A Paul B Release Day Review: Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

skythane8-1With each book I read from J. Scott Coatsworth, the more I want to read.

His latest book, released today, tells the tale of two young men from different backgrounds, an older woman who serves as a mother figure along the way, and a boy that the three find along their way. 

Xander’s life on Oberon has not been easy.  He is a Skythane, a winged being, among the Lander, humans.  His foster parents were murdered by the Syndicate, the local crime organization.  He was “adopted” by the crime boss, which meant Xander servers a sex slave for him and his friends.  He is rescued by a man named Alix who takes him to Oberon City.  He is getting by and that is good enough for him.  His friend and surrogate mother Quince asks him to pick up a corporate representative wanting a tour of the mines.

Jameson has had a far more comfortable life.  Adopted by one of the founding families of Beta Tau, he has been pampered.  He has followed his family’s Christianist values and it due to be married next year.  He studies to become a psych and has last worked at a mining outpost.  He has been sent to Oberon to meet with representative with OberTech, the company that basically runs the planet of Oberon.  Little does he know he is going to go  for the adventure of his lifetime.

Quince, unbeknownst to Xander, is from Titania.  Titania and Oberon were one planet until the great divide.  Every 750 years, a solar flare from the sun threatens the population of the planets.  Her mission is to guide the two young princes whom she has watched over to help reunite the planet.  So she has arranged for Prince Davyn (Xander) and Prince Lyrin (Jameson) to meet so she can take them from Oberon to Titania to prevent both worlds from being destroyed by combining the two halves of the planet together again, as told by the ancient prophecy.  Along the way, they meet a young boy they name Morgan.  Xander feels he cannot leave the boy behind as he was so many years ago.  Quince thinks he is a demon and should be left behind if not killed.  Only time will tell which of them is correct as they journey against time, corrupt companies, and crime syndicates in order to complete their mission.

Once again Coatsworth has built an entertaining world for his story to take place in.  The idea of a planet being split in half with each behind a veil to the other is interesting.  The only way to get from one side to the other is a portal opened only one time a day.  The relationship between Xander and Jameson is helped along the way by Quince with use of an agent that brings about romantic desire.  Jameson, whose world is basically turned upside down acclimates himself to his new situation well enough.  The ending provides lots of opportunity for a sequel, which I hope there will be. 

The cover by Anne Cain has a young Skythane with his wings hovering over his world.  It fits the book well. 

Sales Links

Dreamspinner – eBook | Dreamspinner – paperback | Amazon – kindle |Amazon – paperback

Barnes & Noble – paperback | Kobo | iBooksGoodreads 

Book Details

Ebook, 244 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published:  February 17, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN:  978-1-63533-404-3

An Alisa Review: They Walk Among Us by T.A. Chase

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

they-walk-among-us-by-ta-chaseZach agrees to help Raven and finds himself drawn into a world he never knew existed.

 

Zach Harleigh was a baby when the aliens arrived. He doesn’t remember much about those months, except his parents fighting and his dad leaving. His father died, destroying the aliens, and his mother died when Zach graduated from medical school. He’s alone in the world and working hard to get his career going leaves no time for any kind of relationship.

 

One night, a beautiful man is brought into the ER. Raven Sanderson has been severely beaten and seems unsocialized. Raven and Zach hit it off when Zach takes over his care. Raven can’t speak but writes notes to Zach, letting him know the man is in the city to find his sister.

 

Zach agrees to help Raven and discovers a world he never knew existed. A world full of alien creatures that read minds and heal with a simple touch. He realizes there is more to the world around him, and the aliens he thought were destroyed weren’t. Their offspring walk among us.

 

Zach has always been interested in the aliens that were around when he was a baby, but never thought he would actually see one as they were said to have all been killed.  He doesn’t hate them, far from it, he has spent a lot of time researching and trying to find the truth.  When he meets Raven he is fascinated with him and wants to do anything he can to help him.

 

Raven is intrigued by the intriguing doctor, but doesn’t want to get anyone involved in his mission, let alone he isn’t sure about trusting a human.  He quickly learns there are a lot of layers underneath the surface and nothing about the doctor is quite what it seems at the beginning.  Both of these characters have been longing for someone to love and someone they can let into their lives without reservation.

 

We see how open Zach is to Raven, even showing him things that he has never shown anyone else.  Raven is so reserved at the beginning, but eventually opens up and really begins to hope for a future with Zach and his people.  I loved seeing them fight together to overcome the things standing in their way to get Raven’s sister and then for their future.

