Desert Heat
by Leigh Wyndfield, futuristic (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-715-5


From the cover of Desert Heat, I find myself thinking that I should be expecting an erotic story set in a strip club in the middle of a desert. It turns out that the story is set instead on some distant planet fashioned in the always reliable Tatooine-meets-Arrakis setting that every other futuristic romance author just has to write about at least once in their career.

In this place, folks called Alterians are kidnapping the Morjan women to sell them off as sex slaves. Here is why the Morjan women are the bomb:

...they were the best lovers known to any race of men. Twice a standard year, they went into bouts of heat. They could have sex for hours without stopping, excreting a hormone into the air which allowed the man to stay erect and ready with her.

If it is "excreted" (secreted?) into the air, I don't think that chemical substance can be considered a "hormone" anymore. Is "pheromone" the word the author is looking for? But hey, never mind, this story clearly isn't geared towards people in the medical research field so if the author wants to call it a hormone, let's go along and call it a hormone. I also hope that these women have ample lubricative "hormones" at hand to go along with their skunk-like behavior, by the way.

If that is not sad enough, the Alterians are also killing off Morjan male babies. I know, it seems to defeat the purpose to kill off the men since this means that the Morjans won't be making those exotic Morjan women that they love so much, especially when it is later revealed that these women die quickly during captivity so there is always a short supply of them around, but hey, what can I say? This is one of those futuristic romances where the only world-building that matters is that giant blinking sign pointing right at the heroine's private parts and saying "Hot pure magic vagina - shag once to experience the divine!"

Our heroine, Tannar, is one of those luscious Morjan babes. She is the Protector of the Morjan Tribe. Don't mind the capitalization - the author uses this method to show me how exotic her story is. There are also the Wise Woman and ominous sounding Desert Sickness in this story, which is infinitely more exotic and futuristic-sounding than a mere wise woman and some silly desert sickness.

At any rate, the story opens with Tannar on an excursion to locate some herbs in enemy territory. Tannar spies on her Alterian nemesis Jorash who is having some kind of talk with some Off-Worlders. I'm sure you can guess what an Off-Worlder is. Because this is one of those stories where the plot always revolves around the kindling inferno burning in the heroine's pure loins no matter what the plot is, Tannar starts thinking about sex while she's spying on Jorash because the stranger Jorash is taking to is so hot. Or, I suppose, So Hot. No, I'm not kidding.

Her core clenched as she thought of what sex would be like with someone stronger than herself. Like all Morjan women, she was tall and muscled, bigger than their men from generations of protecting their tribe. For all her height and weight, this dark-haired Off-Worlder was larger, stronger, a true warrior.

She closed her eyes to return her focus to her present problem, but found behind her lids a vision of a man's shoulder under her teeth, his body driving to the very depths of her being, filling that place no one had ever touched. Sex facing your partner was reserved for mates only. Since the men of her village had dwindled to ten unattached males, the tribal council had ruled that her generation would not take mates. Once mated, the men could never sleep with another. Instead, the remaining men would assist the women through their Phase, a strictly reproductive, heat-driven intercourse.

The thought of having sex with this stranger in the mated position had her moaning in annoyance at herself.

So, let me see, I'm supposed to sympathize with the dying Morjans because they are victims of systematic genocide but at the same time I'm told that their men are wimps because their Amazonian women are bigger than them and therefore need "more" manly men to satisfy them?

And then the heroine curses, "Zounds."

Okay. So this is going to be a heroine who curses like Shaggy from those Scooby-Doo cartoon who is also an Amazonian woman looking for a bigger and more steroidal Neanderthal to satisfy her. Sigh.

At any rate, the Neanderthal in question is Nickolas Rentard. Mind the "N" - it's there for a good reason. He is following his Prince on a trip to procure a hot Morjan skunk-woman for the Prince, although deep inside he's not happy about Prince Dante being a wastrel womanizing jerk who will one day inherit the throne. He is also planning not to cooperate with the Prince because these skunk-women tend to die within weeks once they are captured.

Nick turns out to be some half-feline hybrid who can track down Tannar by scent while Tannar has to rush back to her village or some poor woman and her unborn child will die. If she is in such a rush, I don't know why she can afford to waste time spying on Jorash and sighing over some Off-Worlder. As one can predict in such stories, Tannar is also entering her Phase.

The effects of her coming Phase didn't help, sapping her energy, filling her with a need she couldn't satisfy until she reached her village. Brileck had already promised to be her partner for this Phase ritual. He wasn't the worst of them, but the thought of his small erection entering her only for as long as it took for her to reach Narassiss, the state which allowed the women of her race to fulfill the needs of the Phase and release them from the cycle, made her ill. She needed what he gave her, but that didnít mean she had to like it.

Um... is this where I am supposed to say that men with small penises are losers?

Despite initially deciding not to cooperate with Prince Dante, Nick later has to worry about whether he should do his job and hand over Tannar to his Prince or let Tannar go and be stuck on this planet forever. Forever. But nothing can stand in the way of chemically-enhanced sex so this story then takes a predictable turn for sex scenes of the ridiculous nature. Thankfully the story soon ends or else I will have to keep going on and on about how wretchedly stupid this story is until this review ends up being even longer than the actual story.

So, to conclude, I will just sum this story up simply as a completely ridiculous utter waste of my time.

Rating: 16


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