Grace Goodwin-Cyborg’s Secret Baby

Grace’s newest book, Cyborg’s Secret Baby, combines 2 of my favorite things in her series, Atlans and the Colony. I love me an Atlan, and the guys at the Colony just have a special place in my heart.

Anyway, this one is a little different, instead of starting out with the Bride being tested, we get to meet Warlord Jorik immediately. He’s been stationed on Earth, in Miami (everyone say hi to Warden Egara!) as a guard for the processing center. He really could take or leave most of Earth, but Jorik has discovered a new and abiding love for ice cream. Or maybe not for ice cream, but definitely for the beautiful woman who walks past him every day and who works at the ice cream joint down the road. Each day, after he gets off work, he walks down to the ice cream shop and tries something new. He also flirts with Gabriela, the woman he knows is his mate, and is just about to talk to her about being his mate, but then terrible things happen.

Gabriela is really excited about seeing the giant Atlan every day. He flirts with her, she’s flattered. Then a guy walks into the ice cream shop and tries to rob her. Of course, her Atlan Warlord isn’t going to let that happen. The next thing she knows, she and Jorik are at her house, and getting all kinds of freaky. And it is good. And they are both positive about how they feel about the other. But then, the terriblest thing happens. Jorik is sent away from Earth, and Gabriela can’t go with him.

Now, if you’ve read the title, you can pretty much guess part of what this book is about. There’s a baby. It’s a secret.

I have to admit, I really wanted to read this book, but from the blurb, I knew that parts of it were going to be sad, and I was dreading the sad parts. Not in a I don’t want to read this book kind of dread, just in a I know this is going to be sad, but I know that Grace always gives us HEAs, so it’s worth it kind of way. Does that make sense? And I was right.

I love all the Atlans in this book, each and every one of them, because Atlans. So awesome. Jorik is a wonderful male, and he is so caring when it comes to Gabriela, and so loyal when it comes to his comrades. He goes through a lot and still comes through as the same wonderful being as he started out as.

Gabriela is very brave. She had to be. She would probably say that it wasn’t brave because she was just doing what she had to do, but I think that is brave. Standing up and doing all the things that you have to do no matter what, and she really was at the no matter what stage, is always going to be brave. And she’s so brave and so strong. I really, really liked her. Can you tell? I think that she might be one of my favorite Grace heroines.

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I had a feeling about that person. I didn’t know what the feeling was at first, but there it was.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. Happy reading!

Sophie Kisker-Given

Given is the last book in Sophie’s Nectar of the Gods series. And I am mad and sad about that. I am not mad at Sophie for it, because I don’t think that any author owes me books or anything, but just mad in general about it, because I really like the series. And of course sad because I really like the series and there won’t be anything new in that world. But, I’m also happy and satisfied because the series ended up in a good place and in a satisfying way. So, with all my mixed up emotions, let’s talk about this book, shall we?

As you may or may not remember, human women have been pulled through portals to an alien world where they are turned into slaves. The Anterrin men are addicted to human women’s nectar, the fluids that are created when a woman orgasms. It makes the guys a little high. Because of that, human women are tied up and forced to orgasm over and over and over. The nectar slaves tend to have a very short, very painful life. It’s even worse if you end up at the palace as one of the King’s nectar slaves. Just ask Emmie. She was one of the nectar slaves, but then she ended up being hurt, leaving a burn mark high up on her thigh, ending near her pussy. That made her too ugly for anyone to want to sip directly from the source, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t still serve. They bottled her nectar.

That’s not the only way that she can serve though, the King is going to use her as currency for a bet with one of his commanders. He tells the dude that she’s one of his best nectar slaves, but doesn’t tell him about the scar. When the commander wins her, he isn’t sure what he’s going to do with a nectar slave, and a defective one at that. So he decides that he’ll take her back to his base, toss her in a hut, and let his men at her.

