Funny, exhilarating, crazy and sometimes violent read about a mechanical alien armor system who attaches to a human after a...moreReviewed on Hearts on Fire
Funny, exhilarating, crazy and sometimes violent read about a mechanical alien armor system who attaches to a human after accidentally (on purpose) crash landing on earth.
This was certainly something unexpected in the m/m genre. The blurb explains it that McClane is an armor system that has to attach to a host to survive. The problem he finds is that he’s not compatible with the host chosen for him. In fact, he feels nothing but contempt for him. A surprise to him as he wasn’t sure he was supposed to have feelings at all. His efforts to detach from his chosen host and also to survive leads to a crash landing on earth right near a military base.
The US military upon discovering these aliens react in a predictable manner accidentally annihilating all but one of their alien guests. This alien system manages to escape with the military in hot pursuit and decides to attach himself to the first suitable human he sees which so happens to be Riley Cooper.
Riley Cooper is a cowboy bartender on the run from his Russian mob boyfriend. But Misha Tokarev is a man in love (obsessed) with Riley and he’s not about to just let him leave. What ensues is a kind of a love triangle, although not technically a m/m/m story, between Riley, Misha and McClane all against a backdrop of being pursued by the military & Misha’s mob family who aren’t too keen on Misha’s male choice for a partner.
Add to that Misha’s strained relationship with his family which includes a mob boss dad, an ambitious sister who wants to take his place in the hierarchy and a mom who insists on planning his engagement to a woman even though he’s made it clear to his family he’s gay. It’s a perfect storm of aliens, alien hunters, mobsters and current, former and future lovers.
Despite the pile up of bodies and the questionable ethics involved, this turned out to be funny and entertaining and even quite a nice little love story, though it takes a back seat at times to most of the action. There’s lots of good side characters like some of Misha’s associates and some of the military personnel that add good color to the story. Despite or because of its eccentricities I ended up really loving this one.
I really enjoyed reading about all the characters. There were multiple points of views presented which surprisingly enhanced rather than detracted from the storyline. All the characters are flawed but really committed to what they’re doing so you end up almost admiring them even when they display questionable morality. You certainly can’t take it all too seriously. I mean your main romantic hero is a contract killer here. But this was just a whole lot of fun to read and it was great to watch Riley, McClane and Misha bond. There was a lot of good humor and it was even touching at times. This is recommended for those looking for an entertaining read and those who love a quirky story with some military, cowboy, Russian mob & sci fi action.(less)
This is an engrossing sci fi about Adam Yugo who's part of the Protectorate, a group of people engineered for perfection, who's exiled once it's disco...moreThis is an engrossing sci fi about Adam Yugo who's part of the Protectorate, a group of people engineered for perfection, who's exiled once it's discovered he has a genetic flaw. But because he doesn't just go away quietly and ends up linking up with fighter Lochlan of the shunned Bideshi people, he & everyone he's associated with become targets.
Great story, although I kept waiting for a better explanation on why everyone decides to help Adam Yugo as it causes nothing but trouble. But despite all the prophecy talk there was no big reveal so it seemed there was a lot of sacrifices just because they were nice and couldn't turn someone away. I wanted more than that so that was a bit disappointing.
There's a romance that eventually develops between Adam & Lochlan but it's not given a lot of emphasis. Lochlan is kind of a jerk to Adam for most of the time and then suddenly they're together in some way. I'd liked to have seen more of the two of them & a relationship progression. Adam's friendships & the other characters like Ixchel the elder woman seer are given equal or even more space in the book.
This is an interesting book. It's got good world building even if it didn't always make logical sense and sometimes dragged itself into mystical mumbo jumbo. But all the trimmings, heros, villains, love & war make for a fun space opera. Since the m/m romance portion is slight, I'd say this one is more for people who like sci fi dystopian style books. If you do I think you'll enjoy this. (less)
3.5 Stars This is one of those stories where I enjoyed the sci fi portion but found the romance was more weakly developed. P...moreReviewed on Hearts on Fire
3.5 Stars This is one of those stories where I enjoyed the sci fi portion but found the romance was more weakly developed. Prez is the captain of the ship Outcast taking odd interplanetary jobs with the goal of earning enough to get a better ship. He has finally secured a job that’s going to net him the big payday and make his dreams come true. The trouble is his co pilot is indisposed having been changed into an arachnid and he needs a replacement stat. He ends up hiring Lan from the planet Aldor.
