<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
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Showing posts by: Veronica Scott Author click to see Veronica Scott Author's profile
Mon
Oct 30 2017 11:00am

3 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for October 2017

Seeking Vector by Cynthia Sax

Time to talk about a few new sci-fi romance releases for October!

Let’s start with Cynthia Sax’s latest Sizzling Cyborg #10, Seeking Vector (Amazon | B&N | Kobo).  As the book begins, Vector, the C Model cyborg in command of the warship Freedom, is a rough, tough, deadly fighter hiding a painful personal secret that borders on being a phobia I’d never have expected from a cyborg. Not only that, he’s frustrated by and attracted to, a female human hacker who’s been feeding him valuable intelligence tidbits about the evil Human Alliance (HA) battle plans. Can he trust her? Should he trust her? Is she possibly his fated mate? (You can guess the answer to that one!) They’ve never actually met when the book begins but her voice in his head is pretty intoxicating.

Kasia, the hacker, can break into anything, even cyborg programming. She’s also extremely good at hiding out in the HA battle station without being detected, while she spies on them and tries to help cyborgs being mistreated and tortured. She’s also fascinated by Vector and enjoys their verbal sparring – she wants to meet him just once before she goes on the run again. Here’s what Vector thinks of that idea: “I’ll follow you. I’ll chase you to the ends of the universe. You will never escape me.” Very determined, these cyborgs.

[Read more...]

Wed
Oct 18 2017 2:00pm

Life Is a Cosmic Cabaret

Cosmic Cabaret, a Sci-Fi Romance Anthology

Cosmic Cabaret is an exciting new sci-fi romance anthology, newly released in October, with thirteen SFR stories by different authors, all set on the LS Quantum, a luxury spaceliner where pretty much anything in the way of love and adventure can happen.

Opening this set of enticing reads, I decided to sample a few of the stories for you and share my thoughts—no spoilers though.

First up I read Starlight by Kerry Adrienne, where the action takes place on the less desirable decks of the big ship. Apparently even in space, there are better neighborhoods and then the low rent district. Hero astronomer Dr. Andrew Mann is the ultimate nerd and introvert but he’s had to come on this cruise to give a paper and further his academic career. Dancer/bartender Stella is a refugee from an alien planet that was destroyed, now indentured to a lowlife thug who owns the bar concession in this part of the ship and has other rackets going as well. Stella has some not-so-hidden powers that draw Andrew like a moth to a flame.

Adrienne paints the scenes vividly and the descriptions of Stella’s dancing alone make the story worth reading–amazing passages using all the senses to draw the reader into the moment. Andrew isn’t happy to be forced by his boss to attend the conference icebreaker in a seedy bar. “The only voyeurism he wanted to be known for was staring at a star through a telescope.” Until he sees Stella, who “…resembled the fairies from his favorite childhood book.”

[Read more...]

Fri
Sep 22 2017 8:30am

4 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for September 2017

The Corsair’s Captive by Ruby Dixon

A new entry from a favorite author, covers that I couldn’t resist and more to talk about this month!

As Ruby Dixon herself says in a delightfully amusing note at the end of The Corsair’s Captive (Amazon), her latest sci-fi romance release, “The last thing I need to write is another series.” Yes, probably true with all she has going on, but just as she couldn’t seem to resist the idea of a big blue barbarian space pirate, neither could I, not once I saw the cover and read the blurb. The book is on the short side but a fast, fun read.  Kivian’s a pirate with a well-developed fashion sense (a pirate needs his spiffy duds, as he explains several times, or how will anyone know he’s a pirate?), expertise at cheating in games of chance, a fast ship, and a kind heart. Or at least a heart ready to instantly recognize his mate when he meets kidnapped human Fran under really bad circumstances.

She’s being treated as a pet by an ooli frogman with intrusive annoying tentacles and bad intentions. Kivian is on the space station to swindle the guy with the unpronounceable name and once he sees Fran, can’t rest until he steals her too.  They all meet in a bar that feisty Fran says is “like a tripping bananas version of the cantina from ‘Star Wars’.” Everyone there is fascinated by her, and not in a pleasant way. She mistrusts Kivian’s motives at first as well but he’s definitely the more attractive choice and swears not to touch her without her permission.

[Read more...]

Tue
Aug 15 2017 8:30am

4 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for August 2017

Found Girl by Pauline Baird Jones

Time to talk about more new sci-fi romance reads!

