Tue
Aug 15 2017 9:30am

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!

There’s also a lizard—excuse me, a Draze Dragon—who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the interstellar civilizations, including disconcerting facts about Earth. (When was he there? Why was he there? Can he be trusted?)  His dry comments and helpful hints to Arian along the way are a fun counterpoint. The fact that the Companion, as he styles himself, is telepathic bothers the human commander. “Well, on our planet, animals don’t talk to us telepathically or otherwise.” Coop, however, gets along well with him and they forge something of an alliance to watch out for Arian.

Add in pirates, the mysterious unseen but powerful owner of the ship Arian and the Dragon are crewing, and not one but two deadly alien races in opposition to each other, plus the realization there may be others like Arian out there in the galaxy, and you have all the science fiction plot elements one book can offer, plus the well-handled gentle romance.

One final note, Jones is well known in the sci-fi romance world author world for her love of flamingos and you will not believe how she works that fact into the interstellar scene. No spoilers from me but I thought it was great.

Sagitta by Ruby Lionsdrake

Sagitta is book 3 in Ruby Lionsdrake’s (Amazon) Star Guardians series and can be read as a standalone, although I’ve enjoyed the previous books too. In this one, the infuriatingly competent Captain ‘Sage’ Sagitta decides to defy his commanding officers and transport a group of previously kidnapped Earth women home.  He figures his status as an acknowledged hero of earlier wars will offset his disobedience and he wants to do what he thinks is right. Of course, there’s one Earth woman, Dr. Tala Matapang, he doesn’t want to say goodbye to, but can’t figure out how to advance his cause with her. She’s the one person on the ship willing to argue with him, you see. And sparks fly between them in fine fashion whenever she does.

He also kids himself at first that he just wants her to stay because she’s a competent doctor and his ship needs one.  “It was hard for him to turn off command mode when he was on the ship.” Watching him – and Tala – realize how much they really did feel for each other as the book progressed was highly enjoyable. Author Lionsdrake puts them through some genuine trials, including a trip through the Cronos Nebula, where an anomaly makes everyone on board cranky, if not outright battle mad. “Even criminals with no minds to lose don’t go in there,” says one character in horror. Women are less affected by the phenomenon, so Sage gives Tala the power to remove him from command if she needs to, should he get too irrational.

Which of course she does have to do, and then come up with a way to save the ship. Not everyone appreciates her solution…

For her part, Tala’s a doctor who doesn’t much care for modern corporate medicine as practiced on Earth. She wanted to be a concert violinist, in fact, although she proves over and over what a terrific physician she is. She’d like nothing better than to stay on the Eridanus and enjoy an endless cycle of irritating the incredibly good looking captain and then receiving his “apologies”.  These apologies escalate in physicality and intimacy as the book goes on and the author ratchets up the sexual tension between Sage and Tala. One scene in particular where external events ruined the moment just as things were becoming very promising for the would-be lovers was oh-so-frustrating in good way! Oh yes, Ruby Lionsdrake knows how to build the suspense for her characters and for us. The payoff, however, was definitely worth the wait.

No spoilers but the Eridanus encounters many dangers on its voyage and the ending is Happy For Now but still quite satisfying. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

South Seas Salvation by J.C. Hay

Some short take recommendations:

Defiant (Battle Born Book 13) by Cyndi Friberg (Amazon | B&N | Kobo): I enjoyed this one but as the 13th book in a complicated series, there was a lot of necessary backstory, explanation and intertwined threads from earlier books. I’d recommend reading the series in order rather than jumping in here. Still, the Rodyte hero, Drexel Kaen, is sexy, intense and dedicated and the scene where he throws himself fearlessly in front of heroine Jenna Fermont to try to save her life in the midst of a raging gun battle was just WOW. Jenna is an extremely capable lawyer and negotiator, and the two share a rare genetic compatibility that IF they become mates, will unlock near magical powers. This book is a mix of sci-fi and paranormal, with sizzle and steam.

South Seas Salvation (Corporate Services Book 3) by JC Hay (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a very well done, dark and gritty cyberpunk sci-fi romance. If you liked the world of the 1990’s movie “Johnny Mnemonic,” based on the William Gibson story, you’ll feel at home in the future Earth inhabited by the characters in this book. I was drawn in immediately by the cyborg former boxer/now bodyguard Zar who craves a moment of being seen and accepted for himself and not always to be defined by his cybernetic parts (proud though he is of them) and Yashilla, the hacker girl. “She didn’t need people in her life. People went away. He was going away as soon as the gig was over.” She also likes to break things down and Zar’s taut self-control is an irresistible challenge to her. A tragedy in his past makes him resistant to even a fleeting relationship. So, of course, they become much, much more to each other than partners on a heist scheme. And the risky contract job they’re on together turns out to be a lot more complex than anyone expected.  Great stuff, satisfying HEA ending. But let me emphasize again, this is a very dark world.

What new sci-fi romances have caught your fancy this summer?


H&H Editor Picks:

The 5 Science Fiction Romance Best Bets for July 2017

34 Authors Nominate the Best Reads of 2017... So Far

August 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List

 

 

 

 

 


Amazon best-seller Veronica Scott is a three-time recipient of the SFR Galaxy Award, and has written a number of science-fiction and fantasy romances. Her latest release is Trapped On Talonque. You can find out more about her and her books at veronicascott.wordpress.com

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1 comment
BenidormBabe
1. BenidormBabe
I've just started Warrior by Cara Bristol. And I've just finished Two against the stars by your good self. Ive got Found Girl up next
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