Title: The Englor Affair (The Sci-Regency Series #2)
Author: J.L. Langley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Genre(s): Science Fiction
Page Count: 254 Pages
Reviewed by: ColinJ
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Sci-Regency Novel: sequel to My Fair Captain
Anxious to escape the confines of Regelence society, if only for a little while, Prince Payton Townsend poses as an admiral’s aide to further investigate a dangerous conspiracy. Payton plans only to use his computer skills to help navigate the tangled web of mystery and deceit on planet Englor, then return home, but he finds himself drawn to the charismatic Colonel Simon Hollister.
Simon, however, is no mere soldier—he is heir to the throne of Englor, and his life is meticulously planned to include a bride and heir. Unlike Regelence, the Regency society on Englor disapproves of same-sex relationships, and Payton and Simon’s attraction plays out in a daring secret affair, one Simon never expected would grow into love.
Risking scandal and certain ruin if they are discovered, Payton and Simon uncover more about a common enemy and a deadly plot that imperils both their worlds. But in this game of interplanetary intrigue, love might be the ultimate casualty…
Second Edition; First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., November 2008.
The second book in the series has a much richer plot line than its predecessor, with less predictability and more focus on the story. Nevertheless, it remains a light read. In addition there seemed to be fewer surplus characters. Based in an anti-gay environment there is ample opportunity for social comment.
As with the previous book, there is a very low level of tension and where these are present, they are resolved quickly and painlessly. The characters, whilst somewhat different from the first book are sketched out well. What is frustrating however, is that whilst there are numerous opportunities for disagreement and misunderstanding, nobody holds a grudge and problems of whatever complexity disappear without a backward glance. This trivialises the characters and their interactions.
Context is developed but only in so far as it supports the specific point in the plot. Apart from the stated cultural differences, there is no real difference between either of the key planets. It is not clear whether these are planets within the same solar system but physiologically and technologically they appear the same. Travel between the two is glossed over so lightly that it is possible to miss the movement from one planet to the other.
There is quite a lot of generally well-described sex, which appears passionate and relevant to the story. However, the reader gains little affinity or empathy with the characters and so the passion is not as potent as it might be. The superficiality and similarity of the characters, as well as their responses to situations, make the storyline rather bland.
Conversely, there is a lot going on and the pace of the story is quite fast. Thankfully it is not as fast as the first book and so it is easier to keep pace with events as they unfold.
The ending of this book is neater than the previous one with a clearer resolution to most of the issues. There are characters and situations that are unresolved and so another book is required to tie up any loose ends.