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Bianca von Hasenberg did her duty for High House von Hasenberg and ended up trapped in a terrible marriage. When her husband dies unexpectedly and leaves her a happy widow, she vows never to marry again. Instead, she uses her connections to save other young women. Information is power and Bianca has a network that would be the envy of the ’verse—if anyone knew about it.

After an attack, Bianca’s oldest brother, the House von Hasenberg heir, disappears from Earth without a trace. Determined to find him, Bianca leaves against orders. When she refuses to return, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home like a recalcitrant child.

Bianca leads Ian on a merry chase across the universe, but when their paths finally collide, she persuades him that they would be far more successful at finding her brother if they worked together. She will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As clues lead them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely. . .

400 pages, ebook

First published October 1, 2019

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About the author

Jessie Mihalik

10 books1,584 followers
Jessie Mihalik has a degree in Computer Science and a love of all things geeky. A software engineer by trade, Jessie now writes full time from her home in Texas. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing co-op video games with her husband, trying out new board games, or reading books pulled from her overflowing bookshelves.

Sample chapters of all of my books are available on my website!

The Consortium Rebellion trilogy: Polaris Rising, Aurora Blazing, Chaos Reigning.

The Rogue Queen novellas: The Queen's Gambit, The Queen's Advantage, The Queen's Triumph.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 717 reviews
Profile Image for Corina.
781 reviews2,090 followers
May 26, 2020
I fell in love with the first book in this series, Polaris Rising at the beginning of this year. From Jessie Mihalik's vibrant voice to her strong women and action packed plot. Her debut novel had everything I would have wanted in a sci-fi romance.

Now, fast forward to the second book.

This time it's about Ada's sister Bianca.

Bianca was a surprisingly interesting character. Intelligent, tech savvy, while expertly wilding an impressive spy network. She was a strong woman with some very interesting secrets.

I enjoyed that the novel started out planet side, with a fascinating dive into the world of spying, information gathering and the virtual environment HIVE. It was such a different setting to Polaris Rising. Also Aurora Blazing was much more slow burn than PR, the couple didn't fully interact with each other until 50% into the book, before that it was mostly a cat and mouse chase with a bigger focus on Bianca.

Also, the book met up with Ada and Loch and Rhys and Veronica again. I loved those glimpses, especially since I wanted a second book featuring Ada and Loch because I didn't feel like their story was fully told, so getting these small snippets was wonderful.

The action was dialed down a bit as well compared to the first book. It started to get interesting in the second half of the book. At the beginning the story is mainly focused on Bianca, and if I'm honest I was missing Ian's POV. He was quite the secretive personality himself, and his POV would have helped me to get to know him better.

All in all, the book was well written, with great action, and a wonderful supporting cast, but it also didn't captivate and thrill me as I hoped it would. I felt something was missing. Especially throughout the first half. Moreover I needed way more interaction between Ian and Bianca, their relationship could have used 50 more pages.

Nevertheless I'm looking forward to the conclusions and Catarina's story.

ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog.

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Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,853 reviews1,494 followers
June 5, 2020
This is second in a series and characters from the first show up and are important for parts of the plot. I highly recommend reading the other first.

Can I start by gushing about my love of that cover? I'm pretty sure that cover brought the series to my attention. And the story wasn't bad, either, though like the first, romance is the primary influence with sci-fi a secondary effect on plot and relationship interactions. So if you're looking for clever worldbuilding, interesting gadgetry, or political maneuverings with entire planets on the line they are there but in service to the romance structure. Indeed, if you want to go on straight story structure and character dynamic this is closer to a fantasy in a lot of ways. Just with space magic (adding "space" as a modifier makes everything better. Try it! "space ship" "space scalpel" "space weasel" "space gum" "space jacket" "space heater"—okay maybe not everything)

Sadly, being primarily romance is problematic in this story because so much of the relationship between these two happened in the past. Mihalik tells us some things about it, but that means a lot of their dynamic is opaque to start. And this isn't helped by Ian being a giant jerk for the first, oh, third of the story. He says some things that really hurt her and while he seems unaware of it that doesn't make it any better. And when he I recoiled a bit. That was such a betrayal of her on so many levels. I'm glad that Bianca called him on it and that she outright told him how he had broken her trust and that had some effect in subsequent events where he needed that trust. But it still felt like she forgave him too soon and that the extension of trust afterwards came from her on the grounds that "trust must start somewhere". Yes, this is true, but maybe let him be a partner in that somehow? Like groveling would have been good. Or him expressing trust in her?

Which all sounds dire when the fact is I liked Bianca from the start and Ian wasn't that bad when he wasn't manipulating her for her own good. If you give the story its space magic with her hidden ability then the whole plot flows together very well and I loved the fast pace and the things that drove them to working together. And I really liked how once Ian had made the choice and gone all-in he stayed solid and proved himself very well. Enough that, yes, I'm willing to see him as a solid partner with Bianca and I'm happy they found each other in the end. Though him tacking on an "I've been in love with you since [blah]" was cheap and stupid because if you take that seriously then him being such a serious buttchomp earlier makes even less sense and I'd maybe want to revisit that whole redemption arc thing...

