Tentacular Tales: It’s Not Unusual To Be Loved by an Alien – Chloe Archer
A sexy alien living incognito on Earth meets a sci-fi loving nerd who wants to rock his universe. What could possibly go wrong? Besides the unexpected tentacles and the accidental Mating Courtship Ritual, that is….
As a bona fide sci-fi nerd and total X-phile—the truth is out there—I’ve always believed in aliens. Duh. But I never thought I’d actually find them on Earth–let alone right here in Las Vegas! Now I’ve stumbled onto a big freakin’ secret and found my very own hot AF alien. I’m head over heels, but he’s being a total grump and holding back. How do I make him realize a geeky sunshine guy like me is just what he needs in his life? Did I mention he also has tentacles?!?! #HolyHentaiFantasyBatman #SwoonworthyAlien #SignMeUpSugar #MakeItSo #VivaLasVegas
The last thing I need in my life is a chatterbox twink who’s determined to woo me and could expose the secret existence of aliens on Earth to all humankind. Everything about him annoys me, including his stupidly attractive halo of golden curls and his bright green ‘come hither’ eyes. To make matters worse, he’s been recruited to work for the alien Alliance on Earth, and I’m assigned to keep him out of trouble. I don’t care how attractive he is. I don’t date humans! Except, my tentacles may have accidentally started the Mating Courtship Ritual with him…
It’s Not Unusual To Be Loved by an Alien (Tentacular Tales #1) is a (102,000 words) M/M sci-fi rom com featuring an adorkable twink with unexpected secrets and a slight obsession with extraterrestrials, the reluctant alien he wants to make his boo, tentacles with a mind of their own, zany extraterrestrial shenanigans in Sin City, and enough humor to fill an entire spaceship. This is the first book in the series. There is no cheating, and this book ends with a HFN. Never fear, the series guarantees readers an HEA by the end!
The truth is out there, and they come with tentacles! You know what this means…
River Sullivan, sci-fi nerd, and hyper-energized twink, came face to face with his hentai fantasy in this hilarious sci-fi romance, It’s Not Unusual To Be Love By An Alien. So of course, he pretty much threw himself at it.
Captain Kai Genaro of the alien alliance secretly located on earth didn’t know what to do with the strange human whose memory he couldn’t erase. He even busted out his tentacles to perform the most powerful mind-erasing technique in his arsenal, but River seemed to be immune even to that. Unbeknownst to both, this kicked off the Mating Courtship Ritual.
The story is in alternate POVs of River and Kai. As an aspiring writer, River’s chapters open with excerpts from his ultra-smutty sci-fi serial about a dashing hero and his temptingly tentacular arch-nemesis. He posts this on his blog, not really expecting many people would bother with it. Guess who reads his porn.
Kai’s chapters opens with informative instructions on his species’ Mating Courtship Ritual, which amused me so much because the grumpy dork is unwittingly performing each step while valiantly fighting his insane attraction to the captivating human. It didn’t help that River was mercilessly flirting with him. And conniving with Kai’s smarmy brother to make him jealous.
Kai is my favorite character. A well-respected leader and the best mind eraser of the alliance, he can be brusque and grumpy at first. He put up quite a fight, but River is an unstoppable force. When he became honest about his feelings and got his shit together, he turned out to be a sweet alien boyfriend. And he’s cute when he’s flustered or when River makes him smile or laugh.
River I had to get use to. The humor here reminds me of Alice Winters, like River being sooo extra everything. I found his non-stop blabbering exhausting, I nearly stopped reading. But later on, I did warm up to him. Especially when he showed how creatively he could handle alien/human crises. What I liked best about River is that instead of freaking out about alien existence, he not only embraced the whole thing, but became one with it.
While the main storyline is the hella adorable courtship between River and Kai, there’s a mini-mystery regarding River’s identity. Also, they are working on the case of aliens being drugged. And there’s a potentially yummy romance between River’s super laidback Uncle Benji and Kai’s charming brother, Mal.
