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Book Review: Roses & Tails

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

I first read Roses & Tails by @barbex​ back when it was part of the Red Hots anthology, and I was glad to see it published as a solo story, because it was one of the ones I particularly liked!

From the start, Roses & Tails stood out to me as something unique:  a human and an alien who’s unfamiliar with human customs having a Valentine’s Day date and then more.

While I first read this story before I discovered the concept of Space Australia, in a lot of ways it embodies the concept for me.  After all, Jillnell and Lucas had to deal with such confusing concepts as alien pheromones and facial expressions, food they’d never experienced before, and the entire idea of Valentine’s Day.

Plus, humans are the inventive ones, which… yeah, okay, that’s total Space Australia, but doesn’t using trampolines and Zero G to travel around a space station sound completely awesome?  Because it sounds completely awesome to me.

I loved how realistic the idea of issues with cross-species communication would be.  Sure, they all speak the same language, but knowing what individual words mean in and of themselves won’t help you when you don’t realize that two words put together have a very different meaning form those two words separately!

I also really enjoyed how Zero G is used: that there’s downsides as well as upsides to trying to have a romantic date and sex without gravity.

It does seem like the sort of thing that might cause problems!

Jillnell was a fun POV character, since we got to experience everything for the first time along with her – and get to know her species in the process as well.  And Lucas was a sweetheart – trying to do his best to give his girlfriend a wonderful Valentine’s Day despite the limitations of being far from Earth on a space station.  They’re a couple who I wouldn’t mind reading more about!

All in all, it was a great sexy short read, and I absolutely give it

Five Stars

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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