Found Girl by Pauline Baird Jones (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) was right up my alley; with a military hero from Earth and an alien girl who finds out her hidden memories hide a lot more secrets than she previously thought. The huge spaceship Boyington, crewed by the American military personnel, felt like an aircraft carrier or maybe the Battlestar Galactica, depending on the scene. I loved the descriptions of how the fighter pilots in this book thought, flew, and fought in the various intense combat situations in outer space.  The scenes felt like I was right there in jeopardy with them.

Jones also inserts a lot of fun cultural references to classic sci-fi like Doctor Who and Star Trek along the way during this fast read.

 The scenes between Arian, the heroine, and Coop, the hotshot pilot, were excellent and I enjoyed the way their romance developed—a bit tentative on both sides at first, with natural doubts, given their very dissimilar backgrounds, but the mutual attraction couldn’t be denied.  After he takes her to see a movie on board the Boyington, she shyly speculates to herself what it would be like to do the things with Coop that she saw the couple in the movie do. A sweet moment. She’s a fascinating character who starts out as a simple farm girl about to be pressed into a forced marriage on her world and jumps onto a conveniently passing spaceship to escape. Throughout the book, she continually learns more about herself and her true capabilities until by the end she understands she’s a completely different person than the farm girl at the beginning of the adventure. “I am becoming me,” she realizes. This character reveal is handled skillfully, with Arian’s memories and knowledge surfacing as needed, gradually, subtly. I found myself highly intrigued as to what would be revealed next. I wanted more secrets!

[Read more...]

Thu
Jul 27 2017 12:00pm

The 5 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for July 2017

Brilliant Starlight by Anna Carven

Anna Carven’s Dark Planet Warriors (book one in the series of the same name) is one of my favorite novels in scifi romance. The story of how Kordolian General Tarak meets and falls in love with Earth scientist Abbey is so well done it’s one of my frequent feelgood re-reads. Carven has just released Brilliant Starlight (Amazon), which puts Tarak and Abbey front and center again, to the great delight of this reader.

Of course any time a character says “what could possibly go wrong?”, you know a whole lot of bad stuff is about to happen. But while events conspire to send Tarak on a desperate journey to Xar, the world where he and the other First Division soldiers were created, the bond between Abbey and himself remains as unbreakable as callidum, the special material of the Kordolian weapons. I appreciated that.  I’m not a big fan of the trope where a formerly terrific relationship is broken to make a sequel possible, and then put back together. I enjoyed this lovely story of a man, a woman and their child, fighting steep odds, united against a backdrop of interstellar war and politics. Nothing can shatter the bond between Tarak and Abbey, which is as it should be. The book is smoothly and engrossingly well done.  There’s a satisfying amount of action, some steamy moments, plus a lot of angst and suspense over the dire problem afflicting Abbey. A few other loose ends from earlier in the series are tied up neatly.

Tarak, or the Big Bad as Abbey affectionately thinks of him, is an “impossible, infuriating, sweet, mystifying man” to Abbey, as well as being off the charts sexy.  He’s willing to literally destroy the entire galaxy and rebuild it if that’s what it takes to keep Abbey and their daughter Ami safe. Abbey’s the only one who can moderate his behavior with her advice and her love.

[Read more...]

Sun
Jun 25 2017 10:00am

5 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for June 2017

Mars Ho by Jennifer Willis

Time to talk about some scifi romance Best Bets from new releases in late May and June.

It was probably inevitable that someone would mix reality shows and the idea of sending people to Mars. Jennifer Willis does a pretty good job with the concept in her new book Mars Ho! (Amazon)  As the book’s blurb says, What would you do for a one-way trip to Mars? The idea is that the reality show exists alongside the world’s space programs and the production team allegedly works with the scientists to assemble a team of eight individuals to establish a new colony on Mars. The actual fact of the situation is that all the tropes of shows like The Bachelor, Survivor, and Big Brother come into play—the scheming, strategizing, alliances, producer shenanigans, real and contrived emergencies…and in the middle of it are Lori Ridgway and Mark Lauren, two decent people with high level skills, who really want to go to Mars. But can they trust each other? Can anyone trust anyone?

The meet-cute as the show begins, with contestants giving up all their personal possessions to don the corporate logo-branded uniforms. (Corporate branding of literally everything the contestants touch, wear or consume is a hilarious and all-too-true running joke in the book.) Lori is lingering over her Victoria’s Secret lingerie and Mark enters the wrong dressing room by mistake. The producers are salivating over the encounter, as you can imagine, especially since he’s naked, so they let the scene go on. Mark says, “How are you supposed to say goodbye to the Earth if you can’t even let go of your underwear?” Yes, but doesn’t he understand it’s high end purple lace underwear?!