The plot is mostly humor, family and alien interactions, and surprisingly, littler-than-expected tentacular shenanigans. The slow burn is preferable for me because the fun is in the courtship and the USTs they generate. Also, River might be flirty AF, but our boy is not giving up his ass until the captain gets his in gear. Attaboy!
It also has a stellar supporting cast, starting with the chibi but feisty Evan, River’s BFF, Kai’s parents who were opposites in personality yet madly in love, Uncle Benji, who looks like Keanu Reeves, and vibes like The Dude in The Big Lebowski, and Mal, Kai’s brother who I hope gets his own book with Uncle Benji. And yes, Mr. Tom Jones.
The author made the perfect choice in the narrator Greg Boudreaux. This story is the kind of crazy mayhem he excels. Even with a spaceship full of cast, he made each personality shine and emoted the heck out of everyone. I recommend audiobooking this.
It’s Not Unusual To Be Loved By An Alien is a silly little tale of a smitten alien’s ridiculously awkward yet adorably sweet wooing of a human, and one sci-fi nerd’s dream coming true in more ways than he expected. Overall, a sassy, snarky, and swoony alien romance that’s certainly more than the sum of its tentacles!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
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The Spectral Files: P.S. I Spooked You by S.E. Harmon
SSA Rain Christiansen used to be the agency’s golden boy. It just takes one moment of weakness, one slight, tiny, itty-bitty paranormal sighting, and all of a sudden he’s the agency’s embarrassment. His boss gives him one last chance to redeem himself—go down to Brickell Bay, play nice with the local police, and leave the ghost sightings behind. Rain is determined to do exactly that, even if it kills him.
Cold-case detective Daniel McKenna’s latest investigation is going nowhere fast. Five years earlier, high school student Amy Greene went missing after leaving her part-time job and was never seen again. Daniel is glad to finally have the FBI help that his department requested, even if it does come in the form of his ex.
It doesn’t help that Rain is pretty sure he’s falling in love with Danny all over again—if he ever stopped. Add to that the frustration of seeing ghosts at every turn while he works a case that’s stalled in its tracks, and Rain is starting to wonder if second chances and happy endings are just for fairy tales.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Spectral Files: Principles of Spookology by S.E. Harmon
No one said being a medium would be easy.
Rain Christiansen, former FBI agent and current cold case detective, is starting to think it’s the hardest job he’s ever had—and the most important. He’s determined to accept all the changes in his formerly well-ordered life, but that means embracing a whole lot of weird. There’s no instruction manual for meshing his work with his medium duties, and he’s painfully aware that he’s flubbing the job. So are the ghosts, who are becoming increasingly impatient. And stronger.
To complicate matters, he’s not sure what these spooktacular developments mean for his relationship. It certainly seems like Daniel McKenna, his partner in work and life, is in it for the long haul. But Rain can’t help but wonder how long that patience will last…and what he’ll do if Danny decides the intrusive ghosts are just too much.
Rain thought accepting his supernatural gifts would be the solution to his troubles. But he’s starting to realize his problems are just getting started.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Spectral Files: Spooky Business by S.E. Harmon
Being insatiably curious is a good way to end up dead.
Rain Christiansen, cold case detective and reluctant medium, is very aware of that fact. But when infamous serial killer Thomas Kane wants to meet, there’s no way Rain can say no. He also can’t refuse Kane’s offer—find his missing wife, Delilah, and he’ll reveal the location of his victim’s bodies.
Rain has never turned down a good quid pro quo, and he doesn’t intend to start.
The hunt for Kane’s wife leads to yet another cold case, three copycat murders, and an investigation where nothing is as it seems. Soon, Rain is dealing with a ghost unlike any he’s ever dealt with before…a ghost capable of doing things he shouldn’t be able to do. How can Rain control something he doesn’t even understand? And what will he do when the unknown threatens the safety of the most important person in his life?
