Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genmate Forsaken by Cara Bristol
Series: Genmate Dilemna #2
Published by Self-Published on February 7, 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.
There was a breath-stealing cliffhanger at the end of the previous book and I was eager to dive right back in to see how that situation resolved in this sci-fi Enemies to Lovers romance set in the Alien Castaways world.
Genmate Forsaken brings back Lala a Xeno, who was mistreated by her own people, though in their culture she deserved it all. She’s been given the chance to earn back some respect for the black mark her brother, Chameleon, put on the family name when he saved some of the Topians from having their whole race annihilated. All she has to do is lead the Xeno Council to the surviving Topians and Chameleon. Her quest takes her to a remote world and she is isolated there by a solar storm and her only companion thinks she is Topian and his genmate. Mysk might be wrong about the first part, but he is right on the nose about the latter. He is also on the planet looking for surviving Topians and he has made it clear that he has a livid hatred for all Xenos because of what was done to his people.
How can she ever hope to make him understand that she has learned much since her fall from favor and ended up on this mission? Too many discrepancies in the Council’s version of the story and now a survivor’s story on top of it all. She wants to right a wrong, but will Mysk’s need for revenge keep him from seeing the truth before it’s too late and the Council discovers what she has been hiding from them.
Genmate Forsaken is loaded with spoilers to the first book, Genmate Mistaken, and even for this book. I will have to leave all the delightful alien exotic surprises and the molten hot enemy lovers plot threads in the shadows. I will say that the world building for the stories is clear and augments a fantastic set of characters and plot. I like the slow unveiling of the intrigue that was set up in the first book and the stumbling one step forward two steps back of a pair who can’t seem to find a way to trust each other. It is a believable enemies to lovers in the way Lala and Mysk interact both warming the heart and wrenching it at times. His anger leads to an unforgivable act and he knows it. The story is told in isolation and will likely have a nice contrast to what is to come in the final book. It does end on a cliff hanger, but the next book is out in a couple of weeks. I expected it and it is a short wait so I can deal.
In summary, Genmate Forsaken builds fabulously on the groundwork of the first book and paces forward in action and romance and overall series arc so well. Love the build and will call it early to recommend the whole series to sci-fi romance fans.
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