Romance Science Fiction

Read When She Belongs

Read When She Belongs (Risdaverse #4) by Ruby Dixon

He’s the biggest jerk in the galaxy.

I can live with being stuck on the far end of space. I can live with having to spend weeks on an abandoned station in an asteroid belt. Sure, I don’t belong, but I’ve got my book and my eight-legged attack cat with me. I should be fine.

I’m not fine.

My alien host, Jerrok, is a jerk. He’s surly and unpleasant. He hasn’t bathed in years. He’s part cyborg – and all those parts seem to be falling to pieces. He’s the one in charge of this remote station, which means we’re forced to interact. It’s an absolutely miserable situation for both of us…

…until I realize that all his anger and bluster is covering the fact that he’s thoughtful and understanding. He’s protective, too, keeping me safe when the bad guys approach. When I get hurt, he’s the one tenderly caring for my wounds.

Jerrok is also intensely, utterly lonely, just like me.

As time passes, I start to wonder…maybe where I belong isn’t a place…but a person.

A bit of a slow start, then I got into it. I didn’t realize how long this was 😂 I think it could have been pared back some, especially the part where they just needed to tell each other what they wanted went on a little long for me.

I liked these two for each other and how having a place she felt safe let Sophie finally move past her trauma. I thought it was cute that they were both total homebodies who would really just have the place to themselves 😂

There was one minor storyline I was worried might become a focus of the climax, but was relieved it did not.

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?

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.

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.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Blown Away

Read Blown Away (Cyborg Force, #1)

Breeze O’Day
Windswept, sandblasted Sajave isn’t every astrogeologist’s dream assignment, but it’s been my safe zone from a dangerous past, and now I’m about to announce a game-changing discovery. But on the way to finalize my research, my hovercraft gets caught in a violent sandstorm and crashes. Unfortunately, my rescuer is Tack Grayson, an ill-mannered, bad-tempered mammoth of a man who’s made it perfectly clear saving me is a huge imposition. Well, no worries. I’ll soon be on my way to finish my top secret project, and our paths need never cross again.

Tack Grayson
If I had wanted company, I wouldn’t be living in a cabin hundreds of miles from nowhere. But I’m a cyborg with C-Force and rescuing people is what I do, even if they are idiots who should know better than to venture out in a sandstorm. Now I’m stuck with Breeze O’Day until this storm blows over.

But as I learn more about Breeze and her research, I begin to worry our association won’t end anytime soon. She’s in danger. Serious danger, and she’s going to need my help.

Heroine and hero’s tough romantic histories allow them to connect and trust each other. Always love a scientist heroine. Cyborg has some interesting abilities, like turning his epidermis into armor.

Trust fast to build but I was fine with it. Climax a little underwhelming, though that is probably linked to me watching the progress percent, and since there’s a preview of the next book at the end, the percentage appeared that there would be a lot more story. Would read more in this series.

First person past tense alternating POV. Some voicey direct thoughts indicated in italics.

Romance Science Fiction

Re-read Games of Command

Read Games of Command

The universe isn’t what it used to be. With the new Alliance between the Triad and the United Coalition, Captain Tasha “Sass” Sebastian finds herself serving under her former nemesis, biocybe Admiral Branden Kel-Paten–and doing her best to hide a deadly past. But when an injured mercenary winds up in their ship’s sick bay–and in the hands of her best friend, Dr. Eden Fynn–Sass’s efforts may be wasted.

Wanted rebel Jace Serafino has information that could expose all of Sass’s secrets, tear the fragile Alliance apart–and end Sass’s career if Kel-Paten discovers them. But the biocybe has something to hide as well, something once thought impossible for his kind to possess: feelings . . . for Sass. Soon it’s clear that their prisoner could bring down everything they once believed was worth dying for–and everything they now have to live for.

Still enjoyed this on fourth read — it had been long enough since I read it last I didn’t remember the whole plot. I appreciate that the space pets played an important part in the plot because I’m always 🤷‍♀️ when they’re just there for cute factor. I had remembered it being totally tame but there was one short sex scene, a lot of kissing and a fair bit of innuendo.

It’s long – over 500 pages – with a lot going on so it doesn’t drag. Interesting to see how this was written in very much the style of a space opera, with a big universe, long page-count, five plus POVs, and an action-packed plot — the SFR genre seems mostly to have shifted to shorter, steamier, series-oriented works that typically feature an everywoman-insert and less of a space opera scope. Following the self-pub market demand.

This was third-person past-tense, whereas I’ve noticed a fair bit of current SFR is first-person present-tense — echoing the more traditional space opera style versus the contemporary romance / YA styling. I think first person present works best for single POV books, it can be a little confusing to hop from I to I and have to figure out if the narrator has changed (or I suppose you can just use chapter headings to indicate whose POV it is 😉).


Read Absynthe

Read Absynthe

In his sci-fi debut, Bellecourt explores an alternate roaring 20s where a shell-shocked soldier must uncover latent telepathic abilities to save himself and the people around him.