Garet and Dev are twin brothers, like all Anterrin males. They shared a mate, but she died a year ago. Now they are stuck with trying to raise their 2 boys and a daughter on their own. They are in the military and they are taking turns as to which one is working and which one is home with the kids. Their commander is starting to get antsy about it, so he has come up with a great idea. He’s going to send his defective nectar slave to take care of their children for them so that both brothers can come back to work. Well, you can only guess how thrilled the boys were about that.

I think Emmie is strong af. I mean, look at all the shit she gets handed and all the shit that she survives, and she still manages to hang in there and not only just hang in there, but eventually even thrive. She is able to help with things that no one thought that she would be able to do and to make things better for all kinds of people. I want to give her mad props for everything she managed to do. I think that without Emmie, the series wouldn’t have ended so satisfactorily.

I felt so sorry for Dev and Garet. They had so many terrible things happen all at once, and they are just floundering so badly. They are trying and trying and trying, but nothing is working right, not even the house. And if you ask me, I think Merila did that on purpose to them. I got a little laugh out of it. I liked how they changed after they met Emmie and spent time with her. I mean, I think some of their views were there already, but meeting Emmie and having that relationship with her changed them even more.

The High Priest is really awesome and I really liked the bit of Anterrin spirituality that we got. It was a nice contrast to all the evil stuff we usually get about the Anterrins in general.

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That punishment wall. I don’t know whether it was scary or exciting or excitingly scary. I did like the pad that she had to write lines on. That is just evil.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out! It’s available at Zon and at Eden books. Happy reading!

 

Nicole Blanchard & K Webster-The Vanished Specialist

Nicole and KWeb are once again drawing us forward on a space adventure to the planet Mortuus, where we have the 10 remaining morts and the 5 Earth women that they rescued. So far, our count is at Breccan, the Commander who has mated with Aria, who is now the head of the sub-faction of women, of which there is only one, Emery. The Vanished Specialist is her story, along with Calix.

Calix is the researcher for the morts. He’s the one who has been trying to research the Rades, the disease that destroyed his people, so that they can have a cure, just in case. He also does all kinds of other research. He has been watching over one of the women in the cryostasis, and checking on her regularly. He calls her his little lilapetal, after a flower. But, then Aria went and woke Emery up and she locked them in the sub-factions section, and now Calix can’t get to Emery.

Emery has asthma, and it isn’t a mild little case of it or anything. It’s serious, and it’s killing her. Day by day, she lays in her bed, trying to pull in a breath, and crying. But then, Calix comes, and all of a sudden, she’s no longer in a place where she’s terrified or where things are so different, she’s safe. Calix takes her to his lab and locks them in, and tells her that he’s going to cure her. So, he takes care of her, tells her that he’s going to start running some tests, and makes sure that she uses oxygen so that she can breathe.

Then consequences start happening, because of course they do.

I like Calix. I think I like him better than I like Breccan, and I like Breccan a lot. To me, Calix seems more… I dunno if caring is the word that I want, or nurturing, but something like that. He’s not giving away any of his alpha maleness protective stuff, but there’s just a… softer aspect to Calix than Breccan. Of course, that may just be because Breccan is the commander and has to consider the good of everyone, or it could be personality. It’s kind of hard to judge at this point. Calix does have a very strong sense of duty and responsibility, to his people, and especially to his mate. I think that’s a mort trait, but it definitely strong in Calix. He’s also very smart and very driven, but in a good way.

I have asthma, and have been hospitalized more than once because of it. There’s nothing like trying to suck in as much breath as possible through an opening the size of a swizzle stick. It’s terrifying. So, I really feel for Emery. Of course, when I couldn’t breathe, I was on Earth with medication that would work to stop the attack, not out in space slowly suffocating. I feel so bad for her that she feels so trapped in by all the beings at the base too. I think that she was really scared, and the fact that she couldn’t breathe well made everything worse, because if you get anxious over one thing, it starts to snowball up to more and more and more. I also think that Emery is incredibly strong and brave. She does things that she never thought that she would be able to, and she’s able to stand up for what she thinks is right.

I really enjoy this world, and I can’t wait to see what K and Nicole have for us next.

