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A Mere Formality
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A Mere Formality

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,768 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
Warning: this story is one big dirty joke. There is no actual sex, but there is a lot discussion about it. It was written on a dare. Someone told us that we couldn’t write a short story around one particular phrase, and we did. So I recommend this for people 18+. Because you know, we wouldn’t want to corrupt your minors.
ebook, 26 pages
Published 2008 by Ilona Andrews
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Apr 29, 2015 MrsJoseph rated it really liked it


Oh. My. GOD.

I wish yall could see the goofy look on my (very bright red) face right now!

When Ilona Andrews said that this book was a long dirty joke, she wasn't lying. O_O

There's no way to really explain it without killing it but this was HILARIOUS. And DIRTY. And it took me more time than it should have to read it. I had to keep stopping because I was turning beet red. O_O And it all started with

"And," the Reigh Lord permitted himself a small
Milda Page Runner
May 12, 2015 Milda Page Runner rated it really liked it
All that world-building for a dirty joke! Reminded me a bit of Fifth Element. It would be interesting to read some more set in the same world.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4, well... because it's I. Andrews! :)
May 21, 2011 Marsha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults only
In an effort of full disclosure, let me first say that I am a huge fan of Ilona Andrews. I truly love the world building, characters, plots and humor of this husband and wife writing dynamo. " A Mere Formality" is another example of an incredible read by this pair. Usually, I do not care for intergalactic space stories. However, once again Ilona Andrews proves that good writing can make a believer out of anyone.

Deidre is a researcher and officer for the Second Intergalactic Empire. Sir Robert Sa
Cathy (cathepsut)
How could I have missed this freebie on Ilona Andrews' homepage?

"Things of a sexual nature...", oh my, lol.... That was pretty funny. And a lot of excellent world-building for such a short snippet. Can I have that as a novel, please? With smut?
Laura the Highland Hussy
Dec 23, 2012 Laura the Highland Hussy rated it really liked it
This was a fun little story.

It begins with 3 alien species negotiating for peace. There is a death, and the entire room erupts in chaos.

Just as they are trying to salvage the peace talks, the injured party sends their demands over. Money. An exorbitant amount. And... Dierdre.

Dierdre is just an analyst, she has no idea why the leader wants her, but she's willing to find out.

This was a fun and sweet story with Ilona Andrews' sense of humor woven throughout. I really enjoyed it, and I'd love to
Veronica Rosa
May 06, 2016 Veronica Rosa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aliens
Great short story. And amusing as hell. Read it. You won't regret it.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This is such a fun, entertaining story. Granted, I’m a bit partial to the Andrews and their Kate Daniels series is my favourite series ever. I love the worlds they create, their fantastic casts of characters, the plots, the humour… I just basically love their writing.

I like science-fiction but have never been into the whole space thing, didn’t know what to expect from this story and wasn’t sure I would like it. Still, the blurb won me over. A big dirty joke? Someone challenging the Andrews to w
Oct 15, 2009 Melindeeloo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd read 6/16/12:
I rediscovered this freebie short which is available now in several ebook formats from the Andrews' website, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did when I read it before in its online in only incarnation.

In this scifi story, Deidre is a cultural analyst working for a diplomat on the cusp of an important treaty when the lord of a military race, the Reigh, dies during a diplomatic banquet and the responsibility is laid on the hosts (the faction represented by Diedre's boss) H
Sep 05, 2011 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy author
This was a fun story with a believable possible relationship in just 26 pages, a great idea for computer interfaces, a nifty idea for the origin of a sf colony, (view spoiler).

It's free to read on their site, but if you'd prefer Kindle, .Epub or PDF, you can download it at their site now.

I find myself thinking what I so often
Kagama-the Literaturevixen
Deirdre is part of the diplomatic corps.She is smart but confined to backstage during the banquet given to try and win the warlike Reigh lord over to their side.

Things go very wrong when he dies after eating red fishcaviar.His son the next Lord Nagrad demands a huge sum for the affront of killing his father. Oh and he also wants a bride.


What follows is bargaining and Deirdre finding out some very unexpected things about the new Reigh Lord.

