Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Resisting Maxu

Read Resisting Maxu (Clecanian, #6)

Being kidnapped by aliens and whisked away to another planet isn’t always a bad thing…

Meg isn’t like the other alien abduction survivors. She doesn’t missmuch of anything from her former life—least of all her deadbeat husband. Her Clecanian rescuers gave her a fresh start, and she plans to enjoy it. Being recognized as a mate is not on her agenda. Too bad a grumpy, possessive, and all-kinds-of-sexy alien has other plans for her…

Maxu never expected to find his fated mate. But he recognized Meg at first sight. Sadly, she’s not as pleased with the match as he is. She’s guarded in a way he doesn’t entirely understand and pushes him away at every turn.

Meg can run, but she soon realizes there’s nowhere to hide—not from a hunter like Maxu. But that doesn’t mean she’ll give in easily. If he wants a happily ever after with her, he’ll have to fight for it.

That ending! The politics picked up in this one which I think was a good choice. It opens up some more exciting plotlines for the next few books.

Meg had the intensity to match Maxu, though I don’t feel they addressed the issue of her lack of choice. They had some funny confrontations.

The opening premise seemed sus — would this society really lock up someone who just recognized their mate?

Maxu came off pretty selfish and self-centered in a lot of his choices, especially the things he stole.

It was fun to take a tour of the other cities and explore so many different cultures. It seems weird that their cultures and genetics would remain quite so distinct — makes me suspect they need more intermingling of genes and cultures to help resolve their reproductive problems.

I appreciated having a lesbian couple as a subplot, though I would have liked them to have had more screen time/ banter together, or maybe more nudging of both individuals by their friends.

Categories
Fantasy Romance

Read Warmth of His Light

Read Warmth of His Light (Blanchard Coven #1)

When Eos Hawthorne went to meet a friend one evening, he never expected his entire life to change. As if stumbling across a group of men fighting in an abandoned lot by his home wasn’t shocking enough—one of those men suddenly attacks him…with fangs and claws.

Vampire coven leader Julien Blanchard is having a bad day. After failing to apprehend a murderer and traitor to his coven, the absolute last thing he needed was a hapless human stumbling into the picture— especially an intriguing young man who, as it turns out, happens to be his mate.

Eos doesn’t know if he believes in mating, and knows nothing about the supernatural world he is suddenly thrust into. Julien is a vampire who has always put his coven and his duty first.

This was a little goofy, but I was in the mood for light fluff. The setup is very contrived. Thought about bailing at 75% but finished. Probably wouldn’t read another in this series.

The two love interests were a little flat, the human’s main interest was watching reality TV. I know that’s super normal but it’s kinda boring to read about. The building is described as cold and sterile and perfect, but later the human decides it reflects the vampire’s personality because it has thoughtful touches like a bowl of fruit and a historic photo of the building 🤔

I thought it was funny the vampire was like “oh my long long life” and it’s later mentioned he’s 75. The bad guy needed more motivation. I wanted to know more about the Witch Mother (?).

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
Romance Science Fiction

Read Dark Class + Bonus Epilogue

Read Dark Class (Class 5, #5)

Waking up alone . . . Ellie Masters comes out of a coma to find herself the only inhabitant of an eerily empty moon station. She’s not on Earth any more, she’s not even in the right solar system. So when someone reaches out to her, tells her he’s her friend, she’s happy to believe it. The alternative is to be stuck alone with an enemy.

The hunt of his career . . . Grih Battle Center captain, Renn Sorvihn, has been chasing a rogue Tecran ship for over a month, convinced its captain is simply trying to delay his inevitable surrender and punishment. But when Renn follows the Tecran ship into an unchartered sector, and realises the Tecran have been working their way to a secret moon base for weeks, he suddenly understands things are most definitely not as they seem.

Caught in the crossfire . . . When the Tecran arrive, with the Grih hot on their heels, Ellie finds herself the catalyst for heightened danger to everyone. The Tecran see her as evidence of their military’s crimes, the Grih see her as a massive diplomatic complication, and her presence brings the whole confrontation up several thousand notches.

But Ellie isn’t alone, and her new friend has ways to help her. Time to outclass them all . . .

