A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Expeditions, Estimation, and Other Dangerous Pastimes (Claimings #4) by Lyn Gala

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the Claimings series with an overarching plot, so these should be read in order. There are also alien words used without context, which you would need to be aware of beforehand. This is the continuation of Liam and Ondry’s journey aboard the Rownt ship Calti, to seek trade with the Imshee.

One of the things I like about this series, like all good science fiction, is viewing the absurdities of humanity, when trying to explain them to an alien race. I always enjoy the discussions of linguistics and psychology. The fact that this happens after a rousing bout of alien sex, made me laugh. Quite a lot of this book made me laugh and appeals to my dry sense of humor, although be warned the depictions of sex and biological functions are a bit graphic and crude. Anyway, if you have been following this series and like those linguistics discussions, those are increased in this book due to Zach and Liam both being in the linguist field, them both learning from each other aboard ship, and meeting a new alien species.

In the last book, Zach came aboard as a palteia to a Grandmother who is now his chilta. The nearest translation in English to palteia seems to be submissive (although these relationships are not sexual in Rownt culture.) A chilta would have the “dom” role of protecting and helping a palteia, who are a highly regarded in Rownt culture. This opportunity gives the Rownt a way to learn about humanity without all of that burden remaining on Liam. It’s also intriguing to see a higher ranked human than Liam, but someone with less experience with the Rownt, navigate the complexities of the society, culture, and language. The change in dynamics is a way to show us Liam’s place in the world, in both cultures.

The author shows Liam and Ondry established in their relationship of mutual trust and love. Liam’s confidence has grown and as Liam has become more Rownt in his thinking, Ondry has also become more human in his. Ondry has also gotten even more overprotective the more he reads human medical texts. If fact, the whole reason for this book is fear of human physiology and aging–Ondry wanting Liam’s lifespan to be more compatible with his and for Liam to be less breakable. I love how Liam asserts himself to be an equal partner in decisions that affect their lives and status in a way he never would have earlier in the series. But while Liam seems more confident, in some ways Ondry seems less so.

There is a bit of repetition in Ondry’s thoughts and on the obsession with palteia throughout the book, but that is a minor niggle. Overall, this is a good contribution to the series, although not my favorite. The Cy, a race that traded with the Rownt thousands of years ago, are mentioned as how they learned folded space technology. I do hope this goes somewhere in a story, whether set in the past or the present. Of course, the Imshee contact with humans is a frightening prospect. I understand why Liam would want what the Imshee offer as he will live out the rest of his life with Ondry; I am unsure of why Zach would consent when he has a five year contract, especially since if he were to go back to Earth, I would expect the military to experiment on him. I would be happy for the author to pick any of these plot bunnies that she seeded in this story.

The cover artist is Anna Sikorska. It’s in keeping with the series in style and color palette and I think represents the story well.

Sales Links:  Amazon link coming
Book Details:
ebook, Patreon edition
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018
Edition Language English
URLhttp://www.patreon.com/lyngala
Series Claimings #4

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic #6) by Lyn Gala

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The sixth book in the series focuses on the policemen in El Paso from book three, Art and Zach–partners both on and off the job. We know that the local council had misallocated or openly stolen federal money instead of using it for a Djedi Center, so Salma comes to see what facilities and resources are available for local people with Talent.

Zach has found a spirit guide in one of the old ifrit–an Aztec hummingbird named Pochi. So, like Darren, he has no powers of his own, being neither a shaman nor a trained magic user, but now has some power at his disposal, which is not really a lot of help at this point. In fact, it is difficult not to compare Zach and Darren, so it’s also difficult not to compare Art and Kavon. I did laugh as Art visits Zach’s version of the spirit plane. It’s a good way to drive home that though these couples are similar in some regards, they are their own people, so it’s unfair to expect them to act the same. Their banter and the ways they like to irritate each other are part of their charm.

The point of this book is to fix the political problems locally and rally the magical community in order to oust the corrupt council members. Art has always made it very clear he doesn’t want to be involved, so it’s no surprise when Zach can’t convince him to challenge for a seat when hundreds of shamans and adepts meet on the spirit plane to discuss the situation as everyone picks a side. It is both difficult and easy to see Art’s side of things and while I might not agree, it’s an accomplishment of the author to make Art such a complicated character. At this point, I have to admit that Art was not my favorite character in this series. However, Art has many good reasons to have a few chips on his shoulder. This book helps establish why his personality may not be that inviting. In the middle, he made me laugh out-loud. By the end, I wanted to both hug him and punch him out at the same time. We finally get some differences between the way the Vatican, the Egyptians, and Native Peoples train people who have a spirit guide. I also enjoyed seeing the psychological aspect of a guide’s relationship with their shaman.

