Saturday, October 8, 2016

Review: Caiden by V. Vaughn

Title: Caiden
Series: Intergalactic Dating Agency, Galaxy Alien Mail Order Brides
Author: V. Vaughn
Read copy: eBook (Kindle)
Published: October 5, 2015
Publisher: Sugarloaf Press

Mandy Thorne thinks she’s just testing the new Intergalactic Dating Agency’s site when she pushes the initiate match button. The moment she does though, she discovers she’s just requested a super-hot alien be delivered to her doorstep the very next day. While Mandy’s excited about the sexy man she’s about to get, the strings attached are a different story.

Caiden TS-461 lands on Earth before he’s been properly trained for the culture, but as soon as he meets his human mate he’s willing to do whatever it takes to win her heart. When he breaks a rule to make Mandy happy, the pair end up back on planet Eroscia to face punishment for their crime, and the sentence could make Mandy resent him forever.

My rating:

In a (not-so-distant-future) half of the male population has been wiped out by a freak plague, leaving the unscathed women to fend for themselves to see to their sexual needs. Some use government approved toys, some settle for one-night stands...For the rest, there's a new "exchange" program, still in beta-testing, to import males from a recently-appeared planet, Eroscia, where men are in abundance.

Mandy Thorne's best friend Lexi is the one in charge of beta-testing the new "dating app", but Mandy is the one that pushes the "initiate match" button while fiddling with it. The result: her future husband will be delivered to her doorstep the next morning. The caveat: no sex before the wedding.

The blurb with the rule-breaking and punishment-facing was promising, but unfortunately that happened in the last two chapters of this 11-chapter story. And even that wasn't as promising as the blurb might hint at.

But let's start at the beginning. The story is told from Mandy's (first-person) POV, but since Mandy sounded like a fifteen-year-old, I was the opposite of impressed. She was immature, abhorred getting bossed about by men (probably thanks to living in a women-ruled society), but had no qualms in bossing her hero around all the time. Even when he specifically told her they were breaking the rules, that there might be consequences, the entitled female simply waved her hand in that no-one-will-know-so-what-can-possibly-happen way.

Well, turns out they did know and something did happen. I wished for the punishment to be harsher (for Mandy, to teach her a much needed lesson), but unfortunately they both got it pretty easy.

Since the story was told from an immature chick's POV there was no possibility to actually get to know the hero, besides the fact he was apparently hot and had cool alien telekinetic ability to "touch" the heroine without actually touching her (in the end, he actually caressed her heart, which is either really gross, or cause for alarm, because it might've been a serious condition and not the touch of her alien, but I digress). He's also bossy and doesn't listen when someone warns him about imbibing too much. A typical male, then. And without personality. At least he knew English and didn't sound like an idiot.

So, we had an immature heroine (without much personality), a cardboard cutout of a hero (without personality), an uninteresting and rather redundant plot with absolutely no conflict despite what the blurb claims.

What a disappointing waste of nary an hour. If it were longer, it would be a DNF.


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