So this is a solid 3½ stars that I'm rounding to four on the strength of Bianca and the action-packed story I had a hard time putting down. It wasn't as fantastic as the first, but I'm still very interested in picking up the next.

A note about Steamy: There are a couple of explicit sex scenes putting this in the middle of my steam tolerance. I'm glad they happened after Ian mostly redeemed himself because I was able to go with the reality of their growing intimacy and see the commitment they'd developed by that time.
Profile Image for JenReadsRomance.
287 reviews1,451 followers
June 2, 2019
I VERY MUCH enjoyed this book, even more than Polaris Rising! (only a little more. I liked them both).

Bianca von Hasenberg is 25 and a widow, and it's clear very early that her dead husband wasn't just a real jerk in his treatment of her, but also that he did medical experiments on her. I am a sucker for a broken heroine, who has seen some things and is trying to find herself, and I think that's why I loved this book so much. Despite growing up in the ruthless world of the highest house in the universe, Bianca is fiercely loyal to her family and her siblings. When a threat against the house puts her in danger, the head of house security Ian Bishop is ordered to contain her. Instead, they are off on a dazzling adventure together.

I love this series, I love the world building, and I love the adventure. I loved Bianca as a character and Ian as her adversary. I loved it all.

As you can tell from my very clever Goodreads name, I am mostly a romance reader. I would say that Aurora Rising (like the first book) qualifies as a romance because there's a clear romantic arc with an HEA, but I don't really consider this to be a classic romance. It's very-heroine centric and is an amazing space adventure with a romance going along for the ride.

Profile Image for Lata.
3,434 reviews180 followers
October 23, 2019
Another fun entry in this series. This time we spend time getting to know Bianca (she who threatened Loch with a "rusty spoon"). She's had a lot to deal with over the years, and is critical to House von Hasenberg's successes. When the House comes under attack, she takes off from Earth, determined to deal with matters herself. Close on her heels is House security officer Ian Bishop.
Though this installment is a little less fun than book one, I really liked Bianca and how well she dealt with numerous problems, despite being constantly underestimated. The plot moves quickly, and I enjoyed this book a lot, and look forward to the last Consortium story.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,328 followers
August 29, 2020
*Spoiler Alert*

Ian and Bianca were a drag and the romance was lukewarm at best and IMO, of the three couples, Ada’s and Loch’s love had the most organic and believable trajectory. Similarly, the political machinations and Ferdinand’s abduction felt like author manipulation. How could the heir apparent have been so easily taken? Mmm Mmm. Not buying it.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,167 reviews2,569 followers
August 8, 2020
*** 4 ***

"...“Anyone lucky enough to be entrusted with your heart would be a fool to treat it carelessly.”
― Jessie Mihalik, Aurora Blazing..."

This second instalment in the Consortium Rebellion Sci-Fi Romance series is just as fun as the first one. I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed the writing of this author. She stays in her lane with the sister of the first book protagonist and the theme of war between the powerful families of the Consortium. Bianca is considered a grieving widow, a has-been, used goods. She has never shared all she went through in her arranged marriage and hopes she would never have to. Her strongest allies are the siblings of House von Hasenberg , who always try to be there for each other. Her biggest temptation and weakness is the chief of security for the family and more specifically, her father, Ian Bishop . Bianca has been attracted to him for years, but it has never been reciprocal. In fact, Bianca suspect that Ian strongly dislikes her and the only reason he ever gets close to her is because of his job. However, she is about to spend a bunch of time around her, because someone abducts her eldest brother, the heir of House von Hasenberg, and she is determined that her special skills of decoding and decrypting data and communications, she is the perfect person to find and bring him back. So she throws herself head first into her goal, while Ian Bishop throws himself after her to try and protect her, while still looking for her older brother...

"..."Despite rumors to the contrary, I am not a robot. When I trust someone and they break that trust, it stings."..."

The pace is not as fast as in Polaris Rising, the first book, where Ada von Hasenberg was the leading lady. This has a lot to do with the differences in character between the sisters. Where Ada was physical, confrontational, and all together a bad-ass, ready to deal some violence when she feels cornered, Bianca is more contemplative, she is not in good physical shape and is often sickly, and her main power is technology. She would much rather work in the shadows and have no confrontations, choosing to go through virtual data rather than hand-to-hand combat. Thus, while the first book had a lot of action and even got steamy quickly, Aurora Blazing takes its time to develop, slows down the action and we get the picture of a young woman who is insecure despite the power and prestige her birth family grants her, and who is in a lot of physical and emotional pain most of the time. To get this character and add an initially not very likable dude trying to tell her what to do, and still come up with a believable romance and almost cyber-punky Sci-Fi which could hold its own, I think that takes some talent! I am looking foreword to seeing where the author goes from here:)

This is a Romance first and foremost, set in the background of a Science Fiction story. Do not go into this series expecting pure Sci-Fi. It is not. It isn't an erotic no plot story either. It seems to hit the perfect balance between the romance and the somewhat actiony plot, with a tiny bit of sexy times at the appropriate "climax" of the story:) This makes it appropriate for all but the youngest of readers. No gratuitous violence, no explicit anything. A safe read, in my opinion. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have😀😎

Profile Image for Veronique.
1,217 reviews164 followers
October 11, 2019
Having enjoyed Polaris Rising a lot, I was very much looking forward to return to this universe and inhabitants. Once more, Mihalik gives us an entertaining scifi adventure, with a dusting of romance to boot.