Everyone on the ship are basically outcasts. Prez and his crew are half breeds who’ve escaped from the planet Akilia. They’re treated like second class citizens. Prez in particular has had devastating experiments done on him in the past. But present day Prez keeps up a very happy appearance. He loves to drink & carouse and go to brothels and have sex with other aliens. And for those who’re interested, yes there’s tentacles involved and no there’s no cheating. It takes our main couple forever to get together so there’s plenty of time to get up to no good & into trouble.
The new copilot Lan is also an outcast with his own set of issues. He’s dodged a binding ceremony & is adrift from his planet like an alien runaway. He’s a telepath so he’s unused to talking & has a difficult time at first adjusting to the loud, rollicking crew. He does feel some kind of connection to Prez.
This story had an episodic feel to it like tonight on Wacky Aliens in space, we’ll rescue an untouchable princess, save an Aliens life, find true love and then we’ll visit the Blue planet. There’s a lot of good humor & fun. Some of it is hokey and some of it sad and there’s even a message in there about prejudice and its consequences.
But Lan & Prez as love interest have little chemistry. At one point, Prez asks Lan why him, and Lan has no answer. The reader has no idea either but it’s a little like a fated mate situation. Prez & Lan communicate in such an impersonal way, it’s hard to connect to them as a couple. I like Prez & Lan’s story and background but they come across as friends not lovers.
Which made me wonder if the author just had trouble portraying strong emotions. But there’s a scene later in the book where Prez flashes back to his troubled past with Garlo. In this terrible relationship the author manages to show an entire range of emotions. I wished we could have seen some of that passion with the main couple.
But there’s a lot I did enjoy about this book. I found the world created interesting and I would read more stories set in this universe. I’d recommend this to people who enjoy sci fi stories. Just lower your expectations on the romance.
There’s a sci fi story here about Kyrus being a rare astral mage that everyone wants and Tilbarr secretly trying to destroy...moreReviewed on Hearts on Fire
There’s a sci fi story here about Kyrus being a rare astral mage that everyone wants and Tilbarr secretly trying to destroy a destructive substance, but mainly this is about the two men attempting to rescue each other. We start off with Tilbarr saving Kyrus from the hands of Captain Falland. But once Tilbarr realizes Kyrus true identity, he knows that the Confederated Authority (ConFed) will be relentlessly pursuing them as long as Kyrus is on board. Tilbarr realizes he’d be better off if Kyrus leaves the ship and becomes someone elses problem. But Tilbarr’s dilemma is that not only is he instantly attracted to Kyrus, he also feels very protective of him as well. How Tilbarr and members of his crew respond to this dilemma & the actions that Kyrus take is the basis of this story.
This is a nice space opera that did have me turning the page to find out what would happen next. It also had some of my pet peeves as well. The moment Kyrus & Tilbarr meet they’re immediately attracted to one another to the point where they’re totally distracted due to all their body parts throbbing ( a little purplish prose here) even though there’re nothing but chaos going on around them. I just have trouble believing that when your life is in danger is the time where you’d be overwhelmed by your sexual attraction. It just seemed ridiculous that they would be in such an aroused state then. Even if they’re great multi-taskers, I still found the timing of it ridiculous.
My second problem was that there was a lot of telling instead of showing .For example, Kyrus & Tilbarr get together sexually very quickly but their other interactions are slight. Instead of showing the progression their relationship take, we hear through Tilbarr’s thoughts that he & Kyrus have had long deep conversations sharing each other’s life stories & that they’ve grown closer & their feelings have deepened. It would have been nice to have seen that happen.
Another example occurs when first officer Slydane has done something that has dire consequences. He has to tell Tilbarr what he’s done but he’s afraid of his reaction. The reader is all set to read about this confrontation but it’s only when we get about six paragraphs into the next chapter that we realize Tilbarr and Slydane’s conversation has already happened. This really diluted the impact of the story as we don’t see the confrontations & the conflict when they occur. Not all of the actions & activities are off the page, but more dialogue and less exposition would have improved this story.
