Stacking the Shelves (154)

Stacking the Shelves

I have to admit, I picked up a review copy of Star Trek Sex just for the title. And I’m curious as hell. The book’s description mostly covers the original series, but there wasn’t any actual sex. There was a fair amount of romance, usually of the girl or alien of the week, but no actual sex. However, there was one episode, Wink of an Eye, from the often horrible third season. This episode became slightly infamous because it was the first episode that showed the aftermath of presumably actual sex. Kirk is seen in the lady’s stateroom putting on his boots while sitting on the edge of the bed. The presumption is that he is putting his boots on after having put back on the rest of his clothes. But even then, we assume, we don’t absolutely know. But it was always a titillating presumption. Even if the book is more of the same, it will be a nice trip down memory lane.

And over in the MUCH higher quality section of the science fiction rack, Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie, the final? book in her awesome and award-gobbling Imperial Radch series, is available for pre-order. It’s scheduled to come out on October 6, and I can hardly wait!

For Review:
Controlled Burn (Boston Fire #2) by Shannon Stacey
London Rain (Josephine Tey #6) by Nicola Upson
No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge #18) by Charles Todd
Otter Chaos by P.D. Singer
Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3) by Nalini Singh
Star Trek Sex by Will Stape

Purchased from Amazon:
Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie
Overload Flux (Central Galactic Concordance #1) by Carol Van Natta

 

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-20-15

Sunday Post

This is giveaway week. The Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop started this morning, and it will still be going strong when the Rockin’ Reads Giveaway Hop stars on Wednesday. This is the end of summer/chilly enough to curl up with a good book giveaway season. Enjoy!

This was a damn good week for reviews. I obviously got very lucky. It’s seldom when every book in the week is a grade A winner. Hopefully next week will be just as good.

Current Giveaways:

StuckinaGoodBook Hop 2015$10 Gift Card or $10 Book in the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

Winner Announcements:

The winner of Paris Time Capsule is Megan B.

rebel queen by michelle moranBlog Recap:

A- Review: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
A- Review: Penric’s Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Review: Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran
A- Review: Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean
A- Guest Review: How to Clone a Mammoth by Beth Shapiro
Stacking the Shelves (153)
Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

Rockin Reads Giveaway HopComing Next Week:

Gold Coast Blues by Marc Krulewitch (blog tour review)
The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton (review)
Rockin’ Reads Giveaway Hop
Marcus by Anna Hackett (review)
Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart (review)

Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop

StuckinaGoodBook Hop 2015

It’s that time again!

Welcome to the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Stuck In Books!

What book have you been stuck in recently?

Last year, for me, it was Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon. Whenever there is a new Outlander book, I am so there.

This year, it’s been more science fiction. There is something about the worlds created in Ian Tregillis’ The Mechanical (review), Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence (see review of the latest, Last First Snow) and Seth Dickinson’s first novel, The Traitor Baru Cormorant (review at The Book Pushers) that just keeps my mind churning over all the implications of all the strange new ways of viewing the universe.

And there are always old favorites. I love the world of Robin D. Owen’s Celta series, even when I don’t adore an individual volume, like last year’s Heart Fire (review at The Book Pushers). But I got an eARC of Heart Legacy, and I’m pleased to say that she’s back on form. This installment was marvelous. And Celta seems like a relatively liveable place – I wouldn’t mind being stuck there for real. And that makes me think of all the ways that the society works and doesn’t, and what makes it seem like such a great place.

So, what book or books have you been stuck in recently? Answer the question in the rafflecopter for a chance at either a $10 Gift Card or the book of your choice (up to $10).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And for more chances for more great bookish prizes, be sure to check out the other stops on the hop!

Stacking the Shelves (153)

Stacking the Shelves

I didn’t get a lot this week, probably a good thing. But the one book I want to highlight is the Dark Beyond the Stars anthology. It’s a collection of space opera short stories written by women. While that would interest me anyway, I was alerted to the book by an article at The Mary Sue. It seems that there is an Amazon reviewer troll who used his review of the book to claim that women are incapable of writing good space opera, and oh by the way, he has some space opera that he wrote that is inherently better because he’s a male writer and space opera is, and I disgustedly quote, “a purely male domain.” This is purely bullshit as any reader of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga will heartily attest. My own personal protest to this idiocy was to buy the book. It was well worth $5.99, (and it would have been worth considerably more) to poke this troll in the eye with a sharp “buy this book”.

