Review: Leaving Dreamland
by Cheryl Dragon
In LEAVING DREAMLAND Shannon has no idea that she is an alien hybrid or that her biological father is responsible for her being kept in seclusion all this time or that she has a sister.
Gavin, Milton, Ross and Curtis have been guarding Shannon for months and all know she is the female to their group. They are hesitant to act on those feelings, because they know Shannon’s secret and are not allowed to tell her thanks to her father plus they are not sure how Hastings will feel that they want Shannon.
The attacks from the Keelons are heating up and the time is coming for a final battle that will either kill them all or finally rid them of the alien threat.
Normally it doesn’t take me that long to read a book from Cheryl Dragon but with LEAVING DREAMLAND I took my time because it is hard to say goodbye to characters that we love and those that we love to hate. There scenes between Shannon and her men is hot enough to start a four alarm fire but the scenes where Shannon learns what she is makes you want to give her a hug.
LEAVING DREAMLAND rocks and I know readers like myself will love it as well. Cannot wait to see what else Cheryl Dragon has in store for us.
Curtis MacDonald watched the woman of his dreams. It was his job, after all. The world of stars opened up as Shannon Madison worked the controls in the observation room deep inside of Area 51. It was no shock that she’d turned out to be an astronomer since her mother had come from out there just as Curtis had. He didn’t get romantic often, but MacDonald and his small group of aliens, Milton, Ross and Gavin, had been protecting Shannon, the secret hybrid, for several months.
Milton Hexner guarded the main door and Gavin Parchner was stationed at the other exit on the opposite end of the room. Ross Gronbuck stood nearby checking his Smartphone for any alerts. They looked the same as all Keelon aliens did in the deserts of Nevada, brown haired, brown eyed, and Caucasian. Their strength was superior, but they blended in well. Being a Keelon alien was top secret so they worked for the government.
Area 51 was known as Dreamland, and for the four male lovers, who’d been bonded as a fighting team before they’d left their home planet, this was a dream. On earth, they’d found a planet with less war and more women. Specifically, they’d found their woman. However, claiming Shannon was dangerous. She was at Dreamland for her protection. Still, there was so much she didn’t know and the aliens did. Orders were orders, and telling her the complete truth was not allowed.
She studied the night sky through the ultra-powered telescope, and Curtis examined her. Long brown hair and dark brown eyes set off her lovely pale skin. She was tall and slim with subtle curves in the right places. Her temper was even and nearly docile in a way. While she complained about being kept here for observation, she hadn’t tried to escape.
No human woman Curtis had known in the twenty years he’d been on Earth would take that without demanding a phone call, a lawyer and throwing a serious fit. Shannon truly was a human/Keelon hybrid.
Shannon turned a few dials. “It’s such a clear night. I love it.”
“We really should close up stuff here and go to bed,” Curtis said.
Shannon loved to stay up all night and sleep all day. However, in the cover of darkness was when the Keelons from the home world seemed to make their visits. The last thing anyone needed was for Shannon to spot an alien vessel. She had no clue some aliens had found peace and safety on Earth while others wanted to use and abuse humans.
“Stop it. This isn’t hurting anyone.” She flipped a few switched. “Look at that. More test flights?”
“Probably.” Curtis nodded to Ross.
Then Ross’ phone alarmed. “We need to get you back to your quarters and safety.”
“What? You said it’s our Air Force testing new things. It’s nothing really dangerous. I’m tired of hiding out in my quarters.” Obviously, she trusted them. She vented about the restrictions the powers at the top had put on her, but Shannon wasn’t a fool. She understood that the men were under orders of their own and might not be able to tell her the absolute truth even if they wanted to indulge her. Curtis loved her honesty and never took the woman’s frustrations personally.
Curtis hated lying to her but her safety mattered more.
“I’m sorry, but we really need to go!” Curtis shut down the observation room and grabbed her around the waist.
This time Shannon struggled and wrestled herself from his grip. “I’m sick of this. Tell me the truth!”
Gavin was the warrior of the group and picked her up so she couldn’t escape his grasp. “We will discuss things in your quarters where you are safe.”
His superior strength trumped any of Shannon’s efforts to get loose. Finally, she folded her arms and pouted as he carried her through the halls.
Curtis admired her stubborn streak and beauty. He couldn’t tell her the truth, but the alert notified the men of another Keelon vessel in Earth’s orbit. With the constant visits, the facts couldn’t be withheld from her much longer. For the first few months, she’d been contained in the lab with only a modular pod for privacy. Eventually, the doctors would run out of tests and excuses. Now that she had more freedom and had explored base within in her access level, the reality would reveal itself.
Once inside their room, Ross locked the door. Gavin gently set Shannon onto the couch in the common area. Shannon had a bedroom to herself, and the men shared another. They guarded her constantly. A bond and attraction had built between the five of them, but they had yet to cross the line. If she made the first move, it’d be fine, but Curtis wouldn’t break the rules on his own. He took his role as group leader and the safety of Shannon and all the people in Dreamland seriously.
