The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
Here we have the last group of novellas in the Embrace the Romance anthology. As most know, I broke up my reading of the twelve stories into three sections for ease of review. I think this plan also helped me appreciate the stories better instead of them all getting tangled up together in my thoughts. I dearly love sci-fi romance and was pleased to dive in and meet the worlds, the characters, the plots, and, of course, the darling alien pets.
Sensate by Sabine Priestley 4 stars
Alien Attachments series
Sensate is the story of an artificial intelligence come to life and desiring a body which in turn gives two lonely people a second chance at romance. Marco and Zara were once lovers until he walked away. Ru, his sentient com, brings him back to Zara. A deadly adventure make them both see the truth about their feelings and dreams.
I loved this story, the characters, especially Ru, and am intrigued by the great world of the Alien Attachments series. This worked well as a standalone mostly, but I confess to being confused by the ‘psi’ element that was introduced and played a part, but wasn’t explained much. I’ll have to go back and read the earlier books in the series.
Gib and the Tibbar by Jessica E Subject 3.5 Stars
A Defenders series story
This is a standalone side story set in the Defenders universe of stories. It was a sweet ‘blue-collar’ romance between a space soldier and a lonely, but dreaming kitchen worker who fears Gib is just one more person to take from her and leave. Gib wants to prove her wrong, but duty calls him away. A cute little tibbar pet saves the day.
This was one of those stories that was complete and brought great emotion to the story. I do wish for a few extra pages there in the end where it got a tad choppy to fit into the page count. And, another series I definitely want to pursue.
Pet Trade by Carol Van Natta 4.5 stars
#3.5 A Central Galactic Concordance series story
Axur and Bethnee’s story grabbed me from the beginning. I have a soft spot for abuse survivors and with Pet Trade I ended up with a story chock full of them. With a woman with psychic gifts with animals exploited and abused, a cyborg man experimented on and exploited, and a passel of designer space animals also being exploited and all of them in hiding, I was already cheering them on to find a connection, family, and home with each other while evading those who would try to recapture them to be used again.
This story stood well alone. It gave enough hints at the broader world of the series, but lacked nothing in its own right. I loved that there are aliens, cyborg spec ops teams, psychically gifted humans and more being offered which I will definitely check out in the future.
Mascot by Alexis Glynn 4.5 Stars
An Aeon’s Legacy series story
An auditor and a space station manager, two cultures, mistrust of each other, and a common threat from without made for an amazing adventure. This book is part of a great series world, but it stood alone quiet well. I enjoyed the author’s writing for its description, character and plot development. She roused my curiosity early and kept me riveted.
I loved the way this one set up describing the fascinating setting of the mysterious and legendary nebula and the equally secretive places of the space station now on the edge of things. The political intrigue that suddenly made this backwater station important. And the engaging characters including the plantimal (plant animal) pet of the station that does its part to save them all. And, yes, we have yet another series I am compelled to start.
Well, that was all of this fabulous collection. Not a dud in the group of stories that were clever and engaging. I enjoyed reuniting with favorite authors and discovering new ones to love. They all have a gift for fantastic sci-fi romance writing that I can heartily recommend to those who love the genre and those who want to give it a try.
My thanks to the authors for the opportunity to read their book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #164