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review 2017-05-18 03:40
The Course of Honour by Avoliot
The Course of Honour - Avoliot The Course of Honour - Avoliot

[The Course of Honour is original m/m sci-fi romance posted on Archive of Our Own. Warning: one of the main characters was in an abusive relationship prior to the beginning of the book - mostly emotionally abusive, but a little physical.]

The Course of Honour stars Prince Kiem of the planet Iskat and Count Jainan of the planet Thea. Five years ago, the Theans sent Jainan to marry Iskat’s Prince Taam in order to secure an alliance. A month before the start of the book, Taam was killed in a flybug (personal aircraft) accident. Kiem learns to his horror that, according to the terms of the treaty, Jainan must remarry and he’s been chosen to be Jainan’s next partner. Jainan’s certainly attractive, but Kiem has never even spoken to him before. Plus, Kiem figures he’s probably still grieving. Not that he and Jainan have any say in the matter - the marriage is scheduled to happen tomorrow.

Right from the start, their marriage is complicated by assumptions and secrets. Jainan and Taam’s marriage wasn’t nearly as solid as they’d led everyone to believe, and Jainan is sure he’s in for more of the same from Kiem. Kiem, meanwhile, just wants to make things as easy as possible for Jainan.

I found out about this via a recommendation that said something to the effect of “it’s m/m sci-fi romance, good, and free.” Considering how many unread e-books I have, I probably shouldn’t have clicked through, but I’m glad I did. I sped through the whole thing in a couple days and would have downloaded more of the author’s works if any had been available.

Part of me feels like I shouldn’t have enjoyed this as much as I did. As I was reading, it felt like there was some kind of background checklist going. If Character A says this, then of course Character B will eventually respond like so. If Characters A and B are in X situation, then of course Y will happen. For example, the instant Kiem and Jainan were stranded in the snowy wilderness, I knew that one of them would end up having to keep the other warm with his body heat and that it would probably lead to sex. (I was right, but I was pleasantly surprised that the sex wasn’t explicit and didn't lead to a sudden sharp increase in sex scenes.)

The world-building was extremely light, even in terms of Iskat vs. Thean culture. And some details and events were a little difficult to believe and probably would have irked me more if I’d stopped and thought more about them. For instance, it took Kiem far longer than I thought it should have to figure out that Taam had been abusing Jainan. I would have thought that a prince, even one as good-natured as Kiem, would have learned at some point not to take everything everyone said and did at face value.

Jainan, too, took longer than I expected to realize that Kiem was nothing like Taam, although I gave him more leeway. His big argument with Kiem felt a bit forced, though, like it only blew up that badly because the story needed him and Kiem to be separated for a bit. And the entire “let’s save Jainan” part felt like it’d fall apart if I examined it too closely. Even a prince with a mother who was a general should have had to do more than smile and show off a video clip of someone’s kid to get that far into a building like that without trouble.

Considering all of that, why did I love this book? The best answer I’ve got is the characters. Kiem was almost aggressively cheerful and charismatic. He remembered everyone, liked almost everyone, and could be shoved into a roomful of strangers and end up making at least half a dozen friends by the time he'd made his way out again. I was worried, at first, that he’d be a useless drunken rogue, but he turned out to not be like that at all. He spent a lot of his time networking and drumming up support for various charities, but he tended to have so much fun that it didn’t always look like he was working.

Jainan was the opposite, completely locked down and tightly controlled. While his and Kiem’s tendency to misread each other was frustrating, it was also a lot of fun - I was really looking forward to seeing them finally get onto something like the same wavelength. In the meantime, it was nice seeing Jainan gradually come out of his shell a bit and rediscover the things he’d enjoyed doing before Taam had boxed him in.

Oh, and I should probably bring up Bel, Kiem’s aide. First, I was happy that this wasn’t one of those m/m romances devoid of female characters with speaking roles. Second, Bel was just a lot of fun. Kiem and Bel made me think of P.G. Wodehouse’s Wooster and Jeeves, a little, although Kiem wasn’t nearly as silly as Bertie Wooster. I’d love to read a story about Bel’s early days as Kiem’s aide. I only had a couple issues with Bel in this book, which mainly had to do with how easily she kept getting pushed to the sidelines so that Kiem and Jainan could get bogged down by their problems without her. I imagine that her general competence and sharp eyes were a problem for the author.

All in all, I enjoyed this immensely. It had its problems, but the characters and sweet romance made up for them.

Additional Comments:

There were a handful of typos, as well as a couple distracting author’s notes that probably should have been removed before the work was marked “completed.” The one that bugged me the most was at the beginning of Chapter 25. It said something about Chapter 26 being late. For a few horrifying moments I thought I’d downloaded a work that hadn’t been finished yet, and I was going to have to wait to get more of the story.

