It takes a vivid imagination to put a new spin on the romance genre. Not that western, Regency, medieval, paranormal, and modern day-based novels are becoming passé. But Cheryl Brooks has definitely taken romance into an inventive new world – literally – with her Cat Star Chronicles series.
A self-described “critical care nurse by night and a romance writer by day,” Brooks has created an intriguing new universe where the men (her main characters, anyway) are fantastically gorgeous and casual nudity is the "in" fashion on many a planet.
The Cat Star Chronicles follow the fate of the Zetithian warriors who survived the war that overtook their planet, Zetith, and led to its complete destruction. While most of the men were killed in the fighting, a small number were captured and sold into the slave trade. Brooks leaves some breadcrumbs suggesting that the virility of the Zetithian males was a large reason for the desire to kill off the Zetith race.
Rogue, the third book in the series, centers on Trag and Tychar, two brothers who are slaves to the queen of Darconia, a remote planet of lizard people. Though the brothers are really more guests of the queen than slaves, they are confined to the palace and are part of a larger “collection” of exotic beings. Still, they have been removed from any kind of humanoid contact for 20 years and become very interested in the newest addition to the palace: a piano teacher from Earth.
Kyra Aramis takes the job of teaching the queen’s children how to play music for a change of pace. Her life on Earth is uninspired and she eagerly looks to the stars to possibly find her purpose. Instead, she finds two irresistibly compelling men at her beck and call among a planet full of intelligent beings who just happen look like smaller versions of a Tyrannosaur.
During an intimate dinner, Queen Scalia presents the brothers to her guest – partially to show them off and partially to see which one Kyra is most likely to mate with. Kyra immediately thinks the brothers look like a Bengal and Siberian tiger. She’s actually not that far off the mark, as both have some sort of feline genetics which enable them to purr and exhibit other interesting behaviors. Kyra does some thinking over the compatibility of interspecies relations as a result of her instant fascination with Tychar.