Grace Goodwin-Ascension Saga Books 1 & 2

So, over the time I’ve had the blog, you’ve heard me talk about Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride Program books. Well, today, Grace has started a new series in her IBP ‘verse. The Ascension Saga is different than her regular books. For one thing, they are a serial, so if you don’t like cliffhangers, you may want to wait until all 6 books come out. Today, we have books 1 &2. There is also a free prequel so that you can understand what’s going on with the series. Another way that the Ascension series is different is that we’re focusing on the women a whole lot more and the entire saga follows 3 sisters.

So here’s the way this works. Alera, a planet that’s part of the Coalition, has a queen, Queen Celene. In the prequel, a coup is happening, the king is dead, and Celene is trying to get somewhere safe because she’s pregnant, which no one else knows, and she knows that she and her daughter need to get somewhere safe so that her daughter can be born and grow up and then they can come take back Alera. Celene’s lit spire in the Citadel will stay that way as long as she lives, no matter where she is, so her people will know that she lives.

Flash forward 27 years and Trinity and her younger twin sisters Faith and Destiny are speeding to the Interstellar Bride Processing Center as quickly as they can, while being chased by a black SUV. They want to ask the sisters about the spaceship that landed in their front yard and took their mother from her bed. The sisters just want to get to Alera so that they can start to find their mom, and oh yeah, declare themselves to be Princesses of Alera. They make it by the skin of their teeth and stand behind a couple of huge Atlan warriors who block the black SUV from getting in. With the help of Warden Egara and Prime Nial, the sisters make it to Alera, where they are greeted by a lord that Nial trusts, and a Consort to help slake Trinity’s Aleran Ardor, which is a kind of heat that Aleran women go into. Nial has also called in a friend, Leo, to help guard the women, but he doesn’t tell them who they are. All Leo knows is that when he sees Trinity, he realizes that she’s The One, his mate.

Because it’s a serial, if I talk too much about what happens in any of the books, it really spoils the one before it. So, in vague terms, we have true love, laser battles, torture, spanking, lots of sex, and untold secrets. We also have 3 sisters who are pretty kick ass. Trinity, as the oldest, has been trained to really think of her people and her planet first and herself after. She’s also been taught to value the rule of law and all that kind of thing. Destiny is pretty much a battle goddess. If you can kill someone with it, she can use it. Faith isn’t going to kill you, but she’s not a pushover either. All three sisters have been trained in defense and the things that all good rulers need to know. Don’t mess with them. They will hurt you in all kinds of ways, in all the ways. The series looks like it’s going to really focus in on the sisters. There are going to be mates, of course, because well, it’s a romance, but I think that they are going to be not as prominent as they have been in other books. We’re also going to get a different kind of story because here we’re focusing on the women taking their planet back and trying to save their mother. I’m really looking forward to it.

There are going to be 6 books in total, and each of the sisters will have 3 books focusing on her. 1-3 are for Trinity, and 3&4 come out in November.

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ARGH! The cliffhanger in 2. OMFG. I just about screamed out loud for real. The only reason I didn’t was that it was the middle of the night and my husband gets grumpy if I wake him up in the middle of the night because of a book. I don’t need his grumpiness when I’m reading.

I have the feeling that Celene may not be found, and I’m not sure what I think about that. I guess we’ll have to see what happens.

OK, that’s all I have to say about these. Go check them out. Happy reading!

Raisa Greywood-The Tiger King

Raisa is still a fairly new writer. This is her 5th book, unless I can’t count, which, it being Friday, is always a possibility. I’m sure if I’m wrong, she’ll tell me. 🙂 Anyway, she has a series called Shifter’s Mates, which is post-apocalyptic and dystopian, involves aliens, fated mates, abductions by hostile aliens, and shifters. That sounds like a wonderful mix, doesn’t it? I think so, I really do. Now Raisa’s given us the 2nd book in the series, The Tiger King. I reviewed The Tiger Queen back when I read it because it totally blew me away. And King kept up with that breeze.

