*REVIEW* ~ Steel Rose (The Cardinal Winds #1) by Kathryn Ann Kingsley

#enemiestolovers #scifi #steampunk #dystopian #villainromance

~*Doing a HAPPY DANCE!* ~ I am so, so happy I have discovered this author. I was hooked on the story as soon as I read a sample and immediately one clicked.  I’m delighted to learn that she has a back catalogue of enticing reads and a bevy of books in the pipeline, including more in this series!

Blurb

The commander of the East Wind Dominion is a terrifying man. He leads an army of automatons. He can control lightning itself. And now, Rose Calder is his prisoner of war.

All Rose has ever known is fighting. When the invading forces of the East Wind Dominion take away her friends, her family, and her home, she takes to the skies to battle for her freedom. For hope.

When the war comes to a sudden end at the hands of commander Viktor Lang, she is certain that she is about to die. When he discovers her impossible secret, she becomes a mystery that he is desperate to solve and that may be worse.

The war may be over, but now she stands to lose much, much more.

Authors Note: “Steel Rose” is what I consider to be a villain romance. My male characters are often not very kind or gentle. This story has a HEA, but it may be a tough ride getting there. This story has mature themes and content.

My Review

Must read enemies-to-lovers Steampunk Romance! ~ 5 stars

Steel Rose represents the archetypal bibliophile’s dilemma – a book so good I did not want it to end, but at the same time I couldn’t stop reading it! Enemies-to- lovers romances are my favourite bookish trope and the fact that the story takes place in a dystopian steampunk world just added to my enjoyment of this quirky and hot read which contains moments of humour and some darker themes.

I loved the author’s world building – Viktor, aka the East Wind, presides over a communist style society where each gives according to their abilities, for the good of all, contrasting with the society inhabited by Rose and her fellow rebels.

The romance is a slow burn, but when it does ignite it does so in stellar fashion and continues to deliver in terms of hotness! I absolutely adored Viktor the anti-hero/villain – at first he comes over as an unlikeable, albeit fascinating figure – cold, manipulative and controlling, but slowly we learn, as Rose does, that there is a lot more to him…

Rose’s character is a delightful contrast to Viktor – freedom loving and chaotic, wearing her heart very much on her sleeve. Viktor is determined to solve the mystery of this captive rebel pilot. There is plenty of tension in the plot as he is as devoted to his cause as Rose is to hers.I am glad that the author did not make Rose into a one dimensional kick-ass fighter. That is not to say that she cannot stand up for herself and others, but she has so many more qualities that make her far more interesting to Viktor…

Indeed, it is not long before Viktor, despite his efforts to the contrary, becomes totally undone by her and their romance evolves in such a delicious way! Rose has a dilemma – how can she give up her principles for a man who holds her captive and has destroyed her dreams of freedom?

The book has a host of fascinating supporting characters, namely Otto and the other Cardinal Winds. I am especially looking forward to reading Nero’s book which is in the pipeline.

Recommended to lovers of Steampunk and Sci-Fi who are after an original take on the genres with a captivating romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*REVIEW* ~ Strangeways, by Addison Cain

#alieninvasion #interspecieslove #scifi #erotic #romance

Adult/18+ read

 

Blurb

“Beyond twisted and filthy hot, Strangeways is the most unique sci-fi romance I’ve read in years!” NYT Bestselling author, Anna Zaires

I have been chosen.

One moment I was leaving work, the next I was entertaining a silvery-green alien intent on knowing me fully.

Their invasion of our world nonviolent, seamless.

They dress as human men, eat in human restaurants, vote, pay taxes, and are controlling every last one of us.

I don’t understand how no one else can see what I see? That their beauty is a trap.

They have come here for women, intent on creating life partners—through seduction, mental manipulation, employing muscular bodies capable of fulfilling any female desire. Shaping themselves to our wants.

Until we’ve each been claimed, marked, and changed. Assimilated.

We don’t have a choice. They can make us like it. They can make us desire them. They can make us do anything they want.

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My Review – The ultimate in alien invasion… 4 stars

This sci-fi novella by Addison Cain is aptly named! It not only contains some sizzling and highly erotic inter-species loving – and as a fan of alien/human interactions for me this ticked a LOT of boxes, but it is also a thought -provoking read, representing the ultimate in alien invasion.