This time, Bianca, Ada’s elder sister, is the main lead. Her experience and indeed character are quite different to our previous heroine. This one has had her share of suffering, and is still recovering from it, trying to build herself back, one tiny bit by tiny bit, which is not easy when threat is literally everywhere! The narration doesn’t lose much time in setting the scene since we’re already familiar with it. Action and plotting ensue, with of course plenty of charged conversations between Bianca and Ian :0)

I must admit that I preferred the first book a tinsy bit more, Ada being such a strong character. Having said this, Bianca brings a subtler angle that doesn’t lack strength, her fighting being more ‘diplomatic’ and manipulative than physical. Can’t wait to see how Catarina’s story will be - and something NEEDS to be done about the father!
Profile Image for Mallory.
980 reviews52 followers
December 31, 2022
I liked this book better than the first in this series, but I still like her second series better. I can see her voice developing and I love the direction it’s growing. She writes strong, talented, female characters and I really like that. Bianca is a great heroine and I wouldn’t mind more books from her perspective (even if I know that’s not how these trilogies work). This is a worthy space opera. I saw in some reviews that people wanted the romance to really start up sooner, but I thought this one was perfect. I found the relationship to be believable. While the plot was a little over the top I thought it was a fun space opera adventure.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,103 reviews294 followers
April 23, 2020
3.5 stars

Not quite as good as the first book, Polaris Rising, but still an enjoyable and easy SFR read. I would have liked the romance part to start happening a little bit earlier in the story rather than leaving it to quite late in the book, but it did end nicely for the characters.

Looking forward to the final book in the series, Chaos Reigning!
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,240 reviews219 followers
October 18, 2019
Another entertaining SF romance in this series with a very different protagonist from the first book.

Bianca von Hasenberg is the older sister of Ada from the first book. She's already survived an awful arranged marriage that ended with her husband's death and has returned to her family's home. She has damage from her marriage though that's partly physically disabling, but also enables her unparalleled intelligence-gathering abilities. Her skills constantly put her in conflict with House von Hasenberg's head of security, Ian Bishop. When her eldest brother goes missing under mysterious circumstances Bianca and Ian trip all over each other trying to find him, leading Bianca to head into the field herself with Ian in close pursuit.

Again, this isn't exactly ground-breaking SF. This is a romance with an SF setting. In those terms, it stretches the boundaries of the enemies-to-lovers trope to its extremes, because for most of the first two thirds of the book Ian is extremely unsympathetic. Enough so that the eventual redemption of his character doesn't feel earned. I'm also a lot more skeptical about this whole setting after this book. The point of view of Ada, who was a strong capable rebel and on the outside, made sense, but Bianca is embedded in the system and derives much of her power from it. So it doesn't make sense that she's so at odds with it and her father. (The von Hasenberg patriarch has got to be one of the most stupid antagonists I've ever read. What's his long game here?)
Profile Image for Lisa (A Life Bound By Books).
1,107 reviews748 followers
December 23, 2019
4.5 Stars! Wow! I LOVE these books! Loved the first one, and was BEYOND words excited that I was able to be given a free copy for review from the publisher.

If you enjoy action packed sci-fi, these are PERFECT for you! Great characters, flowing plot, which is fast paced and exciting.

I highly suggest and recommend you read the first book before this one. There are bits of this story you might find confusing - such as the family dynamic and the fact that this book picks up not long after the last book ends.

Each book follows sisters as they carve their own path in the universe while a much larger plot unfolds.

It’s well written and the words just fly off the page. Love it and now to wait for the third book in this trilogy!
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
1,985 reviews2,584 followers
November 10, 2019
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2019/11/07/...

I won’t lie, these are the types of romances I can only take once in a while and in small doses, but when I do, damned if I don’t have a lot of fun with them. The first book Polaris Rising served up so much entertainment, I was beyond excited and curious to check out the next installment, a standalone follow-up featuring Ada’s sister Bianca.

Bianca von Hasenberg might not be the action hero like her little sister, but she has her own bag tricks, even if they came at a steep price. No one really knew it, but for years she was trapped in a deeply unhappy marriage. Her husband was essentially this mad scientist who experimented on her against her will, injecting her with nanotechnology that altered her brain structure and endowed her with the ability to intercept communications. This secret made Bianca a very powerful intelligence gatherer, but her health and life was never the same again, and following the death of her husband, she vowed she would never remarry.