This is definetely not a story to be taken serio
Sharon L
Nov 26, 2015 Sharon L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
even better the second time around
Feb 11, 2017 Lyndi rated it it was amazing
Very cute.
Mar 14, 2009 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, scifi_fan, 2009
I am normally no fan of short stories, but this one was completely different. There was no rush to fill in a back story and no race to finish. I would love the chance to read a full length story about this world with these characters.
Lord Nagrad is strong and slightly scary, but ultimately he is doing the best he can to follow the Reigh's code and help his people. Deidre is the advisor to Sir Robert Sergei Sarvini, Ambassador of the Second Intergalactic Empire to the Branches of Reigh, and a dar
Apr 29, 2010 Bry rated it really liked it
This a pretty good story complete with the Andrew's team normal humor, sarcasm, and wit. There isn't much action as most of the story takes place around a negotiation table but it still has its moments of suspense. It was pretty confusing at the beginning with the introduction of 3 alien species, but you can quickly figure it out and move onto the meat of the story.

I was sorry it had to end!
Sharon L
Ladies and Gentelmen, I believe we have a winner!

forgive me while i squeal like a fan girl and dance around...wait, maybe there's a picture to show these kind of things....

Nope, I can't find one (which leads me to the thought that using pictures in review is an art of itself, applause).

Back to buisness: while you might be confused a bit at the beginning of the story, eventually everything is expalined one way or another

but you've got to stay alarmed or you'll be lost

This short story was amazing
Being a huge fan of the Kate Daniels series I was interested in reading this short story. I knew that it would be nothing like the Kate Daniels books but I still enjoyed it. I like science fiction but don’t really read much of it so this was a good story to find.
The story was not really what I had expected to be honest. There is a bit of adult content that surprised me somewhat, I knew that there would be some form of adult content because you are warned before downloading the book but I was sur
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Dec 03, 2010 Kathy (Kindle-aholic) rated it really liked it
Shelves: pnr, novellas
I got this free from the Ilona Andrews website.

It's a romantic sci fi short, with the most inventive use of porn I've ever seen in a story. As cryptic as that sounds, I don't want to spoil anything by explaining more.

There is an 18 and over advisory on the story, but if you are expecting lots of the smexy scenes, think again. It is still very adult, just maybe not in the way you are imagining.

This was just a lot of fun to read. Good humor and characters.
A diplomatic incident turns into a game of sexual dares as a broke Reigh lord and a Deirdre, a diplomat from Earth discuss terms and reparations. Who will kneel in the end?

Fun little story.

The Goodreads link doesn't work, but you can find the story here:
Jun 02, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
A very short but funny story....imagine a delicate diplomatic negotiation added into negotiating a detailed marriage agreement....while both sides try to trip the other up and stall for time. Very funny and inventive, and as usual an amazing would built in just a few pages that I wish I could visit more of. The Andrews' do such a great job inventing these unique worlds over and over, and sometimes in the matter of just a few pages.
Dec 26, 2008 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
I really like these folks. It's a husband and wife writing team and they have a wonderful sense of ornery. Check out this short story and then buy their two print books, Magic Burns and Magic Bites. This is at least adult in theme and a laugh out loud take on cultural differences. If they ever decide to write a full length with these characters, sign me up.
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
Another winner by the duo team of Ilona Andrews. This short story was hot and delightful. I LOVED it! The characters were engaging and the plot was well developed and tightly woven. Not a single word was wasted. Not a single word was unnecessary fluff. I love this story and can't wait for it to be available for download.
A fun short Ilona Andrews story based around a diplomat who in forced into some awkward discussions involving her hand in marriage and what her 'duties' as a wife would be.
Made me laugh though sadly it ended too soon, but its a freebie so I can't complain!
Mar 09, 2012 Liv rated it liked it
I love Ilona!!! Where does she (or her husband, Gordon) get all these ideas for writing?? This was a short, fun and sweet sci-fi story. Loved the humour. Despite the fact that the story was short, it had a pretty clear purpose, beginning, build-up to a (mild) climax, and a decent ending.
Aug 31, 2011 Magda rated it it was amazing
Great short story, would love to read more about this world/characters.
Ilona Andrews can do no wrong.
May 12, 2013 BMO rated it liked it
It delivered what was promised: a big dirty joke written on a dare
Sep 23, 2014 Debrac2014 rated it liked it
A fun short story!
Sep 23, 2014 Deena rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-short, fantasy
Fun, and funny.
A wonderful short story. I would definitely read this as a full length novel and pay full price. I thought the story was fantastic and the characters were very interesting. Brilliant.
Lady Jaye
Funfunfunfunfun! The only reason this is four instead of five stars is because it took me about three starts to get into it. Great short story, and free too. I love Ilona Andrews.
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Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. author2sm“Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a be ...more
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“In diplomacy, like in great many other things, the rules of engagement survive only until one remarkable person decides to break them.” 15 likes
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