Pets In Space Anthology

Pets In Space AnthologyPets In Space Anthology by Alexis G. Latner, Cara Bristol, Carysa Locke, Laurie Green, Lea Kirk, Paula Baird Jones, S.E. Smith, Susan Grant, Veronica Scott

Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published on October 11, 2016
Pages: 500
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The title says it all.  This anthology is full to the brim of sci-fi romances feature pets in key roles.  I was eager to dive in and experience familiar and unfamiliar authors along with sampling some potential new series to follow.  It also has the distinction of having 10% of the proceeds go toward the Hero Dogs organization that provide service dogs for America’s heroes.

As its an anthology, I’ll do mini-reviews of each story.

A Mate for Matrix: Cyber Protection Unit by SE Smith  4 Stars
Cyber Protection Unit Prequel

K-9 and his partner are one of the CPU teams sent out to eliminate the threat of the genetically enhanced creatures that got loose into the galaxy and treat any planet’s population as food.  Matrix and K-9 end up on a remote planet with a more primitive people.  They are separated and this leads to K-9 finding the perfect female to be his gruff partner’s life mate and her three kittens to become his pack.  But first they must destroy the crawler before it can lay it’s eggs to infest earth.

I love cyborg stories and how cool is that when the cyborg is the animal partner to an alien warrior.  Definitely want more of this series.

Stray by Susan Grant  4.5 Stars
A Star World Glimmer novella

This story is associated with the Star Series and Star World Frontier Series.  A stray dog, a stray Marine, and a lovely lady star pilot find love, home, and family together only to begin struggling when PTSD and survivor’s guilt causes trouble.  Right when it all might be over, a dangerous mission gone bad shakes them all up and makes them really take stock and figure out what needs to be done.

Alternating narration- even the dog which was adorable.

I found this exciting story a perfect glimpse into a new to me writer and pair of series that I now want to read.  Great blend of sci-fi action, romance, and character development.

Spark of Attraction by Cara Bristol  4 Stars

Captain Dante Stone, cyborg and known for his lock-down on emotion, has his world turned upside down when his ship picks up refugees from a plant brutalized by an attack.  One of the refugees and her robot dog thaws his stone heart even as they rush to figure out the mystery behind the missing people on the ship.

I love Cara Bristol’s cyborgs.  This was a fun one with a murder mystery in space.  I believe it is standalone.

Star Cruise: Stowaway by Veronica Scott 4.5 Stars
Star Cruise series

Gruff and workaholic Cargo Master, Owen, with the help of his cat, discovers an unusual stowaway.  He is instantly taken with the unusual female alien with the sad story and wants to help her.  Unfortunately, her situation is dangerous and has complications.

I was taken with this story where the hero is an average joe (not the captain, not the security guy) who steps up and does the hero thing for a beautiful abused woman caught in a desperate situation.  Their tender love story had depth and was developed well.  The back history of the story has me eager to go back for the others in the series.

 

The Real Dragon by Pauline Baird Jones 4 Stars

Emma is having a surreal day when her scientist, widower father announces that he is marrying his boss and her pet bearded dragon returns with the ability to talk.  She learns that she didn’t just block out of her memories the night of her mom’s death, but a whole bunch of other things.   And her to-do list takes a turn towards the dire when she realizes she has to prevent the destruction of a little chunk of Texas.

Interesting and humorous one.  Loved the inclusion of the dragon pet and the mystery behind her lost memories.  The romance wanted an eensy bit more development.  Fun writing style that I would try again.

Spike by Alexis Glynn Latner 4 Stars
Aeon’s Legacy series

Ten Jaxdown is a roboticist whose little robots are needed for a recon mission to help find out who is sabotaging the mission group’s new ships.  He partners with the fiery Commander Anastasia Steed and her unique ‘pet’ to get the job done.

I loved the broader world building and tone of this story.  It has a unique feel.  Nicely done with a likeable beta-style hero partnered with the warrior heroine.  There is a strong sense that this is a betweener story in a longer series as it is so things are ended open toward the next book.

 

Stardog by Laurie A. Green  4.5 Stars
The Inherited Stars universe

When the ship has a snake infestation, navigator, Taro, is sent out at the spaceport to find and exterminator.  He encounters Adini and her unique Star Dog who can do the work.  Their encounter leads to more when her father’s connection to a rebel secret organization against the cruel Alliance sends them rushing to save him.

An exciting space adventure full of intrigue and a delightful alien dog.  I enjoyed encountering all the characters and definitely want to read the full-length story that goes with this companion novella.

Space Ranger by Lea Kirk 4 Stars
The Prophecy Series universe

Graig and his people have helped the decimated people of Earth re-establish themselves after a devastating attack.  He has lived with botanist, Simone, as she sets up farming and teaching others to farm.  Now it’s time he returned to his duties in the stars serving under his best friend Gryf.  Graig leaves behind a puppy and he knows he broke Simone’s heart, but she has her calling and he has his.  Only, returning to duty is now a hardship and doesn’t feel like a calling.  He’s lost his focus and desire to serve aboard ship.

