Tag Archives: sci-fi romance

Cherish (The Valespian Pact Book 4) by Lexi Ander

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold

The history of Destin and the GyrFalconi Society are explored as fans of The Valespian Pact series are sent over a century into the past in author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish”, the fourth book in this sci-fi romance series.

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The Synopsis

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Tags: The Twenty-Year War where Terrens really mucked things up, so many hatchlings, Love not Lust (yes, using caps there seemed necessary), survivors, bisexual characters, all the cute hatchlings, talking to spirits, low heat, protective chantelle, evil empress, courageous stags, polyamorous, Destin keeps collecting bonded, avian species screech… a lot, non-human ace spectrum characters, found family, underestimated batore, so many stags, Mar’Sani mentor, did I mention the cutest chicks ever?

CHERISH is the fourth book in the award-winning Valespian Pact series. Trigger warnings can be found in the Author’s Note. Please download a sample of this book or use the Look Inside feature. 196,000 words.

The Review

This was such an emotional and tumultuous roller-coaster of emotions as a reader. The author did such an amazing job of delving into the depths of the soul and exploring both the best and worst life has to offer. The world-building and vast amount of cultural development the author deployed into this narrative was astounding, really fleshing out the history of series-established characters like Destin and finally witnessing events hinted at in the series. Now I definitely think readers will be better off having read previous entries into the series so that these events and characters are better understood in the context of this fictional universe. However, the author did an amazing job conveying enough emotion and storytelling for these characters to make the reader feel invested in their journeys. 

While this novel definitely starts out as a slow-burn kind of storytelling, the second half of the novel ramps up the twists and turns that allow readers to suddenly sit up in their seats and do a double-take, as the connection with these characters becomes more gripping as the plot thickens. As seen at the beginning of this review, there are some hard subject lines in this novel, but the author does a great job of handling them with care and showing the importance of these issues without being too graphic in detail, striking an important balance between a story’s theme and narrative that is so important and found often in the sci-fi romance genre.

The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and engaging sci-fi romance, author Lexi Ander’s “Cherish” is a must-read novel. The mythos and LGBTQ-driven character development, along with truly important themes and explorations of finding hope and family in the darkest of times is something truly special, and readers will not be able to put this book down once they really sit down and get into it. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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Now here is an exclusive guest post from author Lexi Ander on the tropes found in “Cherish”

Thank you for having me today! I’m absolutely thrilled about Cherish’s release. I was asked about what tropes Cherish used and I blanked for a moment because I don’t intentionally write to cover specific tropes. I actually had to look for a list of tropes to see which ones were in Cherish because I could only come up with Found Family.

I seem to write a lot about found family. Zeus’s attachment to the crew of the Oethra 7 is found family. He wanted to keep them with him and ended up finding a way for most of them to return with him to Atlainticia. Sohm’lan has parents who love him, but the Vondorians also claim his love and loyalty. Destin finds part of his future family in captivity. This finding people to love is something I write into most if not all my stories. For me, it’s just a part of life and living—though Destin does seem to collect more people than any other person I have written about. He has a big heart and a lot of love to give.

What are some other tropes found in Cherish? Big Character / Little Character. Batores are shorter/smaller than chantelle and stags. Second Chances is another trope that can be found in the book. This is a pretty strong theme throughout the story that touches several different situations. Egg-preg (an Mpreg trope) is also in the book but it’s not the same thing that you find in a lot of shifter/omegaverse stories. It’s very different and isn’t typical of the stories that use this particular trope. Forbidden Love… GyrFalconi have very traditional ideas of what a family nest looks like, and Cherish breaks down the boundaries because the survivors no longer care about society’s expectations. The Badass Hero trope. You know, I really like writing some variation of that trope. Sohm’lan really fits that trope, but in Cherish, the badass heroes were more subtle. It was the ‘small’ things they did that made them heroes and not because they were swashbuckling their way through the plot. 🙂 The Families/Raising Kids trope. It’s sort of hard to have the egg-preg trope and not have the Family/kids trope. They usually go hand-in-hand. And I think that is all the tropes you can find in Cherish. I might have missed one though. LOL

Reading-wise, I like to read Friends-to-Lovers, Arranged Marriages/Marriage of Convenience, Mpreg outside the omegaverse especially if its tipped on its head, and I always love a Badass Hero… oh, there’s a new trope that I heard about, the Badass Cinnamon Roll. I really like that one because I love sweet characters and when they get all protective and growly it’s the cutest thing ever, in my opinion. 

