WHAT I READ IN APRIL:
I kind of started out the month in a book funk. Big book funk, but Has from The Bookpushers recc’ed this awesome prison planet sci/fi romance series on Twitter and my book funk is officially over. Yay for Twitter recs!
Enticed by the Corsair by Ruby Dixon – AMZ
No one likes a rebellious captive.
I learned that the hard way. I’ve been abducted from earth and cruelly tormented for my fighting spirit until I learned that the only thing that would keep me safe is to be sweet and calm and agreeable. It’s what keeps me alive.
When I’m rescued by space pirates, they tell me I’m safe. I’m told I can be myself again, get as angry as I want, laugh and cry and scream all I need. I don’t believe them, of course. I certainly don’t believe Alyvos, the ‘muscle’ of the pirate ship. Everyone says that he likes nothing more than a good fight, but to me, he’s kind and protective. How can I fear someone who holds me tenderly through the night and has fuzzy skin?
But my pirate wants more from me than I’m ready to give. He wants my fiery spirit…and I’m not sure it’s there anymore.
This is my very favorite Ruby Dixon series. I love it so much. Big, blue space pirates and fearless human women who change their lives for the better.
Guardian by Emmy Chandler – AMZ
“Choose wisely. Then keep your head down and do what you’re told. Time will pass, and we’ll be back for you.”
Audra Copeland is among dozens of newly convicted felons dropped off on the prison planet Rhodon, where she discovers that the women of zone four have a long-standing arrangement with the men. If they hand over six of the new arrivals, the men won’t raid. And Audra has just been drafted.
She can take her chances on her own, or select a guardian. The deal is simple, if barbaric: sex, in exchange for food and safety from the other two hundred men in zone four. It’s a terrifying proposal. The men are violent, filthy degenerates.
Then Audra sees Tyson at the edge of the crowd. A hulking, scarred figure, the other men call him a savage, but his clothes are clean, and he’s holding a freshly caught rabbit. He can clearly protect what’s his.
As compassionate as he is powerful, Tyson ignites something fierce in Audra, and their connection is white-hot. The problem? Every thirty days, she’ll have to pick a new guardian.
Now that he’s found Audra, Ty has every intention of keeping her for himself. Even if he has to destroy the fragile zone four peace treaty to do it.
As I mentioned above, Has from The Bookpushers mentioned this series on Twitter so I popped over to Amazon to add it to my KU list. I wasn’t going to pick it up quite yet because I’m woefully behind on review books, but before bed I thought I would just open it real quick to see if it’s something I would like. THEN I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN.
This series is titled Prison Planet, so you know that it’s not going to be a super easy read. This book opens with the heroine being flown down to the planet’s surface and discovering just how awful her sentence will be. Which is just as bad as you can imagine. Apparently there is a truce of sorts between the sector where most of the women live and the sector where men rule. The women change out women monthly for the men to do what they want with and the rest of the sector is left in peace. Audra realizes she is pretty much fucked, and she has drug a young woman named Maci into it as well, thinking she was protecting her by keeping her by her side. Her only choice is to pick someone who can protect them both and hopefully be non violent toward them.
She picks Tyson and he lets it be known he will protect them and doesn’t want anything Audra doesn’t want to give. Lordy, I liked this couple. I liked that Tyson was violent, but not with the Audra and Maci, and that he made decisions, but also knew when it was better for Audra or Maci to lead him. There are sexy, sexy times and an ending that gives our couple the only HEA that they could have had. I liked it.
Hunter by Emmy Chandler – AMZ
“He wants her released into the enclosure. He wants to hunt her.”
Recaptured during her escape from zone four, Maci Bishop wakes up in the mysterious, heavily fortified zone two, where wealthy citizens come to sate sordid, homicidal appetites by hunting death row inmates in a wooded enclosure. Live on camera, for spectators watching from the Resort.
Maci is rented as a plaything for a guest at the Resort, but when she kills her first customer in self-defense, her life sentence quickly becomes a death sentence. To teach the other women a lesson, the warden throws Maci into the enclosure, to be hunted alongside a vicious death row inmate named Callum.
