Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on October 9, 2018
This is the second of three parts to my review of this fantastic sci-fi romance anthology. One of my all-time favorite series was represented in this section, two other series I enjoy, and an all new series and author that I’ve wanted to try in for-ev-er. Four more novellas and four more strong, exciting romances set in sci-fi worlds with heroic characters including their pets.
Just a reminder that I broke up my review of this anthology to give due to each story in the series. I’ve tackled the next four novellas. Also, a reminder that this anthology is no longer available for purchase, but each individual story is now released under the author’s name so they can be bought by looking up the author or novella title. Alright, that concludes the public service announcements. On to the good stuff!
Operation Ark by Pauline Baird Jones
#7.5 Project Enterprise
Part of an ongoing series that mashes sci-fi, time travel, and even steampunk, Project Ark is a continuation on events that took place in an earlier installment of the series. I had no trouble following what was going on or getting up to speed with the characters, but it definitely felt like I’d jumped in mid-stream.
US Marine pilot, Cara City, thought she was volunteering for an easy mission to take several aliens back to their homeworlds after they were rescued from captivity. Along with her is a unit of Marines, human first contact people hoping to make friends with each alien race encountered along the route, and her motley command team that consist of her ship’s AI, Rita, a sentient robot, Bull, a human raised by robots, Kraye, and a caticorn beast who was one of the rescuees and took a shine to City. Not long into the mission, it’s obvious that someone talked and now her ship or one of her interesting passengers or all the above is the target.
I enjoyed the aliens and their worlds, but I confess that I got more vested when things got rolling with the action conflict and the slow-burn romance between Cara and Kraye. Things were left in a good stopping off place for the series and I would definitely like to encounter the members of the crew again in future books.
Cats of War by Carol Van Natta
#4.5 Central Galactic Concordance
This was my most anticipated story in the anthology and it did not disappoint. I am in love with the series, the author’s style and elaborate futuristic space world, and the intrigue she loads in to surround a slow-burn sweet romance.
Cats of War is part of an ongoing series of standalone stories. It will feel connected to a series and there will be a bit a catch-up time needed to understand the worldbuilding structure of military-style government and the psychic talents fitting in.
It’s a whole new setting in a low-max prison for people who got into trouble financially to the government for various reasons and must work off their debt. The hero runs the military section of the facility and the heroine is one of the indenturees (debtors). They both have secrets and troubles of people after them, but they pull together for a common cause when two war cats end up in danger and need a rescue.
I’m eager for the next installment in the series.
Hunter of the Tide by Tiffany Roberts
#3 The Kraken
This series was one that I always meant to try after seeing Suzanne @ Under the Covers Books rave reviews. I’m so glad to have gotten this chance and really enjoyed it. Who woulda thunk! Half cephalapod-half human race Krakens and their alien sea world and culture become known to the few humans they allow in on their secrets.
It was obvious that there was quite a bit of worldbuilding and storyline that came before this one and that Randall and Rhea had a history with each other and the rest of the Kraken. However, this was written so that a newbie like me could get up to speed and appreciate this story of a female Kraken who knows exactly who she wants even if it means trying to learn more about the human male who confuses her and about the male human who has never been enough and now feels that he must prove himself and take things slowly with the wonderful female who sees past their differences. With the help of Rhea’s daughter and a cute sea lizard pet, along with their other human and Kraken friends, they find a way to be together in spite of the angry and dangerous opposition who don’t want Krakens to be with humans.
I am definitely going back for Macy and Aimee’s stories and the first encounters with the races and can’t wait to see what comes next.
Starway by Alexis Glynn Latner
I’ve read other novellas that are standalone, but are set in the world the author’s Aeon’s Legacy series. I’m not entirely sure, but I think that’s the case here with Starway.
So, Starway, was an engaging story of a commercial starliner pilot who has a layover in the Wendonian’s Starway. She’s lonely and taking stock of her life as she reaches mid-life after focusing entirely on her career and denying herself a relationship or anything else. Then she spots one of her frequent passengers, Danyel, who is a handsome man that is the travel agent officially and unofficially the consort of a wealthy woman. Nikka likes Danyel, but wishes he’d show some initiative.
Danyel gets that chance when Nikka gets into danger when her pilot expertise is wanted by terrorist and anti-terrorist groups. Like Nikka, Danyel is at a crossroads in life when he realizes that he’s given a woman his heart and life who does not return that love and loyalty- in fact, she’d rather he weaken his health and take a chance on destroying his mind to continue keeping him as a pretty boy. This is a wake up call and he can’t help but compare Nikka’s version of aging with grace and respecting him as a person. Danyel burns his bridges and leaps to the rescue. With the help of a Wendonian Spy and his clever dog, Star, Danyel goes after Nikka.
This was exciting in parts, but also a good blend of character development, too. The futuristic far-distant sci-fi setting was well done. I really need to get on the stick and read the Aeon’s Legacy books.
So, eight stories down and not a bad one in the batch. I was reminded why I adore the genre and the wide variety that stories can take, but also realized that I need to get busy and caught up on several of these series based on the fabulous taste I got from each of these novellas. I look forward to the final group of stories and can heartily recommend any that catch your fancy.