Great Worldbuilding

Quinn’s Gambit (AURA, #1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn Review

    Quinn’s Gambit (AURA Book 1) by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn 4 Stars!

An unregistered human con wizard and a duty-bound, straight-laced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities, all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called Random Anomalous Reality Events or RARE, have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA, the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation, to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living in. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course, for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically induced luck, he works as a ‘freelance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small-time con, according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus, when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

Review

Quinn’s Gambit is a wonderful Fantasy/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance.

The world building is excellent and based on the idea that there is a magical rift dropping all sorts of magic beings into Earth. One of our heroes is a police Elf older and grieving the lost of his mates in the other realm with Alpha mixed in with the social awkwardness of adjusting to a new culture and being deeply hurt. Our other hero is Quinn, troubled in his own ways, a mage hiding the extent of his power and much younger, working as a con man.

They, of course, get together and the save the world.

This is a slow burn romance with a wonderful cast of others and a great premise of being set in this agency of crime solving and magical being immigration. The other all tone is light but with some dark topics, great character driven romance and adventure.

Heart Fate (Celta’s Heartmates, #7) by Robin D. Owens Review

 Heart Fate (Celta Series Book 7) by Robin D. Owens 4.5 Stars! 

Wed to a wealthy older man when she was just a girl, Lahsin Yew runs away from her abusive home to find a new life. At seventeen, she?s about to enter her Second Passage, when her Flair?and perhaps her HeartMate?will be revealed.

Lahsin finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?

 

Review

This is a tender love story between two young people whose lives have already seen so much suffering.

The hero and the heroine are fated to mates but the heroine’s family marries her off at 14 to an abusive older man. The hero marries someone else and is suffering the effects of a miscarriage an the very rare ending of that marriage.

Tinne and Lashin hurt, heal, and love together. If you have been reading the series, you will be so happy the Tinne’s gets his own book but even if you haven’t this book stands alone as a great romance where respect and care overcomes abuse.

The world building as always is sport on with cultural and magic systems details of the highest order. The dog and the cat and a lonely house are perfect additions and the villain suffers.

A comfort reread for me. Adored.

Heart Dance (Celta’s Heartmates, #6) by Robin D. Owens Review

 Heart Dance (Celta Series Book 6) by Robin D. Owens 4.5 Stars!

Dufleur Thyme knows that emotion has no place in scientific experiments, and she cannot abide distractions in her own surreptitious quest to redeem her father’s time reversal studies. For Saille T’Willow, time is running out—the premiere matchmaker of Celta, he himself has yet to HeartBond and form the family he yearns for. Knowing that Dufleur is his HeartMate, he has sent his HeartGift out to circulate, hoping it will find its way to her and enable him to make his claim.
Instead, Dufleur keeps tossing it out—she wants nothing to do with a Willow, the family that destroyed her father’s good name. But Saille is determined, and the attraction between them is undeniable. When one of her experiments imperils Saille’s position, Dufleur must make a choice—she can retreat to the solitude of her lab, or stand with the descendant of her enemy as his HeartMate…


Review

I just did a reread of this book—I have read it more than 4 times.

I love the world of Celta. This is hands down one my my favorite series and what I would take on a desert island.

This book is a treasure of a heroine who everyone thinks of as plain but who is a great power. I love that she isn’t always likable but so loyal.

The hero is wonderful as he wants his love. His pursuit is lovely.

There is so much healing an finding of value in Robin Owen’s work which is balanced with the charm of talking cats and really moving love stories.

A great book especially if you love a best hero with a will of iron.

A Rational Arrangement (Arranging Paradise Book 1) in by L. Rowyn Review

  A Rational Arrangement (Arranging Paradise Book 1) by L. Rowyn

But these are vital aspects of marriage. If one cannot discuss them, what’s the use in meeting at all? It’s like trying to decide what you’ll have for dinner without mentioning food.”

Wisteria Vasilver does wish to marry. Truly. But though she lives in Paradise, arranging a match is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary … or perhaps just for her.

Nikola Striker, Lord of Fireholt, expects he’ll wed — someday. But not now, and never to a rich icicle of a woman like Miss Vasilver. No matter how much his parents might want the match, or his house might need her dowry. Besides, he has his own problems — most of them people who need his help as a mind-healer.

Lord Justin Comfrey, Viscount of Comfrey, would be more than happy to help Striker with his financial troubles, and not just to ensure that Miss Vasilver’s dowry doesn’t tempt Striker into marriage. If only he could find some way to make his proud, stubborn friend accept the money!

Can three people of such different temperaments ever find their way to a more perfect Paradise?

 

Review 

This book is such a pleasure of a romance. In a Regency flavored culture set after the fall of another world in a new “Paradise,”  Rowyn meticulously builds cultures, history, religions,  a wider world, and a magic systems with as much beauty as the plot, characters, and love story.

I stayed up all night reading.

The heroine, Wisteria, is going right on my favorite heroines list. Wisteria brave, kind, moral, and with the keenest of minds. She falters and is big hearted.  She is somewhere on the  autism spectrum and thus able to see past cultural norms and mores and be baffled by them. Thus, she is socially awkward and misread as cold.  The hero/s come to adore her because of who she is and this romance explores the range of what is “normal” on so many levels and compellingly.

The hero, Nik, is burdened with responsibilities and in love with someone else that he can’t have publicly and thinks doesn’t really want him out of the bedroom.   Nik is a Blessed with gift of mind healing.  As he sees Wisteria more clearly, he comes to see himself more fully as well.  Their love story is one of honesty and have a safe place. It is sexy as all get out as well.

