A MelanieM Review: Modified and Sacred by Jana Denardo

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Lieutenant Addison Hunt is proud to serve the Confederation even if he still feels like he’s on the outside looking in. Addison was illegally genetically modified as a child, leaving him burdened with a sense of shame. Emotionally isolated from his fellow crewmen and recovering from injuries from his last job, Addison is happy to have light duty transporting an esteemed diplomat to a peace conference.

Deveral is one of the Sacred Kin, possessing a psychic ability that his people consider a spark of the divine. Like all the Sacred Kin, he’s led a sheltered life as a temple priest, but his heightened empathic ability makes him the perfect diplomat. Nervous to leave his home, he’s curious about his new companion, Lieutenant Hunt.

Not everyone wants the diplomatic mission to succeed, and a rebel faction poses a real threat to Addison and Deveral. Finding themselves cast adrift on a “lost” colony, they’ll have to fight to stay alive.

Jana Denardo’s new LGBT science fiction novella, Modified and Sacred, is a enjoyable, imaginative story.  The author has filled the novella full of fascinating elements like stolen or sold children that were then modified illegally for use by trades, businesses like mining because it was cheaper than building machines.  Also aliens that, due to their ancient past as prey, have evolved skins full of chromatophores that allow bursts of color or camouflage as was needed in the past.  So many things about both main characters that just grab your attention and fill your mind with questions, along with the storyline.

The plot is fast moving, along with the immediate attention to detail on the action at hand.  I loved how the relationship developed between Addison and Deveral, especially after the events that happened on the ship.  No spoilers here.

But what keeps this story from a higher rating is that I felt it wrapped up too quickly for as complicated a plot it it was made out to be.  Far too many loose ends floating around that mission and answers we never got behind the rescue or the finalization of Deveral’s peace initiative. I also wished for more background, world building on Deveral’s species, and things that were merely hinted at.  There was enough here to fill a series!  A novella?  Felt a little thin for all the tantalizing information and bits thrown about.

I did appreciate the HFN as that is clearly the only way this could end for this couple given the time frame.  I do hope that the author can be coaxed into revisiting them and this universe in the future.  There’s a story I would be first in line to read.

As for Modified and Sacred by Jana Denardo?  There is still so much here to be investigated and thoroughly enjoyed by science fiction, suspense and action, and romance lovers alike.  I recommend it to you all.

Cover art: Natasha Snow.  While that cover is pretty and all glowy I’m not sure that it’s all that pertinent to the storyline. No globe worshipping going on here.  No blobs.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published April 29th 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412525
Edition Language English

An Alisa Advent Calendar Review: Purrfect Holiday by Jana Denardo

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Tony Gatti had his life planned: get his veterinarian license and go to work with his dad and uncle. Soon after achieving his goals, he learned the shadows and blurriness in his vision went beyond needing glasses. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic mutation with no cure. With his sight almost gone, he moves into his grandmother’s St. Augustine, Florida, home with his guide dog, Raven, to start life over. Nonna Concetta thinks she knows the perfect job for him. Her vet is looking for someone to destress the cats at a local rescue.

Javier didn’t plan to hire a cute former veterinarian to fill the role of cat cuddler, but Tony couldn’t be more perfect. Worried his attraction is inappropriate and knowing the holiday season always depresses him, Javier wonders if he should ask Tony out, or if he’d just be spreading the gloom to someone who already has enough of his own. But if he takes the plunge, could it turn out to be the best holiday ever?

Ohh, this was so sweet.  Tony and Javier are absolutely perfect for each other.  I was glad that Tony was able to find a way to help animals with his blindness and it brings him into Javier’s life.  Concetta was hilarious and I love how supportive she is of Tony.  Even better was Tony and Concetta give Javier the family he needed at Christmas.

Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas.  It’s got that wonderful dog and cat on the cover.  Need I say more? Guy is cute too.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 46 pages

Published: December 26, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

Edition Language: English

An Ali Release Day Review: Blood Red Roulette by Jana Denardo

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Arrigo Giancarlo’s friends think he’s a rich young man with the unusual job of paranormal investigator, working with his psychic assistant in Las Vegas. In truth he’s a two-thousand-year-old vampire and member of the Chiaroscuro, a group of Supernaturals dedicated to keeping humanity safe from the more dangerous of their kind. He’s also openly bisexual… but alone.

When he spots Luc St. John in a bar, Arrigo is intrigued. What begins as an effort to repay the kindness shown to him in the past quickly turns into much deeper feelings for the suffering and displaced Cajun. For Luc’s part, he feels too poor, too uneducated, and too bound to his hateful family to ever be worthy of elegant and cultured Arrigo.

An old enemy, Eleni, blames Arrigo for murdering her true love. On the anniversary of that death, she’s back to take revenge. As Arrigo’s closest friends fall victim to savage attacks, he fears nothing will keep Luc safe. Should he break both their hearts and let Luc go, or is it too late? If Luc’s already in Eleni’s sights, Arrigo knows that like most things in Vegas, the odds are against him.

This was an entertaining paranormal romantic suspense.  The majority of the book was about Eleni’s attacks and Arrigo’s effort to catch her.  There is a side plot of Arrigo meeting Luc and falling with him.
I liked the mystery part better than the romance. I never felt a connection between Arrigo & Luc.  The romance wasn’t believable for me is the reason I didn’t rate the book higher.
The writing itself was pretty good but there were a lot of necessary details & it weighed the book down in places. A lot of it could have been cut out & wouldn’t have effected the overall story.
I liked this but didn’t love it. I didn’t really click with the author’s writing style.  I think others may enjoy the story more than I did since that’s a personal preference kind of thing.
Cover: This cover was designed by Tiferet Design. I love the cover.  It’s what made me want to read the book.  I think it’s fantastic.
Sales Links:  DSP Publications  |  Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 1st edition, 350 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by DSP Publications
ISBN 139781640807587
Edition Language English

A Lila Review: Conned By Jana Denardo

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion’s cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He’s surprised to find one of the most handsome men he’s ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can’t keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.

 

Conned is a short, quirky read about a geeky police detective and an elven prince. The story goes directly into the action as we meet the characters, get the basics about them and move into the moment they meet for the first time.

 

All the events happened quickly and the MCs formed an easy connection that gives us the direction of their HFN. When I first read the blurb, I expected Sion’s son to be a child and not an adult. This added to an extra layer to the story, and how they work together shows Sion’s depths.

 

The plot, the situations, and fast romance suits the short story but aren’t enough to carry a full story. There’s a lot more to learn about the worlds, their present, and the possibilities of a future. Overall, this is a perfect story to read for a short, enjoyable distraction.

 

The cover by Melody Pond is beautiful and matches the world-built and Sion’s description.

 

Sale Links: MLRAmazon | Nook

 

ebook, 47 pages
Published: July 6, 2017, by MLR Press
ISBN: 9781370776726
Edition Language: English