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I got so mad at Breccan in this one. I mean, I get why he did what he did, and he’s the commander so he has to make the shitty decisions, but this one really could have had some very real life or death consequences to it. Of course, he redeems himself, so I guess I won’t smack him around too much or anything.

OK, that’s all for today! Go hit up the Zon and get your copy! Happy reading!

Petra J. Knox & Raven Dark-Captured

Petra and Raven write a lovely dark RH series that I really enjoy, Saving Setora. So, when I heard they were starting another dark RH series, I may or may not have jumped for joy. And since there is no photographic proof one way or the other, no one will ever know. It’s the Schrodinger’s jump. But none of this has anything to do with Captured.

Captured is dark. There are no warm and fuzzies here. If you are familiar with Setora and you think you are going to get another Sheriff or Hawk, be aware that Malek, Z’pheer, and Raul make Sheriff look like a big cuddly sweetie.

Here’s how our story goes.

Danika has spent the last 4 years living in the Xandar Home for Girls. It’s supposed to be a great place for young women and give them a chance for a good life when they leave at 18. Well, tonight is Danika’s 18th birthday and she’s about to go audition for the biggest nightclub owner in her town as a singer. She’s really good at it and she is both nervous and excited. The head of the school is going with her, as well as Shelly, who is one of the employees of the school. The employees aren’t supposed to be friendly with the students, but Shelly is Danika’s best friend, so she’s going to go. And it goes splendidly. Right up until it goes splendidly wrong and Danika wakes up naked and far from home.

She wakes up with her hands cuffed and an alien man in front of her, as well as a huge fluffy pink beast that she briefly thinks of as Falcor, the luck dragon. Right until he opens his mouth and she gets a good look at his feet.

Even worse, Danika doesn’t understand a word of anything that is being spoken, and it doesn’t get any better when the other guys start showing up. She has no clue what they are saying, but it’s obvious that they understand her, so the only things she can feel right now is mad and scared.

Malek, Z’pheer, and Raul are Xandari men. They are members of the Order, and have been awarded their nayna. Their slave. And guess who it is? I’ll give you 3 guess, and the first 2 don’t count.

The men basically break down into the muscle, the leader, and the nice one. Raul is very obviously the leader. Malek is very obviously the muscle, and Z’pheer appears to be the nice one.

OK, here’s the thing. I really, really, really didn’t like any of the guys for a good chunk of the book. I disliked Malek the most, at least most of the time, and Z’pheer the least. Raul kind of floated around, depending on what was happening at any given time. But, I loved to hate them and even as I really didn’t like them, I started to kind of love them too. It wasn’t a quick process, not in any way, but it happened, and I kind of hated to love them. Do you know how hard it must be to write characters like that? I mean, I have DNFed books where I liked the male main characters more than these guys. That being said, I was so dragged into the book, and the guys were so magnetic, and the story was just so compelling, that even though I wanted to strangle them on a regular basis, I couldn’t put the book down. I needed to know what was going to happen next. It was such a need that it practically hurt. That’s how compelling this book was.

I mostly like Danika. There are a few times where the fact that she is 18 is really obvious. She has some black and white thinking, I think, which is something that you really have to grow out of, and as an adult, you learn that nothing is ever entirely black or white, but infinite shades of grey. Way more than just 50. She also builds walls. I mean walls that make the Great Wall of China look like nothing. I don’t blame her for a minute, because she’s been abducted, taken by men whose language she doesn’t speak, and had just about everything taken away from her. I’d be fucking pissed and put up walls too. I love her spirit and fire. She’s got a very strong core that keeps her going and keeps her from totally breaking. However, it does sometimes keep her from bending when bending would be easier, I think. But without that core, she wouldn’t be who she is, and we’d been looking at a different book.

