Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch

How can a sexy marketing manager join forces with an Alpha Centauri male in Armani to save the planet-using hairspray, a Mont Blanc pen, and rock n' roll? Easy... She's Touched by an Alien

Marketing manager Katherine "Kitty" Katt steps into the middle of what appears to be a domestic dispute turned ugly. And it only gets uglier when the man turns into a winged monster, straight out of a grade-Z horror movie, and goes on a killing spree. Though Kitty should probably run away, she springs into action to take the monster down. In the middle of the chaos a handsome hunk named Jeff Martini appears, sent by the "agency" to perform crowd control. He's Kitty's kind of guy, no matter what planet he's from. And from now on, for Kitty, things are going to be sexy, dangerous, wild, and out of this world.

There has been a lot of hype about Koch's first release, but after reading it for myself I can see why it's been getting such kudos. A real sci-fi romance is rare in my opinion; currently the market is inundated with paranormal and fantasy oriented romances. A book of this particular bent is a refreshing change and makes me excited to see what other first time authors have to add to the genre.

I could go on about the Men in Black similarities that other reviewers have brought up (and are very true), but I'd rather talk about Koch's ability to fool the reader.


The first alien that we as the reader get to know well is Jeff Martini. He's smooth, handsome, and has an instantly like-able charm. The second alien is Christopher, Jeff's cousin, who spends the majority of the first part of the novel teasing Kitty and generally being a dick in almost every way possible. Everyone around Kitty picks up on the fact that Christopher is being a jerk because he likes her, but she's distracted by her feelings for Jeff and the chaos of superbeings trying to take over the world. Which makes a lot of sense in my opinion.

Now, why I was fooled - I was really worried that Jeff was going to get the boot as the romantic interest for being the good guy! So many romances these days have heroines ending up with the slight jerkwad who, while intially misguided in his execution, sincerely likes the heroine. Rarely do guys like Jeff, the honest-to-goodness good guys who have been clear with their intentions from the beginning, win the girl. I went through almost half the book expecting Kitty to end up with Christopher, and I almost jumped with joy when I realized Jeff was going to be rewarded for all his good behavior by actually GETTING THE GIRL. Woohoo!


So yes, this is a fun book that I hope can keep up the momentum of its intriguingly efficient and witty heroine. I like Kitty a lot, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Koch is going to be able to keep her personality from going overboard.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up! I haven't come across a real sci-fi romance in a while, but Koch has created a great one in which both the technology and her characters' feelings seem very real.

Series - 1) Touched by an Alien 2) Alien Tango (December 2010)