 

The cover art by Posh Gosh is wonderful and perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 168 pages

Publication: February 7, 2017 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 9781786515346

Edition Language: English

A Free Dreamer Review: Wasted Youth (The Secret Art of Mercy #1) by H.B. Kurtzwilde

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

wasted-youthApprentice Sebastian has long cherished his love for his master. For years, Master D’arcy Qyn has respected Sebastian’s right to choose whom he embraces in the sexual arts known to the Fellowship of Servitors. But when the fashions and opinions of other Servitors are no longer enough to keep them apart, they rely wholeheartedly on the vows that have made them student and teacher.

Abiding dutifully by the formal roles prescribed for so taboo a relationship, each must find his way with desires and pleasures they would not otherwise enjoy. Together they must prove their love in all its expressions without shame and eternally beyond reproach.

Publisher’s Note: Although this book is set in the same universe as The Secret Art of Failure, it is the beginning of a new standalone series.

First off: I don’t think the publisher’s note is right about this being the beginning of a standalone series. I haven’t read “The Secret Art of Failure” and I felt very lost at times.

SciFi is one of my favourite genres and “Wasted Youth” sounded really promising. I took the publisher’s note to heart and was really looking forward to reading this book.

Sebastian has had a thing for his master for a while now. Or rather, for the idea of having an affair with his master and the thrill of doing something not quite socially acceptable. When D’arcy Qyn finally makes his fantasies come true, the affair turns out to be quite different from what he’d imagined.

I liked both D’arcy and Sebastian, even though I sometimes had a hard time understanding D’arcy. He’s always so mysterious.

The sex that happens between the two of them is damn hot. There’s quite a bit of humiliation and other BDSM elements. There’s even some consent play, so if you’re triggered by that, stay away from this book. Personally, I just found it hot.

There was quite a bit of action thrown into the lot as well. I didn’t understand the reasons behind a lot of things, though. It certainly never got boring, though.

Now, as I mentioned above, I really feel like this isn’t a standalone series. There seems to have been quite a bit of world building going on, but there are virtually no explanations in “Wasted Youth”. I just didn’t understand a lot of the traditions and the characters often remained mysteries to me. It really felt like I was missing some serious background info. I’m assuming this was all provided in the author’s previous series “The Secret of Failure”, which I haven’t read.

I think “Wasted Youth” had serious potential, but it left me feeling kind of “meh” in the end, simply because there was so much I just did not understand. I am curious about “The Secret of Failure” and have added the first book to my ever-growing list of books I’d like to read one day. I won’t continue with “The Secret Art of Mercy” for now, however.

The cover by April Martinez shows a beautiful landscape, overlaid with a picture of Sebastian. The landscape is gorgeous but I think the cover could’ve done without the young man at the top.

Sales Links

Loose Id

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

Book details:

Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published September 5th 2016 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB01LOSQIHU
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Secret Art of Mercy #1

Looking for a New M/M SciFy Novel to Read? Check out F.T. Lukens’ ‘The Star Host’ (author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Star Host (Broken Moon #1) by F.T. Lukens
Release Date: March 3, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Duet Books, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing F.T. Lukens author of The Star Host. Hi F.T., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

*******

Hi, everyone. This is F.T. and I’m very excited to share with you my first novel The Star Host. It is a science-fiction adventure which features a diverse cast and takes place across planet, drifts, and spaceships. It is my version of magic in space.

Give us a to-do list for one of your characters.

This is a great question and I decided to do it with both of my main characters, Ren and Asher, while they are stuck as prisoner’s at the antagonist’s citadel.

Ren’s to-d0 list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up in the morning in an iron cell and on a moldy mattress
  • Eat stale bread and drink lukewarm water
  • Think about escaping
  • Try not to think about dungeon-mate, Asher. He is annoying, arrogant, and pretty. He’s also a drifter.
  • Work in the courtyard. Don’t draw attention to self. Keep head down. And keep technopathic ability secret and under control. (This is much harder than it seems.)
  • Make friends with the guards
  • Try not to go insane (Also much harder than previously thought.)
  • Plan an escape with other captives
  • Dream about the stars

Asher’s to-do list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up
  • Stay in cell all day
  • Annoy Ren
  • Push-ups
  • Eat stew
  • Wait for Ren to return
  • Poke at guards
  • Annoy Ren again
  • Make Ren tell stories
  • Repeat

As you can see, the start of their friendship is based on mutual dislike which becomes mutual teasing and then later becomes mutual affection. Ren and Asher start to depend on each other to survive. Asher takes comfort in Ren’s stories and Ren relies on Asher as his anchor when his newly discovered power threatens to overwhelm him. They learn that it’s only by working as a team that they will be able to escape and save their families.

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Blurb

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

 

Pages or Words: 258 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Excerpt

Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.

“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.

Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”

Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”

“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”

She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.