For Review:
Harvest Moon (Moon #4) by Lisa Kessler
Roth (Hell Squad #5) by Anna Hackett
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Purchased from Amazon:
Dark Beyond the Stars by Blair C. Babylon, Annie Bellet, Elle Casey, Ann Christy,Patrice Fitzgerald, Autumn Kalquist, Theresa Kay, Susan Kaye Quinn, Sara Reine, Rysa Walker, Jennifer Foehner Wells
These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One (These are the Voyages #1) by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn
These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Two (These are the Voyages #2) by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn
These Are the Voyages: TOS Season Three (These are the Voyages #3) by Marc Cushman and Susan Osborn

 

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-6-15

Sunday Post

There are just a few days left to get in on the awesome prize pack that Catherine Bybee is giving away. Who wouldn’t have a few dozen uses for a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

This is Labor Day weekend in the U.S. which means two things now that we are back in Atlanta. The number one thing is DragonCon! Downtown Atlanta has been taken over by aliens, superheroes and roving crews of spaceships from near and far. If you’ve never been, it’s fantastic. Also sometimes fantastically overwhelming.

The Decatur Book Festival also takes place this weekend. So our plan is to spend Friday and Saturday at DragonCon and Sunday at the DBF. Reality may turn out to be different, but we’ll have a blast no matter what.

And tomorrow we can recuperate and squee over all the stuff we picked up over the weekend. I really need to find something appropriately geeky to fill in the front license plate holder on my car. I wonder if anyone will be selling “My Other Car is a Starship” somewhere at DragonCon?

Current Giveaways:

$100 Amazon Gift Card (2) $20 Amazon Gift Cards and Weekday Brides Print Box Gift set from Catherine Bybee
Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr (paperback)

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the paperback copy of If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins is Lysette
The winner if the Nina Croft first in series ebook prize pack is Jennifer

return to dark earth by anna hackettBlog Recap:

B- Review: Keeper’s Reach by Carla Neggers
B+ Review: Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford
B- Review: Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
B+ Review: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee + Giveaway
A- Review: Return to Dark Earth by Anna Hackett
Stacking the Shelves (151)

 

 

 

circling the sun by paula mclainComing Next Week:

Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey (blog tour review)
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (review)
The State of Play by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson (review)
After Snowden by Ronald Goldfarb (review)

Stacking the Shelves (151)

Stacking the Shelves

I couldn’t resist the Humble Bundle of Star Wars Audiobooks. It includes the original radio broadcasts, and should make our next driving trip fly by. If you’re interested, there’s still a few days left to get in on the bundle.

Something else I couldn’t resist was the opportunity to get the last two books in Candace Robb’s Owen Archer series. This is a terrific historical mystery series that I fell in love with a long time ago. The story takes place in York, England, during the mid-14th century, at the time that the awesomely beautiful York Minster was being built. While I was reading the early books in the series I was in York, and walking the same streets as the characters made the story resonate even more. I’m glad to see that the series is back.

Last but not least, I picked up the two historical romances by Eva Leigh after discovering that Eva Leigh is a new penname for one of my favorite authors, Zoe Archer. I can’t wait to see what she does with this new series.

For Review:
Forever Your Earl (Wicked Quills of London #1) by Eva Leigh
The Guilt of Innocents (Owen Archer #9) by Candace Robb
Lowcountry Bordello (Liz Talbot #4) by Susan M. Boyer
Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson
Return to Dark Earth (Phoenix Adventures #7) by Anna Hackett (review)
Scandal Takes the Stage (Wicked Quills of London #2) by Eva Leigh
This Gulf of Time and Stars (Reunification #1) by Julie E Czerneda
A Vigil of Spies (Owen Archer #10) by Candace Robb

Purchased from Amazon:
Humble Bundle of Star Wars Audiobooks

 

Review: Return to Dark Earth by Anna Hackett

return to dark earth by anna hackettFormat read: ebook provided by the author
Formats available: ebook
Genre: science fiction romance
Series: Phoenix Adventures #7
Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Anna Hackett
Date Released: September 9, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, GoodreadsAmazon

His career plan never included becoming one of the galaxy’s most infamous treasure hunters. And it certainly never included his one weakness: Nera Darc.

