I found Xera, the heroine in No Words Alone by Autumn Dawn, refreshing. I love the romance genre–like LOVE love it, but sometimes the tension is kept high by having the heroine make massively inaccurate assumptions and then follow those up with boneheaded decisions. Definitely entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes when a deliberate, patient heroine comes along, I just find my whole body going Ahhhhhh.
Xera was intelligent, curious about the alien race she encounters (the Scorpio) as any interpreter would be, and sensitive to the differences between her race and theirs. She had some very understandable insecurities when faced with a relationship with a Scorpio man, but she (or rather Autumn Dawn) did not succumb to the temptation to inflate tension by having Xera value those insecurities over good sense.
While there were some slow moments for me (reason for 4 stars instead of 5 on my Goodreads review), I would describe the pace of the middle third of the novel as leisurely rather than boring. Xera’s sight-seeing of the high-society Scorpio world lacked the kind of fast-paced tension that marks the modern paranormal/sci-fi romance genres , but the high-conflict beginning and ending made up for the slightly slower pacing of the middle.
Overall, I enjoyed Xera’s journey and found No Words Alone a very rewarding read.
One thing I found very interesting was Autumn Dawn’s bio at the end of the novel. Self-pubbies out there should really check out her bio. I’ll leave it at that. By the way, referred by a tweet last week, I found No Words Alone on Smashwords for free , so if you’d like to see more from No Words Alone or just want to peek at the bio I teased you with, go here for your free e-copy as long as it lasts:
It hadn’t taken long for Xera to realize her employer was a planet-hungry entity bent first and foremost on keeping the worlds it discovered under its control. In the Scorpio, they’d found a powerful race intent on maintaining their liberty and the privacy of their territory.–Kindle Locations 67-69.
Khan’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t screw this up, Harris-d, or I will bust you down to kitchen help. Find out what they want.”
“Yes, sir.” She gave him a jaunty salute and strode toward the alien line with her usual high energy. Fully expecting to die, she figured she might as well look proud doing it.–Kindle Locations 89-92.
Commander Atarus. If he was capable of that kind of random brutality, what else might he do? For now they had a common foe, but there was no telling how long this fragile truce would hold.–Kindle Locations 244-245.