I hope you found this interesting! This is a bit of geeky-fun for me. Check out Cherish and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 

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Cherish - Lexi Ander

Lexi Ander has a new LGBTQ+ space opera out, The Valespian Pact book 4 (Ace, Demi, Bi, Poly): Cherish. And there’s a great giveaway!

Saving a life can change the course of history.

Destin is torn away from his chicks and his bonded when the Terrens invade Aries 7. Experimented on in Terren labs, and made to work their mines, the GyrFalconi struggle to survive. Destin becomes their caretaker, endeavoring to save as many as possible, despite the emotional toll. Amidst the battle for survival, the universe shines on him and he bonds with not one but four people who give him a reason to keep fighting. When Valespia sends its Legions to the GyrFalconi’s aid, Destin and his bonded are eventually freed, only to face new cruelties from their own people.

Freedom comes with its own trials, though, as a divide forms in GyrFalconi society between the winged and the wingless. Destin and his bonded are given a chance at true happiness and they keep what they claim, no matter what.

Warnings: violence, captivity, experimentation/not shown, physical trauma, death of unnamed character/not shown, talk of suicide, suicide not on page, death of chicks when eggs go cold.

Amazon | Tolino | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | QueeRomance Ink | Liminal Fiction | Smashwords


Giveaway

Lexi is giving away three $20 Amazon gift cards with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47219/?


Excerpt

Cherish meme

Dashing tears from his eyes, he finished packing a small but heavy satchel. Alaina and Paxx waited for him in the receiving room holding large, overstuffed bags. At least they were not flying any great distance. The door was open to the balcony and the sight beyond confirmed their reality like nothing else could. Transports large and small zipped between the tall spires of this residential quarter of Skylight. The buildings were hundreds of floors tall with every roost boasting a balcony or three for landing. Usually, municipal transports flew above the spires, but these originated from the base of the buildings where the personal transports were stored.

The aircraft were not the only traffic. GyrFalconi flew everywhere, either singly or in small flocks, and there was a lot of swerving and near collisions, the people too panicked to pay attention. A lead weight formed in Destin’s stomach and a sense of urgency whispered that they needed to hurry. At least his parents’ rookery was only a couple spires over.

“Stay close to me,” he warned. The fledglings’ eyes were round with dawning fear as they observed the chaos. Paxx and Alaina nodded vigorously.

Clutching the pack to his chest, Destin sprinted and leaped off the balcony, his wings spread as he tested the air for a wind to glide on while he waited for his fledglings to catch up. They carried more, so they dropped quicker and had to flap hard to reach him, their burdens clutched to their chests. Destin spiraled down to the building’s lower floors, hoping that the air there would be less travelled, and he was right. As long as they stayed above the storage levels, they would not cross many individual flyers.

A few minutes later, they reached his parents’ building. Destin searched for his mahen’s storage garage where she and his dahen would be waiting. All the bay doors were open and the interiors empty. He did not need to read the labels, since his mahen, Akela de la Zudora, stood in the opening to her bay watching for them. Her golden-brown feathers were streaked with a darker brown that made her look severe when her feathers were clapped tight to her crown. Her brown-ringed black eyes held a wealth of worry as well as a touch of fear, which abated when her gaze landed on them.

Destin circled around behind his fledglings and made them land first. Both immediately went to Akela when their feet touched the floor. She wrapped them in a calming embrace as she clicked her nose-plate to theirs. His dahen, Imrie, rushed from the transport when Destin set down. Imrie’s long, sweeping gray-tipped pink feathers were ruffled in the strong breeze that pushed into the bay. The pink contrasted beautifully with his ebony skin. Of all the Aries collectives, Destin thought his dahen’s feather coloring the prettiest. His own were red feathers dusted with the broody black of Aries 1. When he was much younger, he’d wished he had the pretty pinks of Aries 4 like his da. Destin had outgrown such vanities and he was content with his coloring, though he still thought the red and black was somber.

Imrie grabbed his face and clicked his hard yellow nose-plate against Destin’s. “Where is Dena?” he asked softly enough that the chicks did not hear.

Destin refused to answer, not wanting to bring to the fledglings’ attention that he and their mahen were at odds. Imrie’s blue eyes narrowed with comprehension, and Destin did not envy the dressing down that his dahen would give Dena when he saw her next.

His parents’ personal transport was a modest five-person pipit. Glancing inside, food stores were crammed into every available space, leaving just enough room in the back for Destin’s fledglings. They would be holding their overstuffed burdens in their laps since there was no other room to store the bags.

“I think we can make room for you,” Mahen said, coming up behind him. But they could not and still eat. There were questions about whether the sky-cities receiving refugees would have enough foodstuff to feed everyone. Destin would not have his family going hungry when there was a seat for him on another transport.

“Dena made arrangements for me,” he replied. Akela pursed her lips, sweeping her gaze over him and the fledglings as if to say, ‘yes, my son, I can see the accommodations your bonded has made.’ He forged on. “Speaking of, they are waiting on me. I am already several minutes late.”

His chicks made frantic noises. They were all talk about building a nest of their own, but here they were, not wanting to be separated from him. It warmed Destin’s heart more than it should have. Perhaps Dena was correct, and he was holding onto the fledglings too tightly. He wrapped each chick in his arms, reminded of how much larger they were when he tilted his head up so they could click their nose-plates against his.

“Do what you are told and help your granden and granhen with what they need. They will rendezvous with your bondeds’ families. Together, they will all work to keep you safe.” Destin waited for them to nod before he stepped away.

“When will you and Dena be joining us?” Mahen asked, pushing the fledglings toward the transport.

“The de la Bao flock are meeting up with some of their extended family. I will make my way to you once we stop,” he replied, hoping that the fledglings did not notice he said nothing about their mahen. The fact was that he did not know what her plans were, especially after their argument.

Imrie pulled out his data pad and demanded Destin give him the location where he would end up.

“I will come and get you myself once we have settled Alaina and Paxx,” Akela stated, her expression telling him not to argue with her. Destin nodded, saying hurried farewells to his parents before sprinting to the open bay door and leaping into flight.

He was not exaggerating when he said he was late. He owed the neighbors many apologies when he arrived. They were kind, patient people but the stress of fleeing to safety could make anyone terse, especially when waiting on someone who delayed their safe departure.

The weight of his bag seemed heavier than before, which Destin was sure it was just in his mind. There were more individual fliers clogging the airways. With great care, he dodged a couple of near collisions before reaching the correct building. The bay door was open, and Destin pulled up from his dive to land on the edge… of an empty storage slot. He double checked the name and number to make sure he had arrived at the correct place. This was where he was supposed to meet up with the neighbors.

Destin stared at the bare floor, his mind stalled for a few precious seconds as he tried to comprehend what it meant. Again, he double checked the ID to make sure he was at the right location, and he was, but they were gone. They had left. He was only a few minutes late, but the bay was not even warm from the aircraft’s engine, so they had been gone much longer than he was late.

Had Dena cancelled his seat, thinking he would be travelling with her? He could not imagine the neighbors leaving without him. They were close friends of Destin’s and if they were leaving, they would have contacted him, and there were no waiting messages on the data pad. If Dena told them he did not need the seat, then why did she not say something to him? Did she forget since they had fought? Was—

Destin shook his head, trying to clear his mind. This was not the time to allow emotional turmoil to take over. He would broach the questions with her later, after he reached safety. He considered flying back to his parents’ bay, but they were probably gone already, and he could not waste the time. He would have to fly.


Author Bio

Lexi Ander

A two-time Rainbow Award recipient, Lexi has always been an avid reader and started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch) at a young age. She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a notebook, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in North Carolina with her Yankee husband and her 80-pound puppy named after a vacuum cleaner.

Author Website: http://www.lexiander.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/Lexi-Ander-1808012509319412/

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexi.ander.9/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/lexi-ander/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lexi-Ander/e/B009PT22GM/

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Pets in Space 6 Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

11 authors come together to create original short stories featuring sci-fi, romance, and our love of pets for the sixth installment of this short story collection, “Pets in Space 6”. 

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The Synopsis

Pets in Space® is back for a new year of adventures!

Join the incredible authors in this year’s Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling science fiction romance and fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late!

Pets in Space 6 is edited by Carol Van Natta. Contributing authors: S.E. Smith (NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author), Veronica Scott (USA TODAY bestselling author), Honey Phillips, Carol Van Natta (USA TODAY bestselling author), Cassandra Chandler (USA TODAY bestselling author), J.C. Hay (USA TODAY bestselling author), S.J. Pajonas (USA TODAY bestselling author), Greta van der Rol, Deborah A. Bailey, Melisse Aires, and Kyndra Hatch. 

The Review

This was such a profoundly unique and engaging read. Each author did a fantastic job of infusing their own unique creative spins and introducing readers to their crafted