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Opening Worlds

Cari Z

Out of Print

Captain Jason Kim is less than thrilled when the mission log for his merchant starship includes ferrying three male Perels back to their home planet after sowing their wild oats across the 'verse. After being burned in his last relationship, he wants nothing to do with the sensual, quill-haired creatures. It's just his luck that Ferran, one of the Perels, takes a distinct liking to him.

Ferran is captivated by Jason's aloof nature, but for one who must return home to domestic obligation and impending marriage, lasting romance seems out of the question. Nevertheless, his charm begins to open Jason up, and the more time they spend together, the more difficult it becomes to say goodbye.

"Sir?" Florence appeared at his elbow in the loading bay. "We have embarkation starting in five. Time to smarten up and impress the masses."

"Mm," Jason replied, watching as his hold was rapidly emptied of its cargo. "I'll be right there."

"Of course you will, sir. And I'll just wait here for you."

"Commander Zelenkar, I'm not going to stand you or our passengers up," Jason gently chided, knowing what she was thinking.

"It will mean a lot to them to be personally greeted," she said unrepentantly. "I'm only staying in order to take over if something goes wrong and you're unavoidably detained or something like that."

Jason stared flatly at his first officer. "You're coming very close to implying dereliction of duty on my part, Commander."

"That isn't at all my intent, sir. I merely wish to facilitate the execution of your many duties as best I can," Florence said with a perfectly straight face. "That includes me being on hand to assist you in any way possible."

Jason glanced down at his chrono. "I should probably leave now if I'm going to get to the doors on time." Florence just kept looking attentive. "Thank you."

"My pleasure, sir. I'll finish things up here."

"When you're done, meet me in the bridge. Ceyla's control tower is opening the shields for us in forty-five minutes, and we don't want to be late."

"Yes, sir."

5 - Elisa Rolle
"[A] sweet and almost old fashioned romance. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

5 - Valentina at The Romance Reviews
"I loved the world and the physical characteristics of Perels but if not for the feeling I got while reading the romance part of it, it would have been a four star rating for me. Cari Z. gave their story a beginning, hot middle and a fantastic conclusion and I can honestly say nothing was missing for me. I could feel the desire as well as love and that is exactly how it should be."

4.5 - Zee at Fire Pages
"This story was awesome. Jason and Ferran didn't just jump into the sack with each other. They got to know each other. We get to see their relationship grow and the romance bloom between them. This short was romantic, very well written, and an excellent story. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Darien at Three Dollar Bill Reviews
"This was one of my favourite stories in the entire [Wild Passions] anthology. It just felt right and complete, and made me happy with its conclusion. ... Just really adored this one. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Alex at Between the Covers
"This well-written story explores sex vs. love, the different social requirements of different planet societies, and the individual's required duties to society. This story made my chest ache with the longing that the narrator felt and it was superbly constructed. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Jenre at Well Read
"There were two things that I particularly liked about the story. The first was the way that Ferran and Jason slowly get to know each other. The dance around their attraction was wonderful to read and all the more satisfying when they give in to their feelings. ... The second thing was the world-building which was done so deftly with little incidental details slotted in amongst the larger information about Perel society. ... [S]uch a delight to read. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"

4 - Beverly at The Romance Studio
"I don't read a lot of futuristic themed books because sometimes they are way out there. This one stoked my interest and I'm happy I had the chance to read it. It's a short, nicely written solid story about two completely different men who fall in love. The interplanetary setting added another dimension to the story which I found quite intriguing. The author managed within the few pages to give a great slow buildup to the romance. I liked the realistic connection between the characters, it was believable and emotionally touching. A lovely story indeed."

4 - Cryselle at Dark Divas Reviews
"[The characters' backgrounds are] doled out in small tragic bits, giving their love a special piquancy. The story is very tender and the resolution is cause to rejoice. (Note: The rating given applies to the anthology as a whole.)"


Wild Passions


12,800 words
24 pages

Release Date

Book Type

Short Story





Cover Art

Nathie Block


M/M, science fiction