adjusting to a new culture

Thrall (Deridia, #3) by Catherine Miller Review

    Thrall (Deridia Book 3) by Catherine Miller 3 Stars!

Slow.
Useless.
Failure.

Ness had always tried to do as the masters told her, tried to fulfil her expected purpose within the time allowed. She was a thrall and nothing more. Every pain was a lesson, every hurt was for her betterment. And someday, perhaps, she could earn honour enough to serve the Narada in a household.

But when the masters tire of her repeated failures to produce the allotment required of her, she is chosen, not for the death she expects, but to serve as payment to a people she has never seen, whose ways are strange and utterly impossible for her to accept.

Taken in by a man who claims that he is not her new master, she is troubled when he does not comprehend the defective nature of the thrall he has been given, and how unworthy she is to be in his service.

And, perhaps even more concerning, his persistent belief that she is no slave at all.

Review

I am a fan of this series and was happy to read another slow burning romance in this world.

Our heroine is Ness. We are deep in her point of view. We slowly see her get acculturated to being not a slave and having a self and value.

The hero is kind and he has to adjust as well.

This is a very sweet romance. I like the pace. However, more details of the non humans and the culture would have made of a stronger read but overall a pleasure.

Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith Review

Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith 3.5 Stars! 

Buck Cooper is big.

So big, in fact, that people don’t see him anymore—not at work, not in his love life. He’s become 300+ pounds of invisible. But when a family situation shanghais this Texan to Tokyo, suddenly being big makes him a spectacle—in a good way, especially when the spotlight at a sporting match lands on Buck and forces him into the sumo ring. Will this accident of fate be Buck’s chance of a lifetime, making him Big in Japan?

 

 

 

Review

The parts of this book that are good are so good that it warrant this high rating. I completely loved the book while I was reading it. However, as I have mulled over the book my enjoyment dims a bit because of some truncated elements of the plot that make it less fulfilling and silly in places.

What I loved: This book takes a deep dive into Sumo culture. I show up for this kind of detailed exploration in my romance novels. Clap my hands and give me a cool drink, I settle in.

Sumo hazing is crazy. I love me some Sumo (yeah not a sentence that most Westerns say but there it is) and was thrilled to to seek out this book based in the world of Sumo. It was really wonderful. The story showcases the sport, the athleticism and the culture.

The setting in Japan through our hero Buck’s (clearly and American) eyes well done. I got very hungry reading this story. All the senses are used to tell the tale of living in a vastly different place than he is use to and it is well done.

His hero’s journey is lovely to trace. Buck is the best person. His motivation are human and he is good without being saccharine. He does the right thing because that is his nature but the writer is gifted at showcasing how hard these choices can be for so many reasons.

The body issues that are explored here are powerfully rendered looking at culture, self worth masculinity, bullying and other nuances.

Buck works hard and is open minded. Love him!

When he falls in love, it is sweet. (FYI this book never gets past kisses which is a nice break from hotter fare).

However, the romance could have been way more developed, They are hardly ever together. We needed more couple time, I really would have liked some of the book from the heroine’s point of view. She remains pretty idolized.

There is crazy side plots of all kinds that are way over the top. Those are sort of fun but need to be balanced with more relationship development.

So, 3.5!

Trade (Deridia Book 2) by Catherine Miller Review

    Trade (Deridia Book 2) by Catherine Miller 4 Stars!!

Gullible.
Foolish.
Weak.

She had always done as she was told. She dug in the sands until her fingers bled so that her people could have something to barter. She packed up her sparse belongings without complaint when it was time to flee the Wastes, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known, and the site of the bittersweet memories she carried of her lost family. It was easier that way, to obey and not to question, knowing her own judgement to be faulty.

But when her people learn that the exchange for living on alien land and securing their safety is the price of one of their unclaimed women, the limits of her compliance are tested, as she is given in marriage to a man she does not want from a species and clan she does not know.

Only to discover that he feels precisely the same about their ill-begotten trade.

She was a Marzon now.

And she had no idea what that meant, other than giving up her clothes, her home, her people, all for a man who like to scowl and grunt and sigh.

“By what name shall she be called?” Sladec asked, and she eyed him with confusion.

She opened her mouth to answer, to finally inform them both that she most certainly had a name and it was important, no matter what Machrus had said, but the voice that gave answer was not her own.

But came from her husband instead.

“Renna. Now wife of Machrus of Krahl.”

 

Review

I love Catherine Miller’s character driven Science Fiction with a long slow burn.

The world building is very good and the ache of grief and loss is this book is compelling.

The hero and heroine are both so wounded it hard to like them at first because they hold so much of themselves as private but as they heal and come to love each other, we come to love and know them too.

If you liked Mercy, the first book in this series, you should like this one as well. It has similar themes of an arranged marriage and culture adjustment,. It also has some of the same drawbacks of not getting the hero’s point of view and some information held back too long to enjoy a full rich HEA. I would have loved a lush epilogue.

I would be very happy to read another romance in this world.

ABDUCTED, AUCTIONED, & STOLEN BY AN ALIEN by Amanda Milo Review

Review:

ABDUCTED, AUCTIONED, & STOLEN BY AN ALIEN: An Alien Mate Romance - Amanda Milo

 

AROKH
I broke the rules and stole an auction item from her buyers.
Because somehow, they’d managed to abduct a Gryfala princess.
Though… she doesn’t look, or act, or sound quite like I thought one of her kind would.
But I’m merely a Rakhii gladiator; this is the closest I’ve actually ever been to a princess.
I’d be considered lucky indeed if she chose me to guard her.
Instead, I want more.
I need her to claim me.
Because she doesn’t know it, but now I can’t let her go.

ANGIE
Woke up in a freaking auction pen.
With no coffee.
But there were aliens.  And they didn’t bid on me out of the goodness of their hearts.
FML.
Then this nice alien showed up in the nick of time, but he keeps referring to me as “Princess” and I’m starting to worry what he’ll do when he finds out that there’s been a little case of mistaken identity, that I’m not royalty – see, I’m not even whatever alien he mistook me for…
I’m just a human.

 

Review

 

 

If you are a fan of the sub genre of Science Fiction Romance that features abducted humans adjusting to aliening cultures, this book will be your jam.

 

The title is awful. Why is it awful? Impossible to remember as unique and makes the book about a kind genre erotic fetish (not that there is anything wrong with that) than about the romance, plot, characters, and fun of the themes of the sub genre.

 

If this book hadn’t been recommended to me and on Kindle Unlimited. I would never had taken the chance of picking it up.

 

Having read and really enjoyed it, I will try to follow the writer (social media and website aren’t up yet) and hope Milo puts out more books in this series and world.

 

The world building is really good with fully realized culture of the hero and the people that he assumes the heroine is from.

 

There are hints that other cultures and HEAs will be explored like cat like aliens and amphibious aliens. A poly love set of space pirates. Woo hoo!

 

Our hero is a super thoughtful, protective, respectful, brave loving warrior elephant/rhino dragon humanoid alien. Yea! He was great.

 

The heroine is great too though she could be much more developed. Sometimes, we suddenly just find out stuff about her like we knew it all along. She is funny and practical.

 

The couple is on the run and the hero is dealing with all his cultural norms and bonding. The heroine is just adjusting. There is a language barrier for a while that is well done.

 

They just like each other and so their falling in love makes sense and make me happy.

 

Okay, so…need that website and news of the next book….

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