Nevertheless, Bianca finds it impossible to deny an attraction to Ian Bishop, the head of security for House von Hasenberg, even though the two of them share a complicated romantic past. But then one day, following an attack, Bianca’s eldest bother and their house’s heir is taken by mysterious kidnappers, sending the entire place into lockdown mode. Knowing that she alone has the unique capabilities to get her brother back, Bianca defies orders and embarks upon a rescue mission to go find him. In response to her disobedience, her father sends Ian on her trail to stop her and bring her home. Bianca, however, believes that she and the security director would make a great team, if only she can look past their history and convince him that working together will mean a greater chance at saving her brother.

You’d think given the background details of her history and all that her character has gone through, Bianca would be a very different protagonist than her sister Ada, but the are actually very similar in the ways that count. Yes, while Bianca is more of a thinker than a fighter, she can still certainly crack a few skulls when the situation calls for it. And of course, as evidenced by her inclinations to break rules and take off on her own, Bianca also has the same rebel spirit as her sister. While I appreciated that her weariness and trauma had to be downplayed in order to make her character come across as stronger in this book, I think I would have liked to see them factored into her emotional depth. Anyway, I don’t want to make it sound like the two characters are the same because they’re not, but I confess I had hoped for a little more to set Bianca and Ada’s personalities and voices apart, especially since there could have been so many possible directions to take Bianca’s spymistress/master hacker/ information broker persona, which would have been way more interesting.

I guess it also didn’t help that like Ada, Bianca ends up falling for a man who’s kind of an asshole. Like Loch, Ian is on the possessive and domineering side, but because he lacks the former’s swagger and sheer force of personality, the way he comes across is much less appealing, if that makes sense. Something about Ian just did not sit right with me, and I didn’t feel like he had as much chemistry with Bianca as Ada did with Loch. To be fair though, we know relatively less about Ian in this book, since he is kept at a distance for so much of the story, and we don’t even get know the true extent of his feeling for Bianca until close to the end, at which point the romance gets dialed up from 1 to 10 in like no time flat. Don’t get me wrong, I love a slow-burn romance as much as the next reader, but I have to say the payoff here was slightly lacking, and I suspect the reason for this is because we were never given a chance to really know Ian.

But at the end of the day, I suppose what I’m trying to get at here is that in many ways, Aurora Blazing feels like a retread of a lot of the ideas in Polaris Rising (and from countless other romance novels, if I’m to be honest). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you enjoyed the first book. In fact, if you did, you’re pretty much guaranteed to like this sequel, which I did too, despite my gripes. My only criticisms stem from mainly two things: 1) the fact that Ian was not as great as Loch, and 2) the story had less action, and while things could have improved with the addition of more intrigue, instead the pacing just felt slower overall. Everything else—like the lighter world-building elements or the flimsier aspects of the plot—I didn’t mind at all, as it’s all sort of a given when it comes to a book like this that makes no claims to be anything but a romance first and foremost, and a sci-fi novel second. It’s why I picked it up, after all.

To sum up, I had a good time with Aurora Blazing, despite it being not as strong as the first book. But like I said, every once in a while it’s great to kick back with a book like this—an unapologetic and deliciously self-indulgent romance whose only aim is delivering a fun sexy read. I look forward to Jessie Mihalik’s next book in the Consortium Rebellion sequence, which I hear will focus on the third sister in the House von Hasenberg clan, Catarina.
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,255 reviews517 followers
January 2, 2020
3.7 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lady Bianca von Hasenberg still emotionally and physically deals with the trauma her first marriage caused. Now a widow, she works to help other girls and women through her network of spies and her technological skills. When her brother Ferdinand and the von Hasenberg heir disappears, she won't be patted on the head and told to stay home by her father or their Director of Security, Ian Bishop.
Ian shut down Bianca's flirting when he was her bodyguard and even now as the Director of Security, he still doesn't think he is worthy of her, but he can't stop his protective feelings for her. Bianca manages to get information he needs and she won't take no for an answer when it comes to rescuing her brother. Ian needs to rescue the heir, keep his own secrets, and never let Bianca know how deep his feelings really go.

Softly, he asked, “Why do you have to fight me on everything?”

Second in the Consortium Rebellion series, Aurora Blazing stars Bianca von Hasenberg, the sister of the heroine from the first book, Polaris Rising. The first book gave us glimpses of Bianca as she helped her sister and a few glimpses at the tension between Bianca and the Director of Security Ian Bishop. The author makes good on the tension and slow burn she hinted at in the first. Polaris Rising was a debut and one of the complaints I had was about the story needing a lot of fat trimmed, Aurora Blazing had none of those problems, the author did a great job shoring up the story and fulfilling on the promise I found in the first.