Our third lead is Justin. He is a charmer who really has to learn to trust, risk and talk to get his HEA with both the heroine and the hero and release old ideas about himself as well as the world.  He is loyal and brave.

This is a polyamorous romance that does a wonderful job thinking about the cultural aspects of marriage and sex and human nature. The writer makes you believe in the Happily Ever After because she doesn’t pretend it isn’t complicated.

The book takes on sex, religion, faith, ability gender roles, and marriage  from a global anthropological point of view as well as a biological one (though magic based as Nik can see minds). Wisteria’s analytical nature, Justin’s realism and Nik’s humanitarianism  all come together in a moving exploration of all these topics.

All all the while, we have sexy times, conflicts of all kinds, sexual tension, banter, carriage and Great Cats who talk!

Excellent.

I so hope there are more books 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….

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1558783/abducted-auctioned-stolen-by-an-alien-by-amanda-milo-review

Fall (Hold, #3) by Claire Kent Review

Review:

Fall (Hold Book 3) - Claire Kent

As a pilot and a smuggler, Lenna has spent her life flying under the radar in Coalition space–taking care of herself, not relying on anyone. She’s always liked it that way.

But now she’s stranded without any resources on a stone-age planet, and the only way to survive is to hook up with a bunch of cavemen. She’ll do whatever she needs to do in order to survive in their world–even if it means letting one of them take her as a mate.

She doesn’t expect to like it. Or like him. Or lose her heart in the process.

 

 

Review 

 

For many people, this might be a guilty pleasure read. Caveman Alien. Yeah.

 

I have no guilt. Well, a little guilt for the heavy handed simple living rejecting a life with more agency but then getting agency in the choice stuff but other than that…. no guilt!

 

I love language barriers and cultural adaptation romance. Some really fun world building here and I believe the love story. I can see this become a silly comfort read.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1500029/fall-hold-3-by-claire-kent-review

The Demon Prince (Ars Numina Book 2) by Ann Aguirre 5 Star Review

   The Demon Prince (Ars Numina Book 2) by Ann Aguirre

Charming. Irreverent. Haunted.
Alastor Vega is the sole challenger in a brutal battle for succession. Against all odds, he must stop his power-mad brother, Tycho, before he destroys the Numina. Though he never wanted to rule, he must claim the throne and liberate his people, or the consequences will be calamitous. Yet only the surprising support of a beautiful Animari doctor gives him the fortitude to fight.

Focused. Analytical. Solitary.
Dr. Sheyla Halek has always been more interested in research than personal contact, but family ties—and the needs of her pride—keep her in Ash Valley, deferring her dreams. Brusque and abrasive at the best of times, she never expected to bond with anyone, let alone Golgoth royalty. Strangely, Alastor seems to need her as no one has before, and not only for her medical skills.

Their attraction is forbidden, likely doomed beyond the wildness of wartime, but these fires burn too hot and sweet to be contained…

Review

I really loved the first book in this series but this one is even better.

The heroine… The hero… The plot… The world building…. The series arc… The romance…

Spot on.

This love story takes place during the start of what will be a long war where the paranormal species must unite and fight together to defeat a cruel enemy.

Our hero is a prince of the demon shifters who must rally the exiles and his people against his brother who is the tyrant who wants more power and to the cull the weak. The hero has suffered a horrible illness his entire life and his out of his meds.

Thus, our heroine, a doctor and researcher, is assigned to him and choses to follow him to the front lines. She is a cat shifter, on the spectrum, and fierce as hell.

The hero is a charmer and burdened with his too large task.

Their love story is epic and so hot. I don’t want to spoil with the details but our heroine give the hero a safe place to just be and it is amazing.

The culture building is grand as are all the secondary characters.

This is just top notch story telling. If you like Paranormal Romance, this book is a must read for you.

I was given this book for my honest review (Though I would have bought it anyway), So, there you have it!

Caged By The Alien (Celestial Mates Book 4) by Marla Therron Review

Review:

Alien Romance: Caged By The Alien: Scifi Alien Abduction Romance (Alien Romance, Alien Invasion Romance, BBW) (Celestial Mates Book 4) - Marla Therron

Ambassador Penny Allyn is about to embark on the most important mission of her career- Representing humanity during First Contact with an alien species.
A carefully selected team of experts have been chosen to follow a series of mysterious broadcasts across space to an alien planet and introduce humanity to a new intelligent species for the first time.

But just as they reach the alien planet, a disaster no one could have anticipated throws Penny and her entire team into danger, and their mission becomes one of avoiding what seems to be an inevitable interstellar war.

Aiten Tau, the mysterious and powerful commander of the alien’s military forces, is put in charge of Penny and her team, and takes particular interest in Penny.
They struggle to understand each other in time to prevent a cosmic catastrophe, but their growing feelings for each other may only get in the way. Giving in to her passion for the Alien Commander could make Penny the vanguard of an interplanetary war…

 

 

Review

 

The world building in this romance is very good.

 

I tend to really like science fiction romance novels where the aliens evolved from another animal. I especially like it when the aliens are humanoid aliens because the 9th Orb by Kaitlyn O’Connor is such a great book.

 

The aliens here are descended from bees. Our hero is not exactly right according to their biology and that makes it possible for him to fall in love with our heroine.

 

There is a good deal of culture clash that makes for a good story.

 

My non love of the book has to do with pacing. The opening scene is really one of the last of the book and then everything is in flashback. This tends to slow down he action for me and also makes the book darker than it needs to be.

 

However, the writing in this book is a huge improvement over the other books I have read by this writer and I look forward to her next book.

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