Shannon’s silence made Curtis look over at her. While she wouldn’t try to escape, she had frequently vented her frustrations. Her arms were folded as she glared at them.
“What’s going on? I’ve been here for months and months. I’ve gone through all the tests and interviews. I have no memories of any close encounters. I believe aliens are out there, but I don’t believe I’ve been taken onto any ships or that I’m in any danger. No nightmares, night terrors, implants, missing time. Nothing.” Her tone was calm and firm.
“You’re not in danger here,” Ross replied.
Milton sat next to Shannon. “We don’t have all of the answers, but we won’t let anyone hurt you.”
Curtis watched their peacemaker try to soothe the woman they all loved. One woman for a group of men was the Keelon way because they were a warring world genetically modified to breed males over females. There were plenty of ménage relationships around Dreamland that involved groups of alien men, but Shannon just believed there were more men than women so necessity had been the mother of invention.
Ross walked up to Curtis and nodded. “There’s a ship in orbit,” he said quietly. “We need to stay here and distract her somehow.”
“We can’t do that,” Curtis said.
“You don’t think it’s time to prove ourselves and be honest? She’s smart, and now, she’s grown too suspicious. Her patience is worn thin, and she needs proof.” Ross was the most logical minded.
The group counted on Ross for intelligence and seeing the big picture, and Curtis trusted him. Clearly, it was time to make a change and hope for the best. There was no doubt that all of the men wanted to move the relationship forward, but there would be no way to go back if it didn’t work.
“Fine,” Curtis said.
“Fine what?” Shannon asked. “I thought I could trust you four, and now, I’m not even allowed to be in the observation room? I’m just being held for no reason?”
She’d always known there was more out there. ET had been her favorite movie growing up. When she looked up at night, she always wanted to see something. Not just discover a comet or see a shooting star, but truly to explore. She’d hoped she’d get the opportunity to use the amazing equipment here to get an even better look.
“There are reasons, but we can’t give you all of the details.” Curtis sat next to her.
The four men moved around her, and she felt safe and warm. All the masculine bodies softened her need to argue. Wanting for more than protection from them had helped keep her cooperative. The hope of finding out aliens were real and here on earth was the rest of her motivation not to be a nuisance. Being brought to Area 51 wasn’t something one could request, but she’d ended up here and she wanted to explore and make the most of it. No university or research group had technology like Dreamland.
“What is the government going to do to me?” she asked.
“Nothing. You’re safe here.” Gavin put his hand on her shoulder.
The strong touch made her relax yet sparked her need for affection. These men had too much self control. “Then why am I here? I never discovered anything in the stars worthy of sequestering me. Trust me, I’ve looked at every photo I’ve ever taken, and there were no UFO or top secret planes.”
“True but alien abductions are up. You are here for your protection,” Curtis said.
“Is it really that dangerous for me?” she asked.
“You want to be abducted?” Ross shook his head. “It’s not pleasant.”
“You don’t have every woman in America locked up here. Besides, all aliens can’t be mean and cruel.” She shrugged.
Milton knelt at her feet. “But groups of people with superior technology and power will take advantage of the weaker ones. Human history has taught us that much. Ask the Native Americans. There are some passive alien races out there, but the Keelons aren’t one of them.”
“Who are the Keelons?” she asked.
“The race of aliens that have visited Earth the most in the past fifty years. The abduction rate from them is highest. Some of their ships crashed here decades back,” Ross explained.
“There are specimens? They’ve been examined?” The idea of seeing a real alien excited her.
Gavin nodded. “Actually some are still alive. The humans didn’t kill everyone. We lived.”
“You?” She laughed and pinched his arm. “You feel pretty human to me.”
In a flash, Gavin’s skin went from human to snake like and then back.
She turned and remembered she was surrounded. Surprise and intrigue mixed inside of her. “All of you?”
“Don’t panic. We’re on Earth’s side.” Curtis smiled.
“Side? Wait. What do you really look like?” She’d grown attached to them looking the way they did. So strong and sexy. She rubbed a hand over the snakeskin. “Are you snake people?”
Milton shook his head. “No, not snakes. Our skin can modify itself based on the environmental needs. That’s all.”
“So you’re humanoid. Work for the government. Why are you guarding me?” she asked.
“We’re protecting you from the aliens. The Keelons are a warring people who take what they want,” Gavin said.
“What would they want with me? Obviously, they know the stars better than I do.” She watched Gavin and Milton share a look.
“We can’t give you all the details. We’ve got our orders,” Curtis said.
While she wanted to push, she’d seen the military’s discipline and access restrictions for herself. Few people talked to her casually. If she couldn’t talk to the men about that, she had to change the subject.