Art and Zach are called to the scene of a murder. Their victim is actually a famous rapist. I enjoyed the parts about them working the case, although the subject matter is disturbing. The emotions are also difficult to handle as his father is questioned by police and the author creates some empathy for everyone involved. There is a good job of juxtaposing the awful case they are working on and the private lives of the detectives. This is an established couple so we walk in on the middle of their story and get to share in their intimate moments and their journey to their HEA. Adding in family dynamics was a great way to add depth to this story.

This book really puts us forward in the overarching plot, whilst showing new allies for the fight ahead in a more nuanced depth. This also takes us structurally back to the first few books, while stylistically it has some things in common with book five. I liked having Art’s POV (third person limited) for most of the book, because he would come across unfavorably if we didn’t know his thoughts and motives. We need to like him, so this was a smart move. Now, in hindsight, I wish we had gotten to know one of the shaman in Toronto the same way in book three. I am so excited to have the links between this book and book five explained. This is a great addition to a series that has been uneven in many ways. Still, there is always something in each book that draws me back.

The cover art is by Natasha Snow and is in keeping with the rest of the series. I believe it shows Art and Zach in the meditation room of the police precinct going to the spirit plane.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 187 pages
Published August 20th 2018 by Lyn Gala (first published August 16th 2018)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAberrant Magic #6

Lyn Gala on the Many Expressions of Love and her story ‘Tap-Dancing the Minefields’ (author guest post)

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Tap-Dancing the Minefields by Lyn Gala
DSP Publications
Cover art by Anne Cain

Buy at DSP Publications |  Amazon 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words welcomes Lyn Gala here today on her tour for Tap-Dancing the Minefields. Welcome, Lyn.

 

I write romance, so clearly I’m obsessed with people falling in love or being in love or struggling to make love work.  But sometimes I miss seeing a wide range of love.  In Romeo and Juliet, everyone talks about the young couple, but what about Mercutio’s love for Romeo? 

In Frankenstein, I am obsessed with how much the creature struggles to find brotherly love with all these imperfect people.  For one shining moment, he has it, sitting in a hovel with a blind man who talks to him like an equal, and then the family returns and reveals the truth about the monster’s horrible appearance.  That breaks my heart.  And I maintain that Huck Finn’s redemption comes when he learns to love Jim.

So I want a romantic love interest, but I also want deep, abiding love in all its forms.  Tap-Dancing grew out of that desire. Back in New York, Tank lost too many people he loved.  He took those broken connections and used them as an excuse to run as far and as fast as he could—ending up in the northern wilds of Alaska running supplies to a remote Army base.  Once there, Tank finds himself in the center of an alien conspiracy, a military unit struggling to defend the planet and a group of people who share the sort of camaraderie Tank desperately needs.

Lev is shy with a core of steel and a big heart, and Tank is immediately attracted to him.  But this story is also about Aldrich who is the mentor and father figure Tank needed.  It’s about Brian Hoffer who tried to be the big brother Tank needed and John who actually filled that role. It’s about how these people all love each other, and yes, Lev and Tank are the centerpiece because they have the romantic love, what the Greeks called eros—sexual passion.  And they do have a lot of passion.

But I wrote this with a list of the Greek words for love sitting in front of me.

I love the fact that the Greeks identified a number of different ways that love can develop in the human heart, and I want to explore all of them.  Philia, deep friendship, motivates these people as much as their desire to protect the world.  When Aldrich is talking to John or Deborah, who are technically under him in the chain of command, the ludus, playful love, shows as they tease each other.

These soldiers have agape, a love for all people that drives them to protect others, even when their own lives are at risk. Deborah and her husband show pragma, a deep longstanding love. More than any of my other books, I think this one has a happily ever after in that Lev and Tank develop that pragma by the end.  They have patience for each other, and love that comes from a place of compromise and patience can survive anything.