So, to recap, Renata is a tiger shifter who is living on Earth. She’s slowly starving to death because the Earth is pretty damn destroyed. A jackal friend of hers told her to go get tested to see if she can find a Ximerian mate. Then she could go off to live on Ximera and have a new life. So, she does. When she gets ready to leave, she ends up being stolen. Her last thought before being put in stasis is don’t fuck with a tiger. I’m pretty sure the last thought in the heads of a lot of people when she woke up was oh fuck, a tiger. Eventually her mate, Rakon, finds her and “rescues” her.

And now to King. Rakon and Renata, who is seriously in my top 10 BAMF heroines, have done everything that they were supposed to do in order to seal their mating. Rakon realizes that maybe he shoulda oughta’ve listened to Renata. Because of course, he should’ve. She knows what she’s talking about, but you know how men are. But they are now mated, and she is well and truly War Mate Renata. And let me tell you, I think that the title is perfect for her. Maybe she should be the commander and Rakon should be the War Mate? Just a thought.

It turns out that there is someone playing silly buggers on Ximera and Rakon and Renata are accused of kidnapping Fengar, the First Councillor. He just rolls his eyes at that, and together with a friend of Rakon’s, they all come up with a plan to deal with who is causing these problems. That leads to an empty spot on the council, and Fengar, who is very fond of Renata, wants her to be the person to fill it, to watch out for the shifters and humans who will be coming to or are already on Ximera.

As a quick note on Fengar, he is probably my favorite side character in this series. He is tricksy and wily. He’s kind of like a chess grandmaster with a twisted sense of humor. He knows what moves you are going to make before you make them, but he’s going to have fun watching you figure them out and probably point and laugh at you along the way. But not necessarily in a mean way. And for some reason, he and Renata really like each other. I think maybe she sees him as a father figure, but I’m not 100% sure.

Meanwhile, Renata isn’t all that sure she wants to be a councilor. It will mean that she has to stay in the capital, around a lot of people. Twitching tigers don’t do well around a lot of people. All she really wants to do is to go to her mate’s home, swim in the ocean, catch giant denizens of the deep, and make cubs.

I am once again impressed with Renata. I mean, she isn’t a damsel in distress, pretty much ever. She is the damsel who causes distress. I mean, even without her tiger self, she is pretty much just totally badass, but add in that tiger, and get the fuck out of the way, and don’t piss her off. Don’t fuck with anything that she considers her, and really? Probably laying down and covering yourself in steak sauce would be your best idea. I dunno, do tigers like steak sauce? Maybe just some au jus or a nice horseradish. I like Rakon. He can be an idiot sometimes, but really, who can’t? However, he pretty much recognizes who and what his mate is and is pretty much willing to let her be her without trying to hem her into anything. Of course, she would probably knock his block off if he tried to, but he doesn’t stand in between her and danger or make her live in a padded room.

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I love the bear and the tiger swimming in the ocean and catching the big old fish. I mean, how much fun was that? Neither of these ladies have been able to just let go and be themselves and have fun on a sunny beach near the ocean ever in their whole lives. They’ve always been subsisting and had to hide, so getting to just be out there in the open has to feel amazing.

I was fascinated by the history we got on shifters, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that info helps with the search for more shifters, both out in space and on Earth. I’m hoping we can see more about her family’s history as well as the history of other shifters.

So, that’s all I have to say about this one. You really, really need to read this series. The next books will be coming out in the next couple of months. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Rogue Cyborg

Yay! More Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride universe. Rogue Cyborg is a combo of two of the off-shoots of that ‘verse, Rogue 5 and the Colony. I love the folks in the Colony. I think they are getting a bum rap from their various worlds. I guess I can understand why they have put their veterans who have be partially integrated by the Hive in a safe part of space so that the Hive can’t get to them again, but until recently, their families wouldn’t even get to see them. Thank goodness that’s changing, due to Prime Niall.