[Read more...]

Fri
May 26 2017 8:30am

May 2017’s 2 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets

Every month it’s a challenge to talk about only a few of the new scifi romance releases because the books come out fast and furious.  But it’s a challenge I cheerfully accept in my never ending quest to spread the interstellar love!

Zar by Vi Voxley

Zar (Alien Raiders Brides Book 1) from Vi Voxley (Amazon) kicks off a new series set in her already existing universe. There were some aspects of the plot that were a bit different from the “alien warriors need Earth brides” trope. First of all, the heroine, Ashley, was a soldier with military training, and despite the fact she and Zar, the alien ‘harbinger’ or general/overlord of the title were indeed Fated Mates, she adapted to her changed circumstances with a lot of spirit and sass. “You must excuse my manners for not greeting you with the proper amount of screaming,” she says, which fortunately amuses Zar. He likes the fact his mate isn’t afraid of him and will stand up for herself.

Voxley handles the issues well when it comes to the undeniable fact that these Nayanors are helping themselves to literally thousands of Earth women and there’s no returning home for the women, despite the slightly ameliorating fact each will most likely find a fated mate on Luminos. Ashley and Zar have a number of conversations about this as she tries to bring some understanding to his world of why this mass kidnapping approach is wrong to do. The Nayanor have the usual valid reasons why they need women to continue their civilization and we do eventually meet some of the earlier  human abductees who’ve happily settled into life on beautiful-but-harsh Luminos.

[Read more...]

Fri
May 5 2017 11:00am

3 Sci-Fi Romance Best Bets For Infinity and Beyond

I’m back with another month’s recommendations for new releases that are Best Bets in Sci-Fi Romance reading.

Champion by Anna Hackett

Anna Hackett’s latest in the Galactic Gladiator series, Champion, (Amazon | B&N)  is intense, with nonstop action. I’ve enjoyed all the books in this series so far but I think this might be my favorite. The couple at the center of the action consists of Blaine, a human space marine who was kidnapped and sold into slavery at the beginning of the series, and Saff, a tough as nails net fighter with a touch of empathic powers. These two are well matched, and the sexual tension between them is off the charts good. Blaine was condemned to fight to the death in the underground gladiator matches before the House of Galen rescued him from his owners. Now he’s struggling with his involuntary addiction to the drugs he was forced to take as a slave. His emotions slip out of control on a hair trigger and he suffers a lot of undeserved self-loathing. Saff has her own traumatic history but she’s drawn to Blaine and wants to help him conquer his demons and make peace with who he is now.  She slowly comes to realize she’s “…in love with a sexy man from the other side of the galaxy…”

He has to accept that she’s “The one woman who challenged and supported him, who’d never seen him as a monster.” (Who won’t let him wallow in self-pity either, and gives as good as she gets, in the arena or in bed. I loved Saff. She can wield that net creatively too.)

[Read more...]

Sat
Mar 25 2017 12:00pm

Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for March 2017—Love, Intergalactic Style

Barbarian's Lady by Ruby Dixon

Barbarian’s Lady, the fourteenth and newest entry in Ruby Dixon’s Ice Planet Barbarians series (Amazon), is on the lighter side of life on Not-Hoth. The heroine, Kate, is tall for a human woman, and muscular, and feels awkward and unsure of herself. Add in the fact that she was the object of teasing and bullying on Earth, and the usual cruel stunts in high school where a hunky athlete would pretend interest in her only so he could laugh at her later with his buddies, and the reader can see why she’s suspicious and touchy when anyone shows interest in her. Herrec, the blue barbarian in question, delights in teasing her and sparring with her and unfortunately in the early going makes remarks he thinks are funny but which hit Kate in the most sensitive parts of her wounded self. Comparing her to a mountain may not have been his smoothest opening line, you know?

Well-meaning friends try to explain to Herrec that he’s pushing too hard. “People two galaxies over can tell you’re interested,” as Mah-dee says. She attempts to suggest he back off a bit and give Kate room to breathe. He takes it that he needs to provide Kate with a challenge, instead of trying to make her laugh and appreciate him. Uh oh, anyone else see disaster looming ahead? Herrec is also endearingly clumsy, which isn’t good when you’re a seven foot tall warrior out for a walk on a glacier with the object of your affections.

[Read more...]

Thu
Feb 23 2017 1:00pm

Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for February 2017—Cyborg Sex and More!

Time to talk about more new scifi romance releases! Each month I pick three or four I feel will be of interest to you, our readers.