“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”

Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”

Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.

“Don’t,” she barked.

“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”

Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”

Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”

He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.

She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”

Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.

He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”

His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.

It was freeing and frightening.

His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.

The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.

He could.

He could.

 

Buy the book:

Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple iBookstore: The Star Host

All Romance eBooks

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Meet and follow the Author

F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.

A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

3-Mar: Hearts on Fire, Happily Ever Chapter, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic

4-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Havan Fellows, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

7-Mar: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Boys on the Brink Reviews

8-Mar: V’s Reads, Butterfly-O-Meter, Love Bytes

9-Mar: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nephy Hart, KathyMac Reviews

10-Mar: Bonkers About Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Attention is Arbitrary

11-Mar: A.M. Leibowitz, The Novel Approach

14-Mar: Man2ManTastic, Anna Butler Fiction

15-Mar: Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie

16-Mar: BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card (grand prize) + 5 winners of The Star Host eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A BJ Review: Wildfire Psi (Guardians of the Pattern #4) by Jaye McKenna

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

Wildfire PsiThings are finally going well for Luka Valdari. He’s found a home and family at the Institute for Psionic Research, and he has a job he loves. When a training mission takes him back to the streets of downside Riga, he’s got plenty of reason to be uneasy, and when a psionic cry for help leads him to a nightmare from his past, Luka’s ready to bolt.

Things are not going so well for Damon Korsov. He’s got voices in his head, a hole in his memory, and strange dreams that may or may not be glimpses of his past. The one man who might hold the key to Damon’s past is the one man he can never ask. Because somehow, Luka knows Damon, and it’s clear to Damon that Luka hates him.

Unwilling to expose anyone else to the danger Damon represents, Luka volunteers to train him. He wants to hate Damon, but instead finds himself fascinated. Before they get a chance to sort things out between them, the two men are thrown into the middle of a terrifying plot that puts every human life in the galaxy at risk. Can Luka and Damon confront both of their pasts and work together to prevent disaster? Or will all the human worlds burn in the flames of wildfire psi?

This book takes place right after the events of book three. Initially, there are two parallel storylines: one follows Tarrin and Miko as they continue their mission from the end of book three, and the other follows Luka who has returned to his duties at the Institute. I admit that sometimes it can be hard for me to read books that switch around like that, but in this case I was so involved with both storylines and both groups of characters that it never did. I was always eager to get back to the other couple so the switches never pulled me from the story or made me want to put the book down. In fact, one of the things I enjoy about this series is how we get to follow along with all the characters even when the primary focus switches to another couple. But also, the author did an absolutely seamless job of bringing the two storylines together perfectly and naturally at about 60%.

This book’s main couple is a doozy. I totally did not see this one coming. At all. We first met both Luka and Damon in book one, Psi Hunter, where Luka was a central character, but not a romantic lead. And Damon… well, Damon was someone else. I won’t say who as you should read it to find out.

I enjoy a good enemies-to-lovers story, and if you do too, then you should adore the heck out of this book! This isn’t your typical version of that trope. NO generic enemies where the guys are on the opposite sides of something but after getting to know each other as individuals, they overlook that and become loving adversaries. NO personality conflict that’s offset by intense physical attraction and results in lots of hate sex that gradually leads to the real thing. And thankfully, NO simple misunderstanding that could easily be cleared up by talking (those kinds often make the characters seem sort of clueless for me). Nope. None of those. This is the real deal. Two guys with a legitimate “I hate you because of what you did to me” reason to be enemies. No easy fix kind of hate here! And I loved that.

Since I knew these guy’s background from prior books, I just couldn’t imagine how the author would manage to move those two to a place where they could trust and love one another. Heck, I couldn’t even foresee how she’d make me like one of the characters given what I knew of his past. But she did both. Believably and well.

While the plot and action moved along at a satisfying clip, the gradual change in the relationship between Luka and Damon was built on plausible reasons that weren’t based on physical attraction. I enjoyed the natural development of an emotional bond and the slow formation of a tentative, but fragile trust that made it possible to move past hate. But when the past came back to bite them in the ass, could that trust stand up? The way they built that final bridge, an integral piece of the overall story arc, felt natural and right.  A unique and exceptionally well done take on the enemies to lovers trope.

In this series overall, the world-building is complex and exceptionally detailed. While there’s a complex overall story arc running through the series, each book focuses on a new main couple and how their involvement moves everything forward. But past characters aren’t dropped. Nor do the guys from previous books  just make random cameos like in some series. They continue to play their own important roles in the overall arc and to grow while still remaining in character.