Astro-archeologist Niklas Phoenix loved his job studying and safeguarding artifacts at the Institute of Historical Preservation…until he learned that it was all a lie. Forced out of the Institute, he joins his treasure hunter brothers, but now the Institute is trying to lure him back for the ultimate treasure hunt–a return to the planet that seeded life throughout the galaxy. But only one thing convinces him to go–his deadly, seductive rival has joined the expedition.

Dangerous and enigmatic, Nera Darc has made a life for herself where she calls the shots and bows to no one. Niklas Phoenix has become her dark obsession and on the lethal mission to Earth, they are compelled to join forces to survive. But Niklas threatens to tear down Nera’s internal walls and melt the ice around her heart…but she knows caring for someone is just a weakness others can exploit.

As Nik and Nera strip away each other’s secrets, a brilliant passion is unleashed, but the dangers of Earth strike from every side, and a darker enemy is closing in.

My Review:

This one definitely had its scary moments. It was totally awesome, but there were points where I was completely creeped out. All in the service of an excellent story. One that reminds me a bit of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. It felt like I met the Morlocks, and they are us.

The Phoenix Adventures are all about the Phoenix Brothers, and occasionally their cousins, who are intergalactic treasure hunters (think Han Solo’s time period combined with Indiana Jones’ profession, and if you envision a young Harrison Ford it doesn’t hurt – at all!)

in the devils nebula by anna hackettSo far, two of the Phoenix Brothers, Dathan and Zayn, have found their true loves, In At Star’s End (review) and In the Devil’s Nebula (review) but their youngest brother Niklas has been left out in the cold. He left his career as an astro-archaeologist behind when he discovered that the famous Galactic Institute of Historic Preservation is run by a bunch of cut-throat, corrupt smugglers. He decided to join his brothers and do honest treasure hunting instead. All ironies intended. The prestigious Institute is a gang of thieves, and he and his brothers, mercenary treasure hunters, are pretty much above board.

He’s also too wrapped up in the mysterious treasure-hunter Nera Darc to find someone else he could love the way that his brothers do their wives. The way that Darc keeps showing up in their hunts and either stealing the prize right out from under them, or helping to save their lives (sometimes both), keeps Nik hoping for more.

Then the Institute, his former employers, recruit him for a treasure hunt of their own. When Darc joins the expedition, Nik can’t resist. Not that he was resisting much in the first place. The expedition is going to be the first to go back to old Earth, our Earth, to see what artifacts might be left after centuries of nuclear winter.

The last expedition to even observe the cradle of humanity from space found only black seas, grey land and lethally high radiation. Earth has gone dark.

But as Nik’s expedition discovers, not as dead as everyone thought. Just deadly enough that their expedition is going to leave more than a few bodies on its surface. The only question is whether one of those bodies will be Nik’s, with Nera Darc right beside him.

Or has the corrupt Institute finally over-extended its filthy reach?

at stars end by anna hackettEscape Rating A-: For those of us who have been with this series from the beginning At Star’s End, it’s been a long and wild ride to get to this glorious finish.

And it was so worth it.

There have always been questions about what exactly happened with Nik and the Institute. He gave up the career he loved, but he didn’t fight to right the wrongs he uncovered. That’s not Nik. That’s not any of the Phoenix Brothers. It was terrific to finally get the answers to exactly what went wrong. It was even better to have those wrongs finally come right.

There has also always been a question (or two or three dozen) about Nera Darc and why she finds it necessary to keep taunting the Phoenix Brothers and especially why she keeps teasing Nik. She obviously has some feelings beyond simple rivalry, but she never sticks around long enough for Nik to explore them. She’s the one that keeps getting away, and he needs to figure out why or find a way to move past her. This expedition is Nik’s chance to get to know Nera and discover if all that teasing can possibly lead to something more.

The revelations of Nera’s background are heart-breaking. That she uses her past pain to help someone else in need is a wonderful part of the story, and shows how much she has healed. The fits and starts in her developing relationship with Nik show just how far she still needs to go.

