Tag Archives: sci-fi romance

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Book Review: Eclipsed Heart, by K. Margaret & Dagmar Avery

There is a new Indie Book Store/cafe, called Spine, not too far from my house that I’m super excited about. I stopped in, had a cortado, and bought some books recently. Eclipsed Heart, by K. Margaret and Dagmar Avery is the first of two books I bought.
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The Apocalypse is coming. The Brotherhood has watched and protected this world from the oncoming darkness for as long as time has existed. Each age brings a new threat, a new way for the darkness to eclipse the light forever. It has been over five hundred years since the last major trials, and the world is due.

Isaac Tsagakis dreams of the end, and the woman he must find. Beautiful and perfect, she is the first of four that is needed to ensure the world does not end, and humanity isn’t thrust into the depths of an unimaginable hell. But finding her in a city as large as Savannah, Georgia is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. He needs to find her, bond with her and keep her for always. And he is ready.

Magnolia Morgan has no idea just how special she is. A librarian obsessed with the ancient world, she stumbles onto her wildest dreams just talking to Isaac one night. A man she would never consider talking to her, she is enraptured and excited that for once, her normal dull existence is going to be shaken up by the sexy bar owner who kisses like the devil. But other forces are at work against the Brotherhood, forces that have been working in the shadows, watching, planning…and they want Maggie as well. Isaac is going to have to rely on all his strength and experience to ensure she becomes his for all time because the fate of the world is in her hands.

my review

In a lot of ways this book is fine. The writing is fine. The sexy times are fine. The world and the plot are shallow, but fine. The editing is a little dodge, but mostly fine. The book is mostly fine. I’m sure plenty of people will enjoy it.

The problem is that it is like someone said to me, “Hey, go ahead and make a list of ALL your most hated cliches and tropes and we’ll just put them ALL in a single book for you.” Man, this story and the characterizations in it hit just about all of my least favorite things to find in a book, especially a romance.

But what really clinched it for me was two things. One, Isaac goes about bonding Maggie (and all the men knew he was doing so), but at no time is Maggie made aware of this. Which I considered problematic. Consent is a thing, ya’ll! And, two, all the men—the MC and the side characters who will be the MCs of future books—were complete douche bags, especially in the way they thought and talked about women. It’s kinda hard to invest yourself in a romance with men you literally find yourself wrinkling your nose and sneering at. And that’s before we even get into all of the gross gay, “lady boy,” and sexist jokes. Take the worst locker room, dude-bro banter and multiply it a few times.  No, I did not appreciate these MCs at all. And I have no desire to spend any more time with them.

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Other reviews:

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Book Review: Winter’s Orbit, by Everina Maxwell

I borrowed an audio copy of Everina Maxwell‘s Winter’s Orbit through my local library. It was narrated by Raphael Corkhill.

Winter's Orbit Everina maxwell

While the Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances, several planets, including Thea, have begun to chafe under Iskat’s rule. When tragedy befalls Imperial Prince Taam, his Thean widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with Taam’s cousin, the disreputable Kiem, in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control.

But when it comes to light that Prince Taam’s death may not have been an accident, and that Jainan himself may be a suspect, the unlikely pair must overcome their misgivings and learn to trust one another as they navigate the perils of the Iskat court, try to solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war… all while dealing with their growing feelings for each other.

my review

I borrowed an audio copy of this book in order to have something to listen to as I folded laundry and such. Then, I spent about a day and a half finding other chores to do, so that I could keep listening. This is both the curse and the blessing of a good audiobook.

I very much enjoyed this—the story, writing, and the narration. The story kept me engaged, the romance was worth rooting for, the writing was crisp and easy to follow (with some pointed humor in it), and the narrator did a good job. Though he (the narrator, Raphael Corkhill) did start audibly swallowing about half way through and that irritated me a little.

I thought both Kiem and Jainan were marvelous character and the difficulty of both of their situations came across well. I did think their continued misunderstanding of one another went on too long and it became notably artificial. But it did make the resolution feel like a payoff for putting up with it. I liked the side characters and the world in general. So, all in all, I’d call this a winner and I’ll be back for more of Maxwell’s writing in the future.

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Other Reviews:

Winter’s Orbit – LGBT Book Review

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Book Review: The Devil You Know, by Kit Rocha

I borrowed a copy of Kit Rocha‘s The Devil You Know from the local library. I reviewed Deal With the Devil,  book one of the Mercenary Librarians series, last year.

the devil you know kit rocha

Maya has had a price on her head from the day she escaped the TechCorps. Genetically engineered for genius and trained for revolution, there’s only one thing she can’t do—forget.

Gray has finally broken free of the Protectorate, but he can’t escape the time bomb in his head. His body is rejecting his modifications, and his months are numbered.

When Maya’s team uncovers an operation trading in genetically enhanced children, she’ll do anything to stop them. Even risk falling back into the hands of the TechCorps.

And Gray has found a purpose for his final days: keeping Maya safe.

my review

I’m having difficulty deciding how I feel about this book. By the end, things picked up and I finished the book invested and looking forward to seeing what happens next. But, honestly, I was pretty bored for the first half of the book, when Maya and Gray mooned around in the warehouse and Nina, Knox, and everyone else went off and did hero stuff off-page. I realize that Maya and Gray were meant to the the main characters. But it felt like the book was focused on the wrong couple, since one was off doing something exciting and the other…well, just wasn’t. On top of that, I didn’t really feel Maya and Gray’s connection. I know some of it was established in book one, but it just felt plopped in the readers lap here.

Having said all of that, I really liked all of the characters and how much they care for one another. They’re also admirably diverse too, which I love. Plus, the post-apocalyptic world is really interesting, I really understood why they called themselves librarians far more clearly here than in book one, and the writing style is a pleasure to read.

All in all, not a 100% winner, but I’ll be back for book three when it comes out next year.

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Other Reviews:

Review: The Devil You Know – Kit Rocha

Review: The Devil You Know by Kit Rocha