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.
Alien Animals, Alien Romances, Alien Worlds… yeah, lots of Alien Awesomeness here with several new to me series and authors along with a few welcome familiar ones in this powerhouse anthology
I loved the first Pets in Space anthology with all the creative ways animal were made the heroes and side-kicks in stories set in space. So many familiar and new to me authors to try. And the added benefit of supporting a great charity. Well guess what? They are at it again with all the above marvelous-ness.
The anthology has twelve separate novella-length stories and that’s a chunk so I decided to break up my blog review of Embrace the Romance into three sections so I can give more space to the stories within with my thoughts. I’ll take them in chronological order.
Pearl’s Dragon by SE Smith
Dragon Lords of Valdier story
This was my first encounter with the Dragon Lords of Valdier series though I’ve had my eye on the series for a while and even snagged book one a while back.. I’m pretty sure this one follows book nine as it mentions several established couples and a history of events in passing.
A race of dragon shifters why each receive a symbiotic partner and a need to find their true mates. Poor Asim is an older, worn out by living dragon with a penitent for caring for animals and a need to keep doing his duty protecting the royal family. He thinks his chances at mating are gone until a sudden encounter with a fiery older earth woman proves him wrong.
This was a humorous, hot, and engaging side story in the Valdier world for Pearl and Asim with a series of encounters told in flashback including their first meet. The alien animals were mischievous and fun, but played strong roles in the story. It was broken up because it was a story within a story and of course I had to keep up with all the series characters and situations in the background b/c I was unfamiliar with the series. It was not an easy standalone, but it did the job of convincing me that I do want to read the whole series.
A Grim Pet by MK Eidem
A Tornian Series follow up story that also has crossover with the Kaliszian Series
Another series story that that I haven’t started yet, but already planned to with book one loaded and ready on my Kindle. A Grim Pet comes after the first three Torian Series and the Second Kaliszian Series books. I felt the weight of both those series cast of characters and series plot threads.
The story’s focus is on King Grim and his family as they continue to settle into their new life and the uneasy situation with several races that are on the brink of war because of the kidnapping of earth women. On a brighter note, Little Miki finds an unusual wounded visitor in the garden while the grown-ups are trying to fix an issue that will prevent war.
This was a whimsical story, but it hints at the excitement and passion from the regular series stories.
The Prince, The Pilot, and the Puppy by Susan Grant
A Star series story #4.5
This is the parallel story to ‘Stray’ from the Pets in Space antho (now released as a single ‘Star Hero’). This one was a strong, well-developed standalone though part of a series. A woman feeling the rejection of her birth dad becomes a top space pilot to finally gain his approbation. Meanwhile, she is attempting to resist her fellow pilot’s charm because he is a prince and way out of her class. It takes an alien puppy and a plotting terrorist group to bring things together.
Rornn, Trysh, and Puppy were a heartwarming threesome and I enjoyed this snipped story that finally showed what came of the little waif of a puppy that Bang Bang shared his food with. I have Star King and I will be finishing this series after enjoying these two novellas.
Wired for Love by Michelle Howard
From the world of the series A World Beyond, this one is a great danger-filled plot both for a pair of lovers in which the lady hides her fear of love hurting her behind a tough exterior while a former soldier scarred by his past puts it all on the line for her. A loyal, heroic war dog and a mystery bring them together.
I loved this one, but also felt it would be even better as a full-length. I really couldn’t figure out what had Narelle so twitchy about giving Hunter a chance since he was open and honest and hadn’t done anything to hurt her. She kept hinting about a past, but it isn’t expanded on. But, all in all, this one jerked hard at my emotions and engaged me thoroughly. And, another that I definitely want to go back for more of the author’s books.
So, those are my thoughts on the first four and I’m tickled to say that they were all strong and engaging stories that left me wanting to single-click my way through each author’s backlists. Sci-Fi Romance lovers really need to snag this one and give these authors a go when you get the chance.