Which leads me to mention a favorite character of mine ever since book 0.5, the ever-mysterious Draven. The more I know of him, the more intrigued I am and the more I want… well, more. A few of the scenes he had in this book have me absolutely chomping at the bit to learn more about that illusive man. Mysterious, smart, scheming, a bit broken… rather reminds me a bit of Laurent in Captive Prince. And just like with him, I absolutely cannot wait for more Draven.

The cover by Chinchbug shows Damon with the red crystal artifact and aptly represents this story. Also I’d never noticed until recently when a bundle of the first four came out that each cover fits side by side, half faces with the next. Nice touch.

Sales Links:   ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook
Published January 27th 2016 by Mythe Weaver Press (first published January 2016)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesGuardians of the Pattern #4.0

Guardians of the Patterns Series (with links to BJ’s reviews):

Guardians of the Pattern is a science fiction series in which the line between science and magic blurs. In the galaxy-spanning Federation, psions are still fighting for basic human rights. Some worlds adopt a live-and-let-live policy, but on others, psions are hunted down and murdered because the public fears their psychic talents. When ancient weapons of mass destruction are unearthed on a planet populated by primitive nomads who still believe in magic, psions may be the Federation’s only hope for survival.

Can the people of these two very different cultures come together to prevent disaster? Or will the Federation’s hunger for power trigger a psionic chain-reaction that has the potential to threaten all of humanity?

A BJ Review: Y Negative by Kelly Haworth

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Rating:  1.5 stars out of 5

Y Negative coverIn the last surviving cities of a ruined world, the concept of “woman” has been forgotten to history. Those unfortunate enough to lack a Y chromosome live as second-class citizens in a world dominated by mascs.

Ember is Y negative. He is scorned, bullied, abused by every masc he encounters, at work and at the gym. Not even his Y negative roommate cuts him any slack. He wants so desperately to be accepted as a masc that he’d rather buy black market testosterone than food. Something’s gotta give—he needs a change in his life, but has no idea how to find it.

Jess is a masc with a passion for studying the recovery of their devastated world. His boyfriend is pressuring him for more commitment, and his father expects him to take over the family business. He can’t wait to get away from civilization for his seasonal research out in the wild.

When Jess offers Ember a job, their lives collide in the isolated wasteland, and their initial attraction turns into a relationship that horrifies those around them. Soon their struggle to stay together and to be who they are turns into a fight for their lives.

This is going to be a hard review to write, but maybe that is fitting since the story itself was hard for me to read. It became clear as I got further into the book that this was not a story for me. For one thing, when I read a story, I need to feel a connection to at least one of the characters in order to fully engage with it. I didn’t feel that here. Didn’t feel any sort of chemistry between the characters.

The writing style didn’t work for me either, it actually seemed to distance me rather than draw me in. At various parts of the book, I despised pretty much every character, and that is saying something as I’m an easy-going sort of person.

At a few parts I just sat there staring at my kindle with my mouth open. Really. For example, a scene where Jess and Ember are first intimate, Jess’ appalling reaction at seeing him, his lack of caring even when he had to have known how he’d hurt Ember since he’d screamed out his pain and we know from a prior scene the walls are thin… then just telling him an hour later to get out there to work. OMG. No. Especially when Ember was right back to wanting him as if it didn’t happen a few pages later.

And try as I might, this story left me confused, frustrated, and alternately pissed off with various characters. Perhaps if there had been some sort of backstory in the book to explain why women were no longer thought of as women but as Y negatives and well, to explain so much more. Because I was confused.

After finishing the book, I read an article by the author that was published on this site a while back. Perhaps I should have read it before the book, it might have helped a little. But considering that math and science aren’t my thing, it still had my eyes crossing a bit. However, I recommend it prior to reading the story.

Overall, the premise is interesting, but the delivery of it didn’t work well for me personally.

The cover art by Jay Aheer made me look at this story, its dark and haunting and interesting.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here


Book Details:  

ebook, 317 pages
Published November 16th 2015 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626493332 (ISBN13: 9781626493339)
edition languageEnglish
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other editions (2)
Y Negative
Y Negative

A MelanieM Review: Corin’s Chance (Avanti Chronicles #1) by Hannah Walker

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Corin's Chance coverPosted to some stars awful cruiser, Dr. Corin Talovich hoped to serve his time quietly and get on with his life, but fate stepped in and decided otherwise.

Crashing into an unknown planet was the last thing Corin expected. With only his friend, Lieutenant Commander Tate Riven, by his side, they face the unexplored world and new enemies bravely, leading them to the Derin Clan, where they’re welcomed by the leader’s son.

Kel isn’t sure about the strange men, but he isn’t about to send them away, especially when the bond between Corin and himself is something he can’t ignore.

