Romance Science Fiction

Read Her Warrior from the Stars

Read Fated Mates of the Atari by AG WildeAG Wilde

When I get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go on a luxury space cruise, I jump at it.
This cruise is the beginning of something amazing, and nothing is going to stop me from going.
But when things go wrong shortly after departure, it’s clear I have made a mistake.
Suddenly thrown into a world where I have no way of defending myself, the last thing I expect is an Atari warrior coming to my rescue.
This cruise has been full of surprises…but the Atari is the biggest one of all.
A version of this story was previously published in the Claimed Among the Stars Anthology. This extended version includes 30K words more of story and fun.

I read the short version of the story in Claimed Among the Stars.

There was a substantial amount of gore in this. I was not necessarily expecting descriptions of blood splashing on her face in my romance 😬

This story has a twist in that all the women in it were physically disabled. There’s some horrifying commentary on ableism that Earth is given an opportunity to offload some of its most burdensome and it’s all disabled women 🤦‍♀️

What I find confusing in this story and many like it is that the worldbuilding is pretty progressive (there’s also health care commentary), but the relationship is mega heteronormative — the hero coming to rescue fair maiden who he’s never met from a horrible life as an alien sex slave 🙄

It irritates me that the women are always sold into sex slavery. Yes, ok, that’s the worst thing that could happen to you (though this story tried to one-up it 👀), but it’s tropey and gross.

I imagine expanding this story (as the author has done) would give more opportunity for the heroine to befriend the other women she meets. Unfortunately it sounds like the revision altered the romantic relationship to a fated mates sitch, which I frankly had appreciated that the relationship was *not* in the version I read. I wonder if she thought she could get away without it in an anthology, but caved to market demand for the full length book she’s selling on its own?

Romance Science Fiction

Read Rescued by the Luxirian

Read Zoey Draven Books | Warriors of Luxiria by Zoey DravenZoey Draven

Another novelette from Claimed Among the Stars anthology. I’ve seen another of this author’s books recommended but it looked like a Dothraki clone and I couldn’t do it.

This started on the humorous side, though got more serious towards the end. The opening seemed overwritten, I stopped noticing after a while though.

It’s unfortunate I randomly chose this one to read right after Press Pound for Refund, which I really enjoyed — both involved a humourous crash landing on a jungle planet (a very common trope in SFR to be sure — but I am a little concerned the anthology may have a lot of similar stories) and as always horned alien hottie, and waiting for a pick-up. This one involved a reclusive billionaire who has single handedly built a luxury home in the middle of the jungle and allows no one else on the planet because he literally bought it.

This wasn’t bad but I preferred the other. I may give some of her other books a try since she is like a Top 100 name in Kindle Unlimited romance.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Press Pound for Refund

Read books | V.K. Ludwig

Another from Claimed Among the Stars. Took about an hour to read, so guessing novelette?

New to me author, I’ll definitely try another of their books.

This was funny and light hearted and dirty in one, with some fun adventuring and emotional vulnerability thrown in. Always love me a gender role reversal — the heroine knows a bunch of survival skills from her work for “Doctors Across Galaxies,” and the hero defers to her expertise. The heroine’s dyslexia plays an important role in the plot, isn’t just set dressing.

Sex work positivity ftw AND childfree positivity! I love that his “tail claw” is thought of as vestigial yet functions as a machete, and the first thing the heroine says is “I heard you can get a girl off with those nudge nudge wink wink” 😂


Read Luck & Fortune

Read Luck & Fortune

Luck & Fortune follows the adventures of a pair of strangers as they allow a little holiday hope into their hearts and take a chance on each other. Full of hijinks and twinkle lights, this short adventure is full of magic and the holiday season.

This cute holiday novelette is a fun play on dating apps, and embracing the moment and what fortune brings. The pair is clearly into each other, and the story is sex positive. I chuckled at their midstory conundrum.

Fantasy Romance

Read Cinderfella

Read Cinderfella – A Steampunk Fairy Tale, Sweet & Steamy, 2 by Nikki Woolfolk

Ashland Gottschalk, a sweet-tempered glassblower, is caught up in a horrible set of circumstances no thanks to an evil manager and his two wicked assistants heaping abuse on the downtrodden workers of the Pantoufle Glass Factory. But with a clever plan, borrowed items, and a touch of magic, Ash’s friends transform the kind cinderfella into a proper gentleman for one stolen evening.

Clever reimagining of Cinderella in an AU where Black people are the leaders and white people lower class and often treated poorly. One hero is white and a lowly but skilled laborer while the other is Black and a representative of Queen Victoria.

I think this would have benefited from being a little longer and extending their romance a bit. There was so much about the world to intrigue that this felt like an amuse-bouche. I also wanted a little more action and less passivity from the MC. As is, though, it is true to its fairy tale inspiration in feel and pacing, so I understand that choice.