The Consortium series, so far, follows two main characters threads, one has readers following one of the three major ruling houses, the von Hasenbergs. Aurora Blazing is told solely from Bianca von Hasenbergs' point of view. The second is about soldiers that were part of the Genesis Project (soldiers who were experimented on to create “super” soldiers), Ian Bishop is hinted at being tied into that. These two threads are swirled into plot threads that involve the three ruling houses conspiring, maneuvering, and possibly going to war with each other for power and resources. This creates a fun, absorbing, and intriguing space opera/scifi ride.

“I promise I won’t ever use any of your secrets against you,” I said quietly.

As I mentioned, the romance is a slow burn, as in you won't see the (soft) snap in the fraying rope between these two until around 50%; the space opera aspect controls more of the attention in this series with the romance being more of a very important secondary character. I loved the dynamic and tension between Bianca and Ian, I could feel the emotion bubbling underneath. For the most part, I enjoyed how the author didn't blatantly spell out Ian's emotions but towards the end of the story, when we're supposed to get the big payoff, I felt like things were rushed. The ending sex scenes also felt out of place, they felt graphic and jarring placed at the end because the preceding 90% of story had a different tone between the couple.

His gaze was scorching, his eyes hot with desire. “We are not done,” he said, his voice a low command.

Without Ian's point of view and more of a look into his background, I found Bianca to be the stronger of the two characters. Learning about her first marriage and how her health issues causes her to lie to her family, thus isolating her even further, was heartbreaking. It was immensely satisfying to watch her not gain emotional and mental strength from what was done to her but instead use the strength that she already had but had been a bit too young to mature to. The times she refused to back down because she knew she had the skills and know-how to get the information quicker than Ian made me cheer for her even harder.

I was engrossed in the first half of this story and while I was locked into the space opera plots, the romance was too rushed for a satisfying payoff. I would love if Bianca and Ian got a second book as I think their story definitely supports it and the series would benefit from it. I don't know if it is due to the first person pov structure but there were at times I felt like I was only getting half the story on some things, scenes felt left out, and more background was needed. Overall, though, I found this an amazing continuation of the series and the author has dangled threads (the leak in the von Hasenberg house, the war between the three houses, and Ferdinand and his romance with the daughter of an enemy house) that I'm fully on board and can't wait for the next in the series.
Profile Image for Anne - Books of My Heart.
2,875 reviews190 followers
December 31, 2019
This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
4.5 hearts
I LOVED Polaris Rising!  So I was ready for the next book in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy, Aurora Blazing. Ada's sister, Bianca is the main character and we get her point of view. We were introduced to her already in the previous book as she is very close to Ada.   While Ada is a skilled warrior, Bianca is a different type of fighter. She is a master of intelligence gathering.  She is also a huge support to all her siblings.

When an issue arises for her oldest brother, Bianca is determined to help him, even if it means defying her father and his security director, Ian.  The two fight over her taking risks, and their sparing is angry. Already having chemistry, and high emotions in a difficult situation, they fight both anger and attraction.

I loved their skills in gathering information, solving the mysteries and fighting battles. It's action from start to end.  I was happy to see Ada and Loch again, along with their friends, briefly.   I only wish we had a bit of Ian's point of view. The romance is not the focus, but adds to the story. It was good to learn about some of Ian's friends, also.

Bianca has had a horrible past and now helps others, and tries hard to be honest and honorable with others. I liked her when she helped Ada, and I liked her again now.  We learn more about all the siblings and none of them has an easy time of it with their father controlling much of their lives.  I really enjoy this world with its politics and battles, with high tech and space travel.  The characters are skilled and there is a bit of humor.

I can hardly wait for the next adventure, Chaos Reigning, projected to release May 19, 2020.  It looks like this is the final book, as the author's website indicates it is a trilogy. It is about another sister Catarina.  I'll definitely be reading!

I enjoy this narrator.  Her voices for all the characters, male or female seem to fit well.  The voices were a bit different so I could discern who was speaking. I listened to this at my usual 1.5x  speed.

Listen to a clip:
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
2,963 reviews630 followers
November 4, 2019
What a blast! Fans of space opera, intergalactic suspense, house politics and sizzling banter between two strong-willed characters will love Aurora Blazing. This story focuses on Bianca von Hasenberg. She did her duty when she married. Her husband turned out to be a monster, but and he left her both gifted and cursed. She will never again leave herself vulnerable.

Bianca knows information is power, and she uses it to aid other young women, but when her brother disappears she sets off to find him against her father’s orders. Angered, her father sends Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security, to haul her home.

I felt for Bianca and the author did a great job of sharing what happened to her, what she experienced and how she used what happened to her advantage. We see a lot of growth in Bianca throughout the story and while she sometimes forgets she doesn’t have the brawn, her sheer determination, wit, and grit make up for it.

Years before she wed, Bianca opened up to Ian about her feelings towards him and he coldly rejected her. Since then the two have traded barbs. Sexual tension, snark and banter made for addictive chemistry. I loved the banter and couldn’t wait for Ian to catch her. But to save Ferdinand the heir they will need to work together. Both have secrets and everything to lose. Will they open up and trust each other?