But in the middle of the building romance, there is the expedition. While it is pretty clear from the beginning who is gunning for Nik (and who else is gunning for Nera), some of the ulterior motives were a surprise. Not that expedition leader Avril didn’t come off as way too good to be true, but the depths of what she was covering up were deeper and more disgusting than I imagined.

The story of the expedition itself, both what they find and how they find it, chilled me to the bone. The portrait of the post-apocalyptic dark Earth is appropriately awful. The explanations of how things got to their final pass make all too much sense.

But what they see is frightening. The results of screwing it all up so very badly. At first, they believe that our world is dead. Then they discover that it is much, much worse. And also slightly better, but in a very twisted way.

The landscape is against them, and so is the extremely mutated wildlife. The oceans are black, and the land consists of black sand blast radii and deadly and mutated plant life, with even more mutated and deadly animal life. It’s a world that has turned on itself and turns on anyone who tries to discover its secrets.

Their final attempt at wrenching out some of the planet’s secrets says way more about them than it does about what they discover. The Institute attempts a rape of cultural misappropriation on an epic scale, and it finally bites them in the ass. Just because people seem primitive doesn’t mean that they aren’t way better at exploiting their environment than you are. It also doesn’t mean that they aren’t better people than you are. Technological superiority does not mean actual superiority.

The scenes of the surviving human population did remind me of the Morlocks in H.G. Wells Time Machine, and seemed all too plausible, where Wells did not.

And in this case, it wasn’t just that the so-called natives had way more moral superiority than the Institute, it was that in this case they managed to prevail. Technological superiority turned out not to mean more civilized. Or even more human.

Reviewer’s note: I am reviewing this a bit early, because I just couldn’t stand to wait. The complete blurb and the buy links will be added next week when they become available. If you love this series, or science fiction romance, you’ll understand why I couldn’t hold back. 

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 8-30-15

Sunday Post

We survived Worldcon. The skies over Spokane looked like Mordor, but we survived. We also came home with con crud, really nasty colds. UGH!

We attended the Hugo Awards Ceremony Saturday night. I personally found the results as satisfying as possible under the circumstances. Mileage on that subject varied widely both during the Con and afterward in the blogosophere. Once the complete vote and nomination numbers were released, seeing the works that should have made the ballot but didn’t because of the slate-rigging was heartbreaking. I’m kind of hoping this will die down a bit until January, when the run up to next year’s nomination process begins. The rhetoric in this mess is even more hyperbole-filled than the U.S. Presidential race. There are plenty of pixels spilled on this topic at File770 and George R.R. Martin’s Not a Blog if you want the excruciating details.

I’m going to go read a book. I need to find more good stuff to nominate next year.

clear off your shelf August[1]Current Giveaways:

Break Out, Deadly Pursuit and Death Defying (2 copies, paperback) + Temporal Shift (5 copies, ebook) by Nina Croft
Nina Croft First in Series (Break Out, Bittersweet Blood and Operation Saving Daniel) ebook prize pack
If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins (paperback)

Winner Announcements:

The winners of the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop are: Adriana (Back to You), Bethany N. (Armada), Michelle L. (Invasion of the Tearling), Janie M. (Bourbon Kings)
The winner of my ARC of A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd is: Faye G.

nature of the beast by louise pennyBlog Recap:

A+ Review: The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
B Review: Tequila Mockingbird by Rhys Ford
B- Review: The Last Time I Saw Her by Karen Robards
B+ Review: Blood and Metal by Nina Croft + Giveaway
Guest Post by Nina Croft on Living Forever + Giveaway
B+ Review: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins + Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (150)

sloe ride by rhys fordComing Next Week:

Keeper’s Reach by Carla Neggers (review)
Updraft by Fran Wilde (review)
Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr (blog tour review)
Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee (blog tour review)
Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford (review)

Guest Post by Nina Croft on Living Forever + Giveaway

blood and metal by nina croftAs part of the celebration of her latest fantastic Blood Hunter book (see today’s review for deets) I’d like to welcome Nina Croft back to Reading Reality. In addition to the tour for Blood and Metal, Nina sent me a fantastic guest post about one of the central themes in a lot of her fiction. “Who wants to live forever?” along with that age-old romantic question, “If you could live forever, who would you want to spend it with?” As so many of her marvelous stories involve vampires and other immortals, this question comes up a lot. The answer, at least when Nina is answering the question, is always interesting.

