I'm being generous with 2 stars here. /sigh.
The Nitty Gritty short list here:
1- I consider this "YA" although the heroine is in fact 24- she acts rather like a teenager.
2- The premise of the entire plot- could have been really interesting and fun but ended up being stupid.
3- This has ultra stupid instalove issues. While I can normally stomach instalove because I pretty much caught that disease when I met my beloved husband 20 years ago simply hanging out with him- there is very little going on in the first half of this book to distract you from that instalove feature. Those that are far less tolerant than I about this kind of romance trope will hate this book. If you go past this line, there will be Spoilers, and I mean all of it is Spoilers. You have been warned. Do not enter if you're a freak about Spoilers ok? Thank you.
Courtney has cancer and is dying. The start of this book was relatively interesting and promising to me! Then mysterious alien man Antioch kidnaps her. What the hell for? Who knows. At the very least Courtney does try to find out repeatedly- 2pts for her. So then Antioch and the super advanced alien humanoid doctor in fantastic robes cures her of her terminal cancer. Why? Here is where the story just gets dumber and dumber. Antioch tells Courtney that they cured her because they wanted to check it out yo! You know, we advanced beings wanted to see if our souped up meds would cure your cancer and all, that's why we traveled across the universe to kidnap your dying body. Ok so then Courtney also finds out not only was she super duper lucky getting this super cancer cure but she's also lucky because for some reason (they ran into "trouble" that is literally the explanation she gets) they didn't kidnap a second girl. Who cares? And why would these super aliens even need to do that? Oh because as you find out by the end of the book Courtney is supposed to be the future ambassador to Earth. Really she was supposed to be a great guinea pig for The Doctor but since there is only ONE human she gets to be cured and gets to marry the "prince" and gets to be the ambassador.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The planet of Gavia is just not entirely believable as a "futuristic" or advanced society. Really it has fantastic air conditioning and that's about it. And shiny cities. And rebels that live in hovels and an evil dictator that lives in a palace. Predictably said dictator cackles with evil glee, rapes women, kills children mercilessly and get this: STAGES a freaking execution ceremony in public to make Courtney break protocol. Yes I am not joking. You see- evil Dictator that is known as The Ruler is a sociopath. The Ruler knows that Courtney the stupid little dog human Antioch brought from Earth could never REALLY follow all of Gavia's oppressive protocol and he just *knew* she would freak out when he was going to stab a pregnant rebel on a huge execution pedestal:
"You are sick bastard," I grumbled.
The Ruler shrugged stared at me, with an awkward glance, as if he were making heinous plans for me. "I was against Antioch taking an Earth woman as his wife, as I've said before. I thought why would anyone want do that; marry a woman from Earth would be like marrying a dog. Why not marry an Alantisian? It disgusted me, but then I thought of the exciting things I could do to the Earth woman. See, I knew this would happen. I knew you would never be able to present yourself as a true Gavian and I knew eventually you would break the law. I knew executing the rebel woman in public would finally break you, make you commit treason, and then you would suddenly be at my mercy."
"You are sick," I mumbled as my eyes as my eyes became thick with tears.
The Ruler shrugged. "Yes, I am a monster, and frankly, I truly enjoy it," he stated cocking his head.
"Antioch will never let you get away with this. If you hurt me, he and ..." I began, but I didn't want to say too much.
The Ruler laughed again cackling like a witch flying off on her broomstick.
Gosh I don't even know where to start or stop- there's the fact that The Ruler has forbidden anyone from calling him by his original name, he's only known as The Ruler. Or how about the fact that Courtney's only moxy as it's presented is just a few angry conversations with Antioch. Granted she DID try to save the pregnant rebel in her own futile stupid way. I realize she didn't have much power. All the women in Gavia were submissive Stepford wives because: The Ruler says so. They must walk behind the man, hands clasped behind their backs and eyes downward.
Antioch himself is an issue- he's a roller coaster. One moment admiring her, the next moment furious with her, the next moment pitying her and then alternatively bringing up "I saved your life Courtney!". Well even Courtney was aware enough to gripe mentally that geez why does he keep on bringing that up.
Anyway- if you are remotely discriminating skip this book. I'm a lenient junk food reader. I just want to be entertained and I read a lot of self published books and I overlook a lot of noobie mistakes but this book was just disappointing. Great ideas lurking around and hints of ideas but the execution is terrible.