We learn more about the war and House von Hasenberg sends a sibling to the front line. Yikes! Bianca was forced to do something that might come back to haunt them and a certain family needs a good beat down. All of which left me in serious of need of the next audiobook!

Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller the audiobook was a pleasure to listen to. Emily captured the banter and snark between Ian and Bianca, often making me laugh aloud. I thought the way they did Ferdinand’s voice felt authentic. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
Profile Image for Emma.
2,385 reviews810 followers
June 16, 2020
This was a bit slow in the first half, hence the 4 stars. Loved it though!
Profile Image for Hilda.
1,045 reviews126 followers
June 24, 2020
I will protect you even from yourself, so stay out of my way and let me do my job.

This is probably the first bodyguard book I don’t like. Bianca is my favorite sister now. I’m sure that even after reading the third book, Cat’s story, I’ll still love Bianca the most. And I just don’t understand her attraction to Ian Bishop. She was smarter and better than Ian in every way and he kept getting in her way THEN insulting her. He called her many names and even stopped looking for her brother to chase after her because of his ego. I just didn’t believe the last 20% of the book. Their love. Bleh.

I still love this series and will read all of the books. I’m invested in all of the siblings. I want the brothers to have books as well. Ferdinand and Benedict deserve a HEA. And I’m so angry at their dad. I also want to know more about the Genesis project and it’s members. I need more!!!
Profile Image for Angela.
3,195 reviews367 followers
March 11, 2020
I first read this book immediately upon receiving it for review. I ADORED it. Utterly and completely. Just as much as I loved the first book, Polaris Rising. But life got in the way and I never ended up reviewing it. By the time life had settled down a bit, I wanted to do a re-read so I could do Bianca and Ian justice.

Then my wife started reading Aurora Blazing, randomly, because I'd loaded in on her Kindle. She didn't know that it was book 2 in the series. She just loved it and it made me want to read the entire series all over again. So I did.

The last several days have been a true joy. This is my first re-read of this series, but I can guarantee that it won't be my last. It kept me on the edge of my seat even the second time through, bringing me joy and frustration, love and happiness.

The Consortium Rebellion series is, easily, going to be one of my favorites series. It's got everything I look for. Amazing characters, an intricately built world, and a tight, interesting plot.

Aurora Blazing picks up shortly after Polaris Rising. And though I'll always advocate for reading series in order, and definitely for reading Ada's story, you can easily read this as a stand-alone. You'll get some spoilers for book 1, but it's nothing horribly egregious.

Bianca intrigued the hell out of me when we met her. I knew she had a lot more going on underneath the surface, and I loved seeing what that was when we got to this book. I really, really, really appreciate how Jessie Mihalik makes the women in the series so utterly competent. They're not over-confident, they're not yelling about how strong they are. They are just there, getting the job done, time after time. Bianca's utter honesty in assessing herself and her capabilities, her pride and confidence in them, and her actions showing them, consistently made my love for her multiply.

I hurt for Bianca after knowing what Ian did to her when they first met. It's not an easy thing to get past, but I love how these two characters do. There's no simple apology and forgiveness. What there is, is a consistent proving of the truth of their respect and care, over and over again.

I enjoyed watching Ian pull his foot out of his mouth and seeing Bianca begin to build that fragile trust in him. Taking that leap, especially after being burned before, is a hard thing. But she does it, like so many other difficult tasks she accomplishes.

Bianca says at one point that she and Ian would be an unbeatable team - she means in information gathering, and problem-solving. And they are. But the truth is that when these two come together, in any way, they're absolutely unbeatable. And the foundation on which they build their relationship is rock-solid.

The story begins to show us how things are heating up in the budding war within the Consortium. Because the war started before anyone was really ready for it, things haven't progressed a lot. And still this book is action packed. From a interstellar chase, to an illegal crime syndicate party, to sneaking into enemy territory...there's not a moment that goes by that isn't fraught with some tension.

Now, I'm simply dying - all over again - with the wait for book 3, Chaos Reigning. Catarina's story is going to be amazing. I cannot wait. I know it's supposed to be the last book in the series, but I really hope we get Ferdinand, Benedict, and Hannah's stories, too. Someday. A girl can dream.

Review also available at The Alliterates
Profile Image for Under the Covers Book Blog.
2,818 reviews1,364 followers
October 1, 2019

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I am not a big sci fi reader but when I do dive into this genre I enjoy exploring these new worlds without having to find aliens or creatures.  Finding this series was catnip for me.  I was highly anticipating this release and I have to admit it didn't disappoint. The romance was a little different than in the first book, more of a slow burn than Polaris Rising.  But it was an engaging read from start to finish.  All aspects of it interconnected perfectly and drove the story forward.  I couldn't put this down.