Emily is a downtrodden waitress, taken advantage of by her boss and her surviving family. She attracts the interest of the alien Phi, a member of a race who have lived peacefully alongside humans since they appeared on earth decades ago. Emily finds it impossible to resist Phi, however much her mind reminds her that ultimately his kind are invaders. Phi, however, is both persistent and persuasive and goes all out to satisfy her needs on ALL levels!

Phi, like all of his kind, is adept at mental manipulation designed to bond them to their chosen mates ever further. Whilst Phi is certainly the ultimate controlling male, I found his actions, given his true nature, caring and sweet, albeit in an oftentimes creepy way. The read is certainly a crazy one and has me questioning my own sanity as I enjoyed their relationship!

I enjoyed how the book explored the concept of assimilation/control versus free will through the relationship of the main characters, leaving the reader at liberty to examine their own thoughts with regards to the notion. It is far from your traditional romance as it pushes the boundaries, but that is what I love about this author. I found this read not as dark as many of her other reads such as Cathedral and Omegaverse books, but pure Addison Cain nonetheless.

Will Emily go along with his seduction? – after all he constantly reminds her it is in her best interests, or will she be able to resist? Indeed, does she want to, and how much compulsion is Phi willing to put on this human female he has decided he wants to bond with? As the story progresses both Emily and the reader come to fully understand what it really means to be assimilated by the invaders.

All in all a highly original and thought provoking erotic read and I would like to see more of the new world the author has created!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Dark Matters (Class 5), Book 4, by Michelle Diener

#space-opera #scifi #romance

Blurb

DARK MATTERS . . . taking matters into her own hands

A time bomb, waiting to go off . . .

Lucy Harris is on the run, not sure where she can turn to for help, or if help is even available. But even as her abductors chase her down, she realizes they don’t just want to recapture her, they want to erase her.

When your very existence puts a planet at the risk of war, there’s no choice but to do everything in your power to stay out of your enemies hands.

A predator . . . waiting for the chance to pounce

The powerful AI battleship, Bane, is accompanying the United Council envoy to Tecra to mete out the punishment the Tecrans have earned for breaking UC law. He revels in the power he’s about to have over his old masters. But his mission isn’t only to rain down retribution on the people who kept him chained for years, he’s also looking for a human woman his fellow Class 5 thinking system mentioned in the final seconds of his life. Paxe admitted to taking Lucy Harris from Earth, and Bane has been looking for her ever since.

A warrior conflicted . . .

Commander Dray Helvan thinks the Grih made a mistake in not pushing for war with the Tecran, but he’s had to accept the compromise, that he and the other envoys from the United Council will go to Tecra and dismantle its military from the top down. His mission is not one of his choosing, but when he and his team arrive, he’s handed a very different job. While he distrusts Bane on principle, when the thinking system tells him there’s a woman running for her life on the planet below, he will do whatever he has to to see her safe. And if that means war for Tecra, well, then it means war.

This is book 4 in the award-winning Class 5 series.

My Review ~5 stars

An action-packed and suspenseful read

Dark Matters contains plenty of action, suspense and also a sweet romance between the heroine Lucy and Commander Dray Helvan, who is tasked with retrieving Lucy from the planet Tecra before her enemies can destroy her.

The book is the latest in Michelle Diener’s excellent Class 5 series and this instalment once again delves into intergalactic politics, the use and abuse of advanced AI battleships and the fate of the human women who are unwillingly thrust into the centre of this world. This is Lucy’s story.

I enjoyed how the author wastes no time in thrusting the reader straight into the action, leaving us under no illusions as to the danger that Lucy finds herself in. The stakes are certainly high, with Lucy’s fate a pivotal one in the fragile interplanetary peace. I liked that Lucy is a strong character psychologically, given all she has been through. That said, the situations she finds herself in as she attempts to survive on a hostile planet and flee her abductors mean she has to constantly challenge herself which requires much courage on her part. Dray, the fearless and intelligent commander, is the perfect mate for her. I enjoyed their evolving romance which was interweaves seamlessly with the developing plot and I was rooting for their HEA.

