"Weddings are Always Hell to Plan, Worse When They Trigger an Alien Invasion"
Reviewed by Diana Troldahl
Posted August 15, 2011
Romance | Romance Science Fiction
The Alpha Centaurians (A.C.) arrived on Earth years ago to
help protect the humans from nasty parasitical beings that
turn humanoids into massive, murderous monsters. They chose
exile rather than perpetuate a problem caused in part by
Katherine (Kitty) Kat became involved when her automatic
reactions proved just the ticket for fending off and
defeating said monsters. In the course of her first
experience, she met Jeff Martini, a super hot A.C. (see
Touched By an Alien and Alien Tango ).
She became their number one, Superbeing Exeterminator (her
own choice of title), and head of the Aero Division of the
Alpha Centaurian forces, as well as Jeff Martini's main
squeeze. Now Kitty and Jeff are engaged to marry. Somehow
with the demands of their jobs, the details of planning the
wedding have been pushed to the back of her mind, despite
the nagging and harassing and strong words of those
involved, waiting on her decisions on such world-shaking
matters like bridesmaids, flowers, venue etcetera.
Worse yet, long lost relatives always show up at these
things. Bad enough if it's weird Aunt Gertrude from
Poughkeepsie, but when they come from another world possibly
bent on the annihilation of Earth, who knows what party
favors they will be bringing along?
Kitty's cadre is called by Chuckie (head of the CIA's ET
Division) to the top of Animas Peak in New Mexico to witness
an alien light show that bears a striking resemblance to the
betrothal Unity Necklace Kitty got from Martini. A light
show that just might be an RSVP to Kitty and Jeff's wedding.
Or another invasion of Fuglies to Earth. Whichever.
Gini Koch has another winner, plenty of action combined with
just the right touch of humor and a kick-ass storyline.
What's not to like?
As you may be able to tell, I am a huge fan of Koch's Alien
series, of which ALIEN IN THE FAMILY is book three.
Book four, Alien Proliferation is due out in
Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt and the Alpha
she loves, Jeff Martini, should be finalizing their wedding
plans. But that was before she discovers Jeff is in line to
become Emperor back on his home world. Kitty knows she is
everything a royal family wouldn't approve of, and is
bracing herself for the worst. As it turns out, the royal
family is just the beginning. Especially when
extraterrestrial Amazonian terrorists are determined to
start and end Kitty and Jeff's nuptial festivities with a
"Why are we waiting out here in the middle of the
Martini asked for what, by my count, was the tenth time in
less than an hour.
"Because Chuckie said there was something here we needed
to see, Jeff. You know, like I’ve said for the past, oh,
"Why do you insist on calling him Chuckie?" Martini was
really in a mood. Possibly because we’d been interrupted in
the middle of a very romantic dinner by Chuckie’s phone
call. To me, not to Martini.
"Because that’s what I’ve called him since ninth grade,
and calling him Mister Reynolds seems sort of stupid,
calling him Charles sounds like I think he’s my uncle, and
if I’m going to call him Chuck, then I’m going to add on
‘e’." Of course, I knew the real reason Martini wasn’t
happy. But I wasn’t going to bring it up. We’d had the
jealousy chat months ago, and he was supposed to be working
on dealing with the fact that other men occasionally found
me attractive by not being a jerk about it. Tonight he
wasn’t doing so well.
"Jeff, you know, you could go on back to the Science
Center and let me and Kitty handle it." Reader winked at me
where Martini couldn’t see.
"Right, thanks for the offer, James. But just how would
the two of you get out of here if there were any problems?"
Martini had a point. We were perched on the top of
Peak in New Mexico, staring at pretty much nothing. Reader
and I, being human, would have a hard time getting anywhere
fast if Martini or another Alpha Centaurion wasn’t with us.
On the other hand, we could drive and fly because our
reflexes weren’t so good that they destroyed Earth
machinery. So we had that going for us.
