A PaulB Review: Galactic Treasure (Earth Con #2) by Theodora Marie Adams

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Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Earth Con Galactic TreasureTolkian warriors Zaraheed and Valvik are sent to Earth to search for the ancient Ark scrolls. They make their way to Earth Con, a science fiction convention in Austin, Texas. They meet rising author Connor Masterson. The three then bond during the conference while the aliens track down the missing scrolls before the space pirate G’herkon finds them.

Zaraheed and Valvik are sent to Earth by General Tsubotai in search of the Ark scrolls. These scrolls contain the ancient history of their people and might provide answers to why their people were dying earlier than expected. Posing as Zack and Victor, the two go to Austin, Texas to a science fiction convention called Earth Con. While standing in line to enter, they meet Connor Masterson, a native of the city. Connor, who writes magna that closely follows the history of the Tolkian, is taken by the two travelers. He offers to show them around the city during the duration and after the conference. Connor falls for the foreign travelers. Zack and Victor must protect their new human lover while searching for the scrolls before a space pirate finds them first.

The romance between the three characters seemed to lack something for me. It started out as the aliens talking about someone in line at the convention as a way to have fun while trying to complete their mission. Meanwhile, Connor, who believes he is just an average guy, cannot believe that not one but two studs are after him. They all get hot and heavy after a party in which Connor becomes inebriated by alien alcohol. Once an alien doctor tells the pair that they have bonded with Connor, they know that their lives are tied together. But then once they have to leave, they decide to court Connor while have a really long distance relationship. The situation just did not add up for me. However, the sex scenes were well written, which can be a challenge when it comes to threesomes.

The other part of the book concerns the search for the scrolls. The plot twist involving the space pirate for me seemed to be telegraphed too much.

It was a decent book but the ending felt hollow for me.

The cover art by Karen Fox depicts our three protagonists as described by the author. The long braids and pointed ears of the aliens are well done.

Sales Links:  Changeling Press     All Romance (ARe)       amazon      Galactic Treasure

Book Details
Ebook, 100 pages
Published September 11, 2014 by Changeling Press
ISBN: 07097-02286
Edition language: English
This is book two of the Earth Con series. It can be read as a stand-alone. The books written by different authors include:

Fever Hitch (Earth Con, #1) by Ayla Ruse
Galactic Treasure (Earth Con #2) by Theodora Marie Adams

A MelanieM Review: Who Knows the Storm (The Vigilante #1) by Tere Michaels

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Who Knows the Storm coverSometime in the future, a mysterious climate event caused torrential rains to fall, raising the water levels in New York City so high that huge areas were soon lost underwater and what civilians that could were evacuated, never to return.  Now a vastly different New York City is rising up from the flooded land, one where decadence reigns—gambling, the flesh trade, a playground for the wealthy. And underneath? Crime, fueled by “Dead Bolt,” a destructive designer drug.

Left behind in the initial evacuation as a young teen, now a grown Nox Boyet leads a double life. At night, he is the Vigilante, struggling to keep the streets safe for citizens abandoned by the corrupt government and police. During the day, he works in construction and does his best to raise his adopted teenaged son, Sam.

High priced whore, “model” Cade Creel, a high-end prostitute working at the Iron Butterfly Casino is asked by one of his influential “regular” clients to hand deliver an envelope to a person named Sam Boyer.  Never did Cade expect his delivery to take him into the worst parts of town where mugging and killings are frequent, and the best options where even worse outcomes have been known to occur.  A “rescue” by the Vigilante and the delivery made to Sam trigger an intense attraction between Nox and Cade, one that  ignites as dark figures from Nox’s past and the mysterious peddlers of Dead Bolt begin to descend—and put all their lives in danger. When things spin out of control, Cade is the only person Nox can trust to help him save Sam.

My hopes for Who Knows the Storm ran high.  The author?  One of my favorite and an automatic buy for her stories.  The synopsis?  Intriguing and current, especially the element of a climatic weather event drowning New York City, a possibility that many experts expect to happen in the not so distant future.  Plus it was the first in a new series called The Vigilante, another bonus.  Unfortunately, while Who Knows the Storm has many fine attributes, taken together they never add up to a logically constructed, gripping whole story. Sigh.

Set in some vague dystopian future, the settings and locations made sense while the backstory did not.  Everyone expects the sea levels to rise, especially given recent storms like Hurricane Sandy which left a wide path of destruction in its wake, including submerged subways and highly populated boroughs underwater. But here there was no effort made to reclaim the city, leaving it to crumble,falling into such disrepair and unhealthy state that no one returns to live there?  That’s the first premise the reader has to buy into and its a huge one that never feels believable.  New Yorkers giving up on their city?  The rich and influential fleeing, leaving their riches behind?  Uh no.  Especially when there are already cities (think Amsterdam or Venice or…) with the working technology to erect sea barriers.  There exist pumps to flush out the subways (which they did in Sandy), and so much more that is general knowledge that this “world building” is off to a shaky start on a foundation built on plot that never comes together.  I never bought into this dystopian world  and that lack of believability and connection damaged the rest of the story.

Then there were the characters.  Nox Boyet’s past is seen through the eyes of an abandoned 15 year old, one living through an ecological disaster of immense proportions.  This element of the story is both moving and affective.  We don’t need a reason for the rains to become affected by a young person in danger in uncertain times.  The descriptions and scenes are desperation incarnate and the frailty of Nox’s situation pulls the reader in…for a while.