There are so many things I like about this book is that it is all in Danika’s POV. We have no clue as to what is going on in the guys’ heads, nor do we know anything about them other than what Danika is able to find out. There are times when I really want to have a multi-POV, but this is not one of them. I think that a multi-POV would’ve weakened this book a lot. I really love that we find out what is going on in the world only as Danika does, and since we are seeing her filter, we only get certain things. I think that’s part of what makes this book so freaking compelling. Honestly, it truly is one of the most compelling books I’ve read in a good while, and considering some of what I’ve read in the last 6 months, that’s really saying something.

This is a standalone, but it is the first book in a series. I can’t wait to see where the series is going to go.

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Shelly, hmmm… That’s an interesting subject, now isn’t it?

I never trusted Laric. He was scummy.

I really like Danika’s wish, and how it works out.

OK, that’s all on this one. Go check it out! Happy reading!

Maren Smith-Her Consort

Her Consort is a super short story from the gifted mind of Maren Smith. This story originally appeared in an anthology, so if you read that anthology, you might recognize Piper and Kogan, but revisiting them is perfectly awesome.

Piper is a human salvage operator. She keeps the spaceways clear and open and makes a little bit of money on the side. One day, one of her pieces of space flotsam was a pod with Kogan Pulgoy Vovlov the Third, envoy of his home world Hogluopraeswyria, Consort-in-waiting to Her Royal Ambassador, Agi Oof’Thal, currently assigned to Earth. Only, when Piper picked him up, he wasn’t headed to Earth, he was headed away from Earth. Now, she’s been stuck with him for 2 very long years. They have spent those 2 years on a small ship picking and poking at each other, and doing everything they can do to annoy the living fuck out of each other.

When they run into a ship that needs to be salvaged, it turns into a huge thing in between the two of them. And since they have spent 2 years annoying each other, they really know to keep doing it.

This really is a quickie to read. There is a lot of tension in between Kogan and Piper, and considering there are only 2 characters, the book needs to have that tension. Maren really did well to maintain all that tension between the two of them, no matter what’s happening. There are a lot of levels going on in this story when it comes to the tension between Kogan and Piper. There is also a lot of humor, especially when Piper keeps calling Kogan an asshat, and halfway through, Kogan tells Piper that he realized that it meant that she wanted to wear his genitals on her face. It was fucking hilarious.

I love Maren’s books, and this was no different. It was a lot of fun to read, and I really liked Kogan and Piper.

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Cari Silverwood-Ruled

I have a sneaking suspicion that Cari Silverwood is a size queen. Ruled is just another piece of proof towards that suspicion. You’ll see why I think that, especially if you read it, but let’s just say that this, Drake could put a horse to shame.

Calliope has just left her brothers’ funeral. She went from being princess to soon to be installed as the monarch in waiting. It was never supposed to be her. It’s not anything that she’s ever even wanted. She didn’t receive any training in ruling. Her brothers were older, and they were supposed to be next, but when the satellites that keep their world quarantined killed her brothers, she ends up with no choice. And an evil general paints her even further into the corner because he comes in and gives her an ultimatum. She will sign everything over to him and let him rule. Or else. She has 24 hours to decide, and oh, by the way, she should go to her room now and stay there. Well, Calli isn’t all that compliant, and she remembers that her father always told her to go to a mauleon named Drake.

The mauleons are another sentient species that is trapped on this planet with the humans. Humans tend to look down on them, because you know how it is. Drake is basically the big crime lord for the mauleons and has had his hands in just about everything, including spying for the old King. So when Calliope shows up asking for help, he knows exactly what he should do. Which, you know, starts with stripping her naked and starting to have his wicked way with her. He also has plans and papers for Calli to sign. His aren’t as bad as the General’s, but they are life altering.

This is a very Cari kind of story. And I’m saying that in a good way. It’s like some of her lighter scifi stories that she’s been writing lately, with that same touch of hot sex, some humor, and some darkness. It doesn’t have as much humor as some of the other books like Prey or Blade, no talking sword for one thing, but there is still more than what would be in the Mesmer or Machinery of Desire books. There are some really intense scenes and all the conspiracies that you could possibly wish for, so yay for that. I love those things.

