Friday, May 26, 2017

The Klockwerk Kraken

Aidee Ladnier
MLR Press
Reviewed by Nancy
4 out of 5 stars


When the right space pilot walks into his bar, a desperate bartender uses all his wiles (and tentacles) to talk the man into business and his bed--but the spacer is still enslaved by his past and isn't sure he can deal with a two-handed lover, much less one with six.

As the supply shipments stop coming, Teo Houdin needs all his tentacles to keep his waystation bar open. Facing a riot by thirsty miners stranded in the backwater of the galaxy, Teo helps a greenie space pilot buy a ship in return for a regular haul of liquor. But he longs for the courage to invite the enigmatic spacer to fill his lonely bed as well.

Still smarting from his newly implanted navigational ports, Jimenez knows owning his own ship will prevent him from ever being bought and sold again. For a former slave, transporting cargo through the emptiness of space sounds like paradise, but after meeting the compassionate and sexy Teo, his heart feels empty, too.

At the edge of the galaxy's spiral arm, can Teo convince Jimenez that the heart has its own tentacles and theirs should be entwined forever?

My Review

Betentacled Teo Houdin is proud proprietor of the Klockwerk Kraken, a unique bar located in a remote outer space way station, which makes it difficult for Teo to keep a regular supply of booze on hand. Though he comes from a large and loving family, Teo craved independence and wanted to see more of the galaxy, so he left the planet of Celos.

Jiminez is a former slave adjusting to normal life and looking to buy a ship in order to ensure he remains free.

When Jiminez sets foot in Teo’s bar, their attraction is instant. Teo helps Jiminez find a suitable ship with the condition that Jiminez obtains regular shipments of liquor to help keep Teo’s bar running. While the men act on their feelings early on, the relationship takes time to develop. Jiminez is guarded, secretive, has scars and low self-esteem, and is deeply affected by his past trauma. This conflicts with Teo’s warmth and openness in expressing affection. I love how Teo wears his feelings on his tentacles!

While their sex was blazing hot, this was more than romance and erotica. Jiminez gradually opened up to Teo about his past, his fears, and his love for poetry. There was also an engaging plot that revolved around a mysterious fire and Jiminez’ possible culpability. The world that Teo and Jiminez inhabit was skillfully described without an overload of unnecessary detail or technical jargon, so one does not have to be a science fiction fan to enjoy this story. It should appeal to those readers who enjoy space operas with a dose of erotica.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was fun, lightly humorous, comfortably paced, sexy and touching.