I’m so grateful for authors who write shorter works of fiction. I must have said this dozens of times in the past 14 months. With my brain having concentration issues, it so lovely to get a full meal in a smaller package.
And smaller package might not be the correct term for the first of these novellas. *cough*
Rear Admiral, by ’Nathan Burgoine
Erotica is not my go-to choice as a reader, but I cannot resist a plot-line that tickles my funny bone. Russ is a charming, delightfully awkward soul with a mission: he has ten days to acclimatize himself to the Rear Admiral sex toy, which is based on an adult film star’s actual package. Why ten days? Because Russ will be meeting Matteo Rossi at a wine-tasting party then. Hey, you never know, right? Is it so bad to be prepared for possibilities?
I just love how Burgoine always manages these, “Awww,” moments in his erotic scenes/stories. There’s a sweetness, a vulnerability that makes his stories seem real, and the characters like friends you’d actually know.
And I like how Matteo was a fully-flushed person. Not just some empty physical manifestation of that toy. I think it’s really important for authors to humanize characters who have been or are currently in sex work, such as adult film stars. That was a delight to read as well.
Also, pizza. I really wanted pizza after this. In my opinion, no romantic pursuit should ever be written without the inclusion of good food.
If you like charming characters and the sweet and the sexy, I highly recommend Rear Admiral. You can find it at these online booksellers.
The Final Decree, by Jeffrey Ricker
Again, I was seduced by the plot-line:
Bill Templeton needs a divorce. To get it, he may have to save the galaxy first.From The Final Decree blurb
I mean, I know divorce can be difficult, but this seems to take the cake. So, I dived into Bill’s world. Seems like he and not-quite-ex Travis got into a lot of trouble in the past. That tends to happen when you fall for a smuggler. (Right, Leia?) But now, Bill is ready to get married again and lead a safer, more posh life with the man he now loves. All he needs is Travis to sign the divorce decree. How hard can that be? It’s the future. I bet their WIFI is awesome.
Well, Travis won’t sign remotely. He will only sign in person. Did I mention he lives hundreds of light-years away from Bill?
But Bill is determined, and packs a kit to fly through space to the dangerous backwater planet where Travis resides. A planet that has untapped energy resources. And Bill’s family’s company has a rival corp who wants that energy source. Planetary blockade anyone?
I really enjoyed this story. Great characters and world-building. Loved the pace of the action, too. In fact, I enjoyed the story so much, I felt I wanted to know much more. I kind of hope there is a prequel and sequel to The Final Decree, because Ricker has created a galaxy and a cast that I feel is way worth exploring!
(If you’re reading this, Jeffrey, and there are more stories, please link to them in the comments!)
You can find The Final Decree at these online booksellers.
Cait Gordon is a disability advocate for the written word who is trying to tackle her TBR pile during a pandemic!
Cait is also the author of humorous space opera novels Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers, and she is the co-editor of the Prix Aurora Award nominated anthology Nothing Without Us. When Cait’s not writing, she’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. Her latest new adventure is hosting the In the ’Cosm podcast, which is really an excuse to gush over creative humans she admires.