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 2 Claimed Among the Stars novellas

Read Claimed Among the Stars

Hearts in zero gravity are free to fall, and destiny awaits unsuspecting heroines far across the galaxy. Whether you love a trip that’s nice and easy or dark and intense, this collaboration of more than fifty bestselling authors is guaranteed to please.

Scarlett and the Alien Savage by Liz Paffle 
Tarzan in space. Heroine somehow dense as a brick. Mystical “important” artifacts didn’t really pay off. Very abrupt ending that I didn’t think worked.

Reaver’s Kiss by Elin Wyn 
Liked this well enough though it ended suddenly. I was surprised that no one in his community came to look for him, and they took months (I assume since she learned his language and they tanned leather to make clothes) to figure out a way off the “island.” Their encounter with alien tech didn’t turn into anything.

Categories
Science Fiction

Read Stolen by the Alien Rogue

Read Stolen by the Alien Rogue (Fated Mates of the Zaarn, #0.5)

He’s a demon alien with a wicked smile and an even wickeder tail. And he claims I’m his fated mate.

Space was supposed to be better than my sitch on Earth. Yeah, right. I shoulda known. I wake from cryosleep surrounded by blobby aliens, unable to understand a word. They even throw me in a cage! Looks like I’m the newest pet in an alien zoo.

Then a gorgeous blue demon, complete with horns and tail, steals me from my cell. We go on the run, playing charades to communicate as we con our way through one sticky situation after another.

Zol’s hot as sin. He looks at me like no one ever has, like I’m the most precious thing in the universe. Growing up on the streets, I’ve learned to trust my instincts, and they say he’s the real deal. As things heat up between us and danger closes in, it turns out Zol wants to steal one more thing. My heart.

Stolen by the Alien Rogue is a steamy alien romance featuring a charming alien mercenary who’s all in and the street-smart heroine tempted to gamble on love. Strap in for a fun ride filled with adventure and toe-curling steam! This novella contains a complete love story with a HEA.

New to me author. I got her first newsletter and cackled at the sample text so I decided to give this free novella a try.

This is short but successful at telling a complete story in a tight space. I would have liked a little more backstory and explanation of how she wound up here but think it worked without it. Some funny parts and a cute telepathic pet. A variety of alien species hinted at a broader world.

I was hoping for a little more leadership from the street smart heroine, though she was plucky in following along. I appreciated that she was easy-going about everything — it seems like many SFR heroines get wound up in how weird and different everything is, while Frankie accepted right away that this was just another culture. There were a few references to sinning and wickedness that to me didn’t fit the character all that well but didn’t overwhelm or define her experience.

Categories
Romance

Read Sailor’s Delight

Read Sailor’s Delight

Self-effacing, overworked bookkeeper Elie Benezet doesn’t have time to be in love. Too bad he already is—with his favorite client, Augustus Brine. The Royal Navy sailing master is kind, handsome, and breathtakingly competent. He’s also engaged to his childhood sweetheart. And now that his prize money is coming in after years of delay, he can afford to marry her…once Elie submits the final prize paperwork.

When Augustus comes home, determined to marry by the end of his brief leave, Elie does his best to set his broken heart aside and make it happen. But he’s interrupted by one thing after another: other clients, the high holidays, his family’s relentless efforts to marry him off. Augustus isn’t helping by renting a room down the hall, shaving shirtless with his door open, and inviting Elie to the public baths. If Elie didn’t know better, he’d think Augustus didn’t want to get married.

To cap it all off, Augustus’s fiancée arrives in town, senses that Elie has a secret, and promptly accuses him of embezzling. Has Elie’s doom been sealed…or is there still time to change his fate?

A quiet but deeply emotional story — Rose Lerner always seems to be very good at writing emotional complexity. The narrator, Elie, struggles with his love for his client, wondering what the right thing to do is, and trying so hard to do right by everyone else that he forgets about himself. His family, his honor, his duty, his faith all matter deeply to him. I really liked the framing of Rosh Hashanah, the new year, for the story and his arc of change. This feels painstakingly researched, with so many historical details enriching the story. This romance is mostly yearning, with the barest glimpse through the closing door, so don’t go in expecting heat. I would have liked one more chapter at the end to give them some more time together after so long apart.

