Feisty Space Chick meets Lusty Barbarian Warrior
When I pick up a Louisa Trent book I know that I am guaranteed a steamy and entertaining read and this does not disappoint! Tempest is set on the planet Skea, populated by humanoids with a fairly primitive society. The three territories of Skea comprise Khet hunters who live in the caves, Khet miners, who live on lower ground and the coastal dwelling Sald, who farm the watery land which hugs the coast. Dry land is a premium.
Amilaw, a shape shifter, is the sole survivor of a spacecraft which crash lands on the planet, leaving her the last of her kin. She is taken in by the peace-loving Sald and is ever grateful to them, although she struggles to adapt to the monotony and conformity which underpin their culture. Kore is the leader of the Khet hunters, a race of warlike cave dwellers who live alongside the Khet miners in a precarious alliance, which Kore struggles to maintain. Kore inspires little loyalty amongst his fellow Khet, instead holding onto his position by virtue of his fighting and hunting acumen and his imposing physical appearance, which he uses to overawe those around him.
Amilaw becomes aware that a raging tempest is due to vent its anger on the planet, threatening all with annihilation. She goes to Kore, whom she believes to be little more than a murdering savage, prepared to do anything she has to do to protect the Sald. She aims to broker a deal, persuading him to allow the Sald refuge from the coming storm in the higher ground of the Khet caves. Kore is suspicious of Amilaw, who is willing to use any measure necessary within her shape shifting arsenal to pacify, beguile or deceive him, using her body at every available opportunity to save the lives of the Sald. As the tempest approaches and the winds and water rise, Kore and Amilaw embark on a scorching affair. We are left wondering who will survive the tempest and if Amilaw and Kore will find their HEA.
Kore plunders every part of Amilaw’s body every which way he can. Louisa Trent describes their erotic love scenes in characteristic heart pounding detail, drawing on all five senses, which left me so hot! Scenes involve vanilla sex, anal sex, spanking, bondage, voyeurism, exhibitionism, archaic sex toys, you name it and Amilaw is up for it. Initially she surrenders due to her commitment to save the Sald, but there is soon no denying the attraction she has for Kore. It is Kore however, who recognises Amilaw as his mate, though he chooses to conceal his compulsion to love and protect her, lest she uses it against him.
Kore is a strong character, loyal to his people and keen to maintain peace. Despite being leader of the Keht hunters, he feels an outsider, partly due to a special gift of his, which he conceals, but also due to his physical appearance, which marks him as different. Due to these differences, he does not believe anyone, least of all Amilaw, can love him. Kore knows that the Keht do not take kindly to strangers, especially those like Amilaw, whose appearance, speech and demeanour vary from the norm, let alone any shape shifting abilities and is thus very protective of her.
Amilaw, although appearing a tough cookie, also feels apart from others. She is not only an outsider on the planet, but she can shape shift, an ability which she must conceal, lest she arouses suspicion and forfeits her life. Amilaw has spent her life travelling the universe and experiencing different worlds, many of which were more technologically advanced than the cultures of the Sald and the Khet. She therefore has a different way of looking at things, giving her a somewhat subversive personality. I love how these two lonely, yet seemingly disparate, individuals come together in this tale of love, lust and self-sacrifice.
The author provides the reader with excellent world-building and plot development. Her descriptions of the cultural differences between the warlike Keht and the harmonious, peace loving Sald are persuasive and help provide tension in the plot. The story also contains humour, as evidenced by Amilaw’s inner contemplations on Keht and Sald life. The banter between Amilaw and Keht is also amusing, especially when Amilaw lapses into space chick lingo, contrasting with Kore’s more archaic speech.
I would recommend this book to fans of Louisa Trent’s work. I have previously enjoyed her historical erotic novels, Captive and Courtesan and found Tempest just as engaging and entertaining! Lovers of erotic sci-fi, erotic fantasy or erotic historical romance would certainly enjoy the read, as would those who enjoy erotic romance with an element of bdsm.
Cover art and map of Skea kindly provided by the artist Terrance Trent for the purpose of this review
Book published by Trent Publishing
Copyright Louisa Trent 2012