Hothouse Orchid by Vashti Valant
Ellora’s Cave
Light Bondage/ Futuristic
ISBN: 9781419909894
Reviewed by Indy




Cattleya, the crème dele crème of genetically engineered toys, intelligent with exotic looks and cultured in the arts is one of the coveted creations from Hothouse Flowers. Women designed with the beautiful attributes of flowers and tutored from childhood to be the perfect concubine for their owners. Innocent of her true purpose, Cattleya is scandalized by the brute sent to retrieve her for her prospective husband and can’t understand why her body weeps in his mere presence. In a futurist world where gene splicing is the norm and pure humans barely exist, Vance, mercenary for hire and one of the few humans left in the galaxy is jaded but not so that he can’t appreciate the appeal of Cattleya. Dumbfounded that the woman who is so similar to human women doesn’t understand she’s no more than a sex toy with brains Vance continues to give her lessons on the harsher aspects of life as he slowly smashes all the beliefs of a helpless innocent created for the sadistic pleasure of her owner.

I constantly find myself looking for a new and bigger thrill as books start to become no more than templates with names changed to give the illusion of something new. Hothouse Orchid, the latest title from Vashti Valant gives me hope that not all creative genes have been lost. In a futuristic world full of anomalistic creatures, some created with only pleasure or torture in mind, we are dazzled with a haunting story of innocence. A creature created and sheltered from her true purpose and the man who despite his attempts to treat her like nothing more than the vessel for his pent up frustrations come together in a lyrical fashion. Intense and emotional, I found myself wildly swerving from one emotional plateau to another. Providing a well thought out plot is just part of what made this story great but I found myself impressed with how easy it was to visualize the places I was reading about. I could actually see Cattleya’s sensual dance, feel the heat of her battles as she showed more than one person she wasn’t as delicate as the entity her design was created from. Ms. Valant’s writing made this world come to life and that is one of the reasons why, after only reading two of her offerings; she has been added to my list of authors to look out for in the upcoming year.


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