Who wants to live forever?
by Nina Croft

Well, I do for one.

Of course, I might change my mind in a few thousand years, but until then it seems a way better option than the alternative.

I’m Nina Croft, and I write all sorts of romance often with a speculative element, and this week, BLOOD AND METAL, book 5 in my Dark Desires series releases.

The series is essentially science fiction romance with a paranormal twist and follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space ship, the Blood Hunter.

I hope readers find the series fun and sexy, but there is also an underlying deeper theme to all the books—that of man’s fear of death and the search for immortality, whether through science, religion or by some paranormal means.

The idea of immortality, and the price people would be willing to pay to obtain it, has always fascinated me, and I believe it’s one of the things that draws people to paranormal. It’s part of the lure of the vampire—the fact that they cannot die (well not easily anyway). It’s certainly one of the main things that draws me, as a writer, to the paranormal.

My Dark Desires series takes place in a future when man has fled to the stars and there they have discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian—a rare substance available to only a few. A new class has evolved; the Collective, super rich and immortal, they rule the universe. And just about everyone else is desperate to earn enough money to pay for the Meridian treatment. Though as the series goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that money isn’t the only price to be paid. And some members of the Collective are getting a little squeamish.

The series began with Break Out. Ricardo Sanchez, my hero, is the owner and pilot of the ship. Unlike most of the civilized universe, Rico isn’t interested in Meridian. He doesn’t need it, because he’s already immortal. Rico is a vampire and has lived a long time (he was born on Earth in the middle ages).

Move onto book 5. In Blood and Metal, Daisy, the co-pilot of the Blood Hunter, has never wanted immortality, rather it was thrust upon her when she was dying and Rico did the only thing he could to save her life…turn her into a vampire.

Fergal, our hero, on the other hand, doesn’t so much want to live forever as he doesn’t want to die (a slightly different goal but with the same results.) With that aim, he signed up for a totally experimental cybernetics programme, and is now dealing with some unexpected results.

So neither Daisy nor Fergal really wanted to live forever, but both are now immortal (if they get to survive the book), and they both have to learn to deal with that.

So what do you think? Would you like to live forever? And just how much would you be willing to pay? Let me know for a chance to win an ecopy of Break Out (book 1 in my Dark Desires series), Bittersweet Blood (book 1 in my Order series) and Operation Saving Daniel (book 1 in my Melville Sisters series).

[photo of Nina Croft]About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

To find out more about Nina, look for her at her website, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

I have adored all of Nina’s series, so I’m absolutely thrilled that she is letting me give away an ebook prize pack of the first books in her three series. The winner will receive ebook copies of Break Out (reviewed here) Bittersweet Blood (reviewed here) and Operation Saving Daniel (reviewed here). I’m a fan, so I’m happy to be able to share some of my favorites with a lucky commenter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Blood and Metal by Nina Croft + Giveaway

blood and metal by nina croftFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: science fiction romance
Series: Blood Hunter/Dark Desires #5
Length: 268 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date Released: August 24, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

She’s his last chance for redemption…if she doesn’t kill him first.

Copilot of the Blood Hunter, Daisy is a newly-turned vampire, and she’s hungry. Really hungry and it’s interfering with her plans for revenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that can distract her from said hunger is sex…which is a problem when she can barely refrain from draining any man dry within moments. But old flame Fergal Cain might just be the sexy-assed solution to her problem.

Part human, part cyborg, and with a poison coursing through his system, Fergal’s running out of time to find the scientist who has the cure. Unfortunately for him, the misfit crew of the Blood Hunter put a serious kink in his plans. And if the poison doesn’t kill him, the hot little vamp he can’t resist might do the honors herself…

My Review:

Plant girl turned vampire meets intrepid reporter turned cyborg. Or at least that’s one variation on the romance between Daisy, copilot of the Blood Hunter and Fergal Cain, escaped prisoner. However, there are many, many layers to both of their identities, and lots of both internal and external tension in this latest installment in the marvelous Blood Hunter series.

temporal shift by nina croftThe previous book in this series, Temporal Shift (reviewed here) serves as a bit of a reboot for the series. During the events of that book, which take place on the other side of a wormhole, only six months pass for the crew of Blood Hunter. It’s during those six months that Daisy, a genetically modified young woman with a whole lot of chlorophyll in her DNA, is nearly killed and is changed into a vampire in order to save her life.

