These are the last three reviews left on my 2017 review spreadsheet! Which means after this post I can start 2018 fresh after having wrapped up 2017 (review and book wise anyway). Well, except for Mel Sterling’s newest Portland After Dark book, Ironbound, but I’m saving that for New Year’s Day.
Always on the look out for new science fiction romance, I spied this title when it came up for review and found the blurb intriguing:
Nadia Green has everything–power, prestige, and a fiancé. That all ends when she’s sentenced to life on the prison planet Tolbos. Within hours of landing, Nadia finds herself captured, stripped, and placed on an auction block, where she’s purchased by Ivar Holok, a brutal warlord with golden eyes and an ability to wield kaptum with a mastery unlike anyone she’s ever seen.
Ivar is instantly attracted to the beautiful slave, but he suspects her presence on Tolbos has sinister implications. The Council wants him dead, and what better way to achieve its goal than by planting an irresistible assassin in his bed? No matter how much he wants to trust her, Ivar has to protect his people–even if it means denying Nadia her freedom. He vows to keep her enslaved and at his mercy until she confesses her involvement in the Council’s schemes, but he didn’t count on the slave enthralling her master.
This was a fast, easy read as the world-building is incredibly interesting, and very well drawn. Ivar and Nadia have an intensely sexual relationship that touches on dubious consent, but doesn’t quite get there. Instead this is a nicely done erotic love story that begins what I hope is the start of an ongoing series. I’d love to get into more of the politics of this world and find out more about some of the secondary character’s backstories. Final Grade-B
I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, Famous. Don’t worry if you somehow missed its release, you don’t have to read these books in order, as they can definitely be read as stand-a-lones.
Infamous is the story of a bad boy rockstar who gives up part of himself so that he and his band have the chance at hitting it big. When he makes the deal with his new manager, he is told very firmly that he needs to stay on the straight and narrow and that means no drugs, no out of control partying and definitely no hook-ups with men. He’s okay with this, until he meets a pediatric hospitalist who becomes his best friend and heart’s desire.
I really, really loved this book. I loved the relationship between Jesse and Hunter. Ms. Holiday builds it slowly by first developing a deep, true friendship and then letting their attraction for each other play out naturally. I honestly believed this couple’s fall into love and lust by the time they got there. Jesses is scared of what coming out means for his career, and Hunter is never going to be the man who hides in the closet for his lover ever again, so you can guess that there is a big moment when each have to decide what is important to them. My heart hurt for this couple so many times, but ultimately felt like they came out the other side with a bond and love for each other that made their HEA absolutely believable.
I’m hoping this author continues on with this series in the future. Final Grade- B+
This is book four in the Devil’s Rock series and felt a little different from the previous releases. Both of these characters are introduced in book three, Fury on Fire. Hale, our hero, is Faith Walsh’s sheriff brother, and Piper, our heroine, is the woman who North looks in on as a favor to a friend who is still in prison. The first time Hale and Piper meet he says something rude and inappropriate, and she dumps water in his lap. This carries over when Beautiful Lawman opens and Piper still thinks Hale is a condescending ass, while Hale is still judging Piper harshly due to her family’s past and her work situation. I mean it changes eventually, but it takes a while for them to get there.
This is very much an enemies-to-lovers romance that features characters from opposite life experiences. Piper is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who has never had a lucky break, and is still trying to overcome the damage done to their family by her parents. Hale is the golden boy who comes from a loving, upstanding home who has never had to overcome adversity. They have a very antagonistic relationship at the beginning with an underlying sexual tension that I just knew was going to explode onto the page in wonderful, dirty, sexy ways. And it so does.
Hale slowly begins to see Piper in a different light and becomes her champion and protector. Piper reluctantly accepts his help, but is determined to make the most of this chance for a leg up in life. Their relationship blossoms slowly, despite the obvious sexual tension and chemistry between them.
I enjoyed this entry in the Devil’s Rock series, and am hoping that Ms. Jordan decides Piper’s brother Cruz needs his own HEA. Final Grade- B-/C+