Hers To Command by Cynthia Sax

Cynthia Sax cyborg sex sizzles. And there is a lot of it in her novels, but particularly in Hers to Command, (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) which is the newest release. After all, the series is entitled “Cyborg Sizzle.” I thoroughly enjoyed the human heroine of this book, Carys, who commands a huge Rebel battle station. She’s curvy, old enough to have silver strands in her hair, and is resigned to her stretch marks. She’s been erasing emotion and human relationships from her life for decades because she believes people die if she doesn’t react with machinelike immediacy. For example, she doesn’t call any of her officers by name, both so she won’t get too attached and so she never gets a name wrong in the heat of battle, thereby causing a moment of confusion, which leads to deaths. She has a tragedy in her past which makes her hate the Cyborgs.

So of course who better to pair her with than not one but two Cyborgs, hiding a few secrets of their own, but convinced she’s the woman they’re ideally matched to? Ace and Thrasher love each other as well, in addition to their devotion to Carys, but believe they have to hide their feelings toward each other because the Cyborg Council doesn’t understand M/M relationships.  Over the course of the book, each of the three characters grows emotionally as an individual and within the strong bond that unites them. Carys is definitely the dominant member of the trio, although the two Cyborgs are alpha male warriors in every other aspect of their lives. Extremely handy to have around in combat and in downtime, as they upgrade the space station’s creaky systems.

[Read more...]

Thu
Feb 16 2017 3:00pm

2 Award-Winning Science Fiction Romances Worth a Second Look

Source: Shutterstock

The 5th annual SFR Galaxy Awards were recently announced and I thought I’d share my mini review of two very different winners as a sample for our readers.

First a word about the awards themselves: A panel of well-regarded scifi romance book bloggers and reviewers make the selections, with each judge naming five or six novels, graphic novels or anthologies that they found memorable during the preceding year. The formal description of the awards’ intent, as taken from the website: “The theme of the SFR Galaxy Awards is inclusiveness. Instead of giving an award to a single book, this event will recognize the worth of multiple books and/or the standout elements they contain. The basic philosophy behind this approach is to help connect readers with books.”

I was honored to find two of my own books on the list this year, Star Cruise: Outbreak and Hostage to the Stars, along with some we’ve mentioned on Heroes and Heartbreakers in the past, such as Anna Hackett and her Galactic Gladiators, Ilona Andrews’s One Fell Sweep and thePets In Space anthology.

[Read more...]

Sat
Jan 28 2017 1:00pm

Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for January 2017—Time for Take Off!

Claimed by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Time to share more newly released science fiction romance reads! Of course there will be spoilers so read on at your peril.

I’ve been eagerly waiting for Claimed by the Cyborg from Cara Bristol  (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) and this book did not disappoint. Before he became a cyborg – a man with a mix of organic and nifty electronic and nanotech body parts - March Fellows was a fully human, easy going teacher at the Terran Technical Institute, in love with a woman named Jules. She was an alien exchange student from Xenia and rather than having all the time in the world for them to be together as March expected, she mysteriously disappeared one day. Unbeknownst to him, she was actually the hereditary heiress to the Xenian throne, sowing a few mildly wild oats before settling down to learn the ins and outs of becoming the Xenian queen.

Flash forward a few years. After an accident, a badly injured March took the “you can’t refuse this” offer from Cyber Operations to become a cyborg and fight interstellar enemies. Now he’s left Cy Ops after serving his time but he’s tough, jaded and still pining for Jules. He jumps at the chance to deliver a new spaceship to the ruler of Xenia so he can make one final effort to track down this woman he loved so much and find out what happened.  Jules is days away from her arranged marriage with a carefully selected Xenian noble, which is the necessary prelude to her taking the throne, but she never got over March.

[Read more...]

Thu
Dec 22 2016 2:00pm

2016: A Space Odyssey—2016’s Best Science-Fiction Romance!

Dark Horse by Michelle Diener

When I’m looking at the books I read in the last year and trying to compile a list I tend to go for the most memorable. If I’m still thinking of some aspect of a book, or better yet, rereading it on occasion, then surely it was among my personal “Best of” list.

I’m a pretty voracious reader, and I read books in a lot of genres besides my own science fiction romance. I never have time to get to everything on my list – doesn’t everyone have a giant To Be Read pile these days? And of course I’m busily trying to get my own novels written and released (five this year, plus several new stories for anthologies).

With that as introduction, here’s my memorables SFR list for 2016, in no certain order.