This was a light and humorous and heartwarming story of a man who must figure out where he really belongs and realize what truly makes him happy.  The story is a follow-up piece and I could feel the connection though it was easy to read it without having read the other.  I’m curious to get Gryf and Alex’s story.

Escape Run by Carysa Locke 4 Stars
Telepathic Space Pirates World

Teegan lost almost everyone she cared about on the job as Hunter for the Talented who were dangerous or broken.  It has been seven years since she walked away from her work as a Hunter and from Cole.  Now he needs her again for a hunt that brings her past back into stark detail.  She can’t refuse because this particular Talented can’t be allowed to escape and kill the masses.  With the aid of her fox-like companion and Cole, Teegan is back on the hunt.

I enjoyed this interesting world of gifted humans, pirates, and the poignant story of a woman who grieves deeply yet needs to let go of her past and her anger to heal and find love.  It was an exciting chase and a tender ending.  Yes, more pirate space world, please!

Alright, this was jam-packed with wonderful sci-fi romance.  I loved the variety and creative worldbuilding, writing styles, and fantastic new to me writers and series that I now will be eager to pick up and read again.  Most of the stories are attached to a series or at least from the world of the series, but work well as a novella.  The animal characters theme shines through even to the service partner idea.  I would definitely recommend this anthology to sci-fi romance lovers.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

About Cara Bristol

Cara Bristol continues to evolve, adding new subgenres of erotic romance to her repertoire. She has written spanking romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and science fiction romance. No matter what the genre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently calls Missouri home. She has a husband and two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling the world.
Cara loves to hear from readers. You may post a comment on her Web site/blog, http://carabristol.com, email her at carabristol50 (at) yahoo (dot) com, or friend her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • wiw it’s rare to have such a great novella with so many goos stories! I’m not that much a big sci-fi fan though I confess…

    • It was fun for me. I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi romance, but only recently started reading them more often. I love the critters so I couldn’t resist this one when I saw that Lola got it for review. I checked and it was still available so I snagged it. 🙂

  • I’ve read this anthology as well, as you know as we were reading it at the same time :). It’s been fun to read your review on the blog as well. My opinions of the stories where often similar as yours, I really enjoyed Star Cruise as well, probably my favorite story of the bunch. And Escape Run was the story i got this anthology for as I already knew that author. I hope you get to try her other books as well, I love her telepathic space pirates series so far!
    I did have a few stories I enjoyed less than you did, but overall I thought this was a great anthology and there are some authors in this one I really want to read more of. And the animal characters really added something to the stories.

    • Yes, I loved doing an impromptu buddy read with you for this one. I ended up finding three stories on sale after I looked up the series and authors from the antho that I was most interested in. Woohoo, more fun sci-fi rom. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    I haven’t read this but pets in space, yeah I really got to! Thanks Sophia Rose!

    • Haha! Yes, Debbie, you have to. It’s an experience not to be missed. 🙂

  • Oh that sounds so fun! I don’t think I’ve read any of the authors but I do have a couple on my list. That’s great it had so many awesome reads in it 😀

    • It was a lot of fun. Cara Bristol’s cyborg series was the only one I’d read before, but now I’ve got a few more series to follow. I think that is the danger of anthos- more authors and books not less. 🙂

  • What a neat anthology! I never would have come up with this concept. 😀 Would you believe me if I told you that I’m not a pet person? Could be because of my background, because where I’m from, pets are definitely not as coddled as they are here in the States… or maybe it’s just me, I’m not a pet person. I love animals but not pets. If that makes sense. 😀 Still, a pet dragon would be nice. 😉

    Great review, Sophia! Have a fantastic weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • It was fun to read about all the creative ways pets and aliens could be combined to make a good story. Haha, its okay that you don’t get into animals as pets. Oh yeah, a pet dragon would be great (I’m like Hagrid that way).
      Thanks, Alyssa! Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday, too.

  • I have to admit, this is pretty unique o.o and sounds like it was fun

    • Oh yes, very unique. Loved seeing what kinds of creative pets could be mixed into the space sci-fi stories.

  • oh now I am intrigued by this one. I like that they puts animals in the stories. And I LOVE Susan Grant, she does great sci fi romances. Glad you enjoyed this anthology.

    • This was my first Susan Grant story, but definitely not my last. One of the best things about reading this antho was encountering several new to me authors to follow now.

  • This sounds pretty good! I am a huge animal lover and I really enjoy stories that feature them. Glad you enjoyed this one!

    • Yes, it was fun to have the animals as more prominent characters and combined with sci-fi romance adventures.

  • These all sounds pretty exciting! Sounds like a very long read too. So great to know you enjoyed this anthology Sophia 🙂

    • I had a good time reading them, Vanessa. But yes, it took me quite some time to read them all. 🙂

  • This sounds really cute. I love books that feature pets. I’ll have to check it out. Great review, Sophia.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • It was fun and cute and I loved seeing the pets get to be stars in this one. Hope you get the chance, Melanie. I think you’ll like quite a few of them. 🙂