But more than anything, this is about philautia—self love. Tank hates himself for not being perfect and being helpless to stop evil in the world. Much of this book is about his struggle to forgive himself for being imperfect—for losing friends to a fight he couldn’t hope to win.  He is damaged in ways that only another warrior could recognize, and much of the book is about his struggle to forgive himself and rediscover his philautia because until he can open his heart to himself, he can’t truly allow Lev into it.

I will admit that I am stupidly in love with these characters.  I love how broken and flawed they are and how they keep fighting no matter what.  The love running through these guys isn’t about hearts and flowers. This love is steel and fire.  And sometimes the fire does burn too brightly.

Blurb

Sometimes the fiercest battle a man faces is against himself.

In the hidden alleyways of New York City, George “Tank” Tankersley defeated what he believed were demons. But the victory cost too much. Tank joined the Army in the hope of outrunning the guilt haunting him—only to stumble into a vast and deadly conspiracy, the enemies he’d hoped to never encounter again, and the arms of the brilliant, eccentric scientist tasked with saving humanity.

In a world where the line between dark magic and alien science is thin, Dr. Lev Underwood must reverse engineer recovered alien technology to give humans a fighting chance against the extraterrestrial beings who consider Earth nothing more than a petri dish. His old friend, Colonel Clyde Aldrich, wants to protect Lev from entanglement with the scarred and emotionally volatile young soldier, but Lev cannot help the pull he feels toward Tank. Still, his first loyalty is to the secret government program, and love might have to take a back seat to protecting the world. But if he can find a way, Lev wants both.

Excerpt:

The connecting door opened, and Clyde looked up as John stood in the doorway, silently watching. He had no censure on his face, but he stood as a mute witness as Tank’s cries gradually faded. It took over an hour, but eventually the stiff muscles and hard tremors faded until Tankersley lay limp in Clyde’s arms, either asleep or too worn out to keep grieving. Clyde didn’t fool himself. This was the first step on a long journey. But at least Tankersley had the balls to start down it. Plenty of men could never face their own fears.

“You want to give me a hand?” Clyde asked softly. John moved into the room, a silent shadow as he walked over and knelt down to scoop Tankersley up. He was really out of it. His eyes didn’t even flicker as John lifted him and moved him to the bed.

Clyde sat on the floor feeling nearly as exhausted himself. Watching Tankersley fight through all the pain made his own wounds feel rawer than they had in a while. Losing people. It wasn’t easy. And the officers for whom it became easy weren’t worth spit.

John frowned at him, and Clyde made a production of standing with his stiff knees. Usually he was exaggerating when he talked about his old legs, but Tankersley had put his weight onto Clyde’s left leg, and he had a raging case of pins and needles. Sitting on the edge of the bed, Clyde rubbed his sore leg.

“You guys wouldn’t hurt so much if you weren’t so willing to give your love to so many people,” John commented.

“Yep,” Clyde agreed. They’d talked about it on the gladiator ship—the danger of loving others and the way it stole a man’s soul when those people died. Clyde figured that neither of them needed to talk about it, because both of them had seen their share of men struggling to carry the emotional burdens the world required of them. Really, Lev should have found someone with fewer scars.

Author Bio:

Lynsey “Lyn” Gala started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Westerns starring men with shady pasts gave way to science fiction with questionable protagonists, which eventually became any story with a morally ambiguous character. Even the purest heroes have pain and loss and darkness in their hearts, and that’s where she likes to find her stories. Her characters seek to better themselves and find the happy (or happier) ending.

When she isn’t writing, Lyn Gala teaches history in a small town in New Mexico. Her favorite spot to write is a flat rock under a wide tree on the edge of the open desert where her dog can terrorize local wildlife. Writing in a wide range of genres, she often gravitates back to adventure and BDSM, stories about men in search of true love and a way to bring some criminal to justice… unless they happen to be the criminal. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lyn.gala

A BJ Review: Deductions (Aberrant Magic #1) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:    4.25 stars out of 5

DeductionsDarren is proud of his work on the FBI’s magical Talent unit. However, his own lack of magic means he can never be with Supervisory Special Agent and Shaman Kavon Boucher. The shamanic magic poses a real danger to any mundane who gets too close, so Darren tries to hide his attraction and keep a professional relationship at work. That resolve begins to crumble when a new man sets his sights on Kavon and Darren can’t control his resentment.

