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In the Black

(Tales from the Edge #1)

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Book one of Tales from the Edge

When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies. When one of her girls turns up dead, it's Sam's job to find out who killed her, fast.

Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published May 12th 2014 by Carina Press
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Average rating 3.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  281 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book starts out well enough, our heroine Sam is the captain of a pleasure ship full of courtesans (think a ship full of Inaras) who is also running from a terrible past of some kind. Our hero is of the Texas Ranger lone wolf cop good guy trope. There is a murder aboard the pleasure ship and the two must work together to figure out who done it. It’s a sci-fi/murder mystery/romance mash-up, and really just sounds like it should be a fun read. I thought each genre was mostly given it’s due, wit ...more
Although I appreciated the thought that went into the world building, this was pretty bad. The motivations of the characters were just plain bizarre-Sam, the military vet who has a horrible experience and so she decides, hey why don't I run a space brothel for a corrupt organization who requires a five year contract and will charge me for things like extra air and gravity? And then there's Daniel, the creeper detective who thinks it's okay to hit on a woman in the middle of a murder investigatio ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
A quick, easy read with a slight 'Firefly' vibe involving the 'Bonnie Bell', a Mercy ship that flies between mining colonies with a crew of courtesans who offer a lot more services than just the obvious. We have our martial arts expert, our financial expert, our tea ceremony expert (?!) and our older-male-medic who cater for all kinds of tastes, but when there is a murder on board, Captain Sam Keller,our heroine with a history, has to work alongside Marshall Daniel to ensure the safety of the re ...more
Aug 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
A step above your standard sexy-times fanfiction...but not a very big step.

What I did like about this book: our kickass protagonist, Sam Keller; and the world in which spaceship brothels travel from place to place to service clients throughout the galaxy, an idea that was new to me and thus caught my interest. As far as some of the details of this world, other readers seem to think the author has borrowed heavily from Firefly, so perhaps it's not as original as I thought.

What I didn't like: char
E.M. Summers
Title: In the Black
Author: Sheryl Nantus
Series: Tales from the Edge #1
Genre: science-fiction, space opera, romance, mystery
Heat: 2/5
Plot: 3/5
Rating: 3/5

This wouldn't normally have come up on my reading radar, but it was selected as book of the month for the Vaginal Fantasy book club. I'm glad I read it - I found it sufficiently fun and interesting, and really liked the strength of Sam as the protagonist. To be honest, there wasn't much substance here, the murder mystery aspect was pretty straigh
KJ Van Houten
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer before I begin: Sheryl and I are both Carina Press authors, and she has been featured on my site's Boosting the Signal column, promoting this very book! This book was not, however, received as part of that column promotion, and I'm reviewing it on my own recognizance.)

Sheryl Nantus' Tales from the Edge series was pitched to me as heavily influenced by Firefly--and anything that invokes Firefly is a surefire way to get my attention. My Browncoat inclinations certainly see that influen
Aug 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010s, sci-fi, romance, mystery
In the Black is a sci-fi/murder mystery/romance. It's a light read, and draws from all three genres rather equally.

Sam Keller, a former soldier, signs a contract as a Captain on a Mercy ship, Bonnie Belle. A Mercy ship is a courtesan ship that stops at different places in the galaxy to provide lonely men and women sexual services.

The ship stops at a mining colony, and things start well, until one of the courtesans, Halley, is found dead. Sam investigates the murder, with the pressure from The Gu
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Today I am musing about a Science Fiction Romance book. If you have been on my blog much you know that Science Fiction and Science Fiction Romance are my favorite for reading. I recently received In the Black (Tales from the Edge, #1) by Sheryl Nantus from Netgalley and I just finished reading it.

It is SFR but SFR with a difference. First look at the premise:

When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans
Eva Millien
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first book in this new sci-fi futuristic romance series is a riveting read that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Running from her past, Sam Keller is the captain of the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans. When one of the girls turns up dead, she’ll have to find the killer fast. Marshal Daniel LeClair is sent in to help find the killer, but he can’t help angling for a little action with the Captain.

