Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genmate Mistaken by Cara Bristol
Series: Genmate Dilemma #1
Published by Self-Published on January 17, 2022
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
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Vengeance keeps ’Topian Edwin Mysk from surrendering to the pain of the destruction of his home world and the loss of the genmate he might have had. One day the Xeno Consortium will know his wrath. Until then, he will pursue his self-imposed mission to locate and reunite the massacre survivors.
When he lands on Laxiter 4, he finds the ’Topian settlement abandoned, except for a lone woman. Lala. Their immediate, intense bonding proves she’s his genmate, the one female his genetics have chosen for him—the one he’d believed lost forever. With Lala at his side, he resumes his search for the others.
But Lala is not the ’Topian he thinks she is. She’s a shapeshifting Xeno, a disgraced former general in the consortium military wrongly convicted of helping ’Topian insurgents escape annihilation. Edwin Mysk offers her best chance to locate the escapees and receive a stay of execution—as long as he doesn’t discover her secret.
Will the gulf between hatred and love, despair and desire, prove too wide for them to cross? Is their genmate bond a tragic mistake?
His world was destroyed, family gone, and then he was forced to flee across the galaxy. Now he wants revenge. Her brother betrayed their people, but she is the one under an execution order. Then she is offered a new chance at life. Cara Bristol’s sci-fi romances pull the reader into her sci-fi worlds and make one root for her characters to find their happily ever after.
Genmate Mistaken is the first in the Genmate Dilemma trilogy telling Edward Mysk’s complicated romance story and I was anticipating this one practically since the moment he was introduced in the earlier Alien Castaways series. I would recommend readers not start with this book, but with the Alien Castaways series, but, in a pinch, readers wouldn’t be totally lost if they did start with this one.
Always the man who helped, found a way, and got it done. Now, it is Mysk’s turn to go back to the stars to find his genmate and soothe his tattered soul after his enemies, the Xenos destroyed everything. He is a Veritol and would like nothing more than to mind sync with his very own genmate. But, his thirst for revenge might overshadow all that.
I was curious what sort of alien female he would be matched with and felt some amusement and a lot of trepidation that he gets paired with Lala, a former Xenos Consortium general, who is under a death sentence when her brother and former council member, Chameleon, warned the Topians and possibly helped evacuate many before their planet was destroyed. Lala, as family to a traitor, by law must be executed, but the Xeno Council wants to use her to find if Chameleon successfully evacced Topians so they can finish their genocide project.
The pace was swift and the plot was full of tension once the two main characters were introduced and had their encounter. Things go sideways when Lala and her sentient AI ship encounter a solar storm and she ends up on a planet with Mysk who she must fool into believing she is Topian, discover what he knows, and get a report back to the Council even while fighting an attraction to him and her growing sense that Mysk and the Topians were wronged by her people.
The side characters and some side plot threads caught my attention and I loved the way they helped add layers to an already good story.
Genmate Mistaken is the first in what feels more like serial than series because it ends abruptly at a cliffhanger and the next two installments will pick up the story and they release swiftly after this one. I thought as cliffhangers go that this one got right to the spot I was most interested in once this pair met. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Definitely a good one for sci-fi romance fans who like it spicy, but also the worldbuilding developed well.
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