This was fun and fast-paced, and just what I was hoping for after a streak of bad reading picks. I also liked this better than book 4.

I loved Ellie and the little droids. I thought Diener did a good job conveying all the AIs as somewhat childlike but also capable, so their participation in the action didn’t feel inappropriate.

The romance was light in this one, more of a building attraction that they commit to following through on.

I really liked Ellie’s handling of the ending.

The bonus epilogue was a neat little addition, which I appreciated was from Ellie’s POV, but also thought was wise not to include in the main book. It was meatier than I expected, and gave a nice round-off to the series, tying up political loose ends, bringing all the couples together, and setting up the future for them.

Categories
Romance

Read Convergence

Read Convergence (Intersolar Union #1)

Olivia Loxley was a behaviorist with the Los Angeles Police Department. Until her specialty in profiling the human mind becomes of unique interest to Commander Atarian, that is.

When she wakes up in a cell on an alien spacecraft, she gathers her strength for a confrontation that never materializes. Instead, the man asks for her help in the largest raid he’s ever overseen: a pleasure cruiser christened the Paramour, which has been siphoning humans into galactic sex trafficking for months. But in order for his mission to go off without a hitch, he needs to impersonate a connoisseur of human flesh.

The real question is, will either of them be able to keep up professional boundaries? Or will they bow to their primal instincts?

Enjoyed this, will read the next book. The author did a great job with *alien* alien species, and deftly showed how the heroine adapted to being around aliens and thinking of them as people. The side characters are fun and have distinct personalities. I liked how they all immediately recognized her intelligence and skill and happily accepted her help, although they coulda helped her out with a little more info sometimes.

The opening setup was tough, I didn’t love that he abducted her even with noble intent, especially knowing that she wouldn’t be able to return. He did come to regret it and apologize, and she came to grips with it in a way that fit. It seems like he probably should have gotten in more trouble? (Ah, I see that the followup novella addresses this.)

The author really draws out the sexual tension. I understood why he didn’t just talk to her, but also, just talk to her dude.

Minor quibble that the ending drama wasn’t explained well / kinda came out of nowhere, but I presume it will be addressed as the books proceed.

Categories
Romance

Read Bella and Her Beast

Read Bella and Her Beast

The clock is ticking for Greyson Devereaux and life as he knows it will soon come to an end. A man by day and owned by the moon at night.

There is only one option—find his one true mate or be bound to the beast for eternity. For years he searched, hoped to find her but his efforts have come up short…until now.

With only three months remaining, how can he convince Bella that she’s the one and how can she tame the beast within?

I liked the first half well enough to keep reading, but wasn’t thrilled about several things in the second half. I think the pacing and stakes didn’t quite match, maybe? Like, this guy has a month to convince this woman to fall in love with him but still can’t bring himself to talk to her…then when he does ask her on a date, she invites him in and he says no? Then he goes on an unexplained trip when he has one week left to win her over? So the slow pacing made the stakes feel lower.

I did like the concept of making the Beast a werewolf rather than all-the-time beast.

Some of the dialogue / internal narration felt a little awkward.

The hero coming on full millionaire (midway) felt weird to me. It felt kinda skeezy that he’s sucking up to her with expensive gifts.

The librarian kept reading on her shift — and also doing the page’s job and shelving books? Wasn’t like that when I worked at the circulation desk 🤷‍♀️

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Veiled Heat

Read Veiled Heat

Demoted and tossed into the farthest reaches of the universe, Trooper Callie Justice finds herself surrounded by the Ventura’s crew of slackers, dimwits and delinquents. The depressing realization that her career is over, combined with her uncontrollable lust for the ship’s sexy captain, confirms it–she’s losing her mind. Captain Rafe Vantry led with his ego when he bet he could take the worst ship in the fleet and turn it around. But nothing on the Ventura works, least of all the crew–and the idea he’s going to lose seriously pisses him off. On top of that, the Relaxation Program has malfunctioned, matching him with an unknown woman for a night of anonymous sex. His strict sense of protocol forbids it, but the lure of losing himself in a woman’s body proves too great. As things heat up between Callie and Rafe in the cool, silent darkness of the Relaxation Chamber, everything around them falls apart. A supervirus is running rampant, and Rafe’s suspicions of sabotage grow stronger when Callie’s personnel files mysteriously disappear. When the veil is finally lifted, the glaring light of truth will reveal what is real–and what could destroy them all.

