Heat Factor: Quantity varies but it’s always magnificently explicit
Character Chemistry: Super insta
Plot: Humans getting into weird situations (mostly requiring rescue) with a bunch of aliens
Overall: Satisfying sci-fi smut fluff
I picked up this series because I was looking for audiobooks by a particular narrator, and I found Cathian. Then I started listening and I’m pretty sure I looked like this:
Without ears and fur, of course.
The Vorge is a Tryleskian ambassador ship, captained by Tryleskian ambassador Cathian and crewed by a merry band of alien misfits. These include: a trio of mindreading pods (who look like little eggs), a female humanoid mouse creature, a grumpy, furry, humanoid female pilot, and four humanoid males, all of differing species, all of whom mate for life.
The stories are short, sexy, and rather sweet. And since they’re sci-fi, they scratch a weird fantasy itch. Imagine a partner who, once mated, will never stray because fidelity is wired into his biology. Imagine if your favorite vibrator or dildo were actually attached to a giant, muscled man-creature. Sci-fi romance series are a really fun place to explore all kinds of fantasies, and this series is no exception. All of the heroines are women, and they’re all in need of some kind of rescue, and there’s always an opportunity for the males to be wild and fierce for their lady loves.
It’s not like it’s some fantastically written masterpiece that will change your life. But it’s entertaining. So without further ado, I give you the Vorge Crew:
Cathian (originally published as short story ‘Captain of Nara’s Heart’ in 2011)
The first book in a new Sci-fi series is primarily fun (IMO) for the “WTF am I even reading?” worldbuilding. Cathian is a perfect example of this. We are introduced to Nara when she is being held captive before being auctioned in the “pleasure market” for a year because her crew was caught smuggling medical supplies.
So, Nara is going to be a sex slave after avoiding sex since she left her horrible ex husband on Earth. Nice.
She’s propositioned by an odd alien who asks Nara to have sex with her captain for six days because he’s IN HEAT. HE NEEDS FEMALE HORMONES TO REPLENISH HIS SUPPLY AND GET THROUGH HIS HEAT, AND HE GETS THEM BY GOING DOWN ON HER CONSTANTLY UNTIL HE’S INGESTED ENOUGH HORMONES. AND HE CAN’T ORGASM UNTIL HE’S EATEN HER OUT FOR SIX DAYS. Oh, and then he orgasms for, like, 4 hours.
I honestly don’t even care what else is happening, this is what makes sci-fi romance amazing.
But Cathian, the captain, is a leonine-humanoid alien who is, of course, really hot. With fangs. And they have this forced proximity thing going on and fall in love, and it’s all very ridiculous and exciting. The one thing I didn’t love about this book (which didn’t happen in later books), was that Nara agreed to be purchased by this Captain to avoid being purchased by someone way worse, and then she reneges when it actually comes to following through with her end of the deal. Being sold as a sex slave is definitely gross, but I also don’t appreciate characters who agree to do something to get out of a situation and then, once they’re out they try to backpedal like crazy.
Dovis is Cathian’s werewolf-type-alien best friend and first officer. He’s a big grump because he was rejected by his own species for being a shifter rather than just all wolfman all the time. Chip, meet shoulder. Dovis is also in charge of security, so he is not a fan of the newest member of their crew, whom he has not had time to vet.
Mari was sold into slavery by her parents when she was 10. She’s solely focused on being so perfect that she retains her value to her owner aliens. When the alien family that purchased her is going through a leadership shift, her owner frees her as a “FU” to his brother. She’s taken to the Vorge, where she’ll be a mechanic. Everybody likes her except Dovis.
Okay, so this one is not quite as bananapants as Cathian, but Dovis bites Mari to save her life (because of course his bite is healing), and that makes her try to sniff and lick him whenever she gets close to him because somehow the bite made her both horny and uninhibited. Of course they really have no interest in staying away from each other because it’s all so awkward, which is situationally humorous.
With this relationship, Dovis gets to figure out how to chill out, while virgin Mari gets to learn…everything. If you like a feisty heroine, Mari is probably going to be far too demure, but I think it’s nice to see heroines who are coming from different backgrounds and also have different personalities because of those experiences. Everybody is not a firecracker, after all.
York is so sweet! His story primarily occurs off the spaceship: he travels to a planet to make a contract with a compatible female who’ll bond with him because his species is super extroverted and he needs company, but now that his two best friends are mated, he’s really lonely.
He’s also an enormous, blue alien.
Sara, who was sold by Earth to an alien slave trade, but who was rescued by the rendesvous planet’s police because the slave trade is technically illegal, is a super unpopular human (nobody likes humans), living at a shelter, working at a restaurant, not knowing what to do with herself, when she sees York being used horribly by his fiancé. Since it’s none of her business, she thinks to herself that that sucks, but she doesn’t really think about it again until she sees him at her restaurant–alone. They get to talking and are nice to each other and… I mean, if you’re in an impossible situation, and another sexually compatible creature is in an impossible situation, and both of your lives could be improved by getting married…why not?
These two have their romance roll out early on, but things don’t resolve for the whole story until everything goes a little bananas when the alien who bought Sara tries to claim her and York and the Vorge crew battle to save her – permanently.
In this case, after the machismo of Cathian and Dovis, it’s nice to read a more submissive male alien character. Because, as I noted with Mari, everyone is not the same, and it’s nice to read about different characters having different personalities. But don’t worry, York’s species mates for life and is permanently loyal to mates, but males will rip any threats to their females apart with their bare hands.
Raff, Raff, Raff. A tortured soul. He’s the Vorge’s assassin, cousin of Cathian, abandoned by his father before he was born because his lineage wasn’t pure Tryleskian. Cathian rescued him and brought him to be a member of the Vorge’s crew, but he’s got a mission to complete in order to avenge his mother’s murder at the hands of his uncle, Cathian’s father. That family is a mess.
While he’s on his home planet, he stumbles across a human who’s been sold into slavery (there’s a theme here, you see), and it’s fortunate that most of his crew has bonded with humans, because he probably wouldn’t have thought twice about her otherwise. But he does like the humans on his ship, so he decides to keep her.
Lilly was on a science mission when her ship was attacked and she ended up as a slave in a brothel on a planet with no laws. She never intended to leave Earth permanently, so when an opportunity presents itself, she gets the heck off the planet where she’s held captive. It’s all very exciting. So when Raff tells her she can’t be returned to Earth because it’s in violation of a bunch of galactic laws, she’s not super excited about it.
But she is excited about the really excellent oral sex she has with Raff while they’re trying to get off the planet. For his part, Raff is like, “she mine.”
There’s a fifth book that was released earlier this year, so maybe I’ll do an update when more of the series is released. These books are super short, so it’s a nice little mental break. In the meantime, get a little wild with these sexy aliens…
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