This is not exactly my taste in sci fi. I found Tilbarr & Kyrus are a little dramatic about their feelings for each other. Their relationship has that highly emotional dynamic that I’d imagine you’d see in a Yaoi fantasy. It’s not to say they aren’t appealing characters in their own way. This is a decent start to a series with enough left to explore that’d make it interesting. I’d recommend this to people who enjoy sci fi where the main focus is on the two main characters and their relationship
ETA: Since my review some ratings on this book appear to be suspicious coming out on the same day with the same ratings with the same friends list etc. As always, buyer beware. (less)
4.5 I wasn't sure where this was going at the start but this turned out to be a very good sci fi romance. There was some confusion in the beginning du...more4.5 I wasn't sure where this was going at the start but this turned out to be a very good sci fi romance. There was some confusion in the beginning due to the difficulty distinguishing names and ranks but I do prefer this style where we're shown rather than just told the story. (less)
This is a competently told story about a young man, Jason who decides to become a bondmate a kind of slave/prostitute, to Devin a wealthy business man...moreThis is a competently told story about a young man, Jason who decides to become a bondmate a kind of slave/prostitute, to Devin a wealthy business man. What is nice is that we get the point of view of both Jason and Devin. The two characters are likable and there's nothing that stands out as illogical to the plot. However, the story does not have the tension you would expect about a story of a free man who suddenly finds himself not so free. There's barely any conflicts between the two and the roles they play.
In addition, this story is supposed to be futuristic/sci fi but there's not enough elements of that to really satisfy. It's written as a modern story with just a couple elements different like how they eat and the fact that they can have bondmates. The bondmate idea doesn't feel like a cool concept as it just seems like you've hired a prostitute. So it's a contemporary story with an occasional spaceship.
While not a angst lover, a story about slave and power loss should not be so nice and clean. This story is missing at the minimum, the psychological drama of being put in this position because you have no choice. Instead this feels passionless. I found this to be a nice but rather bland story that needed more heat and more sci fi elements to jazz it up. (less)
This is a sci fi where the author went through the trouble of showing us a human like society complete with own culture and language( a glossary of te...moreThis is a sci fi where the author went through the trouble of showing us a human like society complete with own culture and language( a glossary of terms is at the end) but then has the human Isaac constantly calling his lover babe. This book is just like that; a mix of originality, creativity and utter lameness.
Just when you're enjoying the space adventure aspects, then we have the two protagonists meet and ugh it's instant love and fated mates alien style. Then Turk gets involved in an interesting political drama, moral dilemma but then the author decides to move the story along by having Isaac totally queen out. I liked this book for the most part but the author's habit of lapsing now and then into played out tropes prevents me from rating this higher. (less)
This is a story of Pasha who is a slave and believes that's who he's always been, that is until he runs into Captain Griffin Hawk who informs him that...moreThis is a story of Pasha who is a slave and believes that's who he's always been, that is until he runs into Captain Griffin Hawk who informs him that Pasha is really King Helios Dayspring. The story is about Helio's escape & eventual return to his people. In the meantime, Helio & Griffin who are former lovers, rekindle their romance. This is basically sci fi lite with limited world building. It's still enjoyable to read about Helio & Griffin although I wanted to see more of the reunion with Helio's family & people. (less)
Amy Lane books seem to share certain characteristics. Her characters often react in highly dramatic fashion, weeping copiously, hand wringing, throwin...moreAmy Lane books seem to share certain characteristics. Her characters often react in highly dramatic fashion, weeping copiously, hand wringing, throwing up etc. & are inclined towards self-induced suffering. It's like an old joke: Doctor, it hurts when I do this. Doctor: Then don't do that. This advice is ignored in your typical Lane book & the characters instead veer towards taking a bad situation & making it worse. I've noticed this especially in Lane's fantasy works & specifically in The core of Alpha.
The basic storyline is interesting.What if a catastrophe happens, your entire world is destroyed & you're the only one left alive. This is what happens to 12/13 year old Anderson Rawn. For 10 years he's stuck inside a shuttle alone, forced to entertain & keep himself from going crazy. To relieve his loneliness, Anderson creates a substitute family of holograms.
Despite the contradictions in what holograms are & what can they do (why are they able to have physical interactions, leave marks & scars?), this portion of the story kept my interest although I was impatient with some of the slow development. Without giving too much away, yes Anderson comes to eventually suffer more in this situation and yes it’s self created misery & yes it could have been alleviated by his actions or those of his ‘friends.’
The story actually begins to collapse when Anderson’s shuttle lands on a space center 10 years later. We’re introduced to CJ, who is some kind of engineer but for some reason Anderson is placed in his care. They are attracted to each other which leads to dire warnings from relatives and friends that Anderson is about to blow up or fall apart any minute. This was irritating & a very non subtle knock you over your head type of foreshadowing.