Rain is starting to realize that he can only battle the supernatural with the supernatural, and that is spooky business indeed.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Spectral Files: The Spooky Life by S.E. Harmon
Rain Christiansen isn’t sure he’ll ever fully understand the supernatural. But he’s finally finding his groove as a reluctant medium and cold-case detective. That’s not to say everything is going smoothly—there’s a wedding in the works, after all. He’s finally taking that enormous step with fellow detective, Daniel McKenna, and he couldn’t be happier…about the marriage. Not so much the wedding. The hoopla is enough to make him wish for a quick flight to Vegas and an Elvis officiant.
At least work is keeping Rain and the PTU plenty busy. Their latest case involves Hannah Caldwell, a silent ghost who can’t—or won’t—speak. She still manages to request that they find her dear friend, Cherry Parker, so that she can say goodbye. Piece of cake. Finding people is pretty high on the list of things that Rain does best.
But when it comes to ghosts, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Before long, his simple missing person’s case takes a dark and twisted turn. And Rain realizes he’s been so busy trying to protect Danny that he forgot to protect himself.
If he doesn’t turn things around—and quickly—his spooky life might be cut short for good.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
The Spectral Files is one of the more entertaining psychic procedurals I’ve read. The series stars Rainstorm Christiansen, an uptight, straight-laced federal agent turned police detective who can see ghosts. The unique name is due to his hippie-dippy, weed-growing parents, who named his twin sister Sky. His middle name may or may not be Moonbeam, depending on who’s exasperated at him. Mostly Danny. Rain is almost always exasperating and damn well knows it.
The series opens with Rain returning to his hometown for a case and quickly butting heads with the head detective, a.k.a. the ex he ghosted seven years ago, Daniel Mckenna. The investigation forced Rain to use his much-dreaded ability, but its effectiveness yielded results that the police higher-ups couldn’t ignore. This led to Rain rethinking his career and earning a second chance with Danny.
The books focus on a big case each while also tackling minor cases, which maybe related to it. I loved that they vary and are not always murder. The 3rd book is about a serial killer with a twist. These cases are closely interwoven with Rain and Danny’s personal lives since most of the ghosts have no concept of boundaries. Also, Danny is technically Rain’s supervisor in their newly formed paranormal unit.
One running gag is how spectacularly inept Rain is at managing his ability. Rain is very contrary, usually difficult just for the heck of it. He’s been advised to take lessons in reining in his energy because the ghosts are getting out of hand. Poor Danny freaked upon learning these specters were watching and opining on them going at it like bunnies.
Rain dragged his feet for as long as he could, then managed to offend all his peace-loving gurus to the point of violence. But it was obvious he’s going to settle with the whimsically named Dakota Daydream because this chill guru was described as cute, also gay and lowkey lusting after him, while the rest were funky enough to be throwaways.
The plots document the barely perceptible progress of Rain’s psychic powers and how he finally came to terms with them in the last book. Rain is such a disaster he mostly gets by the skin of his teeth. This is funny at some points, but his performance in the last case pissed me off so much. It could have been easily avoided, if only he bothered to learn more about his abilities. The idiot got himself trapped. I thought it was pretty stupid, and I was so angry at Rain for letting it happen.
The writing has a humorous tone, full of snarky banters and Rain’s internal jokes. Rain is an entertaining narrator but tends to digress at almost every instant. This is the author’s style, and I’m not really a fan of it. I found many of the jokes unnecessary. They mess up the pace a bit too.
Still, I was glued to the books. Wordy as they are, they’re very riveting. The cases were tough, the character interactions were hilarious, and the investigations were fun to follow. The stories have an engaging slice-of-life quality that makes the characters feel like people I know. Danny’s team is an awesome supporting cast, especially the super laidback Kevin St. James, who doesn’t stop eating.
Also, the author excels at writing second-chance romances, capturing that second-time-around magic and proving the sweetness in the adage. The dynamics between Rain and Danny are fantastic because Danny is a saint who can roll with Rain’s crazy and his wackadoodle family. The boys work together and live together, and still can’t get enough of each other! GOALS.
My gripes aside, The Spectral Files is snarky, occasionally serious given the crime, and always entertaining. It is easily one of the most bingeable series out there!
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This is a round up of the books I read on the 3rd quarter of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.