This fast paced plot keeps readers quivering in anticipation with lots of
I've often professed my love of Sheryl Nantus' Blaze of Glory and Blood of the Pride series. In the Black is the first in her new Tales from the Edge series and it's great. It has sci-fi, romance, murder mystery, a tough-but-traumatized heroine, and a hero who is totally Space Marshall Raylan Givens in my head. It's like a fabulous mashup of Justified and Firefly. So good. I can't wait to read the next one.
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: vaginal-fantasy
More of a 3.5. Good fun read for Vaginal Fantasy which I finished in a night. The mystery is a bit predictable but the characters are good fun and having a murder mystery in the midst of my heavy petting was a great welcome change from the typical straight forward faire. Super big crush on Sean the medic, I'll tell you what.
Laz the Sailor
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was very inventive and clever. It's basically a locked-room murder mystery set in a travelling space-brothel, with a loner sheriff and a world-weary captain. Throw in some creepy side characters and a growing romance and you've got a good story.
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fun SciFi crime procedural with good sexy times at the end
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Mimi by: Vaginal Fantasy group read
Not bad, but also not good either.

Ragtag crew in space. Ship is a brothel run by a strong-willed captain and her spunky first mate (also a young woman). The prostitutes on board don't offer just sex; they're more like companions selling their time to anyone looking for a way to relax. The ship often stops at mining colonies to entertain. That's the background of the ship anyway.

The plot is about the captain and crew getting embroiled in a murder mystery that happens on the ship (I think) and i
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, romance-sf
One of the things that irritated me most about Firefly was its treatment of the courtesans - on the one hand, an all-powerful and highly-respected organization whose business just happened to be providing sex, and on the other hand everyone still has the same-old same-old attitudes towards prostitutes, i.e. calling them whores and denigrating the fact that they have sex for money. Which is it? Make an authorial decision as to how this works and is viewed in your created context! Anyway, this boo ...more
Maria Kramer
Giving this a two because I think someone else would like it more than me.

There are things I liked about this book - I like stories set in brothels, I like the premise of a sci-fi murder mystery, I like the idea of the main character. I just didn't think the execution was all that good. World-building is sloppy, and the romance elements are just intrusive. I know that different people react to trauma differently, but when one of coworkers is BRUTALLY MURDERED I think you'd be a little less insta
Aug 07, 2017 rated it liked it
I found the idea at the base of the book intriguing, that's why I bought and read it. And it was exactly how I'd expected.
Like the other book of Sheryl Nantus, you want to know more about the universe around and it's a little sad that she stick to the plot and no more.
Marta Cox
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
My first book by this author and it's the first in her new sci fi series. I usually read paranormal but enjoy dipping into other genres so was quite intrigued by the synopsis of this book.
Sam a hard nosed military woman is in charge of a space ship traveling around the galaxy populated by " Courtesans" who service miners at the furthest reach. What would ordinarily be a routine visit turns sinister though when one of the women is found dead and all signs point to murder! It's vital to catch her
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-sci-fi
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It has a well-woven plot that kept me guessing and kept the story moving forward at a good pace. It is full of interesting characters and good science fiction.

The beginning was a bit slow to get into for me, but once I understood what was actually going on, it took off. I liked the concept, with the main character, Sam, being an ex-military who is now a captain on a ship of courtesans. I liked that there were both female and male courtesans, and how each of th
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In the Black by Sheryl Nantus is a sci-fi/murder mystery/romance story mash-up that is a simple and fun read. It is refreshing to be able to say that there is nothing I disliked about this book. It was nice average length of 244 pages that kept me entertained the whole time. I loved that Sam was a strong female lead that was not afraid to admit when something was difficult. I also loved that Daniel walked the line between knowing Sam was a competent woman and needing to keep her as safe as he co ...more
Sidney Prescott
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Woooooooowwwwwwww I loved this SO much. Sam is a total bad ass. I was worried her "tragic past" storyline would make me roll my eyes and get sick of her but it was written perfectly and made Sam a more interesting character. Daniel is.....daaaammmnnnnnn Daniel.