The influence of the AI battleship Bane is ever present and although he is committed to ensuring Lucy’s safety he is also seeking revenge against his old masters, their common enemy the Tecrans. This provides plenty of tension as he is literally a loose cannon whose actions could jeopardise peace at any moment. Bane is very much a main character in his own right. I read with interest his growing bond with Lucy in particular and how his character develops throughout, particularly as he gets to know the human Lucy and learns to reflect further on his own feelings and motivations.

Thoroughly recommended for fans of space opera and sci-fi who enjoy a strong and thought provoking plot, excellent character development and some romance with their read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~ Unintentional Obsession (Lotus Adaamas Series Book 2), by Layla Stone

#scifi #scifiromance #romance

Book Blurb

Make a deal with the wrong Demon and you’ll always be in his pocket.

Nara made a deal with the wrong Demon and now he’s forcing her to do something she can’t do without getting sick. When she can’t deliver, she’s given over to another Demon for safe keeping. She shouldn’t hate Shine as much as she does. It wasn’t his fault the Demon planet is run by a horrible person who refuses to listen to her when she says she’s not a doctor.

Shine shouldn’t hate the female that was thrown at his feet and told to keep an eye on her. It wasn’t her fault a black hearted Demon runs the planet and thinks he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants, but there’s something about her that gets under his skin.

Two people who couldn’t be more different find out they have more in common then they expected. When the time runs out, will Nara be able to do what it takes to keep Shine alive?

My Review

Faced paced and sexy sci-fi romance ~ 5 stars

If you are after a fun and sexy read with suspense and danger thrown in then this page turning read definitely ticks all the boxes. It is the second book in the Lotus Adaamas Series (the first being Unintentional Addiction which I have also read and recommend). Although the book refers to events and characters in the first book it can certainly be read as a standalone.

The book contains a strong female lead, the Numan Nara, and the Demon Shine, who we met in the first book. Both are forced together by the evil demon Karr who controls much of what happens on the planet. Nara and Shine have interesting if heart breaking back stories and on the face of it have little in common. Yet as circumstances get ever more dire for the couple they form an attachment and I was soon keeping my fingers crossed for their Happy Ever After.

I enjoyed the humour as well as the sexy scenes which were balanced by the danger and suspense represented by the heinous actions of Karr. The read also contains some clever world building through the descriptions, language and concepts introduced by the author.

Recommended for readers who love sci-fi romance containing quirky but loveable characters with a dose of danger.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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*REVIEW* ~ Bait: Planet Athion Series (The Tradrych Strain Book 2), by Marissa Farrar

#reverseharem #planetathion #dark #scifi #erotic #romance

Book Blurb

I’ve been kidnapped to an alien planet, and forced to give birth to a creature that isn’t even human.
But now I’m fighting back…

The discovery that two of the alien Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus, are part of a rebel group came as a shock. Even more of a shock is discovering I have feelings for each of them, and, it seems, they feel the same way about me.

Now I’ll do anything to help them, including handing myself over to the most dangerous Trad in the area, Polityk Borys. I’m offering myself up as bait, and there’s a good chance he’ll take the bite.

This is a dark sci-fi romance and is reverse harem. It is also part of the Planet Athion multi-author reverse harem sci-fi world.

My Review ~ Nail-biting continuation of Tara’s story 5 stars

I loved the continuation of Tara’s story, which is full of suspense and action and also some sizzling scenes of inter-species loving! The novella can be enjoyed as a-standalone but reading the first instalment is highly recommended to fully comprehend the world Tara finds herself in and the past horrors she has endured.

Her wish to help the other women who are being compelled to act as breeders by the race of Demon like Trads is her motivation to helping the rebels by offering herself up as bait to gain access to information held by Polityk Boris. Some of the scenes are very dark as Polityk Boris typifies all that is hateful about many of the Trads. Although Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus are on her side, it soon becomes clear that the heroine has bitten off more than she can chew with the depravity that is commonplace with her new owner.

Will she have to abort the mission? Can she possibly escape? How can Nad, Miko and Diarus help her when they have their own problems to face?

