Book Reviews

Skin and Hide by Neena Jaydon at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Aliens / Other Planets / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 22-September-2012

Book Blurb

Former imperial commander Villam Elding and former rebel monk Luke tyv Sicinik arrive at Stavalai Colony at the beginning of the year's biggest imperial festival. Excited by the prospect of the festival, Villam even makes the traditional leather goddess pendants by hand. But being in imperial territory digs up old wounds, and tempers flare when Luke refuses to help Villam with an intimate act of goddess worship. Can they somehow reconcile Villam's love of the empire and Luke's hatred of all things imperial before the celebration ends?

Sequel to Storms and Stars



Part of the 2012 Torquere Charity Blitz, sponsored by Rainbow eBooks. All authors' royalties (matched by Torquere) will be donated to NO8H, whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.


Book Review

Without having read the first book (Storms and Stars), I really enjoyed this sequel showing Villam and Luke struggling with their different cultural backgrounds, trying to find common ground. The differences were well described and clear, and the animosity Luke feels was more than clear. Neither of them can really talk about the problem without upsetting the other enough to end in a screaming match with profound disagreement and anger at the end f it.


Luke was raised to believe anything imperial (read: galactic empire) was evil, yet, he has fallen for an imperial ex-commander. What he was taught is very clear, yet his love for Villam is strong. Luke desperately tries to reconcile his past an his beliefs with what he feels, His conscience tells him one thing, yet his feelings are clear, and the guidance from his goddess leaves room for him to compromise. That doesn’t make it easy, but one gesture from Villam says it all…


Villam is frustrated that Luke cannot seem to get over their different backgrounds, and loves Luke with everything he has. Since they can’t seem to talk about it without flying into rages, he figures something out that might just get through to his stubborn lover.


When the two finally do get together the underlying issues are not solved, but they are able to take the first steps to a "live and let live" situation that is more productive than ignoring each other's culture. While this story may be set far in the future an on an alien planet, the underlying truth about dealing with differences of opinion for a couple still hold true. If you like stories with a message, if you enjoy the rich background of an alien festival, and if you like reading about men who struggle to come to terms with each other's background, you will probably like this short book as much as I did.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Torquere Press for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 18 pages/4600 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-September-2012
Buy Link