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review 2017-02-05 17:51
Alien Conquest: (The Warrior's Prize) An Alien SciFi Romance by Scarlett Rhone Review
Alien Conquest: (The Warrior's Prize) An Alien SciFi Romance - Scarlett Rhone

As a paramedic, Alaina Stafford knew that every shift would have its surprises. But being abducted by alien slave traders? There’s no amount of preparation for that kind of surprise.

Before she can wrap her head around it, Alaina is sold at a high-dollar auction to be the new “donara” for a powerful, wealthy Errai family. It doesn’t take long to find out what a “donara” is…it’s the reward for the gladiator who wins in the Arena.

Alaina is to be the victor’s prize.

Vega is the House favorite among the slave warriors, and crowds come from across the galaxy to watch him in the Arena. Unlike the other fighters, he’s not swayed by the promise of winning this strange human woman. His real prize—his freedom—is within his grasp, and he won’t be distracted from the chance to return home by some fragile but exotic beauty from a planet called Earth.

But there’s a vicious political power play at hand, and both Vega and Alaina stand to lose everything. Thrown together and forced to rely on each other, they soon realize that love may actually be worth dying for.

 

 

 

Review

 

This title. Cringe. I look at these titles through my fingers when I click to buy this book or books like them. I remind my self that they aren't any worse that Harlequin Presents or some contemporary titles (My Bearded Billionaire Stepbrother) and that they are just trying to pick up on search hits. But still, so so awful. I feel like a trash picker looking for treasure.

 

This book is a find. It is really really good. Thank you, Kindle Unlimited. Thank you,  Science Fiction Alien Romance Craving and Binge.

 

Here is the things that could have been better: We get a nice Epilogue HEA but given the grimness of most of the story (slavery is ugly), I really think everyone had earned some chapters living on a free planet and adapting to this other cultural and space as a married couple.

 

The timeline of the plot is a bit scrunched for the falling in love. If it had been over months rather than weeks, the book would have been stronger. Yes, more horrors would have been likely to befall our leads (the heroine gets off relativity light which I am fine with but it isn't believable and could have been done off stage and the hero's and heroine's trauma could have been a great plot to deal with in later chapters set on the hero's home world)

Those things would have made this very good science fiction romance a read over and over book rather than a Wow, I really enjoyed that book.

 

What was so good?

 

The world building is well done. The heroine is taken from earth and sold into slavery into a three alien cultured space where proxy wars are fought in an Arena over all conflicts. The slavery is both indentured and chattel. The writer does a wonderful job of showing how power corrupts and the different ways slaves adapt. The gladiator culture and setting is detailed but the riveting aspect of the book is the psychological landscape of high and low slaves, owners, and freed people.

 

More time could have been spent on the distinct culture of each alien race of the other aspects of the world were well drawn.

 

The hero's struggles with his enslavement are particular well down. He has been indentured a good long time trying to free his planet and he does not escape all the webs of being an owned person internally or externally. He is a wonderfully cynical, pragmatic, and centered person.

 

I adore how there are secondary characters that seem evil but are really shown as products of the system. The owners being less complicated in this way than some other slaves that become allies.

 

As I said, because of the timeline the heroine suffers less from the system but she is stripped of personhood. Her fight against is impractical at times but true to her personality. She gets to remain a medic as well as being an exotic species and this grounds her.

 

The love story is believable if needing more time than a longer timeline would provide.

I am looking forward to reading more books by this writer who has such a fine hand for the heart of what it means to be human (or alien).

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review 2017-02-02 19:20
Review: "Looks Over" (Gives Light, #2) by Rose Christo
Looks Over - Rose Christo

"It's not blood that makes us who we are," Dad said. "It's family. And it's not blood that makes us family. It's love."

 

This was even more beautiful than the first book. Because there was more of EVERYTHING!

 

  • more emotions
  • more family love and dynamics
  • more relationship moments
  • more sweet kisses (but no sex, though I don't expect that in a YA novel anyway)
  • more education on Native American culture
  • more wonderful secondary characters
  • more drama (NOT relationship-related!)
  • more surprising plot twists
  • and more BEAUTIFUL WRITING

 

 

And yet, I STILL can't give this book the highest 5-star rating, because I was missing Rafael's POV here more than ever.

 

 

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review 2017-01-09 03:17
The Royal Inquisitor by Megan Derr
The Royal Inquisitor - Megan Derr

why is there never an edited book from Megan? WHY????

 

 

Could have easily been 4.5 stars rounded up, but - no. I had to claw myself out of a ditch, where nothing makes sense and you have to double/triple check to verify you're not legally insane. I am sorry, Megan. I really am. I loved the story but re-reading and re-confirming got on my nerves this time so much, that I, in good conscious, cannot do better than 3 stars.

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review 2016-10-23 10:16
Christiana of Chibok- David Damey

   I enjoyed this high adrenalin short story, and yes there is no crime in that, but don’t ever forget to reflect on the truths told by fiction. That the subject matter uses the backdrop of the real story of the 276 abducted, imprisoned and abused girls, taken from their secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, makes it deeply poignant.

   I have no idea if any of the story is based on detailed fact, but am sure that all of it has been experienced in individual realities. That it represents well enough the actual conditions faced by the girls is evident enough from the reports that have seeped out. A number of these women, for that is what cruel life quickly made them, have got back to their homes, each, hopefully, to eventually find the strength to report their own harrowing experiences. However, as I write in October 2016 we hear that about 200 of the original group are still missing, as they have been for the last two and a half years.

   I would like to think that this well written, powerful, drama, helps to raise the conscious of the world, though little seems too move governments to action unless there’s some promise of gaining political or economic influence. As a reader I assume that this Christiana is a fiction, though at least one girl of that name was taken. I hope all readers use the story as a spring-board towards finding out more, and then helping spread the word. Too few are doing enough to end the victims’ nightmare.

   The writing is very exciting, and should be a disturbing, read for all of us that sleep comfortably at night. The action is centred on the bravery in one girl’s struggle to survive. Let all the screams be heard.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2016-09-28 18:19
Review: "Outcome" (Aftermath, #2) by Cara Dee
Outcome - Cara Dee

"You're beautiful. A beautiful fucking mess."

 

So I liked this one better than the first book. Probably because I had lower expectations this time.

 

I could empathize with Chase and Remy more and found their romance WAY more reasonable and naturally developed than Austin and Cam's from the previous book.

 

Of course there was still enough nonsense happening left and right. Like Chase, being a former kidnap victim himself, but who didn't express any doubts and had no concerns at all when Remy was taken by his friends to a cabin and cuffed to a bed for weeks (!) against his will so that he could detox. Chase just showed not one single sign of disapproval. Not. A single. One!

 

 

Or like Chase going for the good old "I swear I'm clean, you can trust me, let's fuck bareback!" fuckery, coming from a self-destructive hardcore junkie and alcoholic who he just met and who just overcame a STD a couple of days ago.

 

And BTW, I feel like I deserve a medal for not DNF and give a 1 star rating for this fucking stupid and outrageously irresponsible SHIT alone right then and there! Seriously authors, show some responsibility FFS!

 

 

On a more positive note, I liked both MCs and I understood the hell they went through and were still living in. I liked how they both were each other's strength and how they wanted to help and support each other. 

 

Plus this time, there was no poorly executed GFY bullshit to be had and I didn't end up being so angry and disappointed. So I guess that's a win?

 

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