**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed Ann Somerville's newest out this month from Samhain Somatesthesia.
It's a near-future scifi suspense romance that s...more**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed Ann Somerville's newest out this month from Samhain Somatesthesia.
It's a near-future scifi suspense romance that satisfies beautifully. As always with her characters there's one damaged hero - Connor Hutchens - who has to overcome personal crises (in this case physical augmentations that make him a sort of übermensch-prototype - no Nazis in this book - implemented by his adoptive genius father, but probably not just to help the fact that he's blind, they don't stop at the blindness). His father being more of the mad scientist type has never bothered learning to fit into society, and hasn't taught his adoptive sons how to do so either. He keeps fine-tuning and messing with their equipment.
As a prototype the United States now have his kind of people as agents to solve the most difficult crimes (not sure how good the US atmosphere is as the author is Australian and I'm European) paired-up with a trained, normal agent in the field.
Devlin Grace, the newbie to the field, needing a change from being part of a unit dealing with child abuse, comes from a loving family run by his mother on a farm collective (oil is practically gone by this time), but his father was a criminal, too, which makes him have certain hang-ups.
If it isn't clear yet, this is a m&m romance (both of them are out) written not for the erotica titillation but in a truly romantic fashion (with some occasional hot scenes included) and a happy ever after. The outside dangers (going after a serial kidnapper and occasional killer) do help to propel the story along so the heros have to deal with each other, even when they would prefer to back off, but the main story resides firmly with the characters themselves and their mistakes and need to deal with their families and with the agency (which prohibits fraternisation of teamed-up agents) to grow up into men that can offer each other a believable love, free from guilt, and a future together. Oh and Devlin is POC, by the way.
As always, excellent if you are open to that field. The book will be available on April 20th.
**spoiler alert** The two books of the Darshian Tales I've read so far, are excellent fantasy (with only a slight touch of the m/m that Ann Somerville...more**spoiler alert** The two books of the Darshian Tales I've read so far, are excellent fantasy (with only a slight touch of the m/m that Ann Somerville is best known for). They explore racism, actions that have consequences even years later, family and community, different forms of government, learning and ignorance, mistakes and how to deal with them, love and growing up - all within a family&friend circle of characters whose focus are two men from very different cultures eventually falling in love and really having to work at making a life for both together.
In this first book there are actually truly evil characters, too (without motivation - Mykis and Senator Medus) - but as her writing gets ever better, all the other bad things that happen naturally evolve out of what has come before and it's an emotionally very satisfying story seeing how the heroes and their friends deal with life and rebuild again and again when circumstances yank security out from under them.
If you've enjoyed reading Sherwood Smith's Inda series, you'll enjoy this book, focusing mostly on Kei's point of view, but with other points-of-view occasionally as needed. The world is logical in itself, with a renaissance fantasy feel and only small but lovely psychic powers included. The focus is on the characters and dialogue, which I very much appreciate.
The book is huge but you never get bored, so I bought the second one right away and read it, too.
Don't buy this for sexxoring, the love is shown, but you get as much in romance books - which I basically see this as - long epic fantasy romance. Think McMaster Bujold Sharing Knife, I think that is even closer than Sherwood Smith.(less)