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.

Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.

But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Stuck the landing! Saw one of the reveals coming but not the other. A really interesting world. I didn’t like the distant style of a couple flashback chapters. Ending fit the main character well.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Saved by the Stryxian

Read Saved by the Stryxian (Stryxian Alien Warriors #2) by Ella Blake

When Brandy Trentler’s wealthy family insists she marry the jerk who cheated on her, she signs up for the Stryxian mate lottery. Who knew her number would be drawn in the first round? Nothing goes right after that—the transport ship is attacked, she is captured by the enemy Morr-ta aliens and thrown in prison.

When a gorgeous Stryxian warrior rescues her, she thinks she’s won freedom and her fated mate, but he has some big, bad secret and apparently, it’s a deal breaker for him. Kando Cardax probably shouldn’t go back into the enemy’s lair to rescue the human female, but he cannot leave her to certain death. He also cannot hide his metal cyborg parts from her forever, especially since with each passing moment, he’s falling in love with her.

Passions flare as the two take refuge in a hidden section of the enemy base, but a discovery that could upend the Morr-ta war makes their odds of survival slim. Kando will do anything to protect Brandy as they fight to flee the enemy base, even if it means revealing himself as a cyborg to save her. All he’s known is fear and aversion to cyborgs like him. Why should he expect Brandy to react any differently? And how will he let her go when he is asked to make the ultimate sacrifice to save both the Stryxian and human species?

The first several chapters of this were glossed over, catching you up on the story, in a somewhat removed tone. Once the hero and heroine were together, it improved. Unfortunately the insta-love was strong, I wish they had spent more time together upfront. The heroine’s character is somewhat reduced to “nice to kids and animals” for the most part. The middle of the book is my favorite part, where he’s getting repaired and she’s left to fend on her own on an alien space station where no one speaks her language. This has less heat than the previous book. I thought the ending was better than the first book, in that they worked together to achieve their goals, and what happened to her even if it strained credulity.

The cover is better on this one than the first book, but did they photoshop his waist skinnier? His ribcage looks so skinny! I like the type for “Styrxian”, kind of video-game-y.

I also read the tie-in novella Stranded with the Styrxian, which was much too short, with a rushed ending.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Claimed by the Cyborgs

Read Claimed by the Cyborgs (Interstellar Brides: The Colony #9)

Prillon warrior Thomar Arcas is the royal heir to his ancestor’s legacy of dishonor, betrayal and death. When he was captured by the Hive, some on his home world cheered. Some sighed with relief. None shed a tear.

Thomar, along with his second, Varin, break free and destroy an enemy base, barely escaping with their lives. They transport to The Colony, the last refuge for contaminated males. Upon arrival they suffer in agony, their cyborg implants fighting for control of the powerful warriors.

Defeat is not in their blood. Not in their history. Not in their souls. Unable to sever their ties to the Hive implants, and suffering unrelenting pain, the warriors are about to choose an honorable death over further disgrace; until they are matched to a human female from Earth who very much needs their broken pieces to make herself whole. A female whom they crave with an intensity that just might pull them back from the brink of death.

Danika Gray left Earth to start a new life. With every touch, every kiss, every moment in their arms she finds herself closer to the paradise she seeks. But how can she free her new mates from endless torment? Fight an enemy she cannot see?

Love and passion are her only weapons. Lust. Desire. She must surrender everything she is —give in to their insatiable hunger—in order to save them. Even that might not be enough…

So, the first third was basically smut, with the plot showing up midway through. I haven’t read the previous books in the series (I read another in the same world but different storyline earlier in the year) but followed along OK. The heroine and Thomar have some decent characterization, but Varin isn’t as well defined. I would have liked to see them explore more how their merged consciousness affects them, especially when feelings and thoughts from another overwhelm their own thoughts and experience, in comparison to their enemy the Hive being one of collective consciousness (as far as I could tell).

Romance Science Fiction

Read Rescued by Her Enemy

Read Rescued by Her Enemy

I’m shocked when my handler, the man I’ve hated for a decade, frees me from the grip of Impericorps. They’ve kept me under control with his help for the last ten years, after all.

But Riker gives me the choice to run with him or fight on my own. I don’t trust him, but there’s strength in numbers. I’d be a fool to turn him down.

When we’re forced on a hostile planet, we’ll have to learn to rely on each other if we want to survive.

I never thought he’d be the key to my freedom… and I never expected the heat between us.

RESCUED BY HER ENEMY is a steamy enemies-to-lovers sci-fi romance with a lot of action, adventure, and a happily ever after.

This story was a lot of fun — I pictured Caro as kind of Harley Quinn. (Based on the cover I kept thinking of Riker as Christopher Eccleston, which didn’t quite fit, and we’ve been rewatching TNG so Riker has some associations there too 😂) Go go go action and a lot of violence though not too graphic. Some interesting worldbuilding and politics hinted at here that I would have liked to dig into more. Last few chapters were focused a bit too much on setting up the next book for me but didn’t take away from the story.