When another clan wages an attack, Kel is forced to make some hard choices which nearly costs him everything he holds dear. Together, with their allies, Corin and Kel fight, focusing on the future they desire, knowing failure not only dooms their love, but also those around them. Side by side, they work to destroy the evil threatening to keep them apart and becoming the family both men desire.

I have to admit that when I was finally finished all 424 pages of Corin’s Chance (Avanti Chronicles #1) by Hannah Walker I was still wavering between 2 and 3 stars, depending upon what I was remembering about the story and how I felt about it.   There are so many things to consider when writing a review about this novel, not the least of which is the ambitious plot and intentions of the author, who intends to carry on into another story and a series.

I have finally decided that, no matter its many (many, many) faults, I am rather fond of this story. For me it falls along the lines of a space bodice ripper, complete with purple prose, main characters who are at turn weepy, furious, torn, overprotective and yes, pregnant (still male), all while being warriors from space.  You just got to roll with it, even while rolling your eyes.

Honestly, I think Hannah Walker is got a really good story here but everything around it needs work.  The Avanti which are these mega space warriors  from many galactic races.. a small group of them is aboard a space cruiser which is attacked.  They all end up in separate space pods that crash land on a planet that seems to be inhabited by The Society for Creative Anachronism.   Everyone on the planet is all big on kilt-like garb, swords (she uses the word claymore,  a specific Scottish weapon), knives, and ride animals that seem to be a lion/zebra hybrid.  Compelling true but these same clans also have in-depth knowledge of The Alliance, space and galactic technology!  So…a whole planet of Luddites?  Its never quite explained.  From the planet, the various cultures and social structures to the galactic Alliance that everyone is fed up about, Walker has failed to lay out a firm foundation for her story, an essential element considering everything she is trying to accomplish here.   Which is tell the story of every member of the Avanti crew that lands on this planet.  A book a crew member.  If each character gets 400 plus pages each, this will be a magnus opus indeed.

Second thing that will stick out immediately is the language or more importantly, several things about the language of the story.  Walker has her character using modern sayings in their dialog with no attempt to show any evolution through centuries of use.  Yes, its been centuries.  One character uses the phrase “When you assume you make an ASS out of ME and YOU!” Really? One of the most feared space  warriors says that to another? Its Baby this and Babe that as they twinkle at each other.  Another notices and drools over a man’s “chiseled face”, then blushes?  He actually says the words “chiseled face” out loud.  Here people are “over the moon” about each other among other cornball descriptions.  These characters never talk as though they have been in battle, although they do sound as though they have been reading romance novels all their lives and that is the only way in which they can communicate.  After a time I got so used to it that it became quite fun.  But I was really missing just one person who acted and sounded like a real soldier and an adult.

There is an evil doer, you will know him because all he does is screech and foam and spittle at the mouth. Yes, those are his only descriptions.  You will know him by his foam.

There is an mpreg element which I found interesting but the author lost several points there as well when she lost track of what one of the most experienced and renowned of all Alliance doctor’s would have knowledge of.  Either have a storyboard, notes or a editor should have stepped in here to point that out and make a change.  Actually a editor should have stepped in quite a few times to cut away extraneous plot minutiae, details, and  whole pages of just stuff that didn’t matter.   And then started in on the dialog.

The characters.  I think that’s where Walker’s story holds its own.  People will like these characters, they are interesting and endearing in a goofy sort of way.  I truly mean that or I wouldn’t have  continued all the way through 424 pages.  We don’t know all their histories and now that they are all back together on the planet, we will want to know what happens to them.  Corin got his mate.  Tate is set up for the next story. Commander Dax, Hunter, Bell, and Bray have some clues laid out here as to how their stories might go.  The next title?  Tate’s Torment.  Doesn’t that just cry out for a return of the greatest of all of the bodice ripper models…Fabio in space?  Since I love Fabio that was not meant to be sarcastic or mean spirited.

What I would love to see happen is for the narrative to tighten up, the purple prose to become less so, for Hannah Walker to decide if her people use technology or not and in a logical manner. And really give some thought about how speech patterns, culture, things would exist thousands of years in the future.  Take whats present now and evolve them. The weird combination here makes little sense, culturally speaking.  In short, a strong editor is needed to see this series forward.  The bones are good.  So are some of the secondary work.  And really perhaps a teensy bit less weeping. Just a bit.

I know some of you are shaking your heads that I gave this 3 stars.  At  times I find it hard to believe as well.  That dialog is a hard thing to overlook as are the characterizations.  These men just don’t read as fierce battle hardened warriors, especially of Galactic renown.   But Hannah Walker has a huge tale to tell.  A band of brothers crash land on foreign soil and decide to make it their home.  Each gets a story as they find love and make a family.  Its that basic.  She has the right elements and sometimes it all comes together and it creeps right into your heart unexpectedly.  It happened enough here to warrant 3 stars.  And it will make me pick up Tate’s Torment.  Ah, me. The Avanti Chronicles will continue.

