More new science fiction romances have hit the figurative ebook shelves, with everything from space pirates to a tale strongly reminiscent (to me) of both “Aliens” and “Jurassic Park.”
Shall we start there? The Colony by Laurel Richards, which I read in one sitting, does a terrific job of amping up the questions and the tension, with some mild romance thrown in. The author kept me guessing for quite a long time whether the murderous aliens existed, or whether the colonists had gone crazy for some reason. No spoilers from me! Here’s the blurb:
Not everyone will make it out alive.
Responding to a distress call, Officer Alexander Valerian and the rest of his security team arrive at the human colony on the planet of Jangala to find blood and gore all over the walls. All the colonists are dead or missing except for Dr. Elisa Everett, a pretty paleontologist he finds injured and nearly suffocated in a ventilation shaft. Now Alex has to figure out how sixty-nine colonists were wiped out in a single night, but Elisa’s account of killer monsters just raises more questions. Has the colony really been attacked by bloodthirsty beasts, or did everyone succumb to a powerful hallucinogen that made them turn on one another? He had better find out fast, because Elisa’s life is in his hands.
Author Eve Langlais released book #3 in her Space Gypsy Chronicles, Rebel, featuring space pirates. This has been a fast moving series, with some fun worldbuilding. Here’s the story: Prophesied as both the Rhomanii leader that will unite the clans and lead them home, as well as the destroyer, Rafe returns to the mighty wheel his clan calls home with the artifacts he’s collected along the way. Only there are forces working against him, and his uncle, the arch duke of the enclave, is out for blood.
Older, wiser, and most decidedly deadlier, Rafe is determined to solve the mystery and complete the puzzle, but his love life is a bloody mess, his double — the annoying usurper, Mikhail — thwarts his every move, and nothing goes as planned. Especially when there are rumors that entire families have gone silent, and he feels the weight of the one foretold to uncover the Rhomanii’s hidden path home.
The forces for and against Rafe are rallying, but is rebellion the only solution?
If you like sizzling cyborgs, Cynthia Sax offers a pair of alpha warriors who just happen to fall in love with Carys, the tough as nails commander of a rebel battle station. Hers To Command has steamy encounters between the heroine and her cyborgs, as well as ongoing space battles. The story: Ace and Thrasher share a special bond. They’ve never acknowledged that connection and have never fully acted on it. The Humanoid Alliance kill cyborg males like them, deeming the warriors to be defective. Now that Ace and Thrasher have escaped, they don’t trust the cyborg council and their brethren to react any differently. Physical love is too risky for them to consider.
Until they meet her.
Carys is the Commander of a Rebel Battle Station. She has dedicated her lifespan to seeking vengeance against the Humanoid Alliance and the cyborgs who killed her daughter. On her battle station, she makes the rules, and if she wants to kiss, touch, and pleasure two mysterious warriors, she will. Nothing, not even enemy warships and a mass cyborg rebellion, can stop her.
In the midst of a war, enemies can become lovers and loyalties can change in a moment. Can a forbidden relationship between two cautious cyborgs and one unbending human Commander survive?
M.K. Eidem, a perennial favorite in the scifi romance community, just released Treyvon, which adds to the world she created with her Tornian and Kaliszian series. The story: General Treyvon Rayner is the Supreme Commander of the Kaliszian Defenses. He is the cousin and trusted friend of the Kaliszian Emperor, Emperor Liron Kalinin, in spite of Treyvon’s ancestor being one of the causes of the Great Infection so many centuries ago. It is never far from Treyvon’s mind, and he vowed he’d spend his entire life trying to make things right.
Chef Jennifer Neibaur dreamed of traveling to exotic places, of experiencing different cuisines, and learning how to prepare them. Her dream came true, but at a high price. She lost her sister. Her husband died. And she was severely injured. All that was enough for her to welcome death. But for a chef to end up in a place where food was just sustenance, and never something enjoyed, was the ultimate punishment.
Two strong, honorable people are both trying to find forgiveness and redeem themselves for things that were out of their control. Neither is looking for love. But if they can accept it, the forgiveness they find might be for more than just themselves.
Anna Hackett, one of my personal favorites in the current SFR field, released Protector, the fourth book in her very popular Galactic Gladiators series, this week. Anna puts some excellent twists on the idea of futuristic gladiators and the human women who cross their paths. The blurb:
Fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy’s lawless outer rim…
Cool and driven Madeline Cochran made a successful career for herself as civilian commander of a space station orbiting Jupiter…until the day it was attacked and she was abducted by alien slavers.
Her organized existence shattered, Madeline suffered during her captivity, but since her rescue by the tough gladiators of the House of Galen, she’s struggling to assimilate to her new life. As she navigates the desert world of Carthago and the gladiator city of Kor Magna, she desperately misses her teenage son back on Earth and throws herself into finding another human, space marine Blaine, still kept captive by the slavers. She also finds herself working harder than ever to avoid a certain charming showman gladiator who is far too attractive and far too tempting.
Gladiator Lore Uma-Xilene is a protector at heart and a sucker for a damsel in distress…although he’s well aware that the hard-shelled and sad-eyed Madeline wouldn’t appreciate the title. He knows what it feels like to be ripped from the family you love and have your life destroyed, and he wants to help Madeline heal. As the two of them go undercover into the dangerous world of underground gambling, Lore knows he’ll need all his patience, passion, and a whole lot of stubbornness to not only keep Madeline safe but to melt the icy shell around her heart.
Lindsay Buroker put out a spin off to her Fallen Empire series, Cyborg Legacy, which might not be scifi romance, but I was happy to see a new story set in the general universe. By the way, can you tell that cyborgs are having quite a ‘moment’ in science fiction romance currently? Readers are finding something irresistible about these guys for sure! The plot: Former Cyborg Corps soldier Jasim Antar was relieved to come out of the war alive and looked forward to switching to a less violent line of work. But nobody wants to hire a brawny cyborg to do anything that doesn’t involve brutalizing people on a daily basis. Stuck working as a debt collector alongside an eccentric pilot who enjoys knitting gifts for her grandkids when she isn’t blowing people up, Jasim longs to find a more peaceful existence.
But peace is elusive when you have a violent past. While on a routine mission, Jasim comes across the body of a soldier he served with during the war. He soon learns that someone is murdering former members of the Cyborg Corps, men who should be extremely difficult to kill. And he’s next on the list.
Jasim steels himself to reach out to the one person he’s certain can help, his old commander: Colonel Leonidas Adler. Adler is strong, smart, and deadly, good traits to have in an ally. Unfortunately, he remembers Jasim as a misfit rather than a model soldier, and convincing him to join forces may be even tougher than finding and facing the killer.
Wishing you happy reading!