Categories
Humor Romance Science Fiction

Read Krash

Read Krash (Dakonian Alien Mail Order Brides, #7)

When a dating agency claims to match Earth women with extraterrestrials, fraud investigator Cyan Blue goes undercover as a client to expo…

A funny premise to this novella. Love the skeptic assuming everyone is just really good at cosplay when they’re all aliens 😂

Had to roll my eyes at a line that has the skeptical heroine who debunks supernatural claims trashing on atheists. Um, really? Doesn’t believe in anything else without evidence but believes in God? 🙄 That’s the author going for a cheap laugh.

The misunderstanding at the end was a bit contrived. I also thought her affections towards him built too quickly, but that is common in novellas 🤷‍♀️

I kept waiting for her name, Cyan Blue, to be revealed as her undercover name, but it was real? 🤔 A beta reader should have called that out.

Categories
Fantasy

Read A Mirror Mended

Read A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables, #2)

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty, is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends, and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone. Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request and save them both from the hot-iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?

I liked the idea of this better than the execution. The MC was more annoying than I remember from the first book. I didn’t buy the romance. The ending in particular I had problems with; I’m not convinced the MC really learned the lesson she needed to. The book wasn’t bad, but the feeling of potential that it could have been better is frustrating.

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 Wilder’s Mate

Read Wilder’s Mate (Bloodhounds, #1)

Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to…

The heroine was in a tough spot but I still found her attention to the hero a little self-motivated, wanting a protector so she wouldn’t have to become a prostitute, which, fair.

Kinda steampunk, kinda post-apocalyptic, kinda Weird West, kinda paranormal romance. The plot could have used a bit more, but it was a short book so didn’t have time for a lot of scenes.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Plummeting Hearts

Read Octavia Kore Books | Venora Mates

Venora Mates is dealing with a war with the Grutex and humanity in which we are losing. Venora Mates Series Guardians Of Inore Guardians of Inore is a spin off from Kept from the Deep.…

Another novella from Claimed Among the Stars.

New to me author, would read again.

I appreciated that this took the tropes of sci-fi romance and expanded on them: yes she’s a nurse, and so are the love interests; yes there’s a mating fever, and they both hold out through pain to be sure there’s full consent and they can include the third partner; yes there’s two men and a woman, and the men are in love before ever meeting her, not just in love with her; yes there are fated mates, and they choose their third who’s not fated; yes they crash land from a space cruise, and are with a group of other survivors who they work with to help.

Feels like real representation of the Filipino character, pulling in pieces of Filipino culture and lore.

Also introduces an intriguing world that’ll probably be a spinoff series — it’s not explained enough (why haven’t the aliens powered up their fancy old tech in so long?), but feels alien in nature.

Categories
Romance Science Fiction

Read Joran and Kash

Read Joran (Star-Crossed Alien Mail Order Brides #1; Intergalactic Dating Agency #31)

What do you do when your planet runs out of women? Send for takeout, of course.

Joran, Crown Prince of Pyros, needs to claim his mate in order to ascend to the throne one day. The problem? His destined mate isn’t on Pyros.

When a galaxy-wide search uncovers a backwater world full of potential mates for Joran and the other unmated males on his planet, plans are set in motion and Star-Crossed Dating is created. Now, the first wave of men are on their way to claim their unsuspecting brides. Joran’s mission: Go to Earth, claim his mate and bring her back to Pyros. How hard could it be?

This book contains a redheaded barista who doesn’t believe in aliens, and a prince who is used to getting anything he wants without having to work for it … until now.

Joran

My brain was fried yesterday and this was just the thing — quick, light.

I would love to see a SFR where the gal finds out she’s “fated mates” with a prince and is like “gross monarchy” and convinces him to change their system of government 💪 But I guess that would ruin the fantasy.

I appreciated that he realized he was pressuring her and asking her for a lot of sacrifices he wasn’t willing to make. I don’t love that he kissed her for the first time when she was clearly not feelin’ it. I know in these stories he’s supposed to be so head over heels with the gal he can’t help himself…but that’s never an excuse and I don’t like setting that precedent for the real world. Consent is important. Read the body language dude. Control your libido.

Kash

Jumped to this one instead of #2 because I thought it was the prince’s guard, but apparently that guy’s name was Keth lol. Needed a royalty chaser.

I rolled my eyes a little that she was that pissed off he left her alone in their room for like two hours while she was sleeping, but it did set up the conversation they needed to have, so whatever.

I liked the loophole they figured out in the epilogue.