Title: Space Files R, Book 2: Sandstorm Heart
Author: Liv Olteano
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Ron Vid & Zaoh Dem
Sub-Genre: Science Fiction
Ron Vid is a Celian soldier with some personal demons. Hoping for respite, he deserts his squad and leaves his planet. Working as a mercenary on Asai, planet of sand and wind, he has a reprieve, until the Haffa named Zaoh joins the mercenaries. Celians and Haffas have a history of strife, but when Ron and Zaoh are paired on a mission, their chemistry crackles. After they fight together for survival, it’s clear Zaoh wants Ron. Zaoh can be a fierce and dominant lover, but Ron’s secrets, and his fear that the Haffa might uncover them, could keep Zaoh from getting his man.
Confused when revenge achieved doesn’t make him feel better, Ron Vid deserts his commission and planet hoping to leave his cravings for an enemy soldier, Zaoh Dem, behind. Ron Vid’s long-term feelings of respect and lust for the man are conflicted, made worse by the fact that Zaoh Dem’s sister killed Ron’s best friend in battle (it wasn’t a clean kill either), and that Ron Vid was ultimately responsible for the death of the woman. There are other issues as well, of course, but these two factors are the main source of Ron’s angst. Especially when Zaoh Dem turns up just as Ron Vid is beginning to find a place for himself.
Ami, his new boss, is an interesting character who is perfect in the role of matchmaker and manipulates the pair into a situation that results in them finally starting to air what is between them. I think my main gripe would be that Zaoh seems too perfect: bestial yet contemplative, aggressive yet patient, and understanding of exactly what Ron Vid needs.
My favorite line has to be: “You always see coming that which you think is deserved.” It pretty much sums up the whole story quite nicely.
Although “Sandstorm Heart” is billed as a sci-fi romance with BDSM, it is more of a BDSM and masochism erotica that happens to be set in a science fiction environment. It definitely skirts the boundaries of light and hard BDSM, and if you are not comfortable with blood play or light breath play, don’t read it. I tend to enjoy a stronger plot line with the romance/erotica as either an equal or lesser part, so please don’t think this isn’t a good story. It is. The only reason it didn’t get 4 Kisses is that I would have preferred a little less sex and a bit more story. But that’s just me. If I was in the mood for erotica, this book would be perfect.
I would recommend this for people who love BDSM, blood play/vampires (no, they’re not vampires), enemies to lovers, and a good warrior (or two).
Although I was tempted to buy the previous (stand alone) book in this series, I haven’t yet read any other books by this author.
Reviewed By: Alison