The story itself is science fiction-y without the usual tech babble. This I enjoyed. It left a lot up to the imagination when it came to how this book universe works. I loved the spaceships, Belle was a character in itself and could be qu
Sallie Henshaw
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book because it was chosen by the vaginal fantasy book club. I'm not sure I would have read it otherwise, but I greatly enjoyed it. It's a fairly short read and so the characters don't get as much attention as they could in favor of progressing the story. It is first and foremost a mystery, and the mystery itself is interesting and complex enough to keep you guessing for a while. The author hides clues in the exposition throughout the story, instead of having the characters reveal th ...more
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: space-fantasy
This book was ok, not great. Had some interesting parts. Although I won't be continuing the space series, I did pick up a cat-shifter book from the same author.
Rachel Smith
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I picked this one up because the description of the courtesans intrigued me. I was thinking it might have a bit of a Firefly to it. I was right! And it was awesome.

The world Nantus has built in this series is at once relatable and different. Female fans of Firefly should love this.

The mystery aspect of the book was easy for me to figure out. It's a rare author who can keep me guessing as to who-dun-it for more than four chapters. It did allow for a lot of exploring of courtesan daily life and ho
Maggie Oaks
Aug 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Total *'s: 3
Verdict: I'll give the second book a shot

This book was a lot of light hearted fun and an excellent call by Veronica from Vaginal Fantasy. Here's the star breakdown for me:

+1 World building/story concept
+1 Dan wants to be there for her as an equal and not a white knight. Yes, he does step on her toes a bit but it's with an "err on the side of safety" vibe.
+1 Multi level read. It's a quick fun read, you can choose to read a bit deeper and get a commentary on the bottom line mentality o
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Intriguing premise - a pleasure ship, whose moneymaking journey is interrupted by murder - but, overall, not executed very well. The murder mystery was predictable and the romance didn't have any conflict to keep me engaged. Sam and Kendra were interesting characters, and I would have enjoyed more interaction between the captain and the courtesans, or to learn more about the courtesan's inner lives. However, even with a pleasure ship, a murder, and a romance between a lone wolf and a tough capta ...more
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This was very readable. Good cleanser, as I call books I read after really long high fantasy or just super detailed books. I think everyone was pretty reasonably written, if not super sexed up. I personally don't get the freaky level of horn dog she felt after a couple months but maybe that's something unique to her or realistically, a book about two horny lonely people? Hm.
Nothing much to be said about the plot because well it wasn't that important. I like a lot of the small space the author u
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it
I chose this book because it was the monthly selection for Vaginal Fantasy book club. I was hesitant to read it because of the book's cover art. It turned out to be a fun read. I enjoyed the setting, a courtesan ship in space. Parts reminded me of Firefly (Jenny the mechanic, well as the courtesan Dane as a stand in for Firefly's Jane). I liked the murder mystery aspects of the storyline, but the romance parts were really cheesy. The last quarter of the book seemed hastily thrown ...more
Queen Talk Talk
Aug 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this because of the Vaginal Fantasy book list. Romance is not my usual genre.
This was a fast read (ebook). I liked the flirty banter and zero-g coffee scene. However, there was no romance just sexual need. Sam would have settled for any man. Daniel was smitten though. More bedroom details would have been interesting. The song "A Reconsideration (Zero-G Sex)" by Kristoph Klover may explain why so many of the miners paid for gravity.
I did enjoy "In the Black". The story did not feel like
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Sheryl Nantus is an award-winning romance writer published by Entangled, St. Martin's, and Harlequin's Carina Press.

When she's not writing about hunky heroes, she is sipping tea, playing board games and writing haiku.

A total fangirl at heart, she met her husband through an online fanfiction community and currently lives in Pennsylvania.

Other books in the series

Tales from the Edge (2 books)
  • In the Void (Tales from the Edge, #2)

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