Savor Me Slowly by Gena Showalter (2009) fulfills the promise of the Alien Huntress series with two equally strong, yet vulnerable, characters in Mishka Le'Ace and Jaxon Tremain.
Mishka, created in a lab, is part machine, part animal, and part DNA from her five creator-scientists. She also has a chip, used to track her and to control her through the threat of severe pain, that allows a sleazy Senator to use her to advance his own career and causes. (Not too hard to see that happening, is it?) The ultimate fighter, she has been forced into horrible acts over the years.
Jaxon, an Alien Investigation & Removal agent, has his own scars, physical and emotional, that cause him to repress his true self. His life revolves around his cool, calm persona as an AIR agent, yet he's really not at all cool or calm.
They meet when Mishka saves Jaxon from his imprisonment by a group of aliens seeking information from him. Luckily, Jaxon hasn't cracked, or Mishka's orders were to kill him!
They appreciate each other, flaws and all, and they become better as a pair than as individuals. What more do you need from a romantic couple?
But can they build a life together? Will his AIR friends accept Mishka and her dark past? Can Jaxon move beyond his own past to be there for Mishka? And can they even trust each other?
Prepare for some explicit, steamy sex scenes if you read this one.
I should note there's actually an order to the Alien Huntress books, one that should be followed to get a full grasp of the over-arching storyline, involving a diseased alien race invading earth. Women are dying, and the AIR needs answers to save Earth.
The correct reading order is Awaken Me Darkly, Enslave Me Sweetly, red handed (aimed at YA), black listed (aimed at YA), Savor Me Slowly, Seduce the Darkness, and Tempt Me Eternally from Deep Kiss of Winter. The next release is Ecstasy in Darkness, due in November 2010.
You can learn more at the Alien Huntress site here.
My overall personal rating of Savor Me Slowly is an A-.