cover image Perfect Gravity

Perfect Gravity

Vivien Jackson. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-4819-2

In Jackson’s breathless second near-future Tether romance (after Wanted and Wired), supergifted and technologically enhanced politician Angela Neko lusts after supersexy veterinarian Kellen Hockley, who’s on the opposite political side. Kellen is bent on saving all the humans and animals he can from the toxic fallout of the conflict between the rebellious Texas Provisional Authority and the United North American Nations. Potty-mouthed Angela, now 30, has been rising to potential UNAN veep-ship by surreptitiously nudging the TPA toward all-out war. The two had a scorching encounter eight years before, and Jackson choreographs a colorful mating dance for them: Angela uses all her tech enhancements to lure Kellen close enough to ravish, and “scrumptious” Kellen manfully tries to fight off her advances with the help of his illegal nanorobotic intelligence, Chloe; his tech-modified communi-cat, Yoink; and excessive Texas expletives. Their joint adventures are imaginative and lusty to start, but Jackson lingers a little too long on unmaskings of villains, governmental takeovers, disintegrating ecosystems, and refugee problems. She leaves room for more episodes of her strange new world while bringing Kellen and Angela to a rapturous but unlikely solution to the eternal quandary: how to balance career and cuddling. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Nov.)