Review: Embrace the Passion by Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner

Posted May 4, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 16 Comments

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Review: Embrace the Passion by Pauline Baird Jones, Carol Van Natta, Tiffany Roberts, Alexis Glynn Latner
Embrace the Passion

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Pets In Space #3
Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on October 9, 2018
Pages: 1142
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

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.

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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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Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

Wow time travel, steam punk and scifi? That’s an interesting combination. And wow, 8 stories and you enjoyed them all?! That sounds really great!
Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Yeah, that was an interesting combo. The steampunk comes in when they travel to the past and the other two come in because the time traveling isn’t necessarily done on earth. Very creative!

2 years ago

The second Pets in Space anthology was one of the books that got me into SciFi romance and I’ve had a great time following up on some of the authors I was introduced to there. I’m not usually a big fan of anthologies because the quality can be uneven, but I’ve yet to find a bad one in these. Carol Van Natta was definitely one of my top discoveries from the previous book.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  JenM

Yes, these are definitely not the usual for an anthology variety pack. This is my third one. The first one had a few that I was meh about, but that was out of like a dozen stories, the second had all hits and this one is proving the same so far. I’ll definitely be scarfing up the fourth one when it comes out late fall.

Anne - Books of My Heart

Well I love the topic. I just wish the novellas were more prequels or earlier in the series. I’m too OCD to start with these. Or do you feel you could read these and do ok without having read any of the series? yeah, I’d still do the series in order, lol. Great review!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Well, three are side stories in their series- Starway, Cats of War and Operation Ark. And, none are terribly hard to get settled into the story which I think is what all the authors were going for. I use them as samplers for finding new series that I want to try. This happened with Carol Van Natta’s series. I tried her novella in the first Pets in Space compilation, loved it, and went back to read the whole series. I’ve got a pile of books from other authors introduced in the PiS anthos. And, this one introduced me to a… Read more »

Angie Elle
2 years ago

Anthologies are always fun, and a great way to discover new authors! I’m glad to see the one you were most looking forward to panned out.

Great reviews! 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

You, said it, Angie. I found an all-time favorite with Carol Van Natta’s stories, but I have a boatload of others I want to try now, too. 🙂

Yes, Cats of War was well worth my anticipation.

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

Wow, I love the sound of this. And 8 stories to enjoy is nice. He has quite the 6 pack on the cover.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yay, glad to entice you, Mary. 🙂 There are actually 11 stories, but I still need to read the last three. I think they are putting together a four anthology for late fall. I’ll try to announce it since they usually put it at $.99 for preorders.

Haha, yes, he is a fit sci-fi hero. 🙂

2 years ago

Oh may authors there!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes! Look at all the authors. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Slow burn romance, and action packed?! Sign me up! I think it’s amazing that all eight stories in this anthology were good! It’s awesome to get a little taste of so many different author’s writing style and series. Now you have so many more reading options! Excellent Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

That’s what I say, Lindy! And, yes, it is a great way to taste test several authors and series. I’ve got so many I want to pursue now.

2 years ago

I also loved Cats of War, the author really has created an amazing world and I love her stories. I liked how this novella showed a different setting/ planet again and the cats were great too. I think I’ve read 3 of the stories now, I still have to read the rest. I am curious about that Tiffany Roberts series, I like the idea of half kraken shifters. Starway sounds like a good one too, I haven’t gotten to that one yet.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lola

I like taking it slower with this anthology so I can enjoy the individual stories better. I think you’ll enjoy the Kraken story. I’m hoping to get to the last three within the next couple weeks.