I like Calliope, both as Princess Calliope and as Calli. I think I prefer her best as Calli, which she’s much more down to earth, not like she is ever all hoity-toity royal, but it’s Calli who wanders the city and goes to stare at the babies and plays with the kids. I think that she is smart, kind, and will do well ruling her people, especially with Drake at her side.

Drake is smart and canny. He knows more than anyone knows that he knows. And he’s only going to let out so much knowledge at a time. I have to wonder what Drake knows at any given time. I like him. I wouldn’t trust him, unless I were Calli, not all the way. It’s hard to trust someone who may or may not know all your secrets, right down to what kind of personal hygiene products you like.

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OMG, the scene with the mauleons’ ruling council is just so hot! I mean, damn.

And Sassi the robot? Maybe not quite as good as a talking sword, but still pretty awesome as humorous relief.

OK, that’s all for this one. Go check it out! Make sure to go review it when you are done. Happy reading!

Tracy St. John-Kalquor

So, lately I’ve been working my way through Tracy St. John’s Kalquor universe. It started out as one series, but now has spun off with two more solid series, and then some shorts. I am really enjoying these books, and I keep going back and forth in between the two main series, The Clans of Kalquor, which was first, and Clan Beginnings. There’s also a new series called Clan Companions.

OK, so here’s how the books work. Kalquor is an alien planet (obviously) where women are slowly dying out. There was a virus that went through and killed off a lot of women back in the day, and what Kalquoran women are left are often infertile. To help make the most of the remaining women, and to, you know, give the guys some relief, they form family groups, or clans. Kalquor men break down into 3 distinct breeds, Dramok, Nobek, and Imdiko. Dramok are the leaders, Nobek are the warrior/protectors, and Imdikos are the caregivers. Each clan has one man from each breed in them. And they get together the same way that any relationship would. The guys meet, court, fall in love, and have awesome sex, often seriously kinky.

When the Clans books start out, the Kalquorans are at one generation or so away from extinction. The best scientists have been working on trying to figure out what to do to make their women fertile again. They’ve also taken to testing out other species to see if they can cross-breed, but so far no one has shown up. Then, voila, Earthers happen.

This Earth is a world-wide theocracy. And not a nice theocracy. We’re talking the nasty, conservative, makes evangelicals look liberal kind. It’s the kind where women don’t do anything that may draw attention to themselves, because they all know that they are just one teeny tiny step away from work camps or even execution. Women who are sexually assaulted are found guilty and punished because they tempted the men into assaulting them and they are now sexually impure. It’s not a nice place for anyone to live, let alone women. The Kalquorans come to them and ask them if they can test to see if they are compatible, because apart from one real difference, they are identical, physically. The one difference? The Kalquoran males have two self-lubricating cocks.

Well, Earth, of course, wants to have nothing to do with the demons who mate in groups, have the wrong number of appendages, and have sex with other males. Plus, you know, Earthers are God’s only creations, so they can’t possibly be related to or compatible with aliens.

Some women manage to leave the planet, but they are still watched very carefully by the government, and they are all told to stay away from the Kalquorans. But one woman didn’t listen. Amelia was talking to one of the clans while they were on another planet, and they tested her and found out that Earther women were compatible. When the Earther government found out, it turned really ugly.

The rest of the series involves clans finding their Mataras, or lifebringers, and the struggles that they go through. That’s all set against the larger story arc. You could, maybe, read them as a standalone, but you would be confused, so you really should read them all in order.

Beginnings is the stories of the various clans that show up in Clans as they get together. You get to see what brought each clan together and what they had to deal with to get there. The books aren’t in order to the way that they show up in Clans, and there aren’t as many of those as there are Clans, at least as of yet. It really is interesting to get to know those guys before they get together with their women. There is a lot of sex, a lot of it kinky, but very awesome.

The Clan Companions series only has one book so far, but it deals with one Kalquoran male who prefers males and an Earther male that is gay. It’s a great book, and is related to the greater series.

I really enjoy reading these books, and I think when I get to the last one, I’ll have to turn around and reread them.