Off World by Stephanie Vaughan.

The year is 2132 and Caleb Adams has it made. He’s the good-looking son of an Area Governor, with all the money he could ever need and a ready made future in the Diplomatic Corps handed to him on a platter. He’s got everything in the world going for him and only one real problem: Caleb is gay and homosexuality isn’t just frowned on — it’s a crime punishable by death.

Sarhaan is the ideal soldier and for good reason: he’s the result of generations of genetic engineering. For years his government has conducted a secret project to breed the perfect soldier and Sarhaan and his teammates are the results of those experiments.

But things have begun to go horribly wrong and word of Dr. Elihu Rondi’s Super Soldiers is beginning to leak out. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are dying mysteriously. The work of a serial killer or something else — something even more sinister? When Sarhaan’s unit is blamed and Cal realizes he may have information that clears them, both must act.

Thrown together when Caleb tries to help Sarhaan’s team, the two men fight an attraction more powerful than any they’ve ever felt. But neither one got to where they are without learning to suppress their natural instincts and both men know desire can be deadly.

Caleb is found by two soldiers aboard a stolen ship. He is there to help the soldiers on the Vigilant but first must convince them he is not a spy… Convincing the handsome Sarhaan might not be too much of a hardship though! Merow!

Caleb’s best friend Daphne, who worked a coroner’s office, has died but Caleb does not believe her death was a mugging as reported. He believes that she was murdered to cover up whatever she has found out about a series of killings in Havana and Cuba. The men of the Vigilant are under suspicion for the murders and Caleb takes it upon himself to help the team escape framing by corrupt politicians on their home planet, Earth.

Initially I found Caleb to be a bit of an ingenue, but as I read on his spine began to show through and he was quite engaging in the 2nd half of the book. He becomes more than a match for the more physically imposing Sarhaan. Our big, tough, nasty “send in the marines” hero Sarhann was plenty smexy and has been living off world for some time. His sexual preferences are not an issue on the ship whereas on Earth they are illegal. He has had far more time to become comfortable with his sexuality than Cal and this was quite a sweet plot point. The intimate moments were hot for the most part but somewhat lacking variety… or maybe I am just jaded?? heh.

I guess the problem I had with this book was that you needed to read the synopsis very closely to help decipher what was happening in the book. Even then, I still spent the 1st 50 pages floundering a bit. It’s convoluted in parts and as its first novel of a series it suffers from trying build a complex world in 150 something pages. There were so many threads, often really great ideas, that were not fully fleshed out and just left hanging. It lacks the tightness of a Stephanie Vaughan’s stand alone novels and this did spoil my read just a bit. While not my favorite of her books she is an author to check out. 

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4 thoughts on “Off World by Stephanie Vaughan.

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  1. Okay so should I start with a different book by her? I know you said this one wasn’t as tight but does she write anything else in the futuristic setting b/c it sounds fantastic

  2. When I first started reading this review I thought, another Regelence/other planet setup? But no, not at all. This sounds like a cool book. Thanks for the review.

  3. I think Jumping the Fence is a good one to start with, but while I did like parts of this…the world building left a bit to be desired. Less Regelence and more like Deep Space 9 maybe? With marine/soldier types and hawt tight uniforms. Heh.

  4. Sorry, need to clarify. I think Jumping the fence is a good read. But, off World needed more work on world buidling. I do like her writing and am totally looking forward to more.

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