The crew of the Blood Hunter has already lost some of their nearest and dearest in the galactic power struggle that they keep finding themselves in the middle of, and Rico, who swore that he would never turn anyone again, turns Daisy to keep her with them. Especially since her near-death is all his fault.

But Daisy the vampire is also a problem. She’s hungry ALL THE TIME, and doesn’t have enough control to manage her hunger. Her crewmates are now also food, but food she doesn’t want to kill. Lucky for her, they are all immortal and can afford to feed her regularly. Rico tells her that sex will also quiet her hunger, but every single person on the Blood Hunter is part of a couple. Everyone has already found their soulmate, except for poor lonely and starving Daisy.

When they come back through the wormhole, they discover that 20 years has passed in the world they left behind, and everything has gone into the shitter. The very militant and anti-anyone-not-pure-human Church of Everlasting Life has taken control of everything, and people in general are either true believers or truly terrified.

deadly pursuit by nina croftThe head of the church, Temperance Hatcher, is responsible for the deaths of too many of the Blood Hunter’s crew. And he has two of the crew as hostages, Alex and Jon. Alex has been forced to resume her role as reluctant High Priestess in order to keep her husband Jon alive. (If you’re curious about how they got together in the first place, read Deadly Pursuit (reviewed here) for the story of Alex’ escape from the Church and their unlikely romance.)

In their first unsuccessful attempt to break Jon out of prison, the crew rediscovers Fergal Cain instead. When they first met, Fergal was an investigative journalist infiltrating a company that produced cyborgs. Twenty years later, Fergal is an escaped cyborg attempting to rescue the one man who knows the details of Fergal’s condition, and the one man who can possibly keep him alive.

The Blood Hunter crew can’t leave Fergal behind, they’ve just blown his cover as a prison guard. But Fergal is certain that he can’t stay with the Blood Hunter, he’s carrying too many deadly secrets that will either get them all killed, or get him tossed out an airlock. But when he and Daisy discover that they are everything the other one needs to cure everything that ails them, he can’t make himself turn away.

Not even when it is much, much too late.

Escape Rating B+: I’ll confess to being a bit confused by the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey bits in Temporal Shift, so it was great that the author put the crew back into normal space and into a story where time behaved normally again.

At the same time, the 20 year break served as an interesting reboot. When the crew left normal space it took the leaders of the two of the three major power groups with them. So the Collective and the rebel conclave both collapsed without their leaders and the Church very much ascendant took over everything.

Rabid theocracy is not anyone’s friend in this book. In this case, the True Believers in human purity are unable to tolerate any deviance, either in DNA or in thought. The prisons are full and the people are scared, quite reasonably, to death.

Fergal Cain has a big secret that he is carrying through most of the book. However, it is a secret that is easily guessed by the reader. And my knowing what it was did not detract from the drama, because the tension always revolved around other people’s reaction to that secret, not its existence.

Daisbreak out by nina crofty and Fergal make a perfect pair. He is a cyborg, and he normally has to hold back on his strength and capabilities. Daisy is a vampire who is afraid to let down her guard out of fear that she might kill her partner. Except that Daisy discovers that while Fergal may be terrific in bed, he isn’t food for her vampire. As a cyborg, he tastes terrible!

But that they are each able to let down their respective guards makes their intimacy, both physical and emotional, hard for them to resist. Fergal has never belonged to anyone or anything before, and his connection to Daisy, and through her to the crew of the Blood Hunter, kills his resolve to remain alone. It may be safer on his own, but he finally discovers that being connected to other people is worth it.

And Daisy finds herself in a relationship that is not just worth fighting for, but also worth living for, and someone with whom she may be able to share “forever”.

If you like your science fiction romance with a heaping helping of non-stop action adventure, start this series with Break Out (reviewed here). You’ll be glad you did.

 

~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~

Blood and Metal Button 300 x 225

As part of the tour, Nina is giving away 2 sets of the paperback copies of the first three books in the series, Break Out, Deadly Pursuit and Death Defying and 5 ecopies of Temporal Shift, book 4

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.