Like most Bor Nargan women, Jeanne has never had sex. Her planet disdains the practice as unnecessary, but that hasn't stopped her from thinking about what it would be like. When a gorgeous specimen of male perfection, unlike any she's ever seen before, shows up at her door exhausted and badly dehydrated, she decides to help him. He returns the favor by giving Jeanne unimaginable pleasure during the most amazing night of her life. In the light of a new day, the man she knows only as Eland disappears, and soon she discovers that he is an escapee from a genetic experiment in which a group of males known as the Shareem were engineered exclusively to give sexual pleasure. The government has shut down the company that made them and ordered all the Shareem to be killed. Now Jeanne goes in search of the man she has come to care about, while wondering if he will ever be safe.
Eland is a short prequel story to Allyson James's (aka Jennifer Ashley's) Tales of the Shareem erotic romance series. It's really little more than a teaser for the series, giving the reader a taste of the author's writing style and the world building. With that being the case, there isn't much in the way of characterizations or plot. The setting is futuristic and otherworldly. The heroine, Jeanne, is a virgin who lives on a planet that disdains sex. The hero, Eland, is a genetically engineered male known as a Shareem, beings who were created exclusively to dispense sexual pleasure. The corporation that made him has been disbanded for their experiment with the Shareem, and now, the Shareem are being hunted like criminals.
The scenario presented in this story is a tad far-fetched. Eland shows up at Jeanne's door filthy and severely dehydrated after running from the law for days, but a glass of water and their futuristic version of a shower revives him enough to "perform" amazingly well. For a virgin from a planet where sex is a no-no, Jeanne is pretty well-informed about sex. She also isn't particularly off-put by Eland's presence in her home or his overt sexuality. I've never been a huge fan of stranger sex and the bulk of the story is about just that. They spend one passionate night together and then are separated for three months while Eland continues to run for his life. Jeanne pines for Eland while they're apart, but eventually, they're reunited and make some quickie declarations of love that weren't entirely believable under the circumstances. The love scene was fairly steamy though and the writing pretty solid, so overall, this wasn't a bad story given the word count the author had to work with. It's mentioned that Eland is searching for Rees, who becomes the hero of the next book of the series. While Eland wasn't a stellar story in and of itself, the world-building has sufficiently intrigued me and whetted my appetite just enough to make me give the next book, Rees, a try. Eland was originally published by Ellora's Cave in their Naughty Nooners series of free short stories. It has since gone out of print, but it appears that the author has plans to re-release it soon on her own.
Note: This story contains explicit language and sexual content, which includes some light bondage, intimate shaving and a little spanking, but given that Eland is a level three Shareem (basically anything goes), it was fairly subdued for an erotic romance.
The Hope Chest Reviews on Facebook