Sales Links:  ARe | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 424 pages
Published September 20th 2015 by Hannah Walker
ASINB015N8PX0U
edition language English

 

A BJ Review: Darker Space (Dark Space #2) by Lisa Henry

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

Darker Space coverBrady Garrett is back on Earth. He’s living with his partner Cam and they’re raising his sister Lucy together. Life is better than some feral reffo from Kopa has any right to hope, and Brady knows it. He’s even grateful for it, most of the time. He loves Cam, even though he’s afraid that he’s not good enough for him, and he’s still having nightmares about the alien Faceless.

Cameron Rushton loved being a pilot once, and he still feels the pull of the starlight. He’s building a life with Brady now, and with Lucy. Life is good, even if it’s not without its complications. Both Brady and Cam are dealing with the endless cycle of interviews, tests, and questions that the military hierarchy hopes will reveal the secrets of the aliens who could very easily destroy humanity. They have each other though, and together they’re making it work.

But from out in the black, Kai-Ren is still watching and everything Brady and Cam think they’ve won, they stand to lose all over again.

I absolutely adored Dark Space, so this book really had a lot to live up to. And I got a bit nervous when, unlike book one, this one didn’t drag me into the story immediately. In fact, for me the beginning was slow and somewhat repetitious. At a little over 20%, just as I was getting rather tired of Brady’s self-deprecation and whining, everything changed. With one little italicized sentence, my entire attention was captured. From that point on the story had me locked on target and the reading flowed quick and smooth.

Brady had to grow quite a bit in this story, and I admired all the changes he went through (sometimes kicking and screaming). More than ever, this book highlights the differences between Cam and Brady. Brady is brimming full of emotion, anger being high on the list, but also love and fear. Once things started moving, I enjoyed his inner monologues, irreverent way of looking at everything, and liberal use of foul mouthing even in his internal dialogue and the middle finger. Cam’s faith and steadfastness were perfect. I adored Cam. Although I must say that little Lucy very nearly stole the show. What a great young character. Her fearlessness, wonder, trust, and even her bratty/spoiled moments were perfect.

The emotional connection between the two main characters is perfect, even during the parts where they struggle—maybe even more so at those parts. Brady put Cam on a pedestal; one he felt he wasn’t good enough to ever reach… and this is sort of his journey to get there maybe. The book has steam, but not quite the heat of the first book. Well, except that I absolutely adored the final scene with Brady, Cam and Kai-Ren. Now that was lovely!

And the end? Well, it’s really more of a beginning. I absolutely can’t wait for the next installment. There will be one, right?

The cover ties in well with the one from book one and marks its sci-fi genre well.

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

Book Details:

 ebook, 228 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Loose Id
ISBN139781682520239
edition languageEnglish

series Dark Space 

Dark Space (Dark Space #1)
Darker Space (Dark Space #2)

A Sammy Review: Where There’s Fire (Panopolis #2) by Cari Z.

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

WhereTheresFire_600x900Panopolis is a city of stark colors, folks. Right or wrong, black or white, no shades of gray here. Panopolis is epic battles and soaring rhetoric on both sides, and dirty secrets buried so deep beneath layers of lies that you’d need a map to know where to start digging. Moral ambiguity is for stories, not real life. At least, that’s what we’re told.

But the best stories, I’ve found, are the ones that aren’t so clear-cut. No spoon feeding you Truth, Justice, and the Heroic Way, or telling you that every Villain was born flawed from the start, not made into that. The best stories are the ones that make you think and leave you wondering. I think Panopolis needs a new caliber of storytellers, folks. Maybe it’s time to find those maps and ready those shovels.

Maybe it’s finally time for a change in the narrative.

Edward Dinges was once a normal guy in a city of Supers. He worked at a bank, had a plain life… then he fell in love with a Villain and found himself imprisoned. Soon, normal was a thing of the past.

Though he’s been working to harness his new powers, Edward is still trying to gain control over his life. It helps that Raul is always at his side, but it’s time to step out by himself for his first real job as a villain.

But nothing ever really goes as planned. Soon, Edward finds himself needing to fight for Raul’s life and free him from the hands of a true Super Villain. Whether they make it out alive or not, Panopolis will never be the same.

“You made it back. Not a lot of people do. That makes you interesting, maybe worth forming an alliance with. You need to work on making connections, especially if you don’t love to fight for fighting’s sake.” Vibro sounded tired.