Now they have a brutal new case of a suspect targeting magical adepts. Darren tries to keep focused on that crime, but when he starts to show signs of his own magic, he hopes that maybe he can not only be a more effective part of the team but also a real partner to Kavon. He might have a second chance at love if only Kavon can learn to trust his new and unpredictable magic that has changed the rules of the magical game.

Interesting urban fantasy/paranormal world that the author has created here, but then I know she has mad skills in that area from reading and thoroughly enjoying her Assimilations series. Speaking of that series, there’s an analogy that one of the characters uses in this story that related to aliens that I not only liked, but it made me smile because it seemed so very apt.

Well-drawn and likable characters that hooked me early on, which made me extremely joyous to see that a certain annoying little squirrel get moved along as early as he did. I was quickly beginning to want to drop kick him myself. I felt the tension and later the heat between Darren and Kavon perfectly. Intriguing and enjoyable secondary characters of both sexes with much left to explore.

Other than a few areas where I felt a slight drag into too much detail, this is a fast-paced story full of magic, action, tension, and heat with a small helping of fun dialogue and banter thrown in. While the romance arc was tied up and the mystery of who did the kidnapping is solved, although I have a feeling there is far more to it than was revealed. The story is far from wrapped up in this volume, but I would not call it a cliffhanger. Rather an ending to a story that has me eager to read the next book and see what happens to Boucher and his team next as far as the case goes, as well as to see the two men deepen and work out their new relationship.

The cover by Mina Carter is great because it clearly shows the magic, location, and interracial plus both of the guys are hot.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | ARe | Amazon


Book Details: 

ebook, 225 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682521595
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesAberrant Magic #1

A BJ Review: Prelude to Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (Claimings 0.5) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5               ★★★★★

Prelude to ClaimingsBefore Liam had a new commander who openly distrusted him, before Ondry earned his ka status, there were two traders. Ye Ondry wants to earn status, and he is curious about this new human. Liam has just arrived on the planet and he’s trying to figure out these aliens who supposedly have good metals to trade. Neither of them suspects that a chance trade and a few pots knocked off a table could lead their lives and their fates to intertwine.

Note: This free story is a prequel to the story of Ondry and Liam that details how they met. As such, it’s not a romance.

Despite the note, I did find this very romantic and sweet. No sex, yes, but there is budding feelings and loving care enough to make me swoon. The book includes the following stories, some which have been published elsewhere (web) and some new. We get Liam’s POV, Ondry’s POV, and even one from a Grandmother’s POV. All of which give extra depth and dimension to the beginning of an already awesome story.

Even though this is a prequel, I think it’s best read after having read book one of the series at least… although it was just as good for me having read the complete series already. I absolutely adored the addition insights into Liam and Ondry’s. The first and longest story in the anthology is aptly titled “The Beginning,” and it shows us their initial meeting! This one shows Liam as he was when he first arrived on the planet and began to learn about Rownt and trading. I adored the way the trading worked, and the details of it we are given fascinated me to the point I wanted more. Plus the words Liam used to describe Ondry phyiscally the first time he met him were quite enlightening. I won’t say more on that, but if you are as curious about Ondry’s appearance as I am, I highly suggest you read this now.

The next story, “First Sight,” we get cover the same time period and, indeed, some of the same events, but this time from Ondry’s POV. I found this perfect. Even though the same things were going on, seeing them from the other side gave the scenes so much more depth and understanding. Reading these back to back also made it very clear the difference in these two’s thinking, and in Rownts and humans. Explanations of why Ondry reacted as he did to what Liam said and did in the first story, as well as the difference in language between what Liam thought he was saying in Rownt to the way Ondry actually heard it. And nuances of both Ondry’s action and the reactions of those around them of which Liam was only vaguely aware. I loved this so much.

Story three, “Slow Attractions,” shows an integral event from book one which was written all from Liam’s POV now in Ondry’s POV. Again, the amount of additional depth and understanding this gives is phenomenal, and I loved it. Despite the note on the blurb, I felt like in this one we do see romance… not sex or even a touch, but the caring that Ondry displays touched my heart big time. Oh to have someone take note of feelings and moods and to just care that much. Perfect and a must read for fans of book one.

The final short is from a Grandmother’s POV and is titled “Headstrong.” Again this goes over events from the first book but from a different POV that adds depth. The title itself refers to how the grandmother thinks of Ondry, and we learn early on that this particular Grandmother really is Ondry’s genetic grandmother and gain insight into Ondry though knowing something of his mother’s personality which he has obviously inherited. This is short, but yet it let me see how the Grandmothers think of both themselves, their duty, and how they see humans. Her wisdom and caring came across quite clearly. And the whole scene was so very touching that it had me in tears. No romance? I beg to differ with that statement.