A bit of a silly premise but that’s fine. The captain’s problem turned out to be funny. For its short length, this did a good job of hinting at a lot of world out there. The external problem was never quite resolved, or resolved in an unsatisfying way. I liked having a romance in this type of military-ish sci-fi since much of sci-fi romance involves a civilian woman and either first contact or aliens.

Categories
Fantasy Romance

Read Broken Chains

Read Broken Chains

Shy librarian Catena likes her quiet life…until a huge naked man muscles his way into her house, insisting he’s been woken from his centuries-long sleep to be her personal protector.

Catena’s life is turned upside down when she’s saved by a creature she’s only heard about in books. If only her hero’s rock-hard abs weren’t actually made out of stone.

Tor has no memory of his past. All he knows is that he must protect Catena at all costs.

Can they unlock the dark secrets chaining them to the past, and forge a new future?

Another freebie from a new-to-me author. Gargoyles are the next thing, huh? I guess I read a gargoyle / demon series a while back…so maybe not new at all 🤷‍♀️

The plot for this didn’t really come together for me. Lots of pieces that didn’t quite coalesce, or maybe just too many loose ends left for the next book in the series for my preference. I didn’t understand the godmother’s connection to everything.

Very mild despite the caution: steamy label. The hero was very formal, from two hundred years earlier, and very concerned about propriety.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Kalixians 1&2

Read Fated Mates of the Kalixian Warriors Series

Another freebie set of three books. I think I liked these two better than Presley Hall’s other books I tried last year. The third book had a heroine with a kid which I don’t really like so I’m not reading it 😉

Claimed

I have to be 🙄 at the concept that this elite force has gotten captured and ten dudes are able to overtake the ship against hundreds of enemy soldiers with only three losses?

Horrifying to consider this guy started training as a soldier at age 12…by joining a gladiator ring? 😶 I’m not sold on this culture if they’re this into fighting. It’s unclear how old these guys are, whether they were around for the genocide of their people or just heard about it? I had a hard time keeping track of the timeline.

I like the heroine’s involvement in the climax.

Stolen

Seems they’re leaning into the gladiator theme in this series.

It doesn’t make any sense that the hero has been able to a) survive and b) keep secret his need for a poison antidote after every time he fights, considering he’s been in captivity for some time and recently assisted in an escape?

This was a goofy storyline but sometimes that’s what you’re looking for. I wasn’t convinced by the heroine’s transformation.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Lost to the Alien Lord

Read Lost to the Alien Lord

signed up for a research mission with five other women. Instead, we crashed on an alien planet with too many dangers to count. Separated from the other women, I’m on my own until a huge alien with color-changing skin and a massive sword gets me out of a bad spot. I don’t understand Savair’s language, but I think he’s under the impression that I’m his.

I am NOT his. I’m a divorced scientist with no time for such nonsense. But if he can help me find the others in my group then perhaps I can play at being “his” for a while. It’s not a hardship. He’s the sexiest male I’ve ever met with a jawline to die for, but there’s no way I’ll fall for this guy. Nope. Not a chance…

Jetta makes me ache. I desire her the moment I pull her from a Brakken meat trap. Her soft, warm body awakens hungers long banked. But my Sola, the living ship I am bound to, is dying, and thus, so am I. I must find a way to save my Sola and my mate, or none of us will survive.

Interesting “technology” – sentient organic space ships 🌱 I’d read another volume in this series. Got this and several other self pubbed books for free through a big giveaway day and decided I liked Ella Blake enough to give a different series a try.

These Ice Planet Barbarian style books certainly have a formula, I’d say even moreso than other romance genres – interesting-colored tall alien warrior dudes, a bunch of women crash land, alien dude is all in from the start, attempting to communicate so the English is spelled weirdly as what the alien heard so you have to sound it out then there’s a magical way to allow them to instantly learn each other’s language, Earth woman resists bonding for Reasons slash feistiness and/or has sex but insists it’s only physical, ugly animalistic bad guys who aren’t very smart yet are numerous enough to pose a threat are after them for Reasons – but this one had some interesting additions and variations.