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Your Planet or Mine?    by Susan Grant Amazon.com order for
Your Planet or Mine?
by Susan Grant
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Nine-year-old Jana Jasper lives in a world of make believe where anything is possible. She doesn't feel so lost when she escapes into her own magical domain where nobody minds if she's silent, especially the boy in a sparkling bubble between the branches of the tree just outside her window. When she sets out to rescue Peter Pan, Jana is delighted to discover that he can't speak either, at least not any words she can understand. She's even more delighted when he heals her skinned knee just by touching it. This proves that he's magic and Jana knows that when she's with Peter she can do anything. The day comes when her bubble boy leaves. As she watches him disappear into the sky, she vows that one day she will marry him.

Cavin Far Star has always questioned his Coalition's right to take over worlds without asking. He knows Earth will be added to the acquisition list and that it's only a matter of time before its citizens are removed to make room for his own. When he returns to Earth twenty-three years later, he's one of the highest-ranking officers in the Coalition Forces and is being pursued by relentless assassins for treason. His search for Senator Jana Jasper takes him to a local supermarket, where she is on a single-minded hunt for Ben and Jerry's ice cream. She's having a particularly bad day after learning that someone is trying to ruin her family and her own political future with an ugly smear campaign. Add to that an ex-fiancÚ with an axe to grind and Jana figures that a single tub of ice cream isn't nearly enough. Blocking her path to the freezer section is a huge muscle bound hunk dressed like a Star Wars extra and spouting nonsense about Earth being invaded. He also looks vaguely familiar - but it couldn't be Peter Pan - he was nothing more than a figment of her nine-year-old imagination.

Cavin convinces Jana that he's very real and back on Earth to help save her planet. At first she writes him off as a crackpot, but when the deadly REEF assassin targets them in the parking lot with a weapon that cuts a nearby car in half, Cavin's story suddenly doesn't seem quite so far-fetched. Now they only have days to convince her government to allow Cavin into Area 51, where one of the Coalition's old scout ships lies hidden. Using its familiar technology, Cavin plans on sending out false data to temporarily convince the Coalition invasion force that Earth is ready and more than able to defend itself. And then, once all this saving the planet business is done, Cavin has every intention of convincing his unforgettable earthling that he didn't come back to Earth just to save the planet - he came back to offer Jana his heart.

It's been a long time since I've read as story as charming as Your Planet or Mine? Ever since Susan Grant debuted with her first time travel romance in 2000, this multi-award winning author has incorporated military savvy, imaginative, action-packed storylines, and great dashes of sly humour into all her stories. She has a talent for creating characters with real emotional depth. Jana and Cavin are that and more. Their duty and honour are unshakeable. Their love and passion for one another is just as constant, even if they do have to save the planet before they get the chance to live happily ever after. A wonderful cast of secondaries adds to the story's panache, as do inventive plot twists regarding Area 51, the mysterious MIB (Men in Black), and other military secrets involving extraterrestrials. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Your Planet or Mine? - it's a keeper. And stay tuned for the sequel - My Favorite Earthling.

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