Michelle Diener’s Class 5 Series: Dark Horse, Dark Deeds, Dark Minds. Although the first book was released in 2015, the other two came out this year and the series as a whole is excellent. I’ve talked about the books at length (hopefully not to the point of becoming boring!), most recently here on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Three smart Earth women, kidnapped and far from home, ally themselves with the highly unpredictable and much feared Class 5 Artificial Intelligences. Through their efforts and with romance along the way – did I mention brawny spacegoing soldiers who look like sexy Tolkienesque elves? -  the ladies find a new home, settle interstellar wars and reach a Happily Ever After.

[Read more...]

Mon
Dec 5 2016 2:00pm

Michelle Diener’s Class 5 Series Explores Politics, Love, and Outer Space

Dark Minds by Michelle Diener

Our Romance Reading Virgin Teddy Pierson took a look at Michelle Diener’s novel Dark Horse (Class 5 Series) back in June 2016. Now that the three book, award winning series is complete, we thought it’d be fun to do a retrospective look on the entire series. I live, breathe, and write science fiction romance all day, every day, so I can’t capture Teddy’s wide-eyed approach to the books, but I will tell you this is one of my favorite and most recommended SFR series.

Warning: There will be spoilers!

The three books are Dark Horse, Dark Deeds and Dark Minds and there’s much solid science fiction story telling involved.

Each book features a plucky, smart human woman who’s been abducted from Earth by an alien race in direct contravention of the interstellar treaties on such things and finds herself in a dire situation as a result. Each woman forms a bond with a different Artificial Intelligence (the Class 5 of the series title) and their alliance drives and informs the resulting stories, as well as the larger series arc.

[Read more...]

Wed
Nov 30 2016 1:30pm

In a Galaxy Far Far Away... November 2016 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets

Gladiator by Anna Hackett

Another month has gone by and another galaxy full of scifi romances have released. I’ll cover four that stood out to me.

Yes, I’m going to talk about Anna Hackett again–she makes it impossible to ignore her, with a hot new series, Galactic Gladiators. Gladiator, the first book, was really good, and I have the second volume, Warrior, waiting on my kindle. Who can resist sexy space gladiators? The heroine is a human, Harper Adams, who happens to be a Space Marine assigned to a research station orbiting Jupiter when the story opens. She’s tough, smart, resourceful and an excellent fighter–I loved her. Some passing aliens who fell through a transient wormhole attack the station and seize a few people including Harper, before they escape again through the now vanishing portal. (No return to Earth will ever be possible.) Harper ends up being sold to be a gladiator on a desert planet who knows where. She’s determined to save herself and rescue as many of her friends as she can find.

Former prince Raiden Tiago was in her spot years ago, at age fifteen, but won his freedom and is now the champion of the House of Galen and the whole Kor Magna Arena. Not that the evil Thraxxians who destroyed his planet don’t make multiple, sneaky attempts to kill him. Raiden is HOT and has a good heart, even though he of course tries to deny it. He and Harper make an excellent team, in the arena and out of it; lots of chemistry.

[Get an A+ in Chemistry!]

Thu
Oct 20 2016 2:00pm

Out of This World: October 2016 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets

Through Uncharted Space by Anna Hackett

I’m excited and honored to be here at Heroes & Heartbreakers, talking about science fiction romance! I’ll bring you a sampling of new SFR releases every month, from cyborgs to blue barbarians to space marines—lots of beloved scifi tropes and heat levels to choose from in our genre.

Let’s start with USA Today Best Seller Anna Hackett and Through Uncharted Space. This series contains action and adventure, and usually involves ancient artifacts or treasures, giving the books something of an “Interstellar Indiana Jones” feel at times, which is fun. There are rival astro-archaeologists and treasure hunters searching the galaxy for fabled items, with different aims of course—conservation and research versus profit. The extended Phoenix family is at the central core of the series, running deep space convoys (think wagon trains venturing through the deep space wilderness to reach colonized worlds). In this novel there’s a stolen map, a scam artist and a long lost treasure to be found.  Dare “I’m in charge of everything” Phoenix is the commander of the ship leading the convoy. Dakota “Do what has to be done” Jones is putting him and his ship at risk as she travels in disguise, seeking a fabulous Terran treasure. The deadly and fanatical Golden Nova order is after her and the booty. There were some elements of this book that reminded me of the movie “Treasure Planet,” especially the cool star map. Of course Dare and Dakota work against each other and with each other, and the tension—sexual and otherwise—is palpable from the early pages to the HEA ending.

[Read more...]