Most of this second portion of the book rehashes the same events that happened earlier, only this time from CJ’s Point of view. How? Anderson recorded tapes of everything that happened on the shuttle. CJ & his sister watches these tapes & we, the readers, hears it again -boring. Why? Who knows, CJ is an engineer, why is he watching tapes! Except CJ & sister suffer, suffer & Suffer while watching these tapes. I’m thinking this was the point of it.
The ending portion dealt mainly with the psychological implications of what happened to Anderson and was somewhat more interesting and saved it a little for me. In summary, this was an intriguing concept but the execution needed to be improved. (less)
I may write a review later but the blurb covers the story pretty well. Suffice to say, this story of alien Ash who comes to earth to search for his mi...moreI may write a review later but the blurb covers the story pretty well. Suffice to say, this story of alien Ash who comes to earth to search for his missing sister & in the process, meets his soulmate Conn, could have benefited from eliminating some of the POV of the minor characters in the story. Also before when I thought of Vermont, I think maple syrup & fall colors. Apparently I missed the gang problems. I did end up liking this story mainly due to Ash & Conn.
For more coherent reviews see Nikyta & Bubbles reviews which pretty much covers it. (less)
4.5 Stars An enjoyable mix of romance, tension, suspense and military action within a sci fi setting. It's a little dark and kept me on edge to see ho...more4.5 Stars An enjoyable mix of romance, tension, suspense and military action within a sci fi setting. It's a little dark and kept me on edge to see how it would all turn out for Sergei and Mike. Solid writing and character development complete the picture to make this a good read. (less)
This was a fun story high on romance (very non-explicit), action and adventure, a kind of romantic comedy sci fi. Tough marine Eve Marcori has semi ad...moreThis was a fun story high on romance (very non-explicit), action and adventure, a kind of romantic comedy sci fi. Tough marine Eve Marcori has semi adopted Kintaro (he has no family & Eve was friends with his mother) & rescued him. She considers him her little brother & Taro doesn't want to disappoint her, but at heart he doesn't want the life she's planned for him including college. He's too restless, gets into bar fights, gambles & is a pickpocket. He's also hiding the fact that he's gay from her. Taro, due to his life experience, appears older than his age, which at the beginning is only a few days away from turning 16.
Taro is assigned to pick up and look after a new 'baggage,' Rafe. Rafe is another one of Eve's rescue (from the sex industry-he's called a joy boy) & her former lover for a brief time. Rafe turns out to be a playboy, a womanizer & an incorrigible flirt who Taro finds attractive but annoying & thinks is totally useless. He plots & schemes to get rid of him. The convergence of Kintaro's plot & Rafe's womanizing ways catching up with him results in them getting kidnapped & being forced to work together & for them to see each other differently. It also causes Taro to evaluate what & who he wants for his future.
Rafe is not exactly a typical romantic hero. He is in some ways as useless as described, flirts way too much and when he does try to help usually ends up almost getting himself or Kintaro killed. But he is a very caring person as well. Kintaro is the opposite in terms of competency. He's a trained fighter, a survivor and a gambler who decides to make his biggest bet yet on something he finds himself thinking he cannot afford to lose, Rafe.
The story has a complete but slightly HFN ending. There is a another story from Rafe's point of view, that I will be checking out. That one takes place 2 years later.
Recommended for those looking for a nice romantic space adventure. (less)
Because there was a break between reading My Fair Captain & this one, at the start of the book I had to play catch up a little bit. Payton, Adrien...moreBecause there was a break between reading My Fair Captain & this one, at the start of the book I had to play catch up a little bit. Payton, Adrien's brother & a prince in the story, is working undercover as an officer with his brother in law Nate, to try to investigate who was really behind the kidnapping & espionage that occurred in the prior book. Nate felt that Payton's skills as a computer hacker would be of value & they both travel to the planet Englor to find out what's going on. Unlike the planet Regelence which accepts homosexuality as the norm, Englor wants to criminalize sodomites & there are plans that call for executing them. The plans are instigated by the Queen, who happens to be the mother of Simon Hollister, who happens to be secretly gay.
This set up naturally creates the tensions in the book. I liked this part of the story at the beginning. When Simon & Payton finally meet, they each don't know who the other one is, but are instantly attracted to one another & the pair of them have great chemistry.
