Rating: 3 stars out of 5
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
Publisher: Alex’s Surprise – M/M Romance Group on Goodreads.
Saving Alex – Chris McHart
Cover Artist: Meg Bawden of Bawd Designs
Alex’s Surprise is a free story! You can download it on Goodreads, Amazon and ARe
Alex’s Surprise: Alex wanted a night of hot passion with Gerome, but he gets more than he ever bargained for. His life will be changed forever in a world where he’ll be thrown in jail— or worse— for being pregnant.
Alex’s best friend, Sam, has been acting strange ever since he met Alex’s one-night stand, but now Alex needs help in order to hide, and Sam is his only hope.
Saving Alex: Not only is Alex pregnant, something punishable by jail time, but Gerome, the father of the baby, is a vampire prince. When strangers invade Alex’s home and kidnap him, he doesn’t know who is responsible, if he’ll ever see the man he loves again, or even get to see the child growing inside him.
Considering himself the father of his lover’s child, Sam has a hard time standing around and letting others plan Alex’s rescue. But when the Prince and his trackers find an important clue, the race to save his beloved is on. Now all he can do is cross his fingers that the scheme they’ve devised will work.
When Prince Gerome receives ransom demands, the instructions are clear: mate a complete stranger or he’ll never see Alex or the child he carries again. Will he be able to convince his newly intended to help, or will those seeking to dethrone his family win this evil game of blackmail?
Caution: Contains a kidnapping, unwanted matings, a scheming king, way too many people that follow their own plans and a highly pregnant Alex
Pages or Words: Alex’s Surprise – 27,000 words, Saving Alex – 33,000 words
Categories: Alternate universe, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, MPREG
Alex zapped, annoyed, through the channels. He lounged on the couch, bored out of his mind. Sam, his best friend and roommate, had taken up the recliner, reading something. Maybe Alex should do that as well? Watching TV wasn’t going to keep him entertained, since nothing caught his interest, no movie, no documentary, nothing. He zapped on, but stopped at a news report showing a pregnant man. He sat up a bit straighter. What was up with that?
The man’s stomach was swollen, showing he was at least five or six months along. His hands were cuffed in front of his baby bump and tears were streaming down his face. The camera showed a courtroom full of people, slowly sweeping over the interested men and women watching the process.
Alex turned up the volume. What had the man done? And why was he pregnant? He’d heard it was possible, but he’d never encountered someone who’d actually experienced that.
The reporter’s voice came up. “Robert B. was tried for violation of the racial laws. Today’s sentencing was long awaited. No one had heard of pregnant men for years, and there had been uncertainty about the actual jurisdiction in such cases. B., who is, according to doctors, six months along, was sentenced to five years in jail. His child will be put in an orphanage until he is released. The fathering sire has no legal claim over the child. He will be able to visit his child, but he can’t get guardianship over him or her. The child and the carrier will be outcasts of society after that.
“B. broke down after hearing the judge’s decision. Even though it’s forbidden, he clearly hoped the old laws would be overturned. Instead, the judge confirmed that male breeding between the races is still forbidden and punishable. With that, back to the studio.”
The picture changed, now showing a woman in a suit, smiling at the camera. “Thanks to our reporter in Berlin for a summary of today’s events in court. Now to the weather…”
Alex turned down the volume, muting the forecast. He turned to Sam, who had apparently put down his book to watch the news as well. “Did you hear that? How can they judge someone because he got pregnant?”
“I have no idea? Maybe because it’s wrong? Are these children dangerous? I’ve never met one, or heard of one, for that matter, but I guess there’s a reason it’s forbidden. The whole pregnant man thing is so strange, no wonder it’s against the laws. Who knows what’ll come out of such breedings.”
Alex frowned. A new life was precious, not wrong. He couldn’t imagine a child being dangerous, even if it was mixed. Children born from interracial relationships were allowed, as long as one of the parents was female and the other male. Why this didn’t apply to children born from a same-sex relationship was beyond Alex. Even if it was unusual for a man to be pregnant, he shouldn’t be put in jail for something like that.
This was the first case in a long time, according to the reporter, but he’d not given a reason why the laws were upheld. “It’s still wrong to judge someone for getting pregnant.”
“I don’t know. Like I said, there must be a reason why it’s forbidden.” Sam picked up his book again, ending the conversation. Alex took a moment to study his friend’s features as he buried himself in yet another sci-fi book. He was quite handsome with his blond, unruly hair and his strong jaw. The gaze of the piercing blue eyes that never seemed to miss anything flew over the page, pulling Sam into yet another outlandish adventure.
Maybe Sam was right. There had to be a reason it was against the law. Alex was kind of sorry for the man who now faced five years in prison, but then, the man knew what he risked with getting pregnant in the first place.
Alex settled back and focused on the TV again. Sam was not in the mood to discuss the matter anymore, his mind clearly on the story he was reading. As if they’d need sci-fi to experience something unusual. Ever since paranormals had come out of hiding back in the 1980s, going to certain clubs could be more adventurous than anything an author could come up with.
Maybe he should go out today? Blowing off some steam wouldn’t hurt. He’d not gotten laid in quite a while, and a night in one of the mixed clubs sounded too good to resist. It was better than staring at a rerun of a movie.
Alex switched off the TV and stood. “I’m going out, do you want to come with me?”
“What do you have in mind?” Sam looked up from his book. “Dancing? I thought of going to the Downtown.”
“Na, go without me. I’m not in the mood for that crowd.”
“You sure? It’s been months since you’ve been out.” Alex wasn’t surprised, Sam wasn’t one to go out much, and he despised big crowds. The Downtown is a huge mixed club, catering to all kinds of paranormals and humans. Not that paranormals were forbidden anywhere, but they, as well as humans, preferred to stick with their own kind. One of the exceptions was a club like the one Alex was going to visit. A night of dancing, and maybe getting laid, sounded better with every second.
We asked Chris McHart “What inspires you or drives you crazy?”
Chris McHart’s Answer?
“Inspiring me is the love to my husband, and every time I see a picture about love. It can be so little as a holding hands, but it might inspire me to write a story about it. I love playing the ‘what if’ game, and the things my brain comes up with.”
Chris McHart is from Germany and, while an accountant, writing is Chris’s real passion.
Chris likes to spend time with family and has way too many animals that demand constant attention. Chris also enjoys landscaping and cooking.
Whenever Chris has a free minute, it’s spent writing on a laptop, a cup of coffee in hand, deeply lost in the worlds Chris’s muses have created.
When coming up for some air, you’ll find Chris on a lot of social networks. Check out Chris’s website to see where you can find out more. Chris looks forward to hearing from you!
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chris-McHart/326380184192029?ref=hl
Tour Dates & Stops: July 6, 2015
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