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5.27.2009

Review: Outcast by Cheryl Brooks

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Outcast (The Cat Star Chronicles #1) by Cheryl Brooks
Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi Romance
Mass Market Paperback (SOURCEBOOKS CASABLANCA, 384 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 1402218966
This fourth installment in The Cat Star Chronicles series maintains the qualities of excitement, world-building, sizzling romance, and great imagination that made Slave such a resounding success.
Sold into slavery when his planet was destroyed, Lynx was enslaved in a harem. He is a favorite due to his feline gene, which gives him remarkable sexual powers, but after ten years, Lynx is exhausted.
Thrown out without a penny, Lynx is bitter and anti-female. He emigrates to a new planet but can only find a job with a female rancher.
Bonnie's boyfriend has left with all their money and she needs help with the ranch. Lynx is cynical, but honest, and though he has made it clear that he wants no part of a romantic relationship, Bonnie can't resist him. She finds out about his impotence and becomes determined not to let such a beautiful and sensual young man go to waste...

Author Site:
www.cherylbrooksonline.com


If it ain't broke... (4 stars)

Lynx was quite young when his homeworld of Zetith was destroyed and he and his commrades were sold into slavery. Not yet versed in the art of enticement his fellow males were known for he might have been thrilled to become the slave of a harem filled with females in need of his attentions. But what might have started out as a chance to learn how to give pleasure soon became anything but enjoyable. Used to the breaking point he not only suffers from impotence but a well deserved dislike of women.

Meanwhile, Bonnie has been burned by the opposite sex in a much different fashion. Left to care for her farm and just a few months shy of giving birth, she's been abandoned by the boyfriend she had hoped would be there for her. In need of a hired hand to help her around the place she's pleased to give Lynx a job and a place to stay. Unfortunately, Lynx isn't too thrilled about working for a woman and the relationship between employee and employer gets quite rocky.

Can Bonnie help Lynx heal old wounds and see that not all women are going to use him? Will Lynx learn to trust Bonnie and find a life of love and satifaction? Well, if you want the answers to those questions you better get your butt to the bookstore and pick Outcast up!

The fourth in the Cat Star Chronicles, Outcast is definitely a bit different. The most obvious difference is that this is where the series shifts from the first person storytelling of the heroine to a third person perspective. I know most readers prefer the third person because they get to see what the hero is thinking but I personally thought the first person set this series apart and made me as a reader feel more in tune with the heroine. That said, the third person perspective in this one did offer room for the story to go different places. Brooks is a little shaky in pulling this new style off but fans of the series should enjoy getting to see what's going on in Lynx's head.

The romantic plot for this one was my favorite so far. I loved the idea of a used and abused hero who doesn't want love or sex. I loved that Bonnie was interested in Lynx and how he constantly rebuffed her. Both characters do a lot of growing before they can come together. It was also great to see a pregnant heroine who was perfectly capable of going on without the father there. Bonnie was a strong woman worthy of a great hero and I liked her so much I almost felt Lynx wasn't good enough for her.

My only real struggle with this one was bringing so much of Cat/Jack and Leo/Tisana into it. Their scenes that weren't directly related to Bonnie and Lynx's story were a bit distracting and the love scenes in particular felt out of place. I love getting to see old characters we're familiar with come back again but it just didn't work for me this way.

Overall fans of scifi romantica should love this one and if they haven't been following the whole series I suggest they get on it soon. Fans of the series may find the jump from one style to another a little rough but the story makes up for it pretty well. Enjoy!

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