*REVIEW* ~ Dark Horse (Class 5 #1) by Michelle Diener

#spaceopera #scifi  #adventure #romance

I’ve been having a real binge on out of this world romances lately and Michelle Diener’s Dark Horse is just one of the books I’ve read in the sci-fi genre! Thankfully books 2 and 3 in the series, Dark Deeds and Dark Desires have also been released, so I will be able to get my fix of the series in the near future.

The series is considered a space opera – I wasn’t too sure what space opera meant and how it differed from sci-fi but according to Wikipedia it is defined as:

” a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, as well as chivalric romance, and often risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms “soap opera

Dark Horse certainly fits the bill as it has a fair amount of battle and adventure scenes using sophisticated technology, plus a romance between the respective female and male lead. The romance is on the sweet side and the focus is on the female leads and her character development. I really enjoyed the read as Michelle Diener is an accomplished and talented writer, weaving an original plot line with great character development and world building – I particularly liked the focus on AI’s (Artificial Intelligence). The series is certainly one of note for fans of the genre.

dh

Blurb

Some secrets carry the weight of the world.

Rose McKenzie may be far from Earth with no way back, but she’s made a powerful ally–a fellow prisoner with whom she’s formed a strong bond. Sazo’s an artificial intelligence. He’s saved her from captivity and torture, but he’s also put her in the middle of a conflict, leaving Rose with her loyalties divided.

Captain Dav Jallan doesn’t know why he and his crew have stumbled across an almost legendary Class 5 battleship, but he’s not going to complain. The only problem is, all its crew are dead, all except for one strange, new alien being.

She calls herself Rose. She seems small and harmless, but less and less about her story is adding up, and Dav has a bad feeling his crew, and maybe even the four planets, are in jeopardy. The Class 5’s owners, the Tecran, look set to start a war to get it back and Dav suspects Rose isn’t the only alien being who survived what happened on the Class 5. And whatever else is out there is playing its own games.

In this race for the truth, he’s going to have to go against his leaders and trust the dark horse.

My Review ~ 5 stars TOP READ

Superb

Dark Horse is the first instalment in Michelle Diener’s Class 5 series, but also works as a standalone read just as the other books in the series do. The book is a compelling introduction to the series. It is flawlessly written with an original and suspenseful premise and plot, with a strong female lead and a swoonworthy male counterpart, with strong characterisations and world building.

In it, Rose has been abducted from Earth and has been held on an alien ship where she has been treated abominably  by her over inquisitive alien captors, the Tecran. We don’t actually witness the torture she has been subjected to first hand, as by the time we are introduced to Rose, Sazo, an artificial intelligence has taken steps to prevent it happening again. Rose is unexpectedly plunged into a very dangerous situation, when the ship she is incarcerated on confronts a ship of the Grih fleet.  Not only that, but most of the Tecran crew on her vessel are dead and Rose must escape the ship to survive. She manages to escape to the adjacent planet but is then taken by the Grih, headed by Captain Dav Jallan.

Dav would like to trust this human called Rose but fears that she is not being entirely truthful about her part in the Tecran’s demise. The unexplained deaths of the Tecran crew are worrying. Can he trust her or is he putting the fate of his people and the other races in the alliance in danger? On board Dav’s ship Rose is not exactly being held captive but neither is she trusted by some of Dev’s crew and other s in the alliance. In fact her safety could well be compromised if and when she is compelled to reveal what she knows.

The read is full of adventure, suspense and intrigue. I particularly liked the interplay between Rose and the AI Sazo,  how their relationship developed and how it impacted on Dav’s relationship with Rose. Dav’s race the Grih are not unlike humans, apart from being more technologically advanced and I loved how he defended Rose from those from his race who viewed her as just another ‘orange’, his race’s term for a sentient alien being.

