Book Review: The Learner by Alan Nayes

As part of an Orange Berry Book Tour, I will be reviewing The Learner by Alan Nayes. This review is honest, unbiased and represent my subjective thoughts and opinions.

NayéLi has come from the dark side of the universe to learn as much as she can about the third planet from the sun, and to communicate her findings back to her home world. NayéLi is a Learner - and on Earth she assumes the form of a young human female of the indigenous host species.

NayéLi is bound by her rulers' laws of planetary exploration, which state that there can be no involvement with a member of the host species. But NayéLi is more human now than she realizes. And she is about to fall in love.

NayéLi's life on earth has been pretty uneventful for the last couple of hundred years. Travelling and learning everything there is to know from our planet, are about the only things she has done. All that is about to change when she's in a bus accident. Now Jared, who's a doctor, just happens to be around when the accident happens. So he's of to the rescue of the victims, among which is NayéLi. Presuming she's dead, he doesn't pay much attention to her.
"Good looking, smart, polite, and he remembered her. Damn, this is a very dangerous combination of I'WE traits."
That is until he walks into her a couple of days later. Definitely intrigued now, he wants to know more about her. How did she survive the accident, when he felt no pulse? NayéLi isn't about to answer his questions. Somehow Jared remembered her, which makes him a threat she has to stay far away from. Only if it wasn't so difficult to keep her distance and Jared isn't about to give up.

While Jared is trying to figure out who and what she is, NayéLi is trying to figure out why she can't leave him behind and makes her feel so human. They keep bumping in to each other or more like Jared keeps seeking her out, but she isn't turning him away either. Slowly they grow closer, but NayéLi is putting them in danger by breaking the rules 'No interacting or helping the humans' and she has long surpassed that.
"No doubt, to his eyes anyways she was the most sexy, sensual, bewitching woman he'd ever been this personally close to, but in a span of a few sentences her mystique had just been magnified a hundred, no a thousandfold."
Recently I've been reading a lot of New Adult and Contemporary Romances, this book was a nice change of scenery. There is of course still romance and an interesting interaction between human and alien, but the focus is not on them having sex and that's refreshing. It shows once more it is not necessarily needed in the book. There were plenty of other things to keep it interesting.

There was one thing I didn't like so much and that was the ending. Without giving away any spoilers, I'm just going to say it all felt a bit rushed. The rest of the story was very well spaced, but in the end it's all hurry hurry. Also there is going to be a second book and honestly I don't even feel that it's necessary. There are no major cliffhangers, the book could very well stand alone.

One of the things I liked the most was how their relationship grows gradually. It isn't all fate or mates or some other force pushing them together. He's intrigued by her and slowly they move closer together. She has to open up big, trust him with her secrets and he has to be able to accept all that. Their journey isn't easy and there are plenty of obstacles, but it's definitely all worth it.

Read it if you like something original, refreshing and that's not obsessed with sex, but do like romance, mystery and happy endings.

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