If you’ve read any of this series before, I cannot recommend this free anthology more. It adds so much depth, and I adored each and every story. Five stars across the board.

I adore what we see on this cover… never all of Ondry, but the delicious peeks this time of that tail and his neck tie in wonderfully with the additional insights into him we get in the book.

Note:This free story is a prequel to the story of Ondry and Liam that details how they met. As such, it’s not a romance

Free at:  Loose id


Book Details:

ebook, 79 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682520888
Edition LanguageEnglish

SeriesClaimings 0.5

A BJ Review: Affiliations, Aliens & Other Profitable Pursuits (Claimings #3) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Affliliations Aliens and Other PPA desire for status has brought Ondry and Liam to a human world to trade, but dealing with humans has brought up all the old pain in Liam’s heart. Even though Ondry would do anything to protect his beloved palteia, he doesn’t know how to protect Liam from himself. Worse, Ondry isn’t sure how to shield Liam from the shifting politics on the Rownt ship where the Calti Grandmothers are nothing like the ones they left behind on the planet.

With everything in their lives changing, Ondry and Liam have only each other. If Ondry can’t find a way to defend Liam from the ghosts of the past and overcome the impossibly short life span of a human, their small family might be over long before either of them is ready to let go. Ondry has always been a dominant and possessive Rownt, and with Liam in danger, those traits are necessary as he challenges the world to protect his lover.

In this third installment, the pace is slow and languid (maybe even a bit too slow at times which is why I couldn’t quite give it five stars), but it’s also full of depth and endeavors on some deeper level.

We get a dual POV with Ondry and Liam this time, which I very much enjoyed. Seeing his side of Liam’s claiming, and all that led up and went after, was fascinating. Diallo is there but not a focus this time, which I was pleased with. The story focuses more tightly back on the relationship of Ondry and Liam, how they interact with each other as well as with Rownts and humans.

The author also explores new territory by taking us off the Rownt home planet and into a huge Rownt where Ondry and Liam plan to advance his status through trade as well as eventually get in contact with a much advanced race to try and extend Liam’s lifespan to be a bit more in sync with Ondry’s.

The sex scenes were hot, and not just because of the tail sex! What I enjoyed most in this one was Ondry learning about. On a trading expedition with humans, Ondry happened to see two humans kissing. After some explanation about this tradition, Ondry, who is ever determined to give Liam everything his palteia wants/needs, proceeds to explore. Wouldn’t you know it, kissing ending up being something they could both enjoy at the same time. Yay.

As for depth, well, I loved the nuance of meanings and Ondry’s protectiveness and pride, and the further exploration of the whole concept of palteia and of value. How amazing to be valued so highly–to have someone always willing to listen. Swoon. Also saw depth because in seeing how humans are so different from aliens, this story also points out to us just how different each individual human is from each other one. Which got me to thinking how much effort we have to invest if we want to truly understand another individual. Unfortunately, in my life experience anyway, there are very few people willing to actually put in the time and effort to attempt to do so.

It’s hard for me to really envision Ondry and the Rownt. On the covers, we’ve seen purple skin and muscles and a tail. In the description, we get height and mass, talk of laying eggs and cracking out of shells (a mention of a claw caught in a shell). For some this this has evidently brought turtles to mind, but I’m not quite seeing that. While thin lips might fit with turtles, most don’t have sharp teeth. Regardless of what Ondry looks like, his other traits are enough to have won me over. Again.

There’s a twist at the end involving the introduction of a new human. I find that interesting and hope that we will get to explore the relationship between Mora and the Grandmother further.

The cover adds very little to what we’ve already been shown of the guys but does give the feel of being in space.

Sales Links:  Loose Id LLC | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 186 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682520024
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Claimings with links to BJ’s reviews:

A BJ Review: Turbulence (Turbulence #1) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5                 ★★★★★

TurbulenceCorporal Jacqs Glebov is a simple soldier who wants a bunk, decent food and the company of other battle-hardened men and women who understand the realities of fighting. Instead he’s stuck patrolling a remote corner of the border with cadets straight out of boot camp. They don’t understand him, and he sure doesn’t have an ounce of respect for them.