Bianca is the daughter of a High House.  She did her duty and married for political reasons.  Her husband died and people have gossiped that she killed him.  But what most people don't know is that she is one of the best hackers and she has an underground network of information.  While others underestimate her she gets things done.  And that's what she sets out to do when her brother is kidnapped.  She knows she can find out who took him, where he is and bring him back.  Ian, the head of security of her High House, has to find her and bring her back to safety.

One of my favorite things about this series is how strong the heroines are.  They have courage.  But not in the "I'm tough and careless" kind of way.  They also are very grounded, smart and know their limitations. And the heroes are even stronger but they perfectly balance them, while also allowing them to be who they are.  The heroes are alphas but they don't have to dominate the heroines, instead they give them the place they deserve and work with them.  I've loved that about both of these pairings.

As with the first book, here we go on a journey through different planets all to find Bianca's brother.  I loved the worldbuilding, the action of this adventure and more importantly the chemistry between our main characters.  While I mentioned this is a slow burn, and also an enemies to lovers, the sexual tension is perfectly laid out and sprinkled throughout the story.  

AURORA BLAZING was a pulse pounding adventure.  If you are not reading this series and this author I highly recommend you give her a try.

*ARC provided by publisher
Reviewed by Francesca❤ ♡ Don't want to miss any of our posts? Subscribe to our blog by email! ♡ ❤
Profile Image for Melliane.
2,004 reviews340 followers
October 1, 2019
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I had a very good time with the first volume and I was really curious to discover the story of Bianca and Ian.

No one really knows it, but Bianca is not the same since her late husband experimented on her. Since then, she has been protecting her own and those she can help with the information obtained from her network. But when she is attacked and her brother disappears, she knows that she will do everything in her power to find him. And even when her father does everything to prevent her from leaving the family home, offering a certain amount to the one who could bring her in, she doesn’t change her mind. But here it is, the head of security at her House is also after her. This man who broke her heart and makes her as angry as she is attracted to him.

I had a good time with Bianca again. I loved discovering her story and seeing who she really was. This life and its consequences are really not easy for her, but she tries to do the best she can. We also see a little more about her brothers and sisters about whom I am curious to learn more.

The author offers us a story full of action and plots that only our two heroes can thwart. It will not be easy, but they will have to trust each other and perhaps they will realize that there is something stronger between them.

A very good second volume!
Profile Image for Anete.
411 reviews63 followers
November 15, 2019
Lielisks SpaceOperas Consortium Rebellion turpinājums. Šajā daļā iepazīstam vēl vienu no von Hasenbergu ģimenes meitām – Bianca ir nedaudz vecāka par Adu, varbūt nav tik izveicīga ar ieročiem un nedaudz zaudējusi cīņas formu veselības problēmu dēļ, taču lieliski prot ievākt informāciju, vest pārrunas un manipulēt ar cilvēkiem. Un ar blāsterīšiem arī nav pilnīga amatiere.
Bet von Hasenbergu ģimenes Drosības dienesta direktors Ian Bishop ar ieročiem un cīņas mākslām ir uz tu, informācijas ievākšanā ir līdzvērtīgs meistars Biancai.
Tā nu šī komanda dodas von Hasenbergu vecākās atvases glābšanas misijā. Komiskas situācijas, cīņas, piedzīvojumi, ceļojumi ar kosmosa kuģi, jauni ceļabiedri un, protams, romantika uz pilnu jaudu.
Profile Image for |Stephanie|.
1,023 reviews31 followers
January 27, 2023
"Anyone lucky enough to be entrusted with your heart would be a fool to treat it carelessly."

"Are you a fool?"

"I was, once. I try not to be anymore."

This series is turning out to be a favorite of mine. I don’t read enough sci-fi romance and these books have a great balance of both. There is action, suspense and slow burn romances that are worth the wait.

I liked Bianca when we met her in book one. She was smart, caring but you could tell she carried some secrets. I loved getting to know her more and see behind the facade she shows the rest of the universe. Her story broke my heart but she never gave up no matter what and who doesn’t love a heroine like that?

Our hero Ian took some time to warm up to. I liked the guy but with this series not being dual pov it’s hard to actually get to know him. Some of his actions I wanted to shake him for but I knew deep down he did what he did because he was in love with Bianca and wanted to protect her.

Their banter and intense chemistry was very fun to read though and I throughly enjoyed when Bianca would put Ian in his place. Their love story didn’t blow me away like Ada & Loch (who I loved getting to see glimpses of) but overall they were a good team and honestly perfect for each other.