 

Rating Note:

 

Part of me feels like I should score this lower because of the various issues I mentioned, but...nah. I can't guarantee I'd rate it the same if I reread it a year from now, and I doubt I'd have rated it this high if I had paid for it, but this is the rating I think fits it best right now.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-05-12 20:58
Book Review for Arranged A Master and Mercenaries Novella by Lexi Blake
 
 
 


 
Arranged
A Master and Mercenaries Novella
by Lexi Blake
 stars
 
Reviewed by: Angels
Format:Kindle
Published: Evil Eye Concepts
Source: ARC
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
 
 
 
Kash Kamdar is the king of a peaceful but powerful island nation. As Loa Mali’s sovereign, he is always in control, the final authority. Until his mother uses an ancient law to force her son into marriage. His prospective queen is a buttoned-up intellectual, nothing like Kash’s usual party girl. Still, from the moment of their forced engagement, he can’t stop thinking about her. 

Dayita Samar comes from one of Loa Mali’s most respected families. The Oxford-educated scientist has dedicated her life to her country’s future. But under her staid and calm exterior, Day hides a few sexy secrets of her own. She is willing to marry her king, but also agrees that they can circumvent the law. Just because they’re married doesn’t mean they have to change their lives. It certainly doesn’t mean they have to fall in love. 

After one wild weekend in Dallas, Kash discovers his bride-to-be is more than she seems. Engulfed in a changing world, Kash finds exciting new possibilities for himself. Could Day help him find respite from the crushing responsibility he’s carried all his life? This fairy tale could have a happy ending, if only they can escape Kash’s past…



We loved this story cover to cover.What a great cast of of characters that were really funny and enjoyable to read about.I cannot tell you how many times I laughed throughout this story something we needed lately.

I loved the plot and its characters.Day she was my favorite in the bunch.I found her to be intelligent,kind,passionate,beautiful inside and out and one who owned her sexuality. Day surprised me the most as she was not the kind of girl that Kash normally went for yet still attracted to.This was a intelligent women who decided to act on her sexual desire and become a Dominatrix making her even a stronger women in her life and work.I loved seeing a strong female character in a story and Day was the perfect match for Kash the worlds most irresponsible playboy who happens to be a king. Kash will never rule his wife in or out of the bedroom the perfect women to make him change and be the man she new he to be all along.I loved that Day got a second chance at love with Kash but, is he willing to except the women she is now without feeling weak?Is she willing to give up what she needs and wants to be able to be with him?I was rooting for Day to stick by her guns and stay true to herself.I just loved everything about her she was just to sweet not to love.

Kash a king with a playboy reputation .I found him to be intelligent and to have a sense of humor but, most of the time I thought he was an a**.I thought about kicking this kings but more than once throughout this story.How could he admire Day for being intelligent kind and a strong women and in his next breath despising her for those qualities.He could not except that she had a past and how she lived her life and yet he had no problem being a king with his sexual interludes splashing the Internet far and wide. Hypocrite much?

A story filled with passion and deceit ,danger,love and regret and second chances.We loved it.I love when you are able to connect with the characters that you read about.And I was able to do that with these characters.I love when you read about two alpha's characters and wait and see if their willing to meet in middle and compromise .

Kash's upbringing is responsible for a lot of his current thinking concerning women but in the same breath he doesn't want see a women be suppressed.I understood his inter struggles as he was a king and didn't want to be seem as weak. But, submitting to his wife in the bedroom was not going to make him weak yet he couldn't and was not willing to give up control in all things.

A great love story that had you rooting for a couple of strong characters who were perfect for one another and had a lot in common yet so far apart.I enjoyed being on this journey of this couples self sexual discovery and learning to see if love truly conquers all.I will definitely be looking to read the rest of the books in this series as we can't wait to read about the other characters we met in this current story.

A recommend story to all. 
 

5 stars from us
 
 


 
 
 






NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem. 

Her first novel, Their Virgin Captive: Masters of Ménage, Book 1, was a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Shayla Black. There are six more books available in the series: Their Virgin's Secret, Their Virgin Concubine, Their Virgin Princess, Their Virgin Hostage, Their Virgin Secretary, and Their Virgin Mistress.

In addition to the Masters of Ménage series, she is the author of the Masters and Mercenaries series. The first nine novels, The Dom Who Loved Me, The Men with the Golden Cuffs, A Dom is Forever, On Her Master's Secret Service, Love and Let Die, Dungeon Royale, A View to a Thrill, You Only Love Twice, and Master No are available now, along with the novellas Sanctum, Unconditional, Dungeon Games, Cherished, Luscious, Adored, and Just One Taste. The tenth novel, From Sanctum with Love, is coming February 23, 2016, along with a new novella, Devoted, on April 12, 2016.