Rose is a character to admire. Abducted from her home planet and thrust into a life where aliens are very much a reality, she gives as good as she gets and is very willing to learn and adapt. I enjoyed reading how she grows in stature as the plot develops as she tries to secure a future in her new reality, a future which she only dare hope will include Dav for whom she is developing feelings for. As to Sazo, her saviour, she is compelled to put her trust in him and his agenda. However, Dav’s loyalty is truly torn. Dare he risk his career for a woman who is hiding the truth and whose knowledge could endanger his kind? The fate of Sazo, the AI is closely linked to the couple’s future and the story develops in an unexpected way.

An original read and highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25615831-dark-horse?from_search=true

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://www.michellediener.com/

https://www.facebook.com/michelle.diener.author/

 

 

 

**REVIEW** – Boarded, by Annie Nicholas

#scifi #romance #aliens

A love found in the depths of space…

I absolutely LOVED this novella from Annie Nicholas. Having really enjoyed the author’s vampire romance BAIT (The Angler book 1) , which incidentally is currently FREE on Amazon, I downloaded Boarded, as I was in the mood for a bit of alien lovin’. What can be better on a cold, damp and grey day in the UK than to escape to the stars? Scroll down to read the blurb and my review. Tina ❤

Book Blurb

boardedAssigned as an interpreter to a mysterious alien race, Liaison Sadie Beckit crosses multiple star systems to the remote Cyngi home world on an old space freighter. Knowledge is essential when dealing with aliens. A misspoken word or a careless gesture could lead to wars so liaisons are necessary to keep the peace, but Sadie is kept in the dark about her new employer. This mysterious species has chosen to withhold most of their culture and language information.

All she’s told is to accompany Ambassdor Nual back to Central Station. Sounds easy enough, but the lawless void of space holds many dangers.

My Review

Otherwordly Sci-Fi Romance

**** Four Stars

I just loved how this read transported me into another place, across the stars to realms created by the author’s imagination. This novella is a sexy, fast-paced read and has some real nail-biting moments!

Sadie, the heroine takes her job as a Liaison very seriously and is adept at maintaining a professional attitude. That is until she encounters the sexy Ambassador Nual from the mysterious race of Cyngi. Little is known about the race and Sadie is left well and truly in the dark when Nual not only refuses to share essential cultural information on his race and their customs, which Sadie requires to carry out her job and protect him, but appears to make his attraction to her clear from the start…..

I adored how this normally cool and collected female is taken off guard by the attraction she feels for Nual and his actions. Sadie is not sure whether his highly flirtatious and attentive acts are how his race treats all females or whether his attraction is reserved for  alone. This made for a number of fun, sexy  and sensual scenes and I enjoyed the verbal sparing between them.

Nual is a great romantic lead and I loved how he courts Sadie and how he is so protective of her, even though she can more than hold her own when danger strikes. The galaxy is a dangerous place and the couple and the other occupants of the space craft have to fight for their survival before the story reaches its denouement. Annie Nicholas does a great job of describing the different species featured in the read and how they interact.

A super novella, recommended for fans of sci-fi romance and romance fans in general.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

http://annienicholas.webs.com/

https://www.facebook.com/authorannienicholas/

https://twitter.com/annienicholas

 

**REVIEW** ~ Discovered (Forsaken Blood Series, book 1), by Em Taylor

Sci-Fi Romance

Adult/18+ read

Contains fangtastic toe-curling lovemaking scenes!

I have been eagerly awaiting Discovered from the pen of Em Taylor. I am already a fan of the author’s Regency romances and I couldn’t wait to read her spin on the sexy space Vampyr Lachlan! I am partial to sci-fi romances and also vampire  heroes and this novel combines both in a mouth-watering combination which contains a drop dead gorgeous world-weary alien Vampyr and a sassy human heroine. Scroll down for my review. 🙂

Lachlan

Book Blurb

Lachlan Ethelred Mackenzie looks like an ordinary sexy university professor, but for over a millennium, he’s been one of a number of his kind trying to steer humanity towards the heavens. But humans are slow and stubborn.