Though at first he believes the beautiful, half-naked woman is bait intended to lure him out, Callum saves Maci from a brutal death. As they fight their way through the enclosure, taking on hunters, guards, and ruthless robotic hounds, he falls hard for the tiny, clever hellcat and discovers she may just have the skills to get them both out of the enclosure alive.
But Maci won’t abandon the other women to pay for her escape. Not again. She won’t be satisfied until she shuts down the entire Resort: clients, guards, hounds, and all. And there’s no way in hell Callum will let her walk into the lion’s den alone…
Hunter is a 75,000+ word novel set on a planet populated by violent criminals, so expect a gritty story about characters who have to fight to protect each other and their relationship.
So, when I finished the first book, Guardian, I immediately picked up the second book. And believe it or not, I liked it even more. It has all the prison planet craziness of the first book, but adds a layer of intensity by throwing our heroine and hero into an enclosure and having people hunt them like big game animals. BUT, they messed up because as it turns out Maci is sort of a tech wizard and turns their game against them in the most beautiful of ways. She is helped by Callum who, just like Tyson, knows exactly when to step up and when to let Maci do her thing.
There are also lots of super sexy times and GUYS, GUYS, GUYS the ending is AMAZING.
Champion by Emmy Chandler – AMZ
“Ms. Wolfe, you’re the only woman who’s ever requested the arena.”
Sylvie Wolfe made a bad decision, for a good reason. Now, sentenced to death for her crime, she has only one decision left to make—the method of her execution. Most people pick lethal injection.
Sylvie demands death by combat.
Her choice gets her sent to the prison planet Rhodon, where in zone one, the galaxy’s most dangerous convicted murderers fight to the death on camera in a gladiatorial-style competition that will end with one inmate being declared the champion. And having his—or her—death sentence commuted to life in prison.
Graham Anderson thinks he’s lost his mind when he sees a woman in zone one. He pulls Sylvie into his cell just before lockdown, temporarily shielding her from a throng of monsters intent on laying claim to her. By the time the doors unlock at dawn, he’s made nearly a hundred vicious new enemies and lost his heart to the fiercest, sexiest, most determined woman he’s ever met.
With death looming in the arena and foes aligning against them behind the scenes, Sylvie and Graham must fight for every moment they share. But in the end, there can be only one champion. Which means only one of them can leave the arena alive…
Champion is an 86,000 word novel containing dark and violent scenes that might be disturbing to some readers.
I couldn’t wait to pick this book up after the fabulousness of the first two books and OMG what a treat it was. What could this author come up with to compete with prison planet survivalists and enclosure where they hunt prisoners? Hmmmmm? A female gladiator fighting against an all male sector for her right to be champion and get released from death row.
I know. I know.
It’s as good as you are imagining.
I think my favorite thing about this whole series is how these books focus so much on the women and even though they are in impossible situations, and have very little choices, they still make big decisions and are in charge of their destiny. They choose to be in sexual relationships with their heroes and own their sexuality. They are smart, they are kick ass tough, and they find a way. The heroes are supposed to be anti-heroes, but they really aren’t. Grumpy and violent sure, but also supportive and protective.
There is a novella coming this month a book featuring the heroine from book three’s brother. GIMME!
WHAT’S UP NEXT:
The Worst Best Man by Lucy Score – AMZ
The bride is a doll. The groom is the perfect gentleman. But the rest of the wedding party? They’re the stuff of nightmares. Rich? Check. Vapid? Double Check. Entitled? Not enough checks in the world. And the Best Man? More like the Worst Man.
But Maid of Honor Franchesca takes her duties seriously. Kidnapped groom? She’s got this. Rude attendees? You just watch her handle them. So a best man with a big attitude and an even bigger…checkbook? Yeah, there’s no way she’s going to let that pretentious, judgmental jackhole ruin her best friend’s wedding. No matter how sexy he is. (Well, that’s the plan anyway…)
Aiden Kilbourn doesn’t do long-term relationships. He’s busy ruling the business world, and has yet to find a woman he can tolerate for longer than a month, two at the outside. Conquering the unconquerable is basically his bread and butter. And he hasn’t met a challenge that he can’t win. But Franchesca Baranski? This smart-mouthed girl from Brooklyn may just be his downfall.