“You don’t like fighting either.”

“I like living,” she corrected me.

So, first off, I want to put it out there that I absolutely loved this. The series is set in such an interesting world that it really pulled me right in from the get-go and I continued to be incredibly interested in it even months after reading the first book. Cari does a brilliant job of building a world that is so unique, but in this book, I really felt it resonated with reality.

I’m not sure if it’s that social justice has been on my mind a lot recently or what, but the way Cari writes about the dichotomy in the city, pitting two sides against each other, having this large body of power that rules over everyone and manages to cast aside the undesirables… the book takes massive and frustrating issues and puts it into an abstract and easily digestible manner. What do I mean with that? I mean people can turn their face to the real world and it’s social justice, but if you really read this, you’ll find yourself feeling everything the SuperTruther conveys and not even realizing how much Panopolis resembles the world just outside your door.

Now, onto the characters. Edward continues to grow on me. At first, I felt like he was just as boring as he projected himself to be, but in the first book we got to see his evolution when it came to morals. Now he’s crossed that line and is trying to find himself within his new powers.

Raul was a lot less present in this, but I didn’t really mind that, as I think this story is so much more than a romance. Sure, the romance is there, but the story is just front and center, adorned with action and alliances and… okay, just, really great story telling.

And new characters – Vibro is just freaking fantastic. I mean, she has purple hair! On top of that, she seems to have such an interesting personality and I would love to learn more about her and her brother.

The only downside I can think of is that the editing was off a bit. There was a lot of misplaced commas and such. But besides that, it was great.

I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Cari set us up for a great sequel.

The cover by L.C. Chase is very nice. It fits the previous book well and has a nice punch of color. Additionally, getting to see Edward is a nice treat. Great job.

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing  |  All Romance (ARe) |  Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

book, 113 pages
Published July 13th 2015 by Riptide Publishing (first published July 12th 2015)

Its SciFy Friday with Chris T. Kat! Author Interview , New Release Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) and a Giveaway!

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BreedingStations

Breeding Stations (Alliances #1) by Chris T. Kat
Release Date: July 27, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

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Sales Links: Dreamspinner eBook & Paperback | Amazon | All Romance (ARe) |

My Interview with Chris T. Kat On Pets!

Hi Chris, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Tell us about your pets – past or present. Pictures are a must! (Not really, but they would be welcome.)

Do you know those kids that always wanted to have pets, but the parents didn’t allow it? Yep, I’m one of those, although it was only my mother who was against it. My stepfather simply bypassed her by bringing me a pair of SL271818guinea pigs one day. Of course, my mother wasn’t happy at first, but at least she tolerated them. I’m not sure I still have pictures of them, but their names were Ricky and Domingo. Since then, I’ve had guinea pigs pretty much all the time. For the past 13 years, we always had two boys. At the moment, we only have one guinea pig named Sam.sam He’s an old fellow now, and loves to cuddle and sleep in the curve of our arms. As soon as he needs to go pee, he alerts us by pulling at our clothes—that can get a bit painful during summer months, when he nips at our skin.

SL271828As I said we usually had two guinea pigs, and whenever one of them died due to age or illness, we got a new one. But after our Sky died last year, our kids didn’t want a new one. Sky had been very friendly to everyone: he came when you called him, and he always hopped and ran around. He was a real character, and we still miss him. We still have our Sam, and hope he’ll be around for some time in the future.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Spunky commander Berit Turner is known for two things: his huge libido and his lack of a filter—he says what he thinks. Berit sets his mind on being part of the mission to Ligador, to make sure the planet is habitable for humans. He’s ecstatic when his team is assigned to the task force. A delegation of Nadisc, a humanoid alien race, accompanies them, and passion ignites between Berit and their commanding officer, Tom. But Berit is determined that Tom is just another notch on his bedpost, as he doesn’t do relationships.

The excursion to Ligador goes wrong from the beginning, when they discover Ligador has been established as a breeding station by their worst enemy: the Tash’Ba. Dinosaur-like creatures become the team’s worst nightmare, and staying alive is going to take everything they’ve got… and then some.

Pages or Words: 204 pages or about 65,000 words

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Categories: M/M Romance, Science Fiction

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter Two

Several alarmed shouts warned me of something going on, but I had no time to process what happened. Something roped around my waist and yanked me over to the side. I crashed into Tom’s chest as a harsh growling sound erupted from his throat.

I tried jerking myself free, but he held onto my wrists with one hand, while his tail kept me tethered to his body. “What the hell?”

Niyara squared off in front of Tom, her dark eyes gleaming with an eerie, demonic red glint where her pupils should’ve been. Her long tail swished from one side to the other and her arm muscles flexed.