On the other hand, we’d gotten to this point via a gate,
which was alien technology that let you move hundreds or
thousands of miles in seconds and had the added advantage
making you completely nauseous. On the other hand, because
we weren’t aliens, neither Reader nor I could actually see
the gate that had deposited us here, on top of a really
mountain, in the middle of the night. I thought about the
drop and sidled a little closer to Martini.
My walkie chirped. "Kitty, you there?"
"Hi Christopher. How goes it at your location?"
"Dull, dark and boring. You sure the C.I.A.’s not trying
to kill us or freeze us to death?"
"Somewhat positive. We’re supposed to see something.
"I’m seeing my bed. It’s nowhere near me, but I can see
"Hilarious. How’s Tim doing?"
"He’s as bored as I am. So’s Paul, should you care to
know. ACE, however, seems fascinated."
"Glad one of you, or at least part of one of you, isn’t
sitting around complaining like an old lady." ACE was a
super-consciousness I’d managed to channel into Paul Gower
few months back as opposed to letting it accidentally
destroy the entire world. ACE usually did its best to hang
in the background, but whenever Paul was bored ACE tended
show up a little more.
"At least he’s stopped asking about our sex life,"
"ACE is just interested in things."
"Girlfriend, I don’t even want to get into how totally
unromantic you get when you have to clinically explain
kissing, let alone any other sexual act, to an entity that
didn’t have a body for most of its existence."
I thought about it. "Um, ick."
"In a word, yeah." Reader had been the top international
male supermodel for several years running. Then he’d joined
up with the boys from Alpha Centauri, or A-Cs as they
themselves. He’d been an agent longer than me, but had
somehow become my best friend in my new life. We had a lot
in common, including being in love with an alien. Reader
Gower had been a couple longer than I’d known them, which
was going on a year. In that time, they’d fought all of
once. I’d been with Martini almost a year and in that time
we’d fought…a lot more than once.
I could tell Martini picked up my emotions, because he
reached out and pulled me to him. As the most powerful
empath on Earth, him doing this wasn’t a surprise. He
go insane from all the myriad emotions batting around
everywhere and from everyone because of the blocks and
empathic-protection goodies the A-Cs knew how to install in
their brains and use. Martini didn’t have blocks up against
my emotions. Sometimes I wondered if that was a wise choice
on his part.
"Sorry," he said quietly. "I’m just tired and tired of
waiting. And, you’re freezing."
"A little." Okay, a lot. I just didn’t want to complain.
I was in the standard issue clothing for working female A-
-- white Oxford button-down, black slim-skirt, and a long,
black trench, all Armani. I was also in Aerosole pumps
because the A-Cs believed in looking good while feeling
comfortable. But we were on top of a high mountain and
the guys were in their standard black Armani suits with
their white Armani shirts and their long black trench
they seemed to shove off the cold better, even the human
Martini opened his trench, pulled me against him, and
wrapped his coat around me. "Better?"
I snuggled up and leaned my head against his chest.
"Mmmm, yeah." He was warm and I always found his body heat
and double heartbeats soothing.
"Baby? Wake up."
"I was awake."
"You don’t snore when you’re awake."
"I wasn’t snoring!"
Reader coughed. "Um, yeah, yeah you were."
Martini’s walkie crackled. "Yeah, we could hear you
snoring over here." I could tell Christopher was
"You played my snoring for them?"
Martini shrugged. "I wanted to make sure they were
Not my fault you were sort of loud. You coming down with a
"No, I am not. Though if we’re here much longer I
"Blame good ol’ Conspiracy Chuck. I’m not the one who
suggested a romantic rendezvous out here."
"You know, I don’t call him that. Only people who
his friends called him that."
"Which is why I feel great calling him that."
I let it pass. I mean, I didn’t want to head into one of
Martini’s favorite complaints, which was that I was far too
willing to take Chuckie’s calls. "Besides, this isn’t a
"I know. I’m really clear that this is not how I planned
to end the evening."
I pulled my walkie out of my purse. "Jerry, you guys
"Yeah, but why is it we got stuck on the coldest ridge?"
Jerry Tucker was one of the Navy Top Gun pilots assigned to
Centaurion Division in general and to my Airborne team in
specific. He was on Chiricahua Peak in Arizona.
