Archives

All of Me by Lea Kirk

All of MeSource: ARC from author
Format: ebook
Rating:  4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

Following the Anferthian invasion of Earth (recounted in Lea Kirk’s Prophecy), the Matirans help Earthlings to rebuild. “Gunner” Reed is overseeing the development of Terr Base One on Earth. During the invasion he rescued April Burowski, and she is currently working at an orphanage near Terr Base One. April is mourning the death of Dave, the father of her unborn child.

This is a heart-warming, gentle tale of respect, love and tenderness. I really enjoyed reading it, and would pick up any book Kirk writes.

Keir’s Fall by Pippa Jay

KeirsFallSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

It’s been a year in paradise for Keir and Quin, but now the idyll is over. After Quin falls sick, they return to the hidden sanctuary of Lyagnius, and what she learns there will not only change their lives, but set them on a journey that could separate them forever.

When Keir falls victim to a ruthless Nercaandi Empress bent on conquering the galaxy with her cybernetic army, it will take all Quin’s diminishing powers and the help of her son to find him. But what waits for her aboard the tyrant’s ship will test her strength and the limits of their love, and put everything she cares about at risk. Including Keir.

With the galaxy itself about to fall, will she be able to save him?

Zhurrat Reviews received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

We meet Keir and Quin on Kasha-Asor, their idyllic island on Metraxi. It soon becomes evident that Quin is not feeling herself, and Keir persuades her to return to her Lyagnius base. On discovering that she is pregnant, they journey to Gethyon’s world, Loganum, so that Quin can be with her son until the baby is born. Things don’t quite go according to plan, and Quin finds herself back at Lyagnius, and Keir in the clutches of Tyra-Lee, a power-grabbing tyrant.

This second book in the Redemption series sure packs a lot of punch. When I’d finished reading it, I couldn’t believe that it’s *only* 71k words. Jay gets a lot of travel into those words, and not much goes astray.

At times Keir’s Fall is a real page turner. One evening I was reading it and told myself I had to get off the computer. Half an hour later I found myself still sitting here, reading. Not entirely sure where that time went, but Keir was busy, lol!

It’s fantastic to get another instalment of Keir’s story, and this book doesn’t disappoint. Keep giving us more stories, please!

Freedom’s Embrace by Rachel Leigh Smith

Freedom's EmbraceSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

They made the wrong choice. Putting it right requires going into a war.

A’yen’s Reign: Year Two

Taran has served Nicco, prince of Marcase, for twenty-three years. While on a fact-finding mission to Corsica–a planet annexed by the empire thirteen years ago–Taran and Nicco are kidnapped by the Freedom Alliance and taken deep into the Corsican hardwood forests.

Da’Renna, sister to King A’yen’s linked bodyguard, has loved Taran since the moment he saw her. Leaving him behind wasn’t easy, but her brother needed her more. Hearing about Taran’s kidnapping makes her wonder if she made the right choice.

With the help of a friend from Corsica, Da’Renna and her brother sneak in to find Taran. When mercenaries take her hostage, Taran must make the choice he dreads most: his master, or his soul-mate.

If Taran loses his girl, he’ll never find his way to freedom.

Note: This novel stands alone and is a great entry point into the A’yen’s Legacy futuristic romance series.

This is book 4 of the A’yen’s Legacy series, and introduces Ren and Taran, who we met briefly in book 3, as the main characters. The book is split between two stories, really, with some sections filling out the history between Ren and Taran while others follow present day events, which take place shortly after the events of To Save a Life.

It was interesting to finally get a deeper glimpse inside the Marcasian Empire and some of the problems it faces. And, of course, to get to know Taran better – ok, and some of the other characters. Ro and Varune make a significant reappearance in the story, and we see some of the more familiar faces too.

I had no difficulty following the separate story lines, and especially the historical information was useful to finding out what drives Ren and Taran in the present. And I’ll be frank; at times I just wanted to knock their heads together and get them to wake up and see the light… well, to be honest, that applies more to Ren than to Taran: Taran has a far better grip on what’s really going on.

The book is an excellent exploration of what “freedom” really is and means to different people. That, and sacrificial love. And boy, the answers don’t come easily in the slightest.

Another star turn from Rachel, and I can’t wait for the next one!

To Save a Life by Rachel Leigh Smith

To Save a LifeSource: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewer: Laurel

A’yen’s loved ones are under attack. To save them, he’ll risk everything.

Half the Lokmane are free and the resettling of Lok’ma is in progress. A’yen is crowned king, but it isn’t stopping his enemies. Someone is after Ro, and the woman he’s falling in love with is caught in the middle.

When Fae is trapped in a cave-in at a dig site and wakes up with fake memories, A’yen knows who’s to blame. Proving it is the hard part. Things get worse as his past relationship with a human male, a man once again part of his life, is used to trap him and try to turn the people against him. And destroy his marriage.

Ro is then framed for murder, another move to discredit A’yen. Saving his marriage and reputation is easy compared to saving Ro’s life. Ro’s demons come for him, taking him back to a life not worth living.

A’yen races to save Ro before he can act on his deepest desire: killing his tormentor. Happily ever after can’t happen if Ro is dead.

Can this series get any more addictive? It’s taken me three days to read through this book (with extensive breaks inbetween enforced by life – breaks which were infused with a longing to read more), and I could easily read the next one.

I can’t say that this book is better or worse than the previous two, but the events that unfold are compelling. At times one laughs out loud, at others one cries, and yet others one wants a certain person to burn in hell… yet through it all, one just wants to read, devour, inhale more of this book.

Smith introduces us to several new characters in these pages, expanding our knowledge of the Marcasian Empire in particular. I for one cannot wait to learn more of them, as I know we will in upcoming books.

In short, a compelling read that doesn’t disappoint. And among the best I’ve read so far this year

Keir by Pippa Jay

Source: ARC from author
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

A demon waiting to die…
An outcast reviled for his discolored skin and rumors of black magic, Keirlan de Corizi sees no hope for redemption. Imprisoned beneath the palace that was once his home, the legendary ‘Blue Demon of Adalucien’ waits for death to finally free him of his curse. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise.

A woman determined to save him.
Able to cross space and time with a wave of her hand, Tarquin Secker has spent eternity on a hopeless quest. Drawn by a compulsion she can’t explain, she risks her apparent immortality to save Keir, and offers him sanctuary on her home-world, Lyagnius. But Quin has secrets of her own.

When Keir mistakenly unleashes the dormant alien powers within him and earns exile from Lyagnius, Quin chooses to stand by him. Can he master his newfound abilities in time to save Quin from the darkness that seeks to possess her?

This is a story of tortured souls, love and redemption. On a strange world, where the cultural and architectural influence is heavily medieval, Quin, a human traveller who moves among the stars on a quest for a lost friend, discovers Keir, an outcast in his society. All Keir wants to do is die, believing himself condemned and cursed – not to mention the fact he is badly injured – while Quin soon wishes to save him, having seen a glimpse of who he really is.

From this starting point follows an adventure that will warm science fiction and romance readers alike. As one hops between planets with this delightful pair, Pippa Jay sketches the different worlds with her pen, bringing them vividly to life. She does no less with each character, drawing one into their minds with ease.

This edition is longer than the original publication, with more depth in some areas. If anything, the story gains stature from the additional length, and I for one appreciated the added depth. I’ve seen some reviewers struggle with the two different story lines in the novel, but for me these two story lines make me ask more questions. I guess it helps that I know the author is planning a sequel, so I know there is more to come and, perhaps, some answers.

A solid romance in a science fiction setting, with time travel thrown in.