Fri
Sep 22 2017 9:30am

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.

Fran fits in on his four-man ship just fine, becomes friends with the other crew members, learns to trust Kivian…and remains puzzled when he doesn’t make a move on her (sleeping next to her nude doesn't count – she builds a pillow barrier which he honors). Of course, Fran is falling in love with her gallant space pirate. The suspense and sexual tension was built up nicely here and the ending is satisfying. The scene (spoiler) where they finally get together is a lot of fun and full of mutual discoveries about human/blue barbarian anatomy. Fran will make a terrific pirate and sequels are on the way.

Caveman’s Alien Mate by Calista Skye

I’ll cheerfully admit that the cover and title of the next book, Caveman’s Alien Mate (Amazon), with the tiger striped hero and the dinosaur, absolutely drew me in. I mean, how could I resist? This is the second in the series by Calista Skye and it was a fun romp. As Emilia, the heroine says, “It’s the kind of thing that happens when a whole bunch of linguistics students are kidnapped by a flying saucer and dumped on an alien planet full of dinosaurs and cavemen.” Very hunky cavemen, may I add.

Emilia is afraid of everything on the planet at the beginning, even the butterflies, and at a loss for what she can contribute to her small ‘tribe’ of Earth women stranded on this planet. Her efforts at pottery and cooking don’t turn out too well. One day she’s out in the jungle on her own (has she not seen any movies? The girl out alone always gets in trouble) and she’s saved from dinosaurs by Ar’ox. He’s a bit naïve to start with, “bulging with muscles” and orange stripes, fangs and eyes that glow, all wrapped up in an ‘unconventionally handsome’ package. He rapidly realizes that he’s found a Woman – the planet has no women but there are legends…if he could just figure out what the Gift is that the legends say he has to give the first Woman when she returns. (Is it a SPOILER to say that any faithful reader of steamy romance arrives at the conclusion as to what the Gift might be long before the light bulb goes on for well-endowed Ar’ox?) Emilia is patient and determined as she teaches Ar’ox some things he needs to know about himself and her.

There’s a trip to his village, dinosaur stampedes, an ancient ruined spaceship,  an evil shaman, a gray ghost monkeylike creature – in short a great deal of adventure but the plot sequences make sense given the framework Author Skye has established. I liked the relationship between the hero and heroine and the way Emilia matures emotionally throughout the book. All is not smooth sailing for her and Ar’ox by any means, but it was satisfying and I read the book in one sitting. Now I have to go catch up on the first book and then I’m ready for sequels for the other girls.

The Barren by Jessie Donovan

The Barren (Kelderan Runic Warriors Book 2) by Jessie Donovan (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) has a more serious tone and quite a bit of worldbuilding. The Kelderan face many challenges in keeping their people alive and have little use for women who are unable to “contribute” to their survival by having children. These women are designated as the ‘Barren’ and are really second-class citizens, denied rights and made to live in isolation. The Barren heroine, Vala Yarlen, experienced a taste of freedom in the first book of the series, in which she was a supporting character, and now she’s hungry for more, which she’s been promised as a colonist on Jasvar. In part to persuade people to be willing to leave home, the Kelderan king has sworn all the old laws regarding the Barren are null and void once they reach Jasvar.

Vala’s biggest problem? Recently promoted General Thorin Jarrell, commander of the colony ship, who’s hiding a number of secrets, including the fact that he’s half Brevkan. This would make him highly suspect in the narrow-minded Kelderan society if the facts were known, and inconveniently for Thorin he tends to have violent and/or sexual visions at the most inopportune times. Except around Vala, who he finds inexplicably calming. Yes, the two of them are clearly made to be together but with each person hiding things from the other, plus the heavy-handed cultural norms and laws, things are difficult. I admired the way each character confronted his or her own unconscious assumptions and helped the other work through challenges. Author Donovan never takes the easy way out, waves no magic wand to make all the Kelderan rules disappear. I respected that.

There are traitors, ship malfunctions, enemies, royal complications and more on the way to the HEA, but through all the chaos the thread of the love developing between Vala and Thorin stays strong and shines. As Vala says to herself at one point, “she and Thorin both knew what it was to feel shame about simply being alive.” And as for the general, “he might start to hope for what he could never have.” Definitely, a couple made for each other!

Last Ship Off Polaris-G by Carol van Natta

I’ll close with Carol van Natta’s Last Ship Off Polaris-G (Amazon | B&N | Kobo), which has a high level of science fiction worldbuilding and a more low-key romance. The story is set in the author’s Central Galactic Corcordance universe, which can be kind of a dark place, but there are always a few good people trying to do the right thing, like Anitra Helden and Gavril Danilovich. In this case, they’re working together to save the population of a dying colony world and outsmart the various heartless corporations at the bottom of the mess. There’s a whole range of enhanced humans in Van Natta’s galaxy, from minders, finders, and shielders to the mysterious jumpers. The facts that Anitra and Gavril both have secrets and also that they spent a no-strings-attached vacation together years ago (and never got over each other) certainly complicate matters. A good solid sci-fi read.

I like to bring you a range of books each month in my samples. What’s new in sci-fi romance that you’re enjoyed lately?


H&H Editor Picks:

Every J.R. Ward Fan Should Be Reading Ruby Dixon

26 Romances You Won’t Want to Miss!

September 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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2 comments
BenidormBabe
1. BenidormBabe
Always enjoy your posts but your author blurb needs amending, I think. Don't think Talonque is your latest?
Kareni
2. Kareni
I recently read Empyrean (The Leron Series Book 1) by Nicole L. Bates. This was a pleasant science fiction romance, but I had hoped for a little something more. That said, I did read all 492 pages rather than cast it aside, so ....
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