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Review: Ministry of Alien Relations – Rebecca Cohen

Ministry of Alien Relations - Rebecca Cohen

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It At Amazon | Publisher | Universal Buy Link

About The Book

Devlin Taylor is Head of Settlement and Relocation for the British Government’s Ministry of Alien Relations. He’s more used to helping recently arrived aliens find new homes and pay their utility bills than babysitting extraterrestrial socialites, but he’s been assigned to look after Zal Catenmir, son of the Chroalian ambassador, during their diplomatic visit to Earth.

Devlin is the perfect host and tour guide, and Zal loves the fuzziness of human males, while Devlin can’t seem to get enough of Zal’s scales and tail. But with only two weeks together before Zal leaves, they need to make the most of their time.

Zal was just out for a bit of fun, trying to relive his wilder youth after a break-up, but Devlin is wonderful and they both wish they could find a way to stay together. The Earth Ambassador Programme is under development, but it doesn’t look likely Devlin will get the job, and the lovers may need to say their goodbyes forever.

The Review

Devlin Taylor works for the British Government Civil Service, in the Ministry of Alien Relations, and is head of Settlement and Relocation. When his family has passed on, he used the inheritance to attend Oxford, and was recruited immediately. At first, he did assignments that were filled with excitement, travel and danger. Now he helps aliens that come to London and need placement. He doesn’t handle any visiting diplomats, only those who need a place to thrive on earth.  He’s also facing a crisis of self-confidence after his ex-boyfriend said he was boring and walked out.  

Now he’s been informed by his boss, Clarence Middleman, that he needs to work with the visiting Ambassador Scrialla Catenmir, her husband Dharland, and her son Zal from Chroalian.  

Devlin really doesn’t want to deal with all the top brass and the meet-and-greets. He’d rather just do his normal job, but the Ministry is short-handed, so there’s no way out of the assignment.

On top of that, he will be dealing strictly with the son, who he assumes is only twelve, until he does an age calculation.

Zal is very intelligent. He researches other species and planets, but he hasn’t even stepped foot on a planetary surface or interacted with resident species, not even to collect and preserve xenoartefacts. He’s been keeping himself secluded in his parents home since his hurtful break-up with Talgan. His loving mother, Scrialla, knows he’s been hiding, and hopes the trip to Earth will bring back his natural enthusiasm. 

When the Catenmirs arrive, Devlin is immediately distracted by the stunning Zal and his iridescent, scaly blue tail. But is Zal as intrigued about Devlin? The family is only on Earth for two weeks. Can Devlin find a way out of his comfort zone? Will Zal get his enthusiasm back?

In Ministry of Alien Relations, the first book in the new “Devlin Taylor Earth Ambassador” series, Cohen changes directions from historical Victorian era to an alternate version of the modern age.

She makes that shift very well. The Earth human/alien relations are fascinating. The Chroalians are much more advanced than Earth, and strive to show humans why diplomatic relations between Chroalian species would be beneficial. In many quarters, humans are considered not civilized enough as a species to engage in alien interactions. All humans who involved with aliens, like those of the Ministry, have an implant that would activate if they ever left Earth without permission, with tragic consequences.  

Beyond the seriousness of the story, there’s a lighter side too. Zal and Devlin are a delightful, sexy combination with lots of fun and steamy scenes together. Zal is hyper, loves Earth food and has to experience everything.  Devlin is dealing with self-confidence issues and would rather stay in his own secluded environment.  Zal has his work cut out for him, bringing Devlin out of his shell.  

The story has lots of other fun characters too: his boss Clarence Middleman and the team, Majorie, Clive, Wendy, Trevor, and Simon. I also really loved Zal’s mother, The Ambassador of Chroalian, Scrialla.  She’s so understanding and caring, and a strong character.

Get ready for a new and imaginative vocabulary for expressive words and Alien species, including katcheezle, pitwallock, kookalop, milkaleaky toad, Guhn, Galastia, Fritians, Ditursians and many more.

I highly recommend Ministry of Alien Relations. I was immersed in this tale from the very beginning and couldn’t put it down. It’s entertaining, with a little heartbreak, sadness, and lots of fun and love. It’s a start to another great series, and I’m sure there’s more up Ms. Cohen’s sleeve. I’ll be waiting impatiently for the next Zal and Devlin escapade.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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