle in Pentaba, but Khrel discovers it might be his undoing when one night leads to desperate acts of violence. He rescues Lena from a rogue Novai colonist, but in saving her life he realizes he may lose his. Lena is forced into isolation under Khrel’s watchful eye for her protection and hatches a plan to escape and reunite with her only friend. When her plot puts her in jeopardy again, it is up to Khrel to protect her, but at what cost? Lena soon learns the lengths the muscular A’li-uud will go to for her safety, and Khrel is faced with a possible future in which everything he’s worked for is destroyed. Is there any chance Lena and Khrel can have it all, including each other?’

Few authors can match Ashley’s manipulation of alien romance with the sophistication she manages to mold her worlds and strange exotic creatures. Steamy, yes, erotic, yes, but always original and with a fine ending. Grady Harp, July 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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