After a field promotion, Earth sends Commander Zeke Waters to the Candiru for some practical experience in a leadership role. Instead, Zeke falls in lust with the adamantly heterosexual Jacqs. The way Jacqs fights and the way he sees the world draws Zeke closer, even if common sense tells him to walk away.

Even if they can find a way to reconcile their sexual differences, they are both still soldiers. The war will eventually take them away from each other unless they can find a way to escape the rules that have defined their lives.

Let me begin by saying that while I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by this author, no matter the genre, sci-fi is a lifetime addiction of mine and Lyn Gala’s sci-fi has become my new addiction.

Excellent world-building, perfect pacing, all around well-written. This story has it all: spaceships, action, political maneuverings, blazing hot sexy times in just the right proportion to story, AND a society in which one declares their sexuality publicly on their records (but can also change it at any time) and no one looks down on them for it (um… well, unless they are dyssexual).

But it was the characters that truly captivated me. And not only the main characters, but ALL of them were amazingly well-drawn, nuanced, and varied. We get a few strong kick-ass females, a few brainy, brave but fragile females; some wimpy milksops of both sexes, an alcoholic captain who still manages to pull his head out when needed, a hot, smart, skilled long-haired guy with a background as a pirate background (who shows up again in book two, yeehaw!), and I still haven’t gotten to talking about the awesome main characters yet!

Jacqs Glebov doesn’t think of himself as smart, but he has a simple, straight forward way of seeing things, a natural common sense, and top notch skills at his job. He was such an amazing character. None of the usual angst when he figures out after meeting Zeke, the new commander that he’s not heterosexual after all. Not entirely. I’d actually never heard of stenosexual, but it totally makes sense! I love that more than I can say. As someone who has always been attracted to people, not their gender, that makes total sense to me. I don’t understand why its so hard for folks to get that bi/pan does not mean we are sluts or we want both or we are just not ready to come out, etc. Can’t folks just understand that the equipment someone has isn’t what matters for some of us, but rather personality and/or many other attributes. I’ve had a hard time with the way many m/m books that portray bisexual/pansexual characters… so this book was like a breath of fresh air for me. I completely and totally adore Jacqs.

Not to say that I don’t also admire Zeke, the new commander. He’s a smart alpha male, an officer/leader who doesn’t let rank/authority go to his head. He’s handsome and competent, but he’s accessible, level headed, and not full of himself. He listens to his men rather than putting on airs. And he is pansexual. Double score!

This book was perfect for me, and I rarely re-read books, but I might just make an exception for this one. Oh, and one more thing this story has done to me. It’s rather made me eager to do something I haven’t done much at all over the last several years…read a M/F romance! Gasp! Because the M/F book two of this series is calling my name, folks!

The cover is hot and screams sci-fi, which I love.


Book Details:  343 pages

Published October 22nd 2013 by Loose Id

A BJ Review: Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities (Claimings #2) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Assimilation, Love and Other Human Oddities coverOndry and Liam have settled into a good life, but their trading is still tied up with humans, and humans are always messy. When political changes at the human base lead Ondry to attempt a difficult trade, the pair find themselves entangled in human affairs. Liam wants to help the people he left and the worlds being torn apart. He also wants to serve Ondry with not only the pleasures of the nest but also by bringing human profits.

Ondry has no hope of understanding human psychology in general, he only knows that he will hold onto his palteia with the last breath in his body, and he’d like to keep his status and his wealth too. Unfortunately, new humans bring new conflicts and he is not sure how to protect Liam. He does know one thing that humans seem to constantly forget—that the peaceful Rownt are predators and when their families are threatened, Rownt become deadly killers. Liam is his family, and Ondry will protect him with his last breath… assuming that he can recognize the dangers in time to do so.

I adored book one of this series which means I had very high expectations. While I didn’t quite love this as much as my five starred book one*, I did thoroughly enjoy it.  This series rocks.

The world created for us by the author is simply amazing, I already thought that in book one but it gets even more complex and nuances in book two! I hardly thought that possible. The writing itself is superb. And Liam and Ondry some of the most memorable characters I’ve read recently. I adore reading of how they care for each other so very deeply despite huge differences both physically and culturally. How their love deepens and grows roots… shows so beautifully how love can overcome obstacles.

So why did I enjoyed the first in the series better than this second installment. I think it’s just personal preference because I truly dislike politics, strategy and war/mind games. So those parts read a little slow for me personally.

