Tag Archives: sci-fi romance


Book Review: Betrayal, by Pippa DaCosta

I borrowed an audio copy of Pippa DaCosta‘s Betrayal through Hoopla.

betrayal p dacosta

“My name is #1001, and I am not ready to die.” I’d only just begun to live.

When Captain Caleb Shepperd is released from prison, all he wants to do is keep his head down and earn a living smuggling illegal cargo through the nine systems. So when a synth stows away on his ship, and brings with her a crap-ton of problems, including guilt-ridden secrets he thought he’d escaped, he’d prefer to toss her out the airlock. The problem is, she’s priceless tech, and he’s fresh out of credit.

#1001 is not meant to exist. Created for a single purpose, she has one simple order: to kill. But not everything is as it seems. Buried deep inside, she remembers… Remembers when she was human. And she remembers what Shepperd did to her. She’s not ready to die, but she is ready to kill.

my review

This is a competently written book, but that’s about all the positives I have to say. It feels very pieced together of things an author thinks readers want. It’s got an anti-hero who’s supposed to be secretly noble, smart-mouthed female pilots, big-eyed innocent damsel who doesn’t need rescue, but still fill the role, etc. etc. etc.

The problem is that none of them are even a little likeable. The ‘hero’ is constantly checking out his employee who has been very clear she wants things to stay platonic. He bemoans how she has sex with everyone but him several times. This male idea that ‘if a woman is sexually available to anyone they should be available to me’ needs to be shot into the sun to die and I 100% never want to see it in my heroes! He also goes literally brainless if a woman pays him any attention, agrees to anything, etc. I get that the author was trying to play up his tragic past and how desperate he is (sex being a retreat from his problems), but he literally just felt obsessively controlled by his dick. If there had been enough depth in the book to address sex addiction or something, I might not have minded. But it was just sloppy writing and he just felt like a douchebag.

The syth was bland and the pilot a cardboard cutout (that’s it for the female cast, other than a whore with a heart of gold). If there is going to be a romance angle to the overarching plot with one of them, I still can’t tell you who the female partner will be (or if it’ll be a poly relationship), which is annoying.

All in all, not a winner for me. I’ve like others of DaCosta’s series. But I’ll pass on more of this one. The narrator did a fine job though.


alien innkeeper

Book Review: Alien Innkeeper, by Roxanne Barbour

I picked up a freebie code for an Audible code of Roxanne Barbour‘s Alien Innkeeper.

alien innkeeper

Sylvestine Amera is the manager of the Mars Best-Tycho Basin Hotel. When her first alien visitors arrive on planet, Syl is faced with solving numerous challenges. Not the least of having Dedare Sath rubbing her cheeks in a gesture she is curious to understand. Irion customs are different than what she is used to, but when Dedare who owns a hotel on Irion asks her to leave Mars and manage his flagship hotel, she is more than ready to leave her home planet behind.

Once on the alien planet Syl is subjected to new customs, more alien encounters, adventures, not to mention romance. The only problem is now she has three aliens interested in her. But before Syl is able to choose a mate, a former girlfriend of Dedare’s and several other nemeses attempt to take her out of the equation—permanently. She can’t help but wonder if her out of the world experience is worth dying for.

my reivew

Have you ever wanted to be a hôtelière? Ever imagined yourself tending to all the minutia needed to run a large inn? I’m talking staffing, and menu creations, and billings, and reservation systems, and computer programs, and housekeeping, and tour guides, and productivity management, and employment guides, and job descriptions, and customer services? Have you? I have not. Therefore I did not enjoy this book that is almost entirely dedicated to the boring details of running a hotel, spliced in with the main character being considered amazing for implementing the most basic changes.

Sure, there was some artificial drama toward the end, based entirely on the cliched  crazy is as crazy does, jealous woman, and scorned boyfriend tropes. (I mean could it have been less creative or disconnected?) And there’s a side romance that does nothing but detract from the rest of the story. And then there is the main romance that doesn’t develop even far enough for me to know which man is supposed to be the romantic lead until he puts a ring on her finger. Seriously!

This wasn’t necessarily badly written in general. But the dialogue is very stiff (and not just because of the language barrier between the characters) and the narrator didn’t really do much to alleviate the problem.

All in all, the best I can say is that I’m happy to be finished. If you go into this hoping for something along the lines of Ilona Andrews’ Innkeeper’s Chronicles (which has a similar description) you will be very, very disappointed.

alien innkeeper

Live By The Team

Book Review: Live By The Team, by Cindy Skaggs

Live By The Team

I picked up a copy of Cindy SkaggsLive By the Team as an Amazon freebie.

about the book

SSgt. Ryder was born, bred, and enhanced as a warrior, but when he returns home to his new wife–exiled from the Army along with the rest of his disgraced team–he faces mounting anger and paranoia. Something shady followed Ryder back from the desert, and he disappears to protect his wife, but his departure leaves a vacuum filled with intrigue.

Lauren Ryder married thinking she had finally found stability, until her new husband disappeared. In six months, she’s lost everything that mattered, and now a madman has her in his sights. Ryder’s return lands her in deeper danger from a formidable enemy. As the threats escalate, so does the heat, but even if Ryder can save Lauren from the forces mounting against them, will they survive what he has become?

Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill. The Team Fear novels are fast paced, with twists and turns and a side of steamy. The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this new romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.

my review

I liked this OK, wouldn’t say I loved it, but I liked it. I liked that Lauren had volition of her own and wasn’t ready and willing to hand over responsibility of her protection to another. I liked that Ryder was so clearly in love and willing to show it. I liked that the two were already married, so the romance was a little different that the normal meeting and falling in love sort. I thought Rose and Debi were fun side characters.

However, the ‘love’ was too focused on sex (it got redundant), too much of the plot hinged on Ryder’s unwillingness to simply say what needed to be said, the super-soldier aspect was all hand-wavy, and I was actually quite bothered that ~80% of the book was dodging one established threat, but that it suddenly evaporated and the last part of the book was dealing with an entirely different, unrelated threat. I suppose it was a plot twist, but it felt more like a plot shift to me.

All in all, I liked Skagg’s writing. I’d read another of their books. But this was a so-so read for me.

live by the team