In 2013, Lexi also began releasing her urban fantasy series, Thieves. The full series, Steal the Light, Steal the Day, Steal the Moon, Steal the Sun, and Steal the Night, are available now on Amazon. The first two books in a spin-off of the series, Ripper and Addict, were released in 2015. Look for Sleeper, the next book in the spin-off series, to be released in Fall of 2016.

Lexi again collaborated with Shayla Black in a new series The Perfect Gentlemen. The first book, Scandal Never Sleeps, is now available. Book two, Seduction in Session, will release on January 5, 2016, followed by book three, Big Easy Temptation, on May 3, 2016.

Sign up for Lexi's FREE newsletter at http://lexiblake.net.

For more information about her books, her appearances and her wacky life visit her Facebook page (http://goo.gl/q2IHnJ) or her website (http://www.lexiblake.net).
 


 
 
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review 2017-04-30 17:27
Exile (Exile #1) by Colleen Vanderlinden Review
Exile - Colleen Vanderlinden

Two races fight for what remains of a dying planet.


For generations, the Maarlai, an alien race who fled the destruction of their own home world, have lived silently, hidden, exiled on Earth. They watched, year by year, as humanity destroyed what was once a planet full of hope and promise.


Unable to idly watch as the planet dipped further into destruction, the Maarlai left their hidden villages and went to war with what was left of humanity. With the death of the last great human king, the Maarlai found themselves victorious and vowed to protect and restore the planet that had sheltered them for so long.


A treaty made, an alliance formed.


Shannen of House Lyon is a member of the last of the human royal families. While they bend knee to the Maarlai ruler, her people have not forgotten their former greatness, the years of bloodshed and horror... or the memory of their fallen king.


To ensure a lasting peace between their two peoples, Shannen and three other prominent human women are sent to the Maarlai capital. One of them will wed the future Maarlai king, cementing the peace between former enemies.


When Shannen finds herself married to the Maarlai warrior, she discovers a whole new world... and freedom unlike anything she could have imagined. When war threatens once again, she will need to decide where her loyalties truly lie.

 

 

Review

 

I forgot that Vanderlinden writes Sagas! Ahhggghhh. We are in for a long luscious ride with this series.

 

There isn't really a cliffhanger but more of much more to go in this tale.

 

The alliance marriage makes this feel more like a medieval with aliens and thus a fantasy romance that a science fiction romance but the mash up is well done.

 

The hero comes to cleave to his wife and the heroine comes into her own power. She is a bookworm which I love and never passive about anything but practical. 

 

The pace is sedate but lots is happening and the love story could be more detailed but you feel it.

 

Let's see what happens next!

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review 2017-04-16 22:42
Arranged (Masters & Mercenaries) by Lexi Blake
Arranged - Lexi Blake

 

 

ARC Review: Arranged (Masters & Mercenaries) by Lexi Blake

To find happiness, a duo of outcasts must face tragedy, fear and their own personal truths. Kash was never meant to be King but when tragedy strikes and his life is upended, he must leave his heart behind to face his responsibilities. Fast forward nine years and the heartbroken boy has become his own worst enemy. Can a forced wedding help him change his playboy ways and return him to his heart's desire? Arranged weaves it's web of seduction while delivering heartbreaking truths and providing a second chance for star-crossed lovers. Every fantastical scenario wrapped up in a temptingly small novel that stirs the blood and touches the heart.

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review 2017-02-11 19:55
Crow and Firefly (Crow and Firefly #1) by Sam C. Leonhard
Crow and Firefly - Sam C. Leonhard

Tho entertaining (to a degree), this book can stand some serious editing. The characters are unhinged, the writing is ...well, just let me warn you, the author is not a native speaker and it shows. There are plenty of people out there willing to proof-read, if only asked. That authors and publishers let it slide baffles me every single time.

I liked the idea of sifters-mating-humans being - literally - a deadly affair, however, it was not the real focus of this book. This is a cinderfella story, in which the future king of the land lures a poor young starving shifter, Ari, into his castle to marry him, the shifter/human conundrum a purrr-fect excuse for the jolly event. The pair, no surprise there, turns out to be a purrr-fect match.

Ari disappointed me great greatly at the end of the book, bragging about sleeping around with pretty much every available male since he was 14. That revelation comes out of his mouth on his wedding night, while talking to his brand-new husband. What a turn on ...um, not! :/ Oh, and then there was that episode where Ari seduced his husband by turning into a cat. What the heck? O.o

The author left no incentive to read the second installment. Everything smoothed out perfectly towards the end, with a perfect neon HEA flashing gaily all over the last pages.

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