An Ali Release Day Review: The Englor Affair (The Sci-Regency Series #2) by J.L. Langley

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Anxious to escape the confines of Regelence society, if only for a little while, Prince Payton Townsend poses as an admiral’s aide to further investigate a dangerous conspiracy. Payton plans only to use his computer skills to help navigate the tangled web of mystery and deceit on planet Englor, then return home, but he finds himself drawn to the charismatic Colonel Simon Hollister.

Simon, however, is no mere soldier—he is heir to the throne of Englor, and his life is meticulously planned to include a bride and heir. Unlike Regelence, the Regency society on Englor disapproves of same-sex relationships, and Payton and Simon’s attraction plays out in a daring secret affair, one Simon never expected would grow into love.

Risking scandal and certain ruin if they are discovered, Payton and Simon uncover more about a common enemy and a deadly plot that imperils both their worlds. But in this game of interplanetary intrigue, love might be the ultimate casualty….

I really love this series.  I had read them years ago when they first came out but jumped at the chance to re-read the new releases.  I always worry about in doing re-reads that the book may not stand the test of time.  That maybe my tastes have changed too much.  I’m happy to report this book was just as good the second time around.
I love the world this author has created.  It’s still one of the most unique I’ve read.  This takes place on Englor rather than Regelence as book one did.  The author does very good world building without overwhelming the reader with data dumps.  I could picture it all clearly in my mind and it felt very much like historical London.
These two are my favorite couple in the series.  They are a great mix and they compliment each other.  Simon and Payton have some really tender and sweet scenes with each other.  I was rooting for them the entire time.  I especially loved how things ended with them.
I’m hoping these new releases and new covers mean that the author is going to write more in this series and we can see what happens to the other Townsend boys.
 
This cover was done by Tiferet Design and I love it.  I think it is gorgeous and it perfectly fits the main character’s descriptions.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 2nd edition, 254 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 2008)
Original TitleThe Englor Affair
ISBN 1640806881 (ISBN13: 9781640806887)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Sci-Regency #2
Characters Simon Hollister, Payton Townsend settingEnglor, 4830

A MelanieM Release Day Review: My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) by J.L. Langley

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

When Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins goes undercover to investigate the theft of an IN weapons stash, the mission raises painful memories from his past. Using a title he fled nearly two decades earlier, Nate once again becomes the Earl of Deverell, heir to the Duke of Hawthorne, in order to navigate the ins and outs of a Regency world. But planet Regelence—where young lords are supposed to remain pure until marriage—has a few surprises for Nate, not least of which is his attraction to Prince Aiden.

A talented artist, Prince Aiden Townsend isn’t interested in politics and the machinations of society gentlemen, and he adamantly rejects the idea of marriage and a consort. Aiden wants the freedom to pursue his art and determine his own future. But the arrival of the dashing and mysterious Deverell awakens feelings of passion and longing the young prince can’t deny.

As Nate uncovers a conspiracy reaching far beyond the stolen weapons, his future is irrevocably altered by the temptations of a life he never thought he could have. Drawn into the web of intrigue, Aiden is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

Well, this is a surprising review to write because I thought I knew exactly how this was going to go before I started the book and wrote the review.  Talk about a teaching moment.  Sigh.  Never make assumptions.  Trite but oh so true.

You see I thought I knew the book I was going to read.  Why?   Because I read the first edition published in 2007.  Well, my paperback copy (yellowed and well loved due to multiple readings) says 2008.  Really, I read that thing so many times I had it half memorized.  I mean, that book sizzled!  Just the growled “Boy” from Hawk to Aiden was enough to have me fanning myself.  And the sex?  Off the charts!  Spanking and yes, fisting. My Fair Captain was incendiary!

It also was funny, layered, and grounded in an amazing universe so well built that it could support a series. As finally did.

Add to that a complicated intergalactic conspiracy that has it’s intricate groundwork laid down in this novel for books to come (The Englor Affair,My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3), a fantastic family and cast of fully developed characters you couldn’t get enough of and you had an addictive 5 star novel.  I’m one of its biggest fans. I knew exactly what to expect when I picked up the new release from Dreamspinner Press.

Only that’s not what I got.

I got My Fair Captain…Lite.

From the original 341 pages down to 244, gone are all the BDSM aspects of the story (a favorite element quite frankly).  The few times that that Hawk calls Aiden “boy” here it makes no sense  and its most likely because they forgot to delete it.  Now he calls Aiden “Sweetheart”.  I actually shuddered.  So far out of character is that nickname as a replacement for “Boy”.

Another character I loved got a lightening of character.  Trouble was a dangerous, brilliant teenage soldier who was capable of threatening to kill someone in the first story.  This made total sense as he had been in countless battles with Hawk on the Lady Anna spaceship.  The second version?  Thrown out the window! That aspect of Trouble where he could actually take down someone in combat or kill someone?  Gone, and with it something of value.  It was endearing to have Trouble wearing bunny slippers knowing he was a predator.  Not as funny when that was removed.

Yes, I got out my paperback after completing the eBook and went page by page because I was so dumbfounded by the changes.

Some beloved passages remain the same.  A lot really.  But there are also major shifts to just a sweet romance, away from the complicated, sensual story I first fell in love with.  So how to review this?  There’s so much of the old still here that I loved?  And yet so much elemental that’s gone.  The framework is here, the characters are all here, but even they aren’t exactly the same…mostly.  It’s just different enough for someone to have read and still loves the original to be off-putting. Like I said all the robust flavor and depth has been removed…and now it’s lite beer.

Which is fine if that’s to your liking.

So, I guess if you are new to this series, you won’t have the same expectations as I did and will enjoy this series immensely. It really does  have great characters, a fast paced plot, lots of humor and romance.  And with four brothers, more stories (one for each) to come.

But if you are like me, a lover of the original.  Skip it.  Run, don’t walk, back to our paperback copies, grab hold and start reading them again like I did last night.  All of a sudden it was 2008 and I had just discovered this incredible author and this amazing book I couldn’t get enough of.  Now to turn on that fan.

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing Ltd., June 2007

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design.  Again, sweet and nice.  Lite! Will never live up to the hottness that was that original Anne Cain cover.  It brought in the half naked torso craze that’s so common now everywhere.  Tired of half naked torsos?  Blame it on this cover because (fans self) thats where it began.  See the original cover design below.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook and Paperback | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 244 pages
Expected publication: May 29th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2007)
Original Title My Fair Captain
ISBN 1640806865 (ISBN13: 9781640806863)
Edition Language English
setting Regelence, 4829
The Original Cover Art by Anne Cain 2007: