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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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text 2017-04-27 22:49
Dewey Readathon Reading List - Spring 2017
The New Neighbor: A Novel - Leah Stewart
A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance Book 3) - Margaret Brownley
Deep Deception - Cathy Pegau
Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

My TBR for the read-a-thon is very eclectic.

 

1. The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart (Pop Sugar challenge - book with eccentric character) (Library Love challenge)

           A story about a nosy elderly lady who investigates her new neighbor and tries to uncover the neighbor's secrets. Literary fiction that I really hope doesn't suck due to having a mystery plotline.

 

2. Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau (Booklikes-opoly)

           F/F romance set in space. New-to-me author, although I follow her on Twitter because she makes life in Alaska look like fun.

 

3. Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins (Booklikes-opoly)

          New-to-me author, and I wanted to tackle one of her latest books to see if I like her writing style before diving into her backlist.

 

4. A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek #3) by Margaret Brownley

        Not in a hurry to read this book. The beginning of the book was silly, with too much damsel in distress action that made me roll my eyes. A good laundry day type of book.

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review 2017-03-29 17:10
ARC Review: His Virgin Mate (Interstellar Brides: The Virgins #1) by Grace Goodwin
His Virgin Mate (Interstellar Brides: The Virgins Book 1) - Grace Goodwin
Review originally featured on Angel's Guilty Pleasures
 
His Virgin Mate 

 Interstellar Brides: The Virgins #1  
 Grace Goodwin  
 Science Fiction Romance - Adult 18+  
 Amazon Digital Services LLC  
 March 13, 2017  
 eBook  
 152  
 ARC Review Copy  
 

 

One look, one touch, and there is no denying the heat…

 

Twenty-one and single, Alexis Lopez hopes her lackluster response to men is a problem she’s eager to solve by volunteering for the Interstellar Brides Program. One look at the large, dominant alien who claims she belongs to him sets her body on fire. When he tells her, in explicit detail, how he’ll claim her in every way, she is eager to give her mate everything, body and soul.

 

Von of Everis is a ruthless and high ranking Hunter who’s spent years fighting in the Hive wars. But his bed, and his life, are empty until Alexis arrives. One look at his innocent little bride and he knows she belongs to him.

 

Simple, right? Nope. The match is challenged by one of the most feared warriors on the planet and stolen kisses and mind-numbing pleasure won’t save Von from a deadly duel. But Von is a Hunter, a warrior, a protector, and someone is trying to take what belongs to him. Only him. He will do whatever it takes to protect, save and claim his virgin mate.

 

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This is my first Grace Goodwin book. I felt like I was missing something at the beginning and when I took a look at a few other reviews they pointed out that this is a spin-off series from her Interstellar Brides: The Colony.

 

In this series the mates are virgins. For me I have a hard time with virgin heroines and so I had trouble connecting to Alexis. She’s 21, but at times I felt like she was 16-19; a teenager just from the mannerisms and things she says.

 

The opening starts us off in the Interstellar Brides Program testing center. The way this book starts had me lost, the author treats us to a sexual dream of a man Alexis has not meet yet. I was also a little lost on how the Bride’s program works until I got a little further along and a few things got explained. The Brides Program maybe is explained more in the first series. I just don’t know.

 

Something that bothered me was the chairs the women sit in for the testing. I felt it was odd that the facility straps the women down into chairs. Why do they strap them in? It felt to much like experimentation or a torture chair (yep, that’s what popped into my head) until it we got a little and I mean a little explanation on it.

 

Another thing that bothered me was once Alexis gets a match she didn’t ask many, if any questions. I would want to know about the alien planet, world, and get more information before I accept. Information is power.

 

I loved Von our sexy alien. Von of Everis is a Hunter which is a very prominent position on his plant. Hunters are protectors of the weak and keepers of peace and justice on their planet. Von is very alpha and dominate especially in the bedroom though he does make sure his mate is well satisfied. I enjoyed all the Hunter men that we meet even the one vying for Von’s mate. This rival brings a little conflict to the story.

 

As for the relationship I didn’t feel the lust move to love. They have only know each other for three days and on each day they do a different sexual act. Yes, the mate marks are their to instantly connect the couple, but I didn’t feel the change in the relationship. Maybe this has to do with me not connecting to Alexis.

 

I did enjoy the way they claim their mates. It’s new and interesting. The mating ritual consists of three things. What surprised me was anal came before pussy, which is very different from what you would think, especially with her and all the women being virgins. The sex scenes were well written, descriptive, and very steamy.

 

The secondary characters we meet where intriguing and I’m curious to find out, especially with the little teasers we got, what happens with their matches.

 

This is an enjoyable quick read introducing new cultures, planets, and brides.

 

Rated: 3 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Grace Goodwin via RockStar PR with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): New To Me (Author/Series) New Release (2017)

 


 

 

 

 

Once upon a time, a young girl was born into an average, working class family. The wee little girl, convinced she was not an average child but was, in fact, a fairy princess, longed to leave the mundane world behind and live her dreams. She grew up, went to school, and when shed grown too big to wear tutus and tiaras in public without drawing unwanted attention, turned to writing down her fantasies instead. Now a bit older, her fantasies have grown to include sexually dominant men who know how to ensure a woman’s pleasure. Grace believes all women should be treated like princesses, in the bedroom and out of it, and writes love stories where men know how to make their women feel pampered, protected, and very well taken care of. She currently lives in Oregon where she spends her days writing, and her nights in the arms of her very own Prince. 