So, here’s our book today. Gwen is a human woman who was a Coalition fighter. Remember, Earth is the only planet that sends women out as fighters. As a feminist, I want to say yay! Women out of the front lines of the war because they are able to go out and fight too. But, the part of me that loves these big alpha aliens wants to say that they have the right idea keeping women off the front line and protected. It doesn’t keep me from reading and enjoying the books anyway. But back to Gwen. She was captured by the Hive and has extensive integration. She’s also the only single woman on the Colony, which is something that disturbs all the males of the Colony. So, some of the knuckleheads decide they know what they are going to do. They are going to have a big tournament and fight in the Pit to decide who is going to claim her and be her mate. When Gwen finds out, she’s pretty damn pissed. So she goes down to the Pit to have it out and get their heads on straight. The thing is, with her integrations, she’s faster and stronger than all the guys on the Colony, so she walks into the Pit and starts throwing around Prillons and Atlans. They refuse to fight back because she’s female, and the Governor shows up and tells the boys that this isn’t OK, but tells Gwen she has to pick a mate immediately. If she picks a mate, he’ll let her get back out and into the fight. So she chooses. She chooses the one male who turns her crank.

Makarios is a Hyperion and Forsian hybrid from Rogue 5. He’s a smuggler who was betrayed by a traitor which got him caught by the Coalition and locked in the brig. But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst of it is that while he was trapped in the brig, the Hive captured the ship, and he got several implants. Now he’s free of the Hive, but he’s imprisoned on the Colony. He can’t get back out into space, which is where he wants to be, he just has to exist. Since the very first time he saw Gwen, Mak has wanted her. But he’s never going to take a mate. You see, there’s a very good chance he will kill her if he mates with her completely. You see, the Hyperion part of him wants and needs to bite his bite his mate. But the Forsian part of him produces a poison that will kill the female he mates with. Gwen knew that he didn’t want to have a mate, so she chose him. The Governor’s happy, her lady bits are happy, she gets to go out and fight, and Mak gets to escape out into space.

Lately, Grace has been writing a lot of female warriors into the series, and we’re seeing a lot of women who are continuing the fight with their mates right there next to them. I’m thinking that is pretty damn awesome. But Gwen is like warrior squared or maybe even cubed. She is definitely the strongest female we’ve seen thus far, physically, and I think probably the strongest mentally as well. She’s fierce, ferocious, and a fighter. She’s not about to let anyone just choose her fate for her or turn her into a protected woman. She can protect herself, TYVM. Mak is perfect for her. He is strong enough to stand with her and he respects her strength and spirit. I love the two of them together. I really want to see so much more of these two, and they are now up in the top 3 of my fave pairings in the series.

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OK, Gwen is seriously kickass. I mean, she kills 9 Hive on her own. And not by shooting them, she rips off heads. Then she stands there, stark-ass naked and blue in the poison air. That’s just so damn impressive, even if the Hive added stuff to her, she had to have had some serious ovaries beforehand.

I’m glad that Rezzer got to handle some things. That makes me happy, especially since he’s one of my favorites.

OK, that’s all of this one. I seriously cannot recommend the entire series strongly enough. There’s sweet stories, hot stories, spanking stories, menage, and just about every other thing you can possibly want. Go check them out. The nice thing is you don’t really have to read them in too much of an order, at least the main books. I would definitely suggest reading them in order for the Colony books and the Rogue 5 books. And probably the Everian books. You know what? Ignore what I said and go read them all in order. Happy reading!

Lee Savino-Owned by the Berserkers

Lee’s back with her Berserkers. They are a bunch of Viking and ancient Celtic warriors who were changed into wolves by magic. They have three forms, the man, the wolf, and the monster. The Berserkers walk a fine line between being sane and crazed. The monster can eat away at their sanity. Because of that, most of the Berserkers have paired up in brother bonds, to help keep their sanity intact. It wasn’t until the Alphas found their woman and found out that she was something called a spaewife that they learned that spaewives can mate with them and can control the beasts. There were originally four sisters, but then the Berserkers found out about an abbey filled with orphans who are spaewives. So, they raided the abbey and took all the orphans with them.