It’s been a long slow journey since the spaceship from Vampyras experienced technical difficulty near Earth in 1006 and the Vampyrs had to abandon ship, and learn to survive on a planet filled with primitive beings.

It’s now 2061, and humanity is heading to Mars – perhaps now the Vampyrs can research space folding technology away from prying human eyes.

Psychologist, Doctor Kate Maxwell is excited about going to Mars—except for one thing – she’s terrified of the journey. A space accident when she was twelve has left her with PTSD and a fear of space travel. But when the handsome Professor, Lachlan Mackenzie becomes her cabin mate she finds herself falling for him all too easily. But why is he so reticent? He’s cute, single and seems altogether perfect.

Things are getting complicated for Lachlan. He’s falling for the sexy red-headed psychologist, his long-lost daughter is on board the spaceship to Mars and she has no clue what or who he is and it seems that the leader of the Vampyr council is plotting something. Lachlan has too many secrets and too many problems. And Kate is the only thing he wants. Can he keep his hands and his fangs away from her? Does he want to? And what will happen if she discovers his secret?

All hell is about to break loose.

This book contains scenes of an adult nature.

My Review – Five Stars!

Fun, Sassy and Sensual – A fab start to a new series! 

Em Taylor’s Discovered is a fun, sassy and sensual read which pairs a sexy space Vampyr/university professor Lachlan MacKenzie with human Psychologist Kate Masters. Set in the future, in Edinburgh, in space and on Mars, it will appeal to readers of paranormal romance and sci-fi romance alike. It is a world where humans are still unaware of the existence of an alien species, Vampyrs, who have been living amongst them for hundreds of years since becoming stranded on Earth.

I loved how the attraction between Lachlan and Kate is so instantaneous. However, their relationship is far from plain sailing due not least to Lachlan’s reticence to get involved with a human again on account of unfortunate experiences in his past. There are a number of misunderstandings and some hilarious scenes as the pair circle around each other even before they embark on their mission to Mars.

Lachlan is one sexy Vampyr – he has looks and brains and manages to combine old world charm with an outlook which is not out of place in the world of 2061 when the novel is set. He tries not to give into his attraction to Kate as he wants to protect her from what his true nature is, lest  he frightens her. Nonetheless, sharing quarters on board ship inevitably leads to some intimate scenes and the sexual tension and mayhem increase and the inevitable happens! Of course initially Kate has no ideas that Lachlan is an alien, least of all a Vampyr and she is suitably shocked when this comes to light: cue a great deal of soul searching amongst some sizzling love-making scenes as to what their future together will be! The read contains a great deal of humour, but also touches on some dark issues from both Lachlan’s and Kate’s past.

I really enjoyed the premise of the novel, that of aliens having lived amongst us for centuries, giving rise to the vampire myths. The novel contains a lot of humour, in particular the character of Meg, the leader of the Vampyr Council, and her interactions with both Kate and Lachlan were priceless! If Lachlan comes across as a little world-weary from his long life as a Vampyr, Meg is positively jaded and I am curious to know exactly what she is plotting and if she too will find her other half!

I recommend Discovered to readers of sci-fi and paranormal romance. Fans of Lindsay Sands Argeneau Vampire series and Evangeline Anderson’s Brides of the Kindred series will especially love this novel. Readers who up until now are only familiar with Em Taylor’s Regency Romances may also wish to indulge. It is a fab start to what promises to be an addictive series.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note a copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

Connect with the Author

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER

 

*REVIEW* ~ Invasion Earth (Delroi Connection #1), by Loribelle Hunt

Erotic Sci-Fi Romance (18+ read)

Book Blurb

7124371 (2) In the distant future, Earth has been ravaged by war and famine, and after generations of bloodshed settles into peace only to be invaded by the alien Delroi. General Alrik Torfa needs a mate and his seers promise mates for many of his people on the distant planet Earth. He doesn’t expect her to come easily, but is more than a little surprised to find her leading an enemy army. Outmanned and outgunned, there is no way the Earth forces can win.Sergeant Major Laney Bradford has always played her part and served her people well, but the demands of the Delroi’s surrender are a bit extreme. Marriage? To one of them? Not likely. But she’s fought for peace her entire life and when surrender talks are threatened by a conspiracy led by her people, Laney must choose. Will she submit to the alien invader or lead the fight against him?

