If you know me, you know I'm a total sucker for alien romance. It all started when I picked up a Ruby Dixon book as a joke. I saw a cheesy cover, a weird title, and a cringy plot and now a few years later, I'm chin-deep in alien d!ck. *face palm*
Over the years, I've read a pretty big pool of alien romance books and I consider myself pretty knowledgeable in the genre. That's also made it a little harder to please me. This year, I'm on the lookout for alien romance with a new twist. While I gobble up the theme of "we have no more women and must breed with humans" trope to this day and can consume a good alien smut novel overnight, I am starting to hunger for something else. You'd be surprised how hard they are to find, but I've chosen a few I think scifi romance readers will love.
Without making this too long-winded because I'm sure you just want to hear my recommendations, here are my top 5 alien picks that are not about a female shortage, mail order brides, fated mates, or breeding.
1: "Arrival" by A.G. Wilde
I don't even remember how I stumbled on this gem, but I did and I enjoyed the hell out of it. When an alien race attacks Earth to suck up the planet's water, humans are imprisoned in giant, moving, half-organic crafts where some are recycled and others are impregnated. It's terrifying... Thankfully, these are NOT the aliens we're supposed to root for. No, the sexy E.T.s arrive on Earth with the intention of hunting down the race that destroyed their own home and people. So no abductions, breeding, or fated mates here! Just good old hot aliens looking for some revenge and a bunch of women who've had it really rough. I think what REALLY stood out to me with this book was also the lack of "translators." In 90% of alien romance books, I've found that authors opt out of building verbal communication between species and translators magically appear with all needed languages installed. Sometimes there is a good amount of programming involved, but most of the time, it just seems magical and as a scifi nerd... I NEED EXPLANATIONS. But in this lovely story, the aliens spend a while just staring at the women they liberated and listening to them speak. The women even question it until the aliens start speaking to them. It's broken English at first, but I LOVED that they simply observed and learned and eventually were able to talk to them. And as far as mating goes, the aliens weren't too keen on it at first, claiming the women were too fragile and small and would not make good mates. But... in typical romance fashion... they actually did make good mates.
I highly recommend this book. I haven't moved on to the rest of the series yet, but I plan to!
2: "Convergence" by Etta Pierce
Want a book that literally has nothing to do with an alien race needing humans to repopulate? Convergence is that book. Set in a world where humans don't yet know about aliens, our male lead "acquires" a human female to teach him how to look like a well-learned slave buyer. His intention is to liberate a ship full of humans that have been captured and are being sold into slavery. Not only did it have nothing to do with breeding, but the alien factor was a big part of the story and if you don't know what that means, I mean that the aliens weren't just seven-foot-tall, muscular men with horns but ACTUAL aliens. And I'm talking three fingers, digitigrade legs, and mandibles... and yet somehow incredibly sexy. (I blame Mass Effect for my alien obsession. If it's bipedal and knows how to flirt, I'm romancing the f*ck out of it).
There was a lot of "learning" in this book. And I mean the two characters barely knew anything about each other's bodies, so getting to read about their explorations was a good way to understand their differences. And there were MANY. Their chemistry was great, the tension was tight, and the side characters were fun as hell.
3: "Hunted by the Alien Warlord" by Kyra Snow
Ok, this one skirts a very thin line with the whole shortage of females thing, but I wanted to include it because I still thought it was a fresh take on alien/human romance.
Humans aren't doing so great and after having to flee Earth, they're forced to sign a treaty to reside on another planet with a different race of aliens. In exchanged, the men of the tribe can take human brides.
Unlike a lot of alien romance books, the spiritual aspect of this particular race was really interesting. So, after pretty much being forced to participate in a sort of "hunt" where these big alien boys hunt and find their mates, Aurora is chosen by a high ranked alien warlord. At first, I kind of thought he was just going to be a growly and rough, but he was well-spoken, patient, and insanely seductive. I would call this tame enemies-to-lovers since the enemy part of their relationship didn't last long and it was more of a misunderstanding. Eventually, their bond became pretty solid and I was super happy with this book.
4: "His Metal Maiden" by Michelle M. Pillow
I've recommended it before and I'll recommend it again. While this is not number 1 in the Space Lords Series, each can be read a without reading the others. It's also tied into the Dragon Lords Series, which also does not have to be read in order. Like any series of this style, it always helps build the world to read the other books, but it's not needed and THIS book in particular just captured my heart.
While the Dragon Lords Series is rooted in an alien race acquiring human women for breeding (since the sun's radiation on their planet makes female children very rare) this spinoff series is disconnected and it's about the outcasts of this deeply spiritual society as they traverse open space.
Asked to locate the missing sister of his estranged brother's new bride, Lochlann sets off on a little redemption journey with his crew through space. Instead, he finds a droid beautifully crafted to look like the missing woman and it turns out its his best chance at finding the woman herself. This book swept me away with its beautiful moments, twists and turns, chemistry, tears, and romance. The aliens in this story aren't extremely alien if you know what I mean. As dragonshifters, they can change their form, but mostly, they look human. Still, the scifi atmosphere is there and the love story and characters in this book? *chef's kiss*
5: "Edge of Eon" by Anna Hackett
I've recommended this book before, as well, but you know what? I'm doing it again. Anna Hackett has a style and that's usually sassy, capable women, men who can't get enough of them, lots of action, and wonderful steam. Think Indiana Jones in space but with more sex.
This is another example of aliens not looking TOO alien, so if you're looking for more otherworldly men, this is not the place to find them. The best you're going to get here are some pretty wicked symbiotic suits/relationships that create a second skin/armor that can shift and change at will. But I can't say the lack of alien appendages and strange colors diminishes the story for me.
Not only does this book have nothing to do with kidnapping and breeding women, but Eon warriors want nothing to do with Earth and when Eve is blackmailed into kidnapping an Eon commander off his own warship, you can guess what kind of mess things become. Things predictably go south for the pair when they end up stranded on a very dangerous planet and are forced to survive together as well as fight some pretty intense sexual attractions. I found myself smiling through most of the book out of pure enjoyment and I HIGHLY recommend this series for its low angst action and romance.
TIME FOR A SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION!!!
Coming soon!!! Chasing Stars is my first alien romance and it comes out this February!
Innifer is unhappy with her life on Earth and decides to head to the Nexus, the first human city in space. Sure, she has to forge some papers to get there, but what does she have to lose? Her boyfriend just broke her heart, she's smart and somehow ended up stripping just to pay rent, and her mother abandoned her. She knows she's meant for more. She just wasn't sure how much more until she literally bumps into an alien. He's wearing a black suit and a biohelmet, but whether or not she can see his face, he sets her body on fire.
Vahko is a disciplined military captain who's dedicated his life to protecting his people. In the aftermath of a war between his race, the valerians, and the gek'tal, his people are dying off. Disease has ravaged them for decades, but humans might be the genetic key to their salvation. He doesn't like humans much, but when Innifer enters his life, things begin to spiral down a path he doesn't know how to navigate. Once considered a lost cause to his people's scientific advancements, Vahko has accepted that he's expendable and gladly takes a dangerous position as a ship captain. But Innifer's reaction to him just made him very valuable and he hates being grounded and put under a microscope. And what's worse? Innifer is grounded with him and as much as the two try to deny the sparks between them, they can't seem to keep their hands to themselves.
Chasing Stars is a story about a woman who knows she's meant for greater things and a duty-bound valerian who has accepted his role in life and has no plans of deviating. But when sparks fly, sometimes they catch fire. With tons of action, lots of steam, and plenty of fun, comedic relief, this book will take you on a wild adventure into space and beyond.