Review: Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2 by S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Greene, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, Alexis Glynn Latner

Posted December 11, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

Review: Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2 by S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Greene, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, Alexis Glynn Latner
Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
four-flames

Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on October 10, 2017
Pages: 828
Format: eARC
Source: Author

Get it at: add to goodreads

Review

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.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #274 Sci-Fi Rom
New Release #164 

Recommendations

 Review Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair  F814 by Eve Langlais

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.

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  • I saw this one around a lot and I confess that I’m curious as well!

    • That’s great! I love this group of stories and glad its getting noticed. I’ve managed to pile lots of books onto my wish and TBR lists after reading their stories. 🙂

      Good anthology when you’re in the mood to try some sci-fi romance.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Ok all you bloggers have convinced me its on my list!

    • Buahaha! We wore you down. Mission accomplished. But, I think when you’re in a sci-fi romance mood, you’ll find some goodies in this batch, Debbie. 🙂

  • I really want to read this anthology I just love these sci fi romances. and I have been bad this year about reading this sub genre. Gonna go one click it!! Lovely reviews. One thing I do like about this genre in romance is how complex the stories can be. I love that, and normally have great balanced plots.

    • Between this one and their first Pets in Space antho, I’ve become a solid fan of most of the writers though I was only familiar with one or two when I got started. They do write a good variety of alien worlds and situations so that is great when you’re reading through so many like this.

  • I have this book sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read and review. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    • You’re in for a treat, Mary. It took me about three months on this one b/c I read four at a time and then read other books between, but each batch of these were really good. Most were just above average to excellent stories for me. And, I now have added several more books to the list from their regular series. Haha!

  • Woohoo! I need to try more anthologies!

    • Oh, yes, Lily. There are some really great anthologies out there including this one. 🙂

  • This is a super long book, hats off to you! It sounds like you had fun reading the stories and finding new-to-you authors 🙂

    • Oh man, it was definitely a marathon and not a sprint. I don’t think I could have read it straight through, but breaking it into three parts was very doable and I really had a good time with all the stories. 🙂

  • This is quite the book at over 800 pages. I have enjoyed all of your reviews of it breaking down the stories. Each story really sounds good.

    • Oh yeah, and that’s exactly why I broke it up. I was afraid all the stories would just start merging together on me. This way, I got to appreciate them more, I think.
      Hope you get the chance, Carole. 🙂

  • I liked how you split your review up as my review got very long with all the stories in one review and it was quite the large book to read in a row.

    Ru was a fun character in that story and it was great to see his development.

    I really enjoyed Carol van Natta’s story. I am hoping to get my hands on one of her full length books soon.

    Oh and Mascot was great too, I liked the setting on the space station.

    I also enjoyed all of these stories, except for one that didn’t work for me as I don’t like time travel. It really was a great collection of stories.

    • It was a really great series. I am planning to get some of the other books in these series, too.

      Oh yeah, I remember that time travel one. I was a bit confused b/c it was obviously part of a great series. I liked it, but yeah, it wasn’t one of my favorites in the series.

  • Soooo I’m checking out posts I missed last month. Feel free to ignore me the next day or so. lol I’ve got some from Jessica Subject in my pile. I think I need to move those up. Nice to have such a solid collection here 🙂

    • LOL, you’re no bother.

      Oh man, each time I read and fell in love with a novella from this antho, I discovered that I either already had books by the author that are still begging to be read or I already had her books on my wish list. Apparently I have some more great sci-fi reading in my future. LOL Hope you enjoy your Jessica Subject story.