My Review

Enemies to Lovers (18+ Read)

Oh how I do love to indulge myself from time to time with an erotic sci-fi romance! Gone are the bad old days when I had to scour the bookshops for a read containing anything more than just a hint of sexual tension between the hero and a heroine (often a secondary character). Now we are spoilt with a host of erotic sci-fi romances, where the action is often centred on the emotions and physical attraction between the hero and heroine.

In Invasion Earth, book 1 of the Delroi Connection series, the heroine Sergeant Major Laney is a seasoned fighter. Both sides strive to negotiate a peace treaty. But when the alien Delroi commander General Alrik claps eyes on her he immediately realises that she is his mate. The price of the peace soon becomes dependent on Laney becoming his bride…… Women are dying out in their society and for their race to survive unions with earth women are essential.

Laney is horrified at this development and feels that her commanders have sold her out. She despises this handsome alien. However, despite her strong mind Alrik is able to plant sinful thoughts in her head….. A succession of smoking hot erotic scenes result, where Laney submits to a very dominant male.

Alrik is constantly shocked and surprised by this woman who has the reputation of being a ruthless killer of innocents amongst his people. Delroi women are not permitted to be warlike, in a society where it is the men who are dominant and the women who serve. I enjoyed the fact that Laney challenges the preconceptions of his race.

The plot has an element of suspense as treachery is afoot. Will Laney betray Alrik and the peace or does her connection to him extend beyond sinful thoughts? There are also a number of other fascinating characters we are introduced to in the plot, who feature in future novellas.

This is a short (136 pages) read which will appeal to readers who love an erotic sci-fi romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Connect with the Author

http://loribellehunt.com/

Purchase Links

Amazon US      Amazon UK

Tina’s Autumn Harvest of Reads

Summer 2013 092A Selection of Books from my ‘To Read Pile’

Like all other avid readers I have oodles of books on my ‘to read pile.’ I have winkled out just some of them to share them with you.  I hope to read some of them over the coming months, now the temperature has dropped and the nights are longer.

Of course I’m always pleased to consider any requests for reviews in addition to the books on this list, as this is a great way to find out about new authors and genres!

As the list is a bit of a smorgasbord I’ve put the books into a number of categories. Click on the book title to take you to the Goodreads or Smashwords link. Also look out for our update post later this week in which we list the books that we plan to review in the next few weeks.

Tina 🙂

Contemporary

Wild Water, by Jan Ruth –  WINNER of the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy ‘Most Popular Book’ Competition 2011. Also listed in the 2013 eFestival of Words Award Nominations. The story of forty-something estate agent Jack, stressed out by life and the feeling that he and his wife are growing apart. What happens when he discovers that she is having an affair and is pregnant? At the same time he becomes reacquainted with his childhood sweetheart, Anna…….

Captured. My Sworn Enemy, My Secret Lover, books 1 and 2, by Eve Rabi – Sargent Megan Saunders is captured by Islamiccover_captuerd_book-one-smash-premium-nat-fiverr-23012013 militants, held as a slave and forced to deliver inflammatory speeches against the US. During an escape attempt she is raped. Her rapist Reed, insists she proceeds with the pregnancy. Megan is already married and due to her inflammatory speeches, she is now regarded as a terrorist. She finds herself drawn to Reed and before long they enter into a relationship which is far beyond sexual and which has massive repercussions.

