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Your Planet or Mine?

 
My Favorite Earthling
by Susan Grant
(HQN, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-771924
***
Keira and Jared arenít the first interspatial couple in romance land. They are preceded by at least one other couple, Jana Jasper and Cavin Far Star, Jaredís sister and Keiraís former suitor, whose story is told in Susan Grantís My Planet or Yours. Itís because of the first couple that the second one meet. Jared walks into the crashed space ship in his parentsí back yard sees on a plasma screen, a beautiful woman working out. The plasma screen is something like a two-way mirror, and the woman sees him too. Itís not instant love, but it is instant attraction. In a couple of minutes, Jared has Princess Keira believing he is an earth prince. When her political advisors suggest that marriage is the best way to stave off intergalactic war, the two comply.

Royalty are a pretty lonely bunch and Keira, Queen of the Sakka, is especially so Ė imagine how isolated you would be if you were the direct descendant of a goddess and worshiped throughout the galaxy as one! Who ever could you confide in? When could you show your weaknesses?

To make matters worse, Keira has no family. Her parents died when she was young. To seal herself off from pain, she has refused comfort and love of any kind. The icy domains she governs are a true reflection of the person she is. She has also solidified her reputation as a cold- hearted ice queen by refusing all suitors and by castrating the one suitor who came too close. Surrounded by emotionless eunuchs and scheming politicians, she finds her only comfort in martial arts training. As her husband and mate, Jared gets through this protective shell, but before they can make their marriage something other than a political alliance and the perpetration of blood lines, they must get to the bottom of the assassination attempts that have been dogging Jared.

The earthling is a pretty nice guy, whose concern for Keira reveals a sensitive side. The fact that she has a fabulous body probably helps. Still, not every guy would look past it to see her vulnerability and pain. Iím not sure, however, that she deserves it. Yes, the girl survived a minor tragedy and no, it canít be easy to live in an emotional wasteland. But she does behave in a much too snooty and huffy manner for my tastes. This didnít help me warm to her plight and made it hard to give too much credence to their romance.

The palace mystery helped sustain my interest. Although it was obvious that the aggressive Drakken hordes were behind the plotting and intrigue, there was more than one contender for the position of local traitor. This helped keep the pages turning, but it just isnít enough to leave a lasting impression on my romance novel list. The story and its characters - eunuchs, aliens and earthlings alike - are already fading fast.

--Mary Benn


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