Once again I enjoyed the suspense and the fast paced plot and the developing relationship between Tara and her lovers. Readers of reverse harem will enjoy reading this series, especially those who enjoy tales set in a sci-fi world.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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*REVIEW* ~ Breeder; Planet Athion (Tradrych Strain #1), by Marissa Farrar

#reverseharem #dark #scifiromance #planetathion

Book Blurb

Sent in a worldwide asteroid strike, the alien race, the Trads, sneaked onto Earth to steal women away to repopulate their own planet. I, Tara Chase, am one of those women. I believed my lover to be a gorgeous human man, only to be shown the most terrible of truths… He’s anything but.

Now I’m on his planet of Tradrych, and after a three month stint in cryostasis, I’ve woken to find myself a prisoner on the verge of birthing his child. And I’m not the only one. I share the facility with numerous other women, all close to giving birth. The aliens who tend to us look like handsome demons, with scales, horns and even a tail. There are multiple Trads to every human woman, and I know once this baby is out of me, I’ll be handed back to them to impregnate again. I see the way the Trad males working at the facility look at me—with hunger in their flame-filled eyes.

When the time comes for us women to give birth to the aliens inside us, we’re taken away and never seen again.
My time is close now, but I won’t give up without a fight.

This is a dark sci-fi romance and is reverse harem. It is also part of the Planet Athion multi-author reverse harem sci-fi world.

My Review

Great start to Tara’s story – 4 stars

This is a great start to Tara’s story set in the Planet Athion sci-fi world. The tale is a harrowing one –  the heroine Tara finds herself imprisoned on the planet Tradrych, about to give birth to an alien offspring after being tricked into becoming pregnant by its father who took the form of a human when he seduced her on Earth.

The author does a good job of conveying the reality of the horror Tara and her fellow prisoners are compelled to endure and how they each deal with it in their own way. The descriptions of the cruel and aggressive race that has impregnated and kidnapped them, beings complete with horns, scales and tails, is a terrifying one and their situation  seems all but hopeless. Their immediate and long term future as breeders to the Trads is heart breaking.

It is here that the story takes off as we are introduced to Trads, Nad and Miko, and the slave Athion, Diarus, who are not at all what they first appear. I will not reveal any more but suffice to say that Tara’s future is one which is very much tied to these three males – it is a reverse harem story after all! However, the plot is fraught with plenty of tension and danger as well as some inter-species lovemaking scenes that I enjoyed immensely. Will throwing her lot in with the three males help her situation or will things only get worse?

I admired Tara’s strength of character in how she coped with her situation and reacts to the three very different sexy males who are attracted to her.

Recommended for lovers of erotic sci-fi romance who enjoy a diverting storyline and inter-species loving within the context of a reverse-harem theme.

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*ARC REVIEW* ~Trailblazer (Verdant String #3), by Michelle Diener

#spaceopera #scifiromance #suspense

 

Book Blurb

He’s on a mission . . .
She’s running for her life . . .
And if they get off-planet alive, she’ll have to trust he won’t reveal her darkest secret.

Tally Riva is not what she seems, and even she’s not happy about it. Infected, invaded, she’s not quite sure how to describe it, but on a disastrous mission to a ghost ship, something burrowed its way into her body. Into her mind.

When her commander decides the best cure for what he thinks is Tally’s trauma is to send her on the famous Veltos Trail, Tally goes without revealing what’s really behind her mental anguish. Anything to be seen as normal again, anything to ignore what she’s afraid is happening to her.

But Veltos isn’t the safe place it seems. The chosen military personnel lucky enough to be offered the chance to walk the Trail are supposed to be the only people on Veltos. But Ben Guthrie, a captain in Arkhoran Special Forces, knows they’re not. He and his team have been on Veltos for a month already, tracking suspicious enemy activity, and he’s gone undercover on the Trail in search of a satellite his superiors are sure has been shot down.

When Ben’s worst fears become reality, and they find themselves hunted by a cunning enemy through the thick forests of Veltos, Tally and Ben fight together to survive. And Tally has to decide if accepting the changes inside her will save them both, or be her doom.

TRAILBLAZER is a standalone novel, and the third full length book set in the world of the Verdant String.

Books in the series are: Interference & Insurgency (Two Novellas of the Verdant String), Breakaway, Breakeven, Trailblazer.