Historical

Love’s Revenge, by Monica Burns – When Quentin Blackwell, Earl of Devlyn, discovered the woman he loved was carrying another man’s child, he refused to marry her. In retaliation her father ruined Devlyn. When Sophie Hamilton, the man’s eldest daughter, makes him an offer, he seizes the chance for vengeance. Yet this could cost him what he wants the most, Sophie’s love. On the shelf at forty-one, Sophie accepts her fate until she impulsively makes a rash proposal to escape a life of servitude and right a wrong at the same time. She never expected Devlyn to accept her rash proposal and to fall in love with a younger man. Rating: Contains graphic sexual content, adult situations, and explicit language.

Disciplining the Duchess, by Annabel Joseph – The bookish Harmony Barrett has repelled every gentleman of consequence and caused a debacle so horrifying that her waltzing privileges are revoked. Through a vexing series of events, the Duke of Courtland finds himself shackled to Miss Barrett. But all is not lost. The duke harbors a not-so-secret affinity for spanking and discipline and his new wife is ever in need of it. Will the mismatched couple find happiness? Or will the duke be forever be Disciplining the Duchess? An adult read.

Daughter of the Sky, by Michelle Deiner – The sole survivor of a shipwreck, 15 year-old Elizabeth Jones is taken in by the Zulus. Six years later, she becomes useful as a spy to find out why the Victorian Empire appears about to attack. Her disguise as a soldier is uncovered by Captain Jack Burdell, who believes her tale of searching for a missing brother and he shields her. But as they explore their mutual attraction, the armies move closer and Elizabeth is torn between the guilt of betrayal and her loyalty to her Zulu family. When the battle commences she and Jack are caught in the crossfire.

Ragnar The Murderer (Ragnar the Dane #1), Lily Byrne – In East Anglia under the Danelaw, half breed Dane, Ragnar, tries to fit in but feels like an outcast. When he meets the English Aelfwyn they begin a passionate affair, but she is promised to another and forbidden to consort with Danes. When her betrothed is murdered, Ragnar is the obvious suspect. Is he guilty or just a pawn?

Fantasy

taken_to_the_ebon_court-200x300Taken to the Ebon Court, Elena Han – When a half-demon general conquers Irizel’s homeland, he claims her, drawn by her beauty and bloodline. Upon discovering she’s a healer, he forces her to accompany him to the Ebon Court–a nest of political intrigue and carnal decadence–so that she might heal his hybrid infertility, demanding that she must bear his child… An erotic dark fantasy romance. Adult read.

The Ritual (Theft and Sorcery #1), by Erica Dakin – For Chiarin, a young half-elf thief, life is about survival as she is considered an outcast and every day could bring her death. She meets a master thief Zashter, who unexpectedly takes her on as his pupil, and draws her into a dangerous adventure gathering powerful magical items for a sinister employer. What purpose these items will serve Chiarin does not know, but it soon becomes apparent that Zashter should not be trusted. Yet amutual attraction grows and there is no going back…..

Rowena through the Wall, by Melodie Campbell –  Rowena falls through her classroom wall and lands in an alternate world. Her adventures include being kidnapped, gathering unwanted husbands and falling for the wrong brother. Can she return through the wall?  Warning:  This book is not a ‘sweet’ romance – it is a sexy, funny, rollicking adventure with a spunky heroine and the medieval ‘men’ of her dreams!

Sci-Fi

Promises to Keep (Gaian Stories #1) , by Janet Miller- In the future, with Earth near barren and men willing to commit to marriage almost non-existent, a group of young women leave to find husbands in the Outer Colonies. En route they’re hijacked by men from a rebel planet called Gaia.  Gaian men can only make love to a woman they match and Dr. Sarah Johnson is the match for the most hated Gaian of all, General Garran Doranth…….

Historical Western

652181[1]Love and Betrayal on the Santa Fe, Lisa Day – In 1859 Calico Benson, a gentle bred woman wanting the security of marriage and family, answered an ad in the “Matrimonial News,” where men were advertising for wives. Along with five other women, she sets out on the Santa Fe Trail hoping to find love. Instead they found a hellish nightmare journey. Will their dreams be fulfilled or lost?

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