Then we transition from the past, forward to a year and then to the nebulous present and Nox as not only an wary adult but a father of teenaged son.  The vast gap between the child left behind and the aged Nox just highlights the missed opportunities to flesh out the world building and answer the many questions floating around in the reader’s minds.

The pov switches from character to character, transitioning in a manner that’s not always as smooth as one could hope.  Michaels is also trying to establish all the main series plot threads, events and characters while balancing the need of the immediate storyline and character growth.  Sometimes it works and other times not so much.  Events from the past are reintroduced throughout the story but often lead to more questions not answers.  There are character with multiple identities and everywhere a facades are erected to hide the actual events and people responsible for them.  I rather liked the “smoke and mirrors” aspect to Michael’s plot.  There are some nasty little surprises in store for the main characters and shocks for the readers as well.  It’s a convoluted trip Tere Michaels takes us on.  There are white-knuckle moments galore, and gut clenchers (yes I know that’s not a word but it should be) to satisfy most picky of  action/suspense readers around.  But…..it never all comes together and feels like a harmonious whole.  It’s feels jumbled and a bit dense in places, and the “aha” moments  come and go a little too quickly.

The last thing?  The ending, which leaves major components and figures unresolved and unidentified.  That’s actually ok with me as this is the first in a series, and I can see the author using this mysterious scheme and head villain as an “umbrella layer” for all the books to come.  I was left strangely unsatisfied at the end of the story.  I just don’t think this part of the story was part of that unsettled feeling.  I’m still thinking about that one.

If you are a Tere Michael’s fan or a lover of dystopian stories, you might love Who Knows the Storm (The Vigilante #1).  This is a story that could go either way with readers, some will love it and others won’t make it to the finish.  You will have to be the judge.

 Cover Artist: Angsty G.  The coloration is nice.  I wish the idea of a New York Red District rising out of filth laden waters would have translated to the cover.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press                    All Romance  (ARe)                   Who Knows the Storm             buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 240 pages
Published October 17th 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632162175
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Vigilante #1

On Tour with Aria Grace’s “Choosing Happy” Book tour and contest

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Check out the latest M/M Romance from Aria Grace.  We have an exclusive excerpt for our readers and a contest with several prizes for you to enter.

Book Name: Choosing Happy
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Aria Grace

Author Bio:

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. She lives with her husband and two children on a quiet hill that gives her lots of time to read and write. Her first series was a semi-traditional look at sexy gigs found online. She has now ventured into the exciting M/M world of gay erotica. She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at http://www.ariagracebooks.com.

Author Contact:
https://www.facebook.com/aria.grace.37
http://facebook.com/ariagracebooks
@ariagracebooks

CHPublisher: Surrendered Press
Cover Artist: Sexy Men Pix

Sales Links:  Amazon  iTunes    Nook   Smashwords

  Choosing Happy Blurb:

Book 3 of the More Than Friends Series. Can be read in sequence or as a standalone.  (Book #1 is free)

Steve is living in Portland with many regrets. He has alienated the people he cares most about by making bad choices that continue to haunt him. When he meets a kid that’s in a bad relationship and needs some help, Steve reluctantly offers it, knowing it’s his chance to redeem himself. What he doesn’t expect is to find happiness. It’s there, all he has to do it choose to accept it. 

For mature readers.

Categories: Contemporary, Gay fiction, M/M Romance\

Choosing Happy Exclusive Excerpt:

I hit the snooze button for the first time since high school. Always an early riser, I never sleep past six so when I crack an eyelid and see it’s seven fifteen, I groan. After a quick shower to wake up, I step into a pair of old jeans and grab the first t-shirt my fingers touch then run down the steps. The bike needs gas so I get in my truck instead and drive the six miles to work.

Having become more of a slave to technology than I’d like to admit, I’m walking and texting Allen when I hear a tiny voice.

“Hi.”

Startled, I look up and see my little duck huddled in the shadows behind my cart.

He’s curled in a tiny ball against the generator and looks like hell.

“Hey, kid.” I kneel down in front of him. “What are you doing here?”

Tears flood his eyes as he looks away. “I didn’t know where else to go.”

In the dim light, I couldn’t see his battered face but when I brush his hair aside and see a line of caked blood that crosses from the middle of his scalp to his cheek bone, I want to kill someone. “Did that prick do this to you?”

He won’t look at me. By the way he flinches, I know he’s scared. I take a deep breath and lean back on my haunches. “We should go to the police. I’ll take you.”

“No.” He jumps up and backs away, ready to bolt. “I’m sorry I came here. I’m fine.”

The way he’s limping pisses me off even more but I force a steady voice. “Okay, okay. No cops.” I slowly reach forward and hold my hand out to him, praying he’ll take it.

With a tentative step, he walks to me and lets me guide him into the trailer that serves as my shop.

 

 Pages: 36,000 words

2Choosing HappyBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

17-Nov

Parker Williams

17-Nov

The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat

18-Nov

The Hat Party

18-Nov

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

19-Nov

Regular Guys, Hot Romance

19-Nov

Amanda C. Stone

20-Nov

MM Good Book Reviews

20-Nov

Molly Lolly

21-Nov

LeAnn’s Book Reviews

24-Nov

Wake Up Your Wild Side

24-Nov

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

25-Nov

Love Bytes

26-Nov

Book Reviews and More by Kathy

27-Nov

  • Contest: Rafflecopter Prize:
    $25 amazon or itunes gift card (sent electronically) and signed paperback of any Aria Grace Book (shipped within US)
  • International winners can receive 2 free Aria Grace ebooks of their choice via amazon.com instead of a paperback.

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