My Review – 5 stars

Suspenseful and adventure packed

This is an expertly crafted and suspenseful read with plenty of action and also a romance for the central character Tally. I was so engrossed in the story that after a while I felt as if I was living and breathing alongside Tally and her fellow trail walkers on the planet Veltos where much of the book is set. The story worked well for me as a standalone, although I feel that if I had read the earlier books in the series they would have only added to my enjoyment.

I loved Tally the central character. She is one strong woman despite the trauma she has recently endured of being the sole survivor on a ghost ship, where an alien entity has invaded her body and mind. This makes her vulnerable as she finds herself at war with herself. For although whatever it is that has burrowed inside her is determined to protect her, its host, from harm, she is sometimes compelled to act in ways that are at odds with her free will.

Sent on the Veltos trail to aid her recovery from what was a disastrous mission, she is at pains to conceal what has taken up residence inside her and her oftentimes new abilities. However, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her secret from fellow trail members as they find themselves the quarry of an enemy who is stalking them. It is especially difficult to hide the truth from Ben Guthrie, a member of the special forces who is on a mission to find out what really is going on on Veltos. Ben too is a strong character and a worthy mate for Tally.

I found the whole premise of the book, combined with the central characters of Tally and Ben and the secondary characters, made for a cracking scifi adventure. The read has plenty of tension and suspense as the plot develops and truths reveal themselves. I was on pins with how far Tally could control the entity inside her and how others would react when and if its presence was revealed. and also whether they would survive the enemy stalking them.

Thoroughly recommended for lovers of sci-fi and space opera who also love romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given t me by the author for a fair and honest review.

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Review~The Mercenary (The Araloka Chronicles Book 1), by Petra Landon

#spaceopera #sci-fi #romance #interspeciesromance

Book Blurb

2018 RONE award finalist for Sci-Fi / Time Travel

She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a mercenary army. Can a girl’s desperate gamble and a fierce warrior’s love turn the tide of war and rewrite the destiny of their corner of the galaxy?

In a distant corner of the galaxy, Sector Araloka burns in the flames of a deadly war. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected.

Saakshi
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces, a young Budheya rebel is sent to a distant space station to work in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.

Zoran
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – notoriously fierce mercenaries who only fight for hire. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war.

The Rebel & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, Saakshi makes a desperate gamble to trust an enigmatic stranger whose hot gaze haunts her dreams. The echoes of this unlikely alliance reverberate across the sector. As a relentless enemy hunts Saakshi, Zoran must fight with everything in his arsenal to protect her. When passion ignites amidst the embers of a smoldering war, will a warrior’s quest for justice bring a mighty Empire to its knees …

Author’s Note : A spirited and resilient rebel, a fierce warrior with a mighty heart, a fiery passion that flares amidst the debris of a deadly war and a love that will alter the fate of an entire quadrant.

This is a standalone story that sets the scene for The Araloka Chronicles – a collection of SciFi Romance tales with Space Opera undertones.

My Review

Fantastic start to a new series – 5 stars

I so loved this! I adore sci-fi romances, especially when they involve inter species relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the pairing of Saakshi and Zoran, the rebel and the mercenary – they are perfect for each other but have many obstacles to overcome before they can secure their HEA.

The plot centres on their romance but it also introduces us to the politics and the wider issues at play. The narrative contains some great world building and I enjoyed learning about the various personalities and factions within the Alliance and the Imperial Forces, the later who are holding Saakshi prisoner and who have control over her destiny. The reader is also introduced to other characters who will no doubt have a role to play in future instalments which I am eager to read.

Saakshi is a strong woman who has gone through a lot and she clearly needs protecting from an enemy who does not have her wellbeing at heart. Zoran is truly an honourable male and Saakshi is one lucky girl indeed to have him on her side as a knight in shining armour. I enjoyed the interplay between the couple for although Zoran is a very dominant male he ultimately takes great care to allow Saakshi the space to determine her own future.

Although the romance is a sweet one there are a number of sizzling scenes and also ones containing violence and threats of violence as Saakshi seeks to escape from an old foe who has a score to settle with her. Zoran will have to question his role as mercenary and decide what is important to him. Can he protect Saakshi? Will they have a future together? What impact will his actions have on the political power balance? Will Saakshi ever be able to return to her home planet?

All in all a fabulous read for fans of sci-fi romance, especially those who enjoy sweeping space operas.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

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