Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Dark Ambitions

Read Dark Ambitions (Class 5 #4.5)

It’s been months since Rose McKenzie was taken far from Earth. She’s trying to make a place for herself amongst the Grih, with help from her Grihan lover, Captain Dav Jallan, and the dangerous and loyal Sazo, a powerful artificial intelligence who’s integrated with an infamous Class 5 battleship.

When Rose gets the chance to join an exploration team going down to collect information from a planet in Grihan airspace, she jumps at the opportunity to stretch her legs and breath some real air.

But someone is already on the planet—the Krik—and they don’t want anyone to know what they’re up to. The Krik are the chaos agents of the United Council, often riding the edge of the law or over it. They ambush the exploration team and take them prisoner, but they don’t realize they didn’t get everyone. They didn’t get Rose.

With Dav, and his spaceship the Barrist, lured away by a distress signal, Rose and Sazo, along with a furry friend Rose has made, are the exploration team’s only hope at rescue. And Rose never leaves a friend behind.

A light little adventure, short and simple. It involves a cute orphaned alien sugar glider who gets some plot action. This is mostly focused on Rose, but also shows some development from Sazo.

I read this after the series epilogue but it comes before it, oops!

Categories
Memoir Mental Health Personal Growth

Read Wintering

Read Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult T…

Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.

A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May’s story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.

Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.

Liked some of this, wasn’t sure about other parts. The second half I liked better than the first. She has a keen eye for observation and describes her feelings vividly. I liked the bits of other places and natural history — dabbling in other people’s cultures less so. I’m not sure it all pulled together for me though I thought she ended it well.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read The Rebel and the Rogue

Read The Rebel and the Rogue (Interstellar Brides Program, #…

Zenos, from the Astra Legion of Rogue 5, is on a mission to find an antidote to the deadly venom flowing through his body. Without the antidote, one bite during mating will kill a hybrid Forsian’s chosen female. Zenos must acquire the serum at any cost, for like his Atlan cousins, his mating instinct will eventually consume him. The last thing he needs is a distraction, but one look at the defiant female bounty hunter and he can’t deny his body what she’s offering—a few wild hours of pleasure.

Ivy Birkeland’s entire ReCon unit was annihilated as a result of Quell, a mind-altering drug the pirates of Rogue 5 are known to distribute. A rebel to her core, her heart still broke when she was forced to walk away from her life as a Coalition fighter. Now she hunts a bounty that will allow her to catch the criminals selling Quell and avenge her dead friends. Free of the Coalition Fleet’s strict regulations, she makes a deal with an unknown Rogue 5 operative to gain access to his home planet and travels to Transport Station Zenith to meet him.

When Ivy’s smoking hot, one-night-stand turns out to be her Rogue 5 contact, every carefully-laid plan she’s made goes to hell. Because when a rebel and a rogue are forced to work together, sparks will fly. They don’t need the criminals to kill them, they just might finish each other…if they don’t fall in love first.

I wanted to better understand the hero’s deep rooted fear, which seemed pretty foolish to keep by the end.

I feel like she needed a little more to get over her self loathing, I wasn’t totally convinced she’d come to terms with her modifications. Or that everyone else would be down with them once they found out how she got them.

I didn’t like how she reacted in the final battle when she realized she was outmatched.

This was pretty steamy — they didn’t have a meet cute, they had a meet hot 😂🔥 Yet tamer than some of her other books considering there’s only one love interest?

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Deal with the Devil

Read Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1)

Nina is an information broker with a mission–she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

I love the premise of this story more than the actual telling. It was a little slow paced for me — I think the road trip format locked them into a less than ideal episodic format where basically every chapter is them stopping for the evening. Surprisingly a lot happened considering the format, so maybe it happened so quickly it didn’t mean that much? Speeding through them made them feel more utilitarian to the story than they needed to be?

I didn’t especially like the random scattered POVs from the other team members.

I don’t understand what her job was or how she made money off of it if she kept the information she bought rather than selling it on.

That said, I was delighted enough by the optimistic tone that I’ll probably read another book in the series. I really liked having a main character who is so active in trying to do good and build community (even if that was more tell than show since we didn’t really see their interactions with the community). This felt quite different from any other dystopian book I’ve read.

Categories
Romance

Read Bet on Love

Read Bet on Love (Good Bad Idea, #1)

After Rhys wakes up married to his best man, he never e…

Cute, I’d check out the next book. Light fluff that was just right for a day with a headache where I didn’t want to think too hard.

Their realization of their suppressed feelings for each other over the course of the day is done well. The two leads don’t have a ton of character between them, or much of a shared history that we see on page, though we’re told they can’t live without the other. The fiancee is a nightmare. The miscommunication at the end was poorly done and out of character, and left the book on a bad note. There was also a weirdly (consensually) aggro sex scene that seemed a bit much without prior communication, plus choking squicks me out.

Got for free through a stuff your kindle giveaway.

Categories
Fantasy Romance

Read Origin

Read Origin (Scales ‘N’ Spells, #1)

Cameron wants to make it clear that he did not go into the festival to find a dragon mate. Germany is supposed to be an escape. With a n…

As the first book in a series, this had a lot of work to do, and I think they weighed too strongly on the worldbuilding and setup. It was a slow 400 pages, with a limited action plot, a lot of training montage, and a heavy angst plotline. The king’s self-loathing and guilt are A Lot. There were weird specifics on how gay couples could have kids with magic. I’d be willing to try one more in the series and see if it picks up the pace.

Cool cover. Maybe feels a little paranormal?

Got for free through a Kindle promotion.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Operation Fury

Read Operation Fury (The Drift: Nova Force #3)

She’s used to bringing death. Now she has to learn to live.

Nyx was created to be the perfect killer. A cyborg assassin with violence encoded in her DNA. After years of tests, torments, and trials designed to push her to her breaking point, she’s survived by focusing on one thing – revenge.

He broke the law to find her… and that was the easy part.

Eric made a promise, and he intends to keep it. But freeing Nyx was supposed to bring him closure, not introduce him to the woman of his dreams. She’s beautiful, damaged, dangerous, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her from any threat, including herself.

Now she’s free, Nyx isn’t looking for a safe, comfortable life, not even if it comes with a man as sweet and sexy as Eric. She wants to make her captors pay for what they did to her…even if it costs her everything, including her chance at love…

Enjoyed this. I liked the variety of cyborgs and cyber-jockeys, and the conceit for the book. I would have liked the couple to spend some more on-page time together, but it worked, and kept up the pace throughout. I had a little bit of a hard time following all the characters because they had nicknames and I hadn’t read the previous books. Eric reads as coded ADHD to me: impulsive, impatient, likes high stimulation environments and calls life outside the data stream “slow life”, has trouble sleeping, hyperfocuses on his interests.

Categories
House Lifestyle

Read The Home Edit Life

Read The Home Edit Life: The Complete Guide to Organizing Ab…

When at home or on the go, you don’t have to live like a minimalist to feel happy and calm. The Home Edit mentality is all about embracing your life–whether you’re a busy mom, a roommate living with three, or someone who’s always traveling for work. You just need to know how to set up a system that works for you.

In the next phase of the home organizing craze, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin go beyond the pantry and bookshelf to show you how to contain the chaos in all aspects of your life from office space to traveling bags to pet supplies and holiday storage. Take quizzes and get to know your organizing style, tailor it to your family’s lifestyle, and lead the low-guilt life as you apply more genius ideas to every aspect of your life.

Haha, this book was not remotely relatable 😂 All the examples are celebrities’ homes? They own many beautiful things, so it’s easy to make it look good. Lots of large collections of things (emphasis on shoes, makeup, crafty goods), but I don’t think putting my junk in neat containers will make it look pretty 😂

If only my fridge looked like this 😂

I laughed that they gathered up their cat toys, which weren’t all shredded and gross, and skipped over advice about the litter box, a big home challenge IMO 😉

Very traditional, heteronormative vibes, aimed squarely at the upper middle class mom.

I liked all the rainbow pictures, and it was fun that the design makes the edge of the book a rainbow too 🌈

The number of single use items in this book makes me want to cry lol

Categories
Humor Music

Watched Bill and Ted Face the Music

Watched Bill & Ted Face the Music from m.imdb.com

Once told they'd save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

Wow, I feel like they don’t make a lot of hour and a half movies anymore but that was the right length.

Goofy and nonsensical, you know exactly what you’re getting.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read The Lasaran

Read The Lasaran (Aldebarian Alliance, #1)

Taelon searches the galaxy for his younger sister, who mysteriously disappeared while on a diplomatic mission. When an ally reveals that she was seized and is being held prisoner on Earth, Taelon descends upon the blue planet, intent on freeing her and exacting vengeance. However, all does not go as planned. Before he can find her, Taelon is captured and becomes the subject of torturous experiments. For what feels like an eternity, all he knows is pain and fury… until a mind tentatively touches his own and a woman’s voice forever changes his world.

After suffering tragic losses, Lisa is finally beginning to carve out a future for herself when chance sends her to the Anomalous Cognition Research Institute. What at first appears to be a benign organization seeking participants for a psychic study instead turns out to be a government facility harboring a much darker intent. Lisa discovers this too late and soon becomes the unwilling subject of a terrifying experiment. Just as fear and desperation threaten to consume her, a deep, compelling voice penetrates the looming insanity and lends her hope.

Having seen only the worst of humanity, Taelon is shocked when Lisa risks everything to free him. Together the two make their escape, and Taelon finds himself fascinated by the small human woman who—despite all she’s suffered—can still laugh and tease and lure smiles from him. Friendship swiftly grows between them as they work together to evade soldiers intent on capturing them and find themselves hunted by mystifying preternatural beings. Through it all, Lisa steadfastly remains by his side, stealing more of his heart each day while she helps him unravel the mystery of his sister’s fate. Can they find his sister before the hunters find them? If they survive their quest, will Taelon have to bid Lisa farewell… or can he coax her into leaving her planet and joining him for the adventure of a lifetime?

Didn’t realize this was a tie-in to a PNR series or probably wouldn’t have read it. I thought this would be more of a space opera than it was. Reads like a PNR that happens to have an alien.

Forced pregnancy/ surprise baby hits not great right now, two months after the death of Roe vs. Wade. I would have expected a little more anger here.

The characters do seem to genuinely like and care for each other despite the circumstances.

Ending felt long and slow, I kept thinking it was going to end, then there would be another scene.

The artwork doesn’t match the book, though it is cool.