The King And I
by Opal Carew, futuristic (2011)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 978-160928-425-1


It's the guy on the cover that reels me into reading Opal Carew's The King And I. Despite my aversion to ménage à trois stories in general, I'm a bigger sucker for dark and broody boys.

Our heroine, Aria Jenkins, is enjoying a vacation at the Bonavista Resort when she is kidnapped by aliens. You see, she won a prize in a contest, the prize being this vacation, and things are starting to get fishy when she learns that the other women attending the same party as her are also winners of the contest. It turns out that the "prize" is a ruse for aliens to select and abduct choice women to be mates for their people! You know, it's the same story - these aliens need to mate with other races or die a painful death, which is why they go around using their psychic mojo to discover their soulmates from other planets. Naturally, these soulmates are all beautiful people - heaven forbids a fatty from being anyone's soulmate in the entire universe, oh no.

So anyway, the captain of our slave ship intergalactic love boat, Captain Tai Gaman (not a Chippendale dancer, honest!), tells Aria that she is the soulmate of his twin brother, King Zander Gaman of Sa'oul. But before she has her own Royal Wedding (take that, Kate and William), she gets to enjoy the finest hospitality of Tai's crew, all of whom are trained to give sexual pleasure in their own exquisite ways. Put off by all those unnecessary apostrophes (you should thank me - I deliberately left out those hideous italicized made-up words with apostrophes used by the author to describe the whole sex slavery beautiful soul mate thing), Aria is like, no, no, I'm not a ho. Tai shows her how her brood mares love boat VIPs are enjoying themselves, however, and Aria is like, "More! More! More!" as she gets it in so many ways from Tai.

Romance heroines - they are easier than ABC, I tell you.

Wait, wait, you ask, wasn't she supposed to be the King's meatloaf piñata? Yes, of course. But honestly, there is no problem here as Aria, who gets even less inhibited when she has a... stick... up her you-know-what, decides that she loves them both so yeah, baby, bring it on.

What can I say? The sex scenes are actually very hot, it's just too bad that everything is slathered and dripping with cheese. The plot is just plain silly, the antics of the characters are ridiculous, the heroine is hilariously cheap and easy despite her protests of being otherwise, and the whole twin brother ménage à trois has me cracking up with laughter. The end result is something like a pornographic tale featuring My Little Pony characters. It could be hot, but instead, it makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons. Well, I can't say that I find The King And I a great story, but I can't say that I wasn't entertained either!

Rating: 68


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