“Just remember I am here with you. I will be a good fake boyfriend.”
“That’s what I’m afraid of[.]”
Published: November 15th, 2021
'Your dad invited your ex-boyfriend.' Already committed to going home for Hanukkah, Leah panics at her mother’s text and invites her crush to come with her. The catch? They aren’t dating. The other catch? He isn’t Jewish. He isn’t even human.
Knar has been studying the physiology of humans for years in preparation to introduce Earth to the rest of the galaxy and present them as a species that can adapt to change well. Although he believes in his mission, he’s also had his eye on his coworker Leah, and her invitation to come home with her for the holidays is just the opportunity he’s been looking for.
Going home for Hanukkah is normally the least of Leah’s worries until her mom lets it slip that her dad invited her ex-boyfriend. Desperate to keep him at arm’s length, Leah invites her handsome coworker Kenneth Knar to be a buffer against her family. Having to pretend he’s her new boyfriend doesn’t hurt, and if it annoys her parents, all the better.
He just has to find some way to tell her that he’s more than just a gentile. He’s not even from this planet. And Leah hates liars.
The menorah isn’t the only thing getting hot this holiday season…
They Are Here!
Contemporary romance is a constantly changing landscape. The very definition of contemporary romance (as defined by the ever-controversial RWA) is romance that it’s set contemporaneously with the time of it’s writing. It’s happening right now, and it usually reflects the mores and global issues of the current time period. Let’s face it, Earth is in a bit of a climate crisis right now. Temperatures are rising, various animal species are dying, and there’s always some kind of major geopolitical issue going on. We’re looking towards the future, and we’re terrified. For a lot of people, it feels like the only thing that could help us fix all of this would come from outside this solar system.
It’s a popular trope in sci-fi romance right now: Mars Needs Women. The way the storyline often goes is that the aliens have had some kind of genetic crisis leading to a dearth of women of their own. They then come to Earth with an offer of either technology or protection from other more predatory aliens in exchange for human women to mate with. Sometimes the women in question are aware of this agreement, sometimes it comes as a total shock along with an alien abduction. Either way, our fear of being stuck on a dying planet can be replaced by the fantasy of being wooed by an alien suitor who brings all the answers with him--and an escape hatch.
I’ve previously explored this in my Ragrim series, Tana Stone is playing with it with her Tribute Brides of the Drexian Warrior series, and Evernight Publishing has an entire series about aliens from Planet Alpha who protect Earth from more violent aliens for a price. The last one takes place slightly in the future, but most of the natural threats facing Earth are the same.
Let’s also look at the aliens featured in stories that largely take place here on Earth. CLAIMED BY AN ALIEN WARRIOR by Tiffany Roberts (Yes, Alien Spider Romance Tiffany Roberts) features an escaped alien thrown together with a curvy heroine. OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout is a slow burn between one alien teenager and a human set entirely in a small town on Earth. Cara Bristol’s PSY features a mute heroine and her telepathic alien mate against the background of a sinister plot that once again, is happening on Earth.
We love our alien heroes, possibly in part because it’s so easy to give them otherworldly genitalia. Ruby Dixon’s blue aliens have a “spur” at the base of their pelvis that does exactly what you think it does. Tiffany Roberts’ spider alien Ketahn has claspers that hold his mate Ivy close. Andromeda Bliss has an alien in SASHA’S STORY who has not one, not two, but three rockets for the price of one (talk about a Falcon Heavy).
For a lot of writers, it may be easier and more plausible to write alpha heroes who also care about the pleasure of their women (and may have evolved that way, too). I’m not saying the men of earth don’t have those traits. But exploring power dynamics with aliens that don’t have thousands of years of sometimes very painful history behind them can free us for less guilt-laden fantasies.
About the author:
Nessa grew up thriving on trips to natural history museums and Jurassic Park. Once adulthood was upon her, it was only a matter of time before she discovered dominant aliens and shifter erotica. She enjoys titillating the Triassic and stargazing.
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