Tag Archives: sci-fi romance

veiled in shadow banner

Book Review: Veiled in Shadow, by Chloe Parker & Clarissa Bright

I picked up a freebie copy of Veiled in Shadow by Chloe Parker & Clarissa Bright.
veiled in shadow cover

Can one human woman seduce the most powerful males in the galaxy? I’m about to find out.

When the Aelyd mafia took my best friend, I decided to go looking for her. These aliens have been looking for brides – for vessels – and I know she must be in trouble.

Now I’ve found myself entangled with three alien crimelords, all of whom want me as their mate.

Keon, the Deviant Prince of the Ganivet Family.

Atlas, the Ganivet Boss, known as the Untouchable Man.

And Corvus, the stoic, deadly assassin playing them both.

I’ll have to tread carefully to trap these men in my web, but I’ll do it using my wits, my charm, and my body.

And hopefully I won’t get caught myself.

my review

OK, so this was pure smut and ridiculous smut at that. But it was also silly fun. You can’t go in expecting to take it seriously. The idea that any of these characters are actually the dangerous professionals that the authors tell us they are is a joke. As someone smarter than me once said, fiction doesn’t have to be realistic, but it does need to be believable (in the context of the plot). None of these characters are. Nor is the progression of the romantic element of the story believably paced. (Especially in the case of Corvus.) The BDSM aspect feels completely out of place. (Somehow, the aliens don’t know what a boyfriend is, but know what a sub is.) And the plot is paper thin, though not porn-with-plot thin. Just accept all of that in advance.

Because outside of the above, there is some fun banter, sweet moments, sword crossing, and a strong platonic female friendship. The book is fun. Just don’t think too deeply about any single part of it.veiled in shadow photo

Other Reviews:

choosing theo banner

Book Review: Choosing Theo, by Victoria Aveline

I purchased a copy of Choosing Theo, by Victoria Aveline.

Choosing Theo cover
Being kidnapped by aliens is only the start of Jade’s problems. Thankfully, her rescuers, an alien race known as the Clecanians, are willing to protect her, but she has to stay on their planet for one year and respect the rules of their culture–including choosing a husband. Jade refuses at first but decides to play along until she can find a way back to Earth.

Theo, a scarred mercenary who prefers a life of solitude, is stunned when Jade selects him as her husband. After years of being passed over, he never imagined he would be chosen and neither did anyone else. Only one explanation makes sense…the curvy enticing female must be a spy, and Theo’s determined to break her cover using any means necessary.

As Jade and Theo are forced to spend time together, their chemistry becomes undeniable. But neither can afford to bring love into the equation, especially since Jade seems determined to go home. After all, she can’t possibly stay here, right?

my review

Meh, this was fine, I suppose. It’s just that I’d seen it recommended SO MANY times, and people rave about it. So, I expected a lot more than it delivered. It’s pretty standard Mars Need Women sci-fi romance. It’s not bad, per se. But it isn’t particularly special either. As fluff, it’s enjoyable; anything more, it is not.

The H/h don’t meet until past the 30% mark. Then there’s a lot of contrived angst based on mistrust anchored in the frankly ridiculous premise that no one in this planet’s administration apparently shares important information. There’s some didactic, moralistic rhetoric and an attempt to be transgressive.

It’s here Aveline really fails, in my opinion. She tries to paint the aliens’ forcing women into procreation as doing their best to save their species and, therefore, not like the patriarchy that similarly pigeon-holes women in the real world. Except that the arguments she presents are the choosing theo photoexact same ones said patriarchy lays out regularly. Maybe she gave it prettier window dressings, but it’s still the exact same thing she tries to pass off as something different (read: excusable). And, hey, I’m not reading Mars Needs Women tropes expecting a bastion of feminism. But when it’s pretty clear that the author is trying to accomplish something she’s not, it’s a bit cringe (as the kids say).

All in all, as long as I didn’t think too deeply about the plot, I enjoyed the characters and story—it gets very sweet—as predictable as it all is.

Other Reviews:

Review: Choosing Theo by Victoria Aveline

bonded to the alien warrior banner

Book Review: Bonded to the Alien Warrior, by Kyla Quinn

I picked up a copy of Kyla Quinn‘s Bonded to the Alien Warrior as an Amazon freebie.
bonded to the alien warrior cover

An abducted human female. An alien warrior on a secret mission. A bond created by the stars.

I have a sneaking suspicion aliens abducted me last night. My first clue? The muscular blue guys with horns and tails. My second? I’m locked in a room, and I can see two suns in the sky outside the window.

I’ve no memory of how I reached this planet, and neither have the women with me. One thing’s sure—we’re stuck. Nobody tells us why we’re here, or what happens to the women who are taken by the guards and never return.

The guards are sleazy assholes, and I’m glad I can’t understand what they say to me when they leer. Apart from one. There’s something strange about the way he protects me from the other guards but pretends he doesn’t. When this fierce alien touches me my blood runs hot, and the physical effect I have on him is um… obvious.

But instead of taking what he wants, this guard offers me something I never dreamed of—a way out.

Will escaping with my alien warrior save me, or am I walking into a worse situation? Because this domineering blue guy tells me I’m his mate and that if I want to stay alive, I must do exactly what he says.

Exactly what he says? This should be interesting.

my review

This was a failure for me. I’ll grant it is competently written, even if it was a competently written story that I did not at all enjoy. For one, it’s written in the first-person PRESENT tense. No judgment to those who might enjoy this, but I HATE it. Honestly, I read this book as part of an author alphabet challenge and needed a Q. I might have DNFed very early otherwise.

But outside of the first-person present tense issue, I also make a concerted effort to avoid rape in the books I read for enjoyment. And while there is no on-page rape here, the WHOLE BOOK is basically just having to read the disgusting comments of rapists about the women they are going to rape (the game of it), the groping and torment of the women, the women’s fear of being raped, and the complete discord of an author trying to convince readers that some of these men are honorable while allowing this to happen around them. That’s it. That’s the plot…all of it. There is NOTHING in that for me to enjoy, sadly, not even the romance.

Jex is complicit in the whole rape situation and would have remained so, except that he found his fated mate among the victims. But he makes it VERY CLEAR over and over again that he only cares about protecting her (not the other women) because she’s his mate. This leaves the reader painfully aware that, if not for this mystical connection, he’d leave her to be raped and bred, just like every other woman. There is nothing romantic about that! There’s also no build-up or getting to know one another. So, the whole thing hinges solely on the instant mate bond. Again, nothing to go “aww” about. But there also is very little sex (and only at the end), so there’s also nothing satisfyingly steamy either.

All in all, I pretty much hated this. Do you know what it felt like? It felt like it was written by a man. If you know what I mean, you know what I mean. It was 100% the wrong book for my bonded to the alien warrior phototaste.

On a side note: The cover says book 1, and I read it as such. But according to GR and Amazon (and the fact that we meet the previous couple in this book), this is actually book 2 in the Fated Star Mates series. This annoys me because I apparently even have the previous book, but being labeled book 1, I didn’t even search my shelves to check if I had a previous book. So, now I’ve read it out of order.

Other Reviews:

What Evie is Reading