In Owned by the Berserkers (Berserker is a fun word to type), we get the story of another one of the orphans, Fern, and her mates, Svein and Dagg. This book flashes back and forth between the present and the past. We get to see what happened at the raid and what’s currently happening.

At the raid, Svein and Dagg discovered Fern and carried her away. They knew that she was her mate and they decided that they were going to be very careful with her and woo her before they told her. All Fern knew is that she felt safe with them and that being with them held off her visions of the skeletal monster who wanted to have her. She got to spend just a few blissful days with them before that monster, the Corpse King, decided to attack. He managed to make Svein and Dagg crazy and cause them to do things they never would otherwise.

Now, Fern lives with all the other unmated spaewives and orphans. They live in a lodge on the mountain, isolated from all the Berserkers so that they don’t cause any problems. When each of the women goes through the heat that each spaewife goes through, she is mated to the Berserkers who are their mates. The women get to see some of the already mated women from the orphanage, but other than that, they are kept under close guard.

Fern has problems though. One is that her visions of the Corpse King are coming back and they are coming back stronger. All she knows is that she was safe with Svein and Dagg. And there are wolves that are howling around the edge of the mountain. She’s been feeding them on the sly, but she finds out that they are to be driven away after a blizzard. That’s when Fern knows that she has to do something.

Fern, Dagg, and Svein are going to be my second favorite trio, after Sage, Rolf, and Thorbjornn. Fern is an incredibly strong character. She knows that she has to do something and she goes out and does it, even after she’s been warned that the wolves howling at the mountain are monsters with nothing left of their humanity and that there’s a horrible blizzard on its way. She goes out and does it anyway and nearly dies from the weather, but succeeds at her overall goal. I was sad about some things in this story, because, well, they are sad things. I was also worried about some things. But, overall, I was hopeful and knew that Fern would be successful in her goals. She was too determined to win for her to manage to fail. If you haven’t read any of the Berserker books, you could read each as a standalone, I guess, since each is a story in and of itself, but they are all part of a larger story, and you will like them more if you have read the ones before it.

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I’m looking forward to seeing how Fern’s new power is going to fit in with the rest of the story. I do love that the women are powerful and that they are actually powers in their own right, not just because they are mated to a Berserker pair. I think that’s pretty awesome.

I’m looking forward to seeing Juliet’s story. I know that Jarl has something to do with it, so it’s going to be interesting to see. She may be the first Berserker bride without a flower name. Maybe she needs to have a name change.

OK, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check out both the Berserker Saga, for how the story began, and the Berserker Brides for how the story is continuing. You won’t be sorry! Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Claimed by the Vikens

Let’s get matched to our perfect mates, shall we? That means it’s time to go to the Interstellar Bride Program’s Testing Center in Miami again and read Grace Goodwin’s latest book, Claimed by the Vikens.

The Vikens are divided up into 3 sectors. There used to be a lot of division between the 3 sectors but once the triplet kings were reunited and got their bride, the sectors also reunited. This led to a lot of Vikens getting together in trios and testing for brides together, but not all of the warriors did that. Axon, Zed, and Cader did not.

Violet has a twin sister named Mindy. They never spent time apart. Mindy is the more flirtatious one, vivacious, and impulsive. Violet is the complete opposite. She tends to stay in the corner, is quieter, and everything is organized. When Mindy has a bad breakup, she suddenly goes to the testing center and gets sent to Trion. The only notice that Violet got was a text right before she left telling Violet that she was going to Trion. That was 8 long weeks ago, and Violet has been miserable ever since. So she decides to go and get tested. Her testing dream is vivid and HAWT and involves 3 guys, which she didn’t think was a Trion thing, but she’s more than willing to go with it. When Warden Egara tells her that she has a match, Violet jumps at the chance to go, right until she’s told that she’s matched to 3 Vikens and not to Trion. That’s when Violet balks, refuses the match, and goes home.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, 3 hot warriors are waiting at the same transport pad for their bride. It’s obviously a mistake, since they all wanted their own bride. When they find out that nope, they are all matched to the same person and that she’s refusing to come, the guys decide that they will just have to go find her, and so transport to Earth.

