Gini Koch. Her debut novel, Touched by an Alien is getting really rave reviews among the book review blogs. And if not for the power of the book blogs (pay attention publishers!) I would have never picked this one up. And let me tell you, I'm so very glad that I did.
Katherine "Kitty" Katt has just finished jury duty for the day. As she is leaving the court house, she witnesses a fender bender. The man and woman who have the accident fight and suddenly something straight out of a monster movie happens. The man sprouts wings, shoots blades out of them, and cuts the woman into pieces right before Kitty's eyes. Instead of running for safety, she reaches into her black hole of a purse and grabs her Mont Blanc pen and jabs it into this jelly-fish like thing in its back. Out of nowhere a tall, dark and handsome man wearing an Armani suit examines the body and is in awe of how Kitty handled the situation. Before she can go about her business, he tells her she must come with him because he is a top secret agent and needs to bring her in for questioning. She has no choice but to go with him, or rather he uses his mind mojo on her and she passes out.
Kitty's life is about to change forever. When she comes to, the Armani hunk, along with his other fellow Armani clad hunks take Kitty to their secret base in New Mexico, right near Area 51. The man who first came upon Kitty is Jeff Martini, an empath. His fellow agents also have special abilities and are not of this world. Martini, along with his cousin Christopher, who rubs Kitty the wrong way right off the bat, and his supervisor Mister White, as well as Paul Grower, and human, former Calvin Klein model James Reader think Kitty would be a great addition to the group.
At first Kitty thinks they work with Homeland Security. They try their best to be vague about who they are and what they do, but Kitty won't be placated. These men "from Planet Hunk, sent to Earth to protect and serve. And make the ladies happy." As Kitty thinks of them to be, are an elite group of aliens from Alpha Centauri sent to protect Earth from the big bad fuglies, known as parasites. These parasites enter human bodies and hibernate until they are ready to hatch. Once such parasite, called Mephistopheles, has lived inside a very rich and powerful man for a few decades and is ready to rule and make a perfect race. And he has Kitty on his radar to be his queen.
Kitty is more freaked out by the fact that the AC's won't let her contact any of her family and friends. But, then her mother is targeted by Mephistopheles and she and the Armani Hunk brigade come to her rescue. Not that Mrs. Katt can't handle the situation. It seems she has been keeping some major secrets from her daughter. Everything Kitty thought she knew about her parents are a lie and she's expected to defeat a nasty alien creature and it's equally nasty army without any real fighting skills. At the same time, Martini has placed some sort of claim on her. He is a big flirt and laughs in the face of danger while whispering tender words in her ear that leads to some amazing loving between the two. (A bed for these two is totally optional). He seems to be the perfect man for her, although the have only know each other for a few days. Armed with her Ipod of rock and roll music and a can of hair spray, Kitty will take down the alien fugs with a little backup from a group of men who look so good that they make any woman's knees quiver.
Touched by an Alien is a bit on the outlandish side, but filled with enough comic relief and twist and turns keep you turning to the next page. Kitty is an absolute joy. She is not your normal heroine so to speak. She is half-Jewish and channels the snark like you won't believe. She has fallen down the rabbit hole so to speak and takes everything in stride, perhaps a bit too much so. The enjoyment lies in placing all rational aside and go with the flow. Seriously, how can a woman who has never flown a fighter jet, hop in and steer it as if she had been doing so from birth? She also seems to have all the answers. And don't get me started on the fight scenes with the fuglies. Those made my head spin.
There is a great deal to recommend about Touch by an Alien even with some of the over the top action that may have taken me aback. I could go on forever about how wonderful of a hero Gini has created with Martini. Can there be such a thing as an Alpha Beta hero? He sure does embody both of these traits and regardless of his looks, he is one amazing package that will make most female readers swoon. He not only has a talent at remaining calm in the face of danger, but his feelings for Kitty are adorable, sweet and incredibly sexy. Those who enjoy a little spicy in their romance will definitely enjoy Kitty and Martini's chemistry, including the way they act on it.
Touched by an Alien is a hybrid full of the wacky and weird. Ripley's Believe It Or Not would have a field day with more than half of the alien creatures in this book. Gini has tapped into something very special here with enough action, laughs and smoldering love scenes that will cause you to splash cold water on your face. Fans that approve of science fiction hi-jinks with a nice feel of a superhero comic book will have a blast reading Touched by an Alien. (DAW)
Final Grade: B+
A few other Touched by an Alien reviews:
That's Queen Bitch