“What the ever-loving fuck is going on?” I asked.

“Quiet!” Tom hissed.

My mouth fell open, and I gaped at him. Okay. Enough was enough. I caught the tip of his tail in my hand and pinched it—hard. He roared, but I used the chance to slip free. A Nadisc’s tail tip was the most sensitive part, which came in handy during sex but was a real disadvantage in a fight. Or maybe not. I’d never heard of someone winning a fight against a Nadisc when—

Niyara’s fist closing around my shirt stopped all my pondering. She lifted me off my feet, hissing and boring her eerie gaze into mine. Maybe I should’ve stayed with Tom. He’d felt slightly less dangerous than she did.

Carson appeared next to Niyara’s side, eyes as large as saucers but an equally determined look on his face. He reached out. As soon as he touched her arm, her head whirled around. I held my breath. Would he be able to save me from Niyara’s wrath? She’d seemed rather taken with him earlier. What the hell had I done, anyway, to agitate her?

As I wracked my brain, Carson and Niyara gazed at each other. The next instant he rose on tiptoes and placed a gentle kiss on her lips.

She let go of my shirt, and I would’ve landed flat on my ass if Tom hadn’t snatched me around the waist. Niyara rested her head on Carson’s shoulder, which meant she had to stoop because of her height. No one said anything, and no one moved for what seemed like a long time. When she lifted her head, several people—including me—hissed, afraid of what she’d do next.

Niyara bowed her head toward Tom. “I apologize for my outburst. I’ve never encountered a jealousy spell before.”

“Jealousy spell?” I echoed.

She gazed at me, suddenly looking sheepish. “Feeling such a strong connection is new to me, and I didn’t like Carson using an endearment toward you.”

I blinked, then looked over at Carson. He gawked, and his eyes were the same size as before. Would they stay like that forever?

Niyara swept an arm around to include everyone in her proclamation, which resulted in startled jerks and coughs.

“I’m claiming Carson as my mate. Anyone who’d like to object has to fight me.”

No one objected. Everyone seemed busy inspecting their boots or the ceiling. I never noticed before how very ugly the hatch’s ceiling was.

“Berit!” Carson wheezed out.

I sighed and transferred my gaze from the ceiling to Carson. “Congrats?”

Someone cheered and the others followed suit, clapping their hands to add to the noise. Carson was so pale I feared he’d faint, but Niyara cupped his face in both hands and kissed him. After that, he didn’t seem to mind that much, not anymore.

Chuckling, I told the others to open the hatch and take up their position. The hatch opened with the usual buzz, but when I started to walk, Tom’s arms around my waist tightened to an almost painful level.

“Tell them to secure the area and wait for further instructions,” he whispered into my ear.

“Dream on. I won’t do—” My words ended abruptly when the steel bands around my waist left me no room for breathing.

“Now.”

Tom allowed me more breathing room, and I gave the desired order. No one looked twice or questioned my instruction, for which I’d have been grateful on any other day, just not today. Ticking off a Nadisc was a bad idea. One of the worst, really.

We waited until everyone had cleared the hatch’s area. Tom spun me around in his arms and lifted me up until we were face-to-face.

“You accepted me as your leader on this mission, remember? That means no punching me,” I said, “or doing anything that would harm me.”

Tom’s gaze intensified, and my mouth went dry when he spread out a red and orange speckled frill around his neck. I’d read about this display, but had never seen it before. Only a few Nadisc still had those frills—most opted for surgery because it gave away their emotions too easily—and those that did had a very tight control over it.

“But it’s okay for you to hurt me?” he rasped.

I tried to reason with him. “I… look, I’m the commander here. You can’t just order me around or hold me captive, okay?”

“Niyara could’ve killed you.”

I shrugged. “She didn’t, and she’ll just have to get used to the way Carson and I talk to each other.”

The frill around his neck unfolded even more. He said, “I’m not fond of the way you talk to each other.”

I had an inkling where this conversation was headed. I had an even bigger inkling that I’d panic if Tom said anything, so I closed my eyes, wrapped my arms around his neck—over the frill, which was kind of awkward—and sought his mouth with mine.

He opened up immediately, and I dipped my tongue into his mouth, licking along his teeth and eliciting an approving hum from him. Somehow I ended up with my legs wound around him and one of his hands steadying my ass.
When we broke apart for air, he said, “I won’t forget what you did.”

“I’ll make it up to you,” I replied. His eyes lit up with interest, so I added, “Deal?”

“Deal.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisTKat
Twitter: http://twitter.com/christi_kat
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/ChrisTKat
Blog: http://christikat.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-T.-Kat/e/B008FQQH2Q

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Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Amazon gift card.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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