I’m excited to read the final book and see how everything wraps up. Thanks to my buddy Micky for going on this interstellar journey with me! 4 Stars!
Profile Image for Minxy Melissa.
1,740 reviews66 followers
March 30, 2020
I loved book one and wasn't sure how I was going to feel about book two because of the main characters were different and all that BUT I really did enjoy this book. I will say that the romance was not the biggest draw for me because the smoldering lasted a little too long for me and I just wanted to move past it by the time it was happening. What really kept my eyes glued to the pages was the fast paced plot with tons of action and a rescue that I could definitely get behind. The connection between the MCs was great and yes the romance of it all was there for those of you who love a long smoldering build-up. Overall, great read and I am looking forward to the next book in this series!!
Profile Image for Jen (That's What I'm Talking About).
1,441 reviews255 followers
October 23, 2019
Picking up shortly after the conclusion of the first title in the Consortium Rebellion series, Aurora Blazing gives listeners Bianca von Hasenberg’s story. I already liked Bianca in the first book, but I became immediately intrigued by what we learn in the first chapter. First - we already knew she had a short and unhappy marriage. What we find out is that her deceased husband, a brilliant scientist, experimented on her. Her nanobots and brain can pick up and decode transmissions and signals, something no one else knows. Second - she helps girls and women, secretly saving them from destructive or abusive situations.

She and House von Hasenberg’s director of security, Ian Bishop, have a past. He was her personal body guard, and when they were younger, she “made her interest known” but he brushed her off, and she can’t ever forget the humiliation. When her eldest brother, the von Hasenberg heir Ferdinand, is kidnapped and someone tries to kill her, Bianca decides to break away from her home to save her beloved brother. With Ian on her heels, she must outsmart and outmaneuver him or risk being sent home.

Aurora Blazing is a fantastic adventure from beginning to end! I loved watching Bianca piece together various intel and follow the deeply hidden bread crumbs on the trail to Ferdinand. At times she has to use finesse and others, brut force. She works well on her own, but is her best when she teams up with Ian (and her sister Ada and the gang from the first book). Each trail is filled with danger and excitement, causing me to hold my breath in anticipation or worry. And what I love most is that even though this particular plotline comes to a close by the end of the book, there is still so much left open in the broader story arc. I cannot wait to find out what happens next! The entire Consortium world is fascinating, from the sci-fi tech to the dangerous politics, from the heartfelt romances to the friendships and alliances.

While the story is heavy on the action, there is a slow burn romance developing between Bianca and Ian. At times I wish his POV was also included to provide a more balanced picture of the situation. However, knowing how badly Bianca was hurt by her marriage and to some extent, her father, it was difficult to watch her put herself out there for Ian. I’ll admit I sniffled a few times. Ms. Mihalik creates wonderful chemistry and writes heart-felt emotions into her characters.

Narration: Aurora Blazing is shared via the first person POV of Bianca. Ms. Zeller gives Bianca a strong, feminine voice, with a hint of underlying weariness, the toll of life under the bombardment of signals and messages. She alters every character’s voice for dialogue, with each having a unique sound. She does a great job keeping each character distinct. Ian’s voice is deeper with an air of superiority, due to his confident nature. The narrator does an amazing job infusing emotion and situational non-speech verbal cues into the story; she isn’t just reading the story, she brings the characters to life.

I loved this story and the continuing sage of the Consortium Rebellion. I cannot wait for the next title!

My Ratings:
Story: A-
Narration: A
Profile Image for Chanel.
251 reviews39 followers
October 11, 2019
Aurora Blazing sufficiently consumed me. So much so I only got 4 hours of sleep one of the 3 nights it took me to read it. This installment was about Bianca von Hasenberg and can I say, what a badass. Anyway, Bianca is like the black sheep in plain sight of the family. Widowed by questionable circumstances, she leads a very secretive and outwardly cold life. You see, her dead husband experimented on her and it’s had some interesting, lasting but useful effects that come quite handy when her brother is kidnapped and she’s almost assassinated.

Ferdinand has been captured and it’s a race against time to get him back before he’s killed. Bianca enlists help with some of her dark web friends and her siblings, including Ada. She is very good at getting the information she needs from just about anyone. She’s gained a reputation for helping people in various ways and in return they help her. When she flees the House her father is furious but so is Ian. He’s her security guard and takes protecting her very seriously. The two of them, have tension but it all has to do with their past. As they become what started out as temporary allies, ends up turning into more as they begin to understand each other a lot more on this mission as well as realize they have quite a bit in common.

I absolutely love the plot in this story. As in Polaris Rising, it was built up in a believable way that tugged on all my emotions. I truly felt myself tearing up at a few Bianca and Ian moments because they were so poignant. The only reason I docked a star is because I feel like their eventual intimate scene was rushed It was pretty much almost at the end of the book. I also feel like I’m walking away with a lot more questions such as Ian’s deeper involvement with the Genesis Project and the side story about Yuko and her daughter assuming the next book isn’t about Bianca as well. There were also a fair bit of typos which I don’t remember seeing so much in the first book.

Overall, a great sequel from Jessie Mihilak and I’m super stoked for the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Mei.
1,879 reviews404 followers
September 4, 2020
You remeber the movie Bodyguard? Well this book reminded me of it, but with a SF twist! LOL

Bianca was really, really interesting: a delicate rose, but with iron thorns! As Bishop found out! LMAOOO

Great book!
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