Don’t get me wrong though, the plot in this story is intricate and brilliantly executed. I adored the way we are shown how Liam adapts to his new homeworld and culture, and the way we see humanity in a light that at times made me favor the Rownt. The romance is there, it grows deeper and more trusting than in book one. But despite there being some D/s elements, neither kink nor sex is at the forefront in this book/series… which may explain why there is no longer a tail on the cover… perhaps the author wanted to avoid folks thinking of this as tentacle porn which it so very much is NOT. And I like the cover just as well without the tail.

I can hardly wait for the next book in this unique and highly recommended series.

Book Cover – see comments above.

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:  

ebook, 225 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Loose-ID
original title Assimilation, Love, and Other Human Oddities
ISBN13 9781623005870
edition language English

A BJ Review: Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts (Claimings #1) by Lyn Gala

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Claimings, Tails and Other Alien ArtifactsLiam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age. This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him.

Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to love.

Wow, this story blew me away. Not only is it extremely well-written but also totally original and unique! It was so such fun reading that I read it all the way through in one day without putting it down! I know some people do that regularly, but I seldom can manage it. But watching these two very different men learn to communicate on intimate issues was so thoroughly fascinating.

This is a sweet, gentle romance with a unique take on submission/dominance that I just adored. I enjoy sci-fi and one of my fav tropes is alien lovers—however, so very often the alien’s anatomy disappointingly similar to human. That’s one of the things I adored about this book–Ondry is truly alien in that his physiology is completely different from our. Thus their lovemaking is unique… tender, sensual, but also hot.

But don’t read it just for that. The plot is outstanding and tightly drawn, the love story is sweet and beautiful, the characters are nuanced and easy to connect to. And the structure of Ondry’s world and social system is outstanding and complex. Ondry’s Rownt world is a matriarchal society governed by older/wiser women called “grandmothers.” The way the males are treated as their seed is um… taken, is quite harsh. But overall this is absolutely stunning world building, just beyond awesome! For anyone who enjoys hot m/m sci-fi, this is highly recommended.

The cover has all the elements to mark it as sci-fi as well as its hot (and I love the tail!)

Sales Links:  Loose id LLC | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:  

ebook, 104 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Loose Id
original titleClaimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts
ISBN139781623001926
edition languageEnglish
seriesClaimings #1

A BJ Review: Mountain Prey by Lyn Gala

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Mountain Prey coverStewart “Stunt” Folger is a forestry technician that loves his native home in the Appalachian Mountains, where people take care of their family and follow the Bible. But that hasn’t tamed his own wild side–Stunt has a preference for danger in and out of bed. And he finds both in Alex Soto, an ex-con out to avenge his brother’s death. When Stunt lands in the middle of Alex’s plans, he takes him hostage. Unfortunately, Alex’s plans never took into account having to deal with the twisted logic that passes for reasonable among the hill folk.

I enjoyed the heck out of this book! It’s well-written with a vividly drawn setting, quirky and completely delightful secondary characters, fun banter between two richly nuanced main characters, and there’s even a shotgun M/M wedding! Woot!

The developing connection between the main characters was well-handled, and I was totally onboard and feeling the emotion between these guys. There was a light BDSM element to the relationship, which I enjoyed.

Unfortunately, the actual sex scenes didn’t come across quite as well for me. The first one was fine, not earthshaking, but very acceptable. However, subsequent ones were a bit on the dull side for me. In fact, I skimmed a little (not something I often do on the sexy bits!). That’s sad since I enjoyed so many other things about this book that it could have been an easy five.

Just adored the mountain logic, and the way the author made it clear that how people talk doesn’t always reflect on their brain power. And the delightful lack of the usual preponderance of stereotypically narrow-minded and judgmental rural people had me cheering. Then there’s Southern hill folk’s commitment to family which came through loud and clear. And YES, I’m proudly Southern born and raised, although transplanted elsewhere a long time ago. Overall, this was an outstanding read which I’d recommend to anyone.

The cover by AngstyG is appealing and eye-catching, but I’d have enjoyed seeing a bit more of the feel of story in it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press  –  All Romance (ARe)  –  Amazon   Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 210 pages, also available in paperback
Published June 19th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 18th 2013)
ISBN 1623805848 (ISBN13: 9781623805845)
edition language English
setting Tennessee (United States)