The story, however, does start to unravel the further you get into it & you start to notice inconsistencies. (view spoiler)[ For example, both Simon & Payton are aware of what's going on around them & the homophobic attitude of the people in Regelence, yet they continue to have sex, repeatedly in a public gym. This seems like a particularly stupid thing for them to do. (hide spoiler)]
The story also started to lose me with the resolution to the romance. (view spoiler)[ There is a point where Simon decide it's impossible to have an open relationship with Payton. He says he needs to marry a woman but asks Payton to be his 'mistress on the side.' Payton says no. They argue & then have sex (of course) in public (why stop the trend now) & gets caught by Nate. Nate demands they must marry, due to Payton being compromised & the rules for royalty in Regelence. And just like that Simon agrees to do this. There is no explanation on why what was impossible minutes before is suddenly possible. (hide spoiler)]
After this happens all the set up tension & the homophobic policies also gets resolved a little too easy. (view spoiler)[ People go from we want the sodomites dead to total acceptance of Simon & Payton within a blink of an eye, after their marriage. (hide spoiler)]
We're told that men from Regelence are stronger than average & there's a nice sparring scene between Payton & Simon that shows that. But yet the author decides midway into the book that Payton is suddenly the stereotypical 'wife' in the relationship. (view spoiler)[ After the marriage, Payton has to be protected, has to have bodyguards & his duties are dealing with the butler & the cook & domestic issues. He gets to plan the parties but he's no longer allowed to do his spying duties. He gets to comfort & have sex with Simon after his long day of politicking. And oh yeah, He has to produce an HEIR, immediately. (hide spoiler)] I was really turned off by that part of the storyline.
After the Big Misunderstanding, the romance portion of the story has a complete resolution, albeit a very traditional hetero book ending. The intrigue portion kind of peter out & was not solved, so I'm surprised that there is not a sequel written or talk of doing one.
I would characterize this novel as starting off with a good story & good sexual energy but ending with too many inconsistence & an annoying tendency to stray into traditional m/f romance territory.
I did end up liking this after all. It's funny & has a nice alien, bounty hunter Talos, with interesting attachments. I'm still trying to figure o...moreI did end up liking this after all. It's funny & has a nice alien, bounty hunter Talos, with interesting attachments. I'm still trying to figure out the suction cup thingies. I'm also a fan of time travel even though they never quite make sense, so wherever you can squeeze it in a book, I'm going to be happy. So the book is fun & the romance is great & hot in a weird alien way. Maymon is a wonderful character as a charming pirate & ...he was a great character when I saw him the Pirate of the Caribbean movies too. I think you can do a lot of books with characters in the public domain, like Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare, snow white etc. But it's hard to say where Captain Jack's character fits in. Either way it just gave it a little fan fiction like feel at times because it was obvious that Maymon's personality was based on this. So despite liking & recommending it, I do have to knock off a star for not having completely original sounding characters. (less)
For the Gang Bang Challenge recommended by Lily. This one is a slow starter where I was almost, almost ready to quit after the first few chapters. It...moreFor the Gang Bang Challenge recommended by Lily. This one is a slow starter where I was almost, almost ready to quit after the first few chapters. It did pick up after that once you started to put together the multiple names for each person, the multiple parents etc and understood the concept.
This takes place in the future only everything is like the past. It's a futuristic regency society where all the males are engineered to be gay. At least on the planet where Adrian, the young artist prince lives (Nate comes from Englor which doesn't have such a patriarchal society.) Think of all the rules of that society and apply it to men-- virgin until marriage, chaperones, dance cards etc. It's actually quite amusing as a parody of those novels. Captain Nate was the dashing, strong naval hero & Adrian is as sweet & spirited as any one of those heroines. It's a clever concept even though I do agree the word boy was used just way, way too much. However, the story held my interest enough that I'll probably continue on with the series. (less)
I really loved this story and the two characters, Aleron & Jasak. I think the synopsis pretty much describes the plot (Aleron is a thief sent to a...moreI really loved this story and the two characters, Aleron & Jasak. I think the synopsis pretty much describes the plot (Aleron is a thief sent to a prison on the planet Tantoret & Jasak is his prison guard--love & intrigue follows). Aleron & jasak just sparkle together as a couple. I think if you love non stop action and science fiction along with your romance, then this story is the one for you. But be warned, there are some violent elements in this story. This is a collaboration between two authors and I'm impressed that they obviously worked together so well. (less)