There are a lot of things that each of the characters have to go through to get to the end. Calder could’ve used a really good dope slap more than once. He needed to get out of his own way and didn’t always do that fast enough. Axon and Zed got with the program faster. Violet had all her own issues, both from realizing that there were 3 hot guys that wanted her and trying to understand it’s OK to get what she wants, and from missing her sister. There’s also a small matter of a time/space warp that makes time go differently on different planets, but that’s just a mere trifling. It’s a great story and one that made me cry in places. My husband kept poking me and asking me if I was OK because I was sniffling. I’m turning into a softie in my old age. But, there were sad parts, so what was I supposed to do? Apparently, I do still have a heart. Who knew? Anyway, I honestly can’t recommend Grace Goodwin and all the books in this series enough. I’ve suggested them to lots of people because they are great stories with a good mix of tension, sex, story, romance, and adventure. So, go check them out.

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I was mad at Calder for trying to keep pushing the whole 1 mate thing, even after Violet had stated that she wanted all three of them. It seemed like he was more in love with the idea of her than he was with her. But, he at least got better.

And yeah, Violet told them that she would take the 30 days to choose which one would be her mate, but she figured out pretty quickly what she wanted. Axon and Zed were more than happy to help her with that.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. Go read Grace’s books. Happy reading!

Grace Goodwin-Cyborg Fever

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you probably know that I love Grace Goodwin and her Interstellar Bride series. So it should come as no surprise that I devoured her newest book, Cyborg Fever.

Cyborg Fever hit some of my total fave buttons in this world. It’s one of the Colony books and it’s an Atlan. More than just being an Atlan, Anghar is one of my favorite Atlans. He’s been a secondary character in more than one book, and was pretty pivotal in the last IBP book. So I was so very, very happy to see that he finally got his own book. I love the Atlans. There’s just something about those big guys and their inner beasts that’s just so very awesome.

The Colony is where the Coalition fighters who have been “tainted” by the Hive. They were taken prisoner and have had Hive implants. They are sent to the Colony instead of going back to their own planet. The Colony is deep in safe Coalition space and where the Hive can’t reach them. At least, theoretically. For a long time, those guys got no respect and no chance at a bride, but with the new Prime on Prillion having Hive implants and a human bride who told him that it was a shame that the guys on the Colony were treated that way because they are vets and deserve respect, the males on the Colony now have chances to get a bride. There still aren’t a lot of brides on the Colony, but that’s slowly changing.

Ok, on to Angh’s story. We’re two years after the last book and he’s been living on the Colony for those two years. He’s tired, bored, and lonely. The people on the Colony are either mining for resources or protecting the miners and those resources. That’s important for the Coalition, but for men who were trained to be fighters and who have a whole bunch of rage because of what the Hive has done to them, it’s just not enough. One way that they deal with it is to fight in the Pit. The guys can take their aggression out on other guys who are in the same place. Angh is one of the regulars in the Pit. He figures that’s the only place he will ever get some peace because he’s never going to get a bride. He tested for the program a couple of years ago, but no match yet. Then, he sees her.

Kira teaches at the Coalition’s academy, but that’s not her only job, she’s also a member of the Intelligence Corps. She goes in and helps extract high-profile prisoners from the Hive before they can crack their minds. Those prisoners generally have info that would be very hurtful to the Coalition if the Hive were to get it. But she does that on the down low. Her public job is being a teacher. Right now she’s supervising some students who are just about to graduate who are doing a course on the Colony. They are using the caves for simulations since it will be similar to a lot of places where they will be fighting the Hive. She has a friend who is a student and together, they decide to go see the fights in the Pit. That’s when she sees Angh and fixates on him. She decides that she can have one glorious night with him, but she can’t give him any more than that, because the IC basically owns her. That turns into a huge problem for Angh, because while they are having their wonderful night, he offers her mating cuffs. Too bad he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone, with the cuffs sitting on the bed.