Christopher’s team was on Big Hatchet in New Mexico. All
high, all cold at this time of year, all lacking a C.I.A.
"The lower ranking officers get the cruddy locations,"
Reader answered into his walkie.
"Thanks. You know, Matt, Chip and I all outrank you,
"Only in the Navy. Around here, experience and longevity
count more." Reader was trying not to laugh.
"Then how is it Kitty’s in charge of Airborne?" Tim
Crawford, also part of my team, was laughing. Like Reader,
Tim lived to be a smartass.
"Oh, shut up."
"It’s worse over here," Christopher snapped. "We’re on
the edge of a knife. The rest of you at least have
to stand on."
"That’s why it’s two A-Cs to one human over there. Stop
whining. Jerry, anything over there? At all?"
"No, but I’m really glad you guys let Michael come with
us." Michael Gower was Paul’s younger brother, and was
visiting us while on vacation from NASA. He was also an
astronaut, but I doubted this was why Jerry was glad he was
there. The idea of not having an A-C with you while on a
scary high mountain had dawned on me already. "You know,
Cochise’s ghost is supposed to haunt these mountains."
"A ghost would at least be something interesting,"
We waited a few more minutes, then I heard something
different. It sounded like a very muted sprinkler system
just started up. "Chuckie’s here."
The sleek, black helicopter set down far enough away
us that we weren’t too windblown. A tall man, bundled up in
a long overcoat, got out and sauntered over to us. I
attempted to move out of Martini’s arms, but they were
locked around me. I was cold enough I decided not to argue.
"Took you long enough, Reynolds," Martini snapped as
Chuckie got near enough to hear him.
Chuckie shook his head. "Always a pleasure, Martini.
Kitty, how’re you doing?"
"Fine. Cold and bored, but fine."
Chuckie nodded his head towards Reader. "Good to see
"Damn, but you lie well," Reader said with a smile. No
one but me seemed to like Chuckie. Oh well. He didn’t seem
"If you two could detach from each other for a moment?
It’ll make it easier to show you what’s going on."
Martini let me go, slowly. I took his hand and gave it a
squeeze. He relaxed a bit. "Chuckie, what is going on?"
He looked at his watch. "You’ll see in…oh…about a minute
and a half. Might want to let White and your other boys
it’s almost showtime."
"Christopher, we’re almost set."
"Yeah, the C.I.A. graciously joined us just now."
"Jerry, you have federal company yet?"
"Yes, ma’am, Commander. We are in position." Jerry and
the rest of my flyboys always went into Supreme Military
Mode whenever we were dealing with anyone outside of
Centaurion Division. No one in Centaurion liked having to
deal with the C.I.A.’s ET division. Except me. I didn’t
it if we were dealing with Chuckie, but only if we were
dealing with him.
Chuckie reached into his coat pocket and pulled out some
goggles. "You might want to put these on." He handed them
me, and tossed a pair each to Martini and Reader.
I put them on, which, of course, required me to let go
Martini’s hand. Chuckie smoothly took the opportunity to
take my arm as soon as the goggles were on. "You’ll want to
pay close attention, Kitty."
"Why me? I mean, over everyone else?" I was trying not
give off any kind of emotion other than professional
interest. Being betrothed to the most powerful empath on
Earth had a lot of advantages. But Chuckie had become an
in-person part of my life again on a much more consistent
basis starting when Martini and I had been in a very rough
patch. I define ‘rough patch’ to mean he was drugged out of
his mind by an alien-hating conspiracy and said
almost murdered me in a truly horrible way. We were
supposedly past all that, but since Chuckie had proposed
during this time, and I’d considered it, Martini was never
happy when Chuckie was around.
Chuckie sighed. "You’ll see."
Martini was on my other side, and took my other hand. I
held his hand tightly, but I could feel how angry he was.
"Reynolds, you want to loosen your grip on her?"
"No. Though you should hold on tighter as well." Chuckie
reached out, grabbed Reader’s arm, and pulled him over.
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