I’ve enjoyed each new release of the Pets in Space anthology series. Each anthology boasts a plethora of sci-fi romance authors, series, and stories all with one thing in common- a pet. It has been fun getting to sample new to me authors and series, encountering old favs, and, of course, reading a romance with a sci-fi setting and a fun ‘pet’ character. Embrace the Passion is no exception.
As I pointed out this is the third in a series of anthologies, but the anthologies are not really connected save the occasional story that comes from a series the author has going. Each novella is meant to be read standalone, but can also be enjoyed by fans of the existing series (if it comes from a series or world of a series). I think this is true, but I can also see how the reader might get more enjoyment if they are reading the story after having started the series it might be part of. Though, that said, I find they work well as teasers to make me want to get busy and grab up books from series.
Before I get into the heart of my review, let me just say that this review will be broken into three parts. I am NOT reviewing every story in this review. I’m reviewing the first four and will do two more reviews with the remaining seven stories. I wanted to say a little something about each story and my impressions and that would make an incredibly long review if I did them all together. So, without further ado…
These first four novellas represent three authors I have read before and two, in particular, from the specific world or series the novella is part of.
Heart of the Cat by S.E. Smith
#3 Sarafin Warriors
At the beginning there is the cast of characters listing what race, what ties politically or by relationship and family. It was very helpful.
Walkyr a Sarafin prince of an alien big cat shifting race, is sent by the goddess to earth to find the Heart of the Cat and encounters their people’s lost princess, Trescina. Only, a traitor group, The Enlightenment, has entered the chase for the Heart, too. Trescina was a baby when her mother came to earth and knew nothing about her heritage and doesn’t realize she’s not human so Walkyr has his work cut out for him in convincing her.
The beginning had an intro to what led up to the current, desperate situation. It was complicated and a little choppy as it leaped through a few disjointed opening scenes, but later, makes sense to have it as is ties to the contemporary circumstances for the Sarafin and situation for Trescina on earth. I would definitely read more from this and the other related Valdier and Curazon Warrior series now that I’ve read one Valdier Dragon and one Sarafin cat story and liked them.
Desert Hunter by Anna Hackett
#11.6 Galactic Gladiators
A desert caravan in a world with a fierce desert culture is the setting for this star-crossed pair. Mersi and Bren already love each other, but Bren has a big, dark secret that won’t allow him to accept Mersi’s love or believe she would want him if she found out his secret. But, with the help of a mysterious dog found in the desert and the hunt for the small child who sent the dog for help, Mersi and Bren battle desert pirates and more side by side and in the process learn whether Mersi’s love is strong enough when Bren’s secret is revealed.
From what I could gather, this is a side story in the author’s Gladiator world of stories. Galen and his human and another gladiator appear in the story on a separate mission to find human’s trafficked as slaves on this alien world. I enjoyed the tough action scenes and the desert culture described. It was spicy hot in the sexy scenes. I think I’ll be hunting up this Gladiator series….
Quashi by Ruby Lionsdrake
#6.5 Mandrake Company
Chanda wheedles her way into a job for business guru, Ankari, and it so happens to be aboard a merc ship owned by Captain Viktor Mandrake and full of his men. Chanda’s assistant job becomes a quashi wrangler when the alien rabbit like animals get put aboard the ship by mistake. It’s not long before one gets loose behind the panels in engineering and she’s helping the handsome ship’s doctor and combat medic Kor hunt down a rogue quashi before it chews through something vital.
Chandra is a game designer and a geek so she is startled to discover the big former combat medic is into games and seems to be into her.
This was a lighthearted side story on the sweeter side in the Mandrake Company series which is more spicy for the main stories. And, we have another series I need to check out so I can get the stories of the other people populating the cast of characters around Chanda and Kor.
Mystery Dancer by Veronica Scott
#13 The Sectors SF
Giving a sci-fi spin to the story of the Princess Anastasia and death of the Romanovs in a government takeover, this latest The Sectors Star Cruise story was exciting as Tassa, the young princess in disguise gets a job as a chorus dancer aboard the cruise ship. Liam, former special forces, is now a security officer aboard the ship and he is taken with the mysterious Tassa from the beginning when he suspects she is the jewel thief fugitive being hunted. He wrestles with what is the right path and a curious phantom cat helps show him the way.
I keep saying that I need to read more from this series as I love the three stories I’ve already read. I love the author’s writing style, world, characters, romances and way to write a SFR-Suspense.
NOTE: This anthology is no longer available for purchase, but the authors have started releasing the stories individually so most stories can be found by checking for them by their title and author.
All in all, this first batch of stories were strong entries and had me riveted each time. They did the job of leaving me wanting more from each of their respective series and showing a fantastic variety of SFR situations, settings, and styles of writing. I am chomping at the bit for the rest of the stories.
Literary Pickers #69 space cargo ship
Reader Assignment #8 Professor Genre- SFR