I swear I’m getting to this one this month.
Whisky Chaser by Lucy Score – AMZ
“I’m afraid my vagina might turn itself inside out if you try to give it another orgasm so soon.” – Scarlett Bodine
Raised by her three overbearing brothers, Scarlett is a hell-raising tomboy with a tool belt. A tornado stirring up trouble everywhere she goes. Her favorite pastimes? Drinking any man under the table and two-stepping. But she has zero interest in love. Scarlett’s only being neighborly when she claims her sexy next-door neighbor as her new pet project.
Devlin is a man at rock bottom. Marriage, political career, five-year plan to Washington, D.C. All destroyed with one well-placed jab. The golden boy is now the black sheep relegated to Bootleg Springs, a tiny West Virginia town with two claims to fame: 1. Moonshine and 2. The cold case disappearance of a teen girl.
Devlin just wants to lick his wounds. But Scarlett has other ideas for his tongue… and the rest of him. She’s determined to bring him back to life, even if getting him back on his feet means never seeing him again. But when an old mystery becomes new news, she’ll need his help to survive the scandal.
A recommendation from Mandi at Smexy Books.
Psychic’s Spell by Ella Summers – AMZ
In the immortal war between gods and demons, one woman’s past holds the key to humanity’s future.
One year after joining the Legion of Angels in New York City, Leda Pierce returns home to visit her family in Purgatory, a rough and rugged frontier town that borders the plains of monsters. Leda’s family reunion is cut short, however, when her little sisters are captured by supernatural mercenaries.
Together with her angel lover Nero, she sets out to save them. Besieged by monsters, assailed by powerful foes, Leda knows this rescue mission won’t be easy. What she doesn’t expect is that it will bring her face-to-face with the secrets of her buried past.
Psychic’s Spell is the sixth book in the Legion of Angels series.
Natural Mage by K.F. Breene – AMZ
After narrowly surviving my debut into the magical world, I made a promise to myself: no more hiding in broom closets.
But with the Mages’ Guild reorganizing faster than anyone thought possible, and naming me as their number one target, that promise seems a little far-fetched. Especially since my training with Callie and Dizzy, the highly experienced dual-mage pair, goes off like a cake in a cannon.
Left to find someone that can fill the role, it isn’t until a formal dinner party goes horribly wrong that I find the best (and worst) solution imaginable: Reagan Somerset, the leather-clad crazy woman who busted into my broom closet sanctuary in the first place.
Through an off-kilter teaching style and many punches in the face, I learn my true potential.
But with her happier busting heads and kicking in doors than staying put with a pupil in hiding, it isn’t long before the world comes crashing down. The Guild has found me, and they intend to take me alive.
Treasure of the Abyss by Tiffany Roberts – AMZ
HIS TREASURE AND HIS OBSESSION…
Despite her longing for the sea, Macy has clung to the safety of land for half her life, devoting herself to her daily routine — until she agrees to go sailing with a childhood friend. Her fears come to fruition when a sudden storm capsizes their boat, rekindling her old terror. She awakens to a rescuer who is anything but human — and he refuses to let her go. Treated like a curiosity and a possession, she’s desperate to go home. Yet Macy is undeniably drawn to this strange creature. Can she give up her old life, her family and friends, to embrace this adventure…and Jax?
HER SAVIOR AND HER CAPTOR…
Jax the Wanderer is a hunter, an explorer, and an oddity among his kind. While other kraken are content near their dens, Jax is driven by a deep need to journey far and wide, discovering the unknown corners of the sea. Macy challenges everything he’s known; she is the most alluring creature he’s ever seen on his travels. He must possess her, though he knows it can only end in disaster. How much is he willing to forsake for the female he desires?
There is also another Ruby Dixon coming out this month and a novella from the Prison Planet series mentioned above that I can’t wait to get my hands on.