 

Website – Mailing List – Goodreads – Amazon – Facebook – Twitter

 

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/03/arc-review-his-virgin-mate-interstellar-brides-the-virgins-1-by-grace-goodwin
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review 2016-12-21 17:46
Barbarian's Mate: A SciFi Alien Romance (Ice Planet Barbarians Book 7) - Ruby Dixon

Review originally featured on Angel's Guilty Pleasures

 

Barbarian’s Mate 

 Ice Planet Barbarians #6  
 Ruby Dixon  
 Erotic Sci-Fi Romance  
 Ruby Dixon  
 March 25th 2016  
 eBook  
 207  
 Bought  
 

 

'Resonance' is supposed to be a dream - that's when your soulmate is chosen for you. And everyone on the ice planet has hooked up with a big, hunky soulmate of their own...except me. So do I want a mate? Heck yeah. More than anything, all I've ever wanted is to be loved by someone. 

 

Except that the soulmate chosen for me? My least favorite person on the darn ice planet. Haeden's the most cranky, disapproving, unpleasant, overbearing male alien...so why is it that my body sings when he gets close? Why is he working so hard to prove to me that he's not as awful as I think he is? 

 

I hate him...don't I?

 

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A Barbarian’s Mate is book six in the Ice Planet Barbariansseries by Ruby Dixon series. This one we get Josie and Haeden’s story.

 

These two have been fighting with each other though the series. They think they hate each other, but maybe it’s something else.

 

I had thought I wrote a review for this book, but when I went looking for it I didn’t have it. Then I starting thinking well I wrote it, but in my head over and over again. I was so pissed off about this book. Why you might be think? We’ll I’ll tell you.

 

One word SELFISH. Josie absolutely ruined this book. I’m so pissed off at her and everything she did; even after Haeden talks to her about his previous mate, who wasn’t a mate. It just hurt my heart. Poor Haeden is stuck with this selfish b***h. I felt so bad for him.

 

Let me count the ways Joise ruined this for me. She holds out on the mating, she wants the coody thing removed and a new one put in, and last she runs away with no intention of ever returning. During all of this she doesn’t talk to him. When she does talk she doesn’t put his feelings and issues into play, she only thinks about herself. She’s lived with the blue aliens long enough to know that they don’t understand humans, our ways, our thinking, and so on… It wasn’t until the 48% range that she finally shares her story and talks to him. Then she realizes he actually cares and she should have given him a chance sooner. Then around the 60% she finally sees that Haeden is like all the other males that are mated. That they are sweet, devoted, over protective, but in a good way and that they are each other’s whole worlds.

 

Good god I was and am still pissed off. This one character ruined the book. I’m currently taking a break from this series. Before I was buying the next one after I finished the other, but now I just need a break.

 

You might be wondering why I read the whole book when I knew deep down nothing and I mean nothing could redeem Josie in my eyes. Well, I’m wondering that myself. One thing was we find the spaceship that Kira from Barbarian Lovertook down and two more human women are in those cryo-genic pod things. I wanted to know more about that, but really I should have DNF this title. It wasn’t worth reading the whole thing and even the surprise with Liz didn’t make this title any better. I don’t think I’ve had a character piss me off so much like Josie did.

 

Barbarian’s Mate was not the book for me. If the blurb intrigues you, I urge you to give it a shot. Just because it did not work for me does not mean it won’t for you. 

 

Rated: 1 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

 

 

Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2016/12/review-barbarians-mate-ice-planet-barbarians-6-by-ruby-dixon
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review 2016-12-17 16:24
Review: Ice Planet Holiday (Ice Planet Barbarians #4.5) by Ruby Dixon
Ice Planet Holiday: A SciFi Holiday Alien Romance (Ice Planet Barbarians Book 5) - Ruby Dixon

Review originally featured at Angel's Guilty Pleasures

 

Ice Planet Holiday 

 Ice Planet Barbarians #4.5  
 Ruby Dixon  
 Erotic Sci-Fi Romance - Short Story  
 November 27th 2015  
 eBook  
 91  
 Bought  

 

All this snow and no holidays? What's a stranded human to do? 

 

Create a new holiday, of course. Georgie and the other women decide to bring some new traditions and cheer to the sa-khui. More babies are born, presents are exchanged, and a new romance blossoms between a human woman desperate for a change, and the alien determined to protect her. 

 

This 25,000 word novella is NOT intended as a stand-alone. Looking for a place to start? Try ICE PLANET BARBARIANS, book one in the series.

 

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Ice Planet Holiday is a novella #4.5 in the Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon. This focuses on bringing something from the women’s home planet into the tribe and to celebrate the coming together, family.

 

I feel that you need to read the previous books; before picking this one up. There are many spoilers if you don’t.

 

Here we get Georgie and Claire’s POV’s plus we get to see many previous couples and characters. Most of the couples are still pregnant with only a few having given birth, then their are still a few un-mated human women for one reason or another. 

 

It was cute to watch Georgie try to explain all the different holidays to her mate and see one big holiday come together with the tribe to celebrate hope, life, and family. 

 

Then we have Claire and the situation she got herself into. When they arrived she felt lonely and latched onto the first alien that showed her attention, not her true mate. It’s not a good situation, but in the end things work out and she gets her one and only.

 

Ice Planet Holiday was a cute and sweet novella. We get to see how they are getting along, how the tribe is growing and thriving, and that no matter where you are in the universe you can find love and friends.

 

Rated: 3.5 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 
Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2016/12/review-ice-planet-holiday-ice-planet-barbarians-4-5-by-ruby-dixon
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