OK, you know what time it is. I love Kira and Angh’s story. I love it so hard. It isn’t an easy journey for anyone. There are a lot of shitty things that happen. There is a vice-admiral that didn’t get near what she deserved. Not nearly. I really wanted to go smack the absolute shit out of her, because damn. That was just wrong. If you love the Atlans, this is a definite book for you to read. Angh has been a fan favorite, and like I said, is my fave Atlan. I’m pretty sure that I kind of hate Kira for ending up with him. Oh well, at least he’ll be happy, right? Watch out for a guest appearance from Denzel Washington.

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OK, that vice-admiral knew what was going to happen when you threaten an Atlan’s mate. Of course, that was in her plans, devious bitch that she was, but I want to know if she was aware just how far that he would go. I’m betting she didn’t expect him to go to the extent he did. And Kira really needed to kick her ass.

I can’t wait to see more of this world. I never can. Of course, I think Grace may be sadistic to make us wait. Of course, I think most authors are more than just a little sadistic. So, go check this out, along with all the other books, and get the mad Atlan love. Happy reading!

Lili Zander & Lee Savino-Draekon Destiny

Lili Zander and Lee Savino have taken us back to the Prison Planet with everyone’s favorite exiles. Today, we have a date with destiny with Draekon Destiny.

OK, hopefully by now we all remember the backstory for the Draekon books. A bunch of human women crash-landed on the planet where the Zorahn send the Draekon for exile. When two Draekon see the woman that they are fated to mate with in a triad, the guys turn into dragons. Once they have completed the mating, the guys can shift whenever.

The stories all feature one particular trio, but they are part of a larger story arc. You could read them as a standalone if you wanted to, but you won’t get as much out of them as you would if you were to read them in order.

So far, all the books we’ve read look at the run up to the mating and finding the HEA. Destiny is different. Instead of looking at a relationship building to an HEA, we find out what happens when the HEA isn’t forever and the relationship breaks.

Our poor Felicity. She’s had a very shitty time of it so far. Her mother died when she was young and her father couldn’t hack it as a parent. So he dumped her off with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. They only saw her as free labor and her cousin actively made Felicity’s life miserable. When she was chosen to go to a new planet, she thought that her life would be better. Then she crashed on the prison planet. That’s where Xan and Lud come into the story. They courted her and wooed her and she thought she had her HEA. Then everything went pear-shaped.

The bad guys got ahold of the pieces they needed for the cloak ship, but they needed someone to pilot it. Because of the asteroid belt around the planet, they needed someone with Draekon reflexes, which means they needed someone mated. Those assholes knew that Lud had a secret and that he had been looking for a communicator. They blackmailed him into helping them and being their pilot so they could all get off the planet. They were fine with Xan going, but since they were assholes, they weren’t about to let Felicity go with. When Felicity finds out what’s going on, she discovers that her guys told the bad guys that they were going to leave with them, and leave her there.

Now, remember, she’s been abandoned and used her entire life, so she’s devastated. These two aliens who have taken over her heart have just used her to become dragons and are now leaving.

We see a lot of this in flashback. Then we also have what’s happening currently. It’s an interesting way to do it, and we can see how each thing that happened affected each of our main characters. Writing different POVs can be hard and then writing those different POVs in present time and flashback must be even harder. Lili and Lee did a really good job of it. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the things we found out in this book are going to impact the things in the next books.

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I couldn’t take sides at all in this one. Everyone was hurting and they were all hurting each other without even meaning to. I think this book is going to be my favorite in the story. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved all of them, and I love building up to the HEA, but I also like finding out what happens after what the HEA was supposed to be and when things get broken.

I can’t wait to find out more about the big find and to see if they are going to find Rahit’vi. Looks like it’s going to be great.

OK, that’s all for today, go look at all the Draekon books and find out what’s going on. Happy reading!

I’ll be taking a break from reviewing tomorrow. I have a busy day coming up tomorrow, but I’ll be right back at it on Monday, and I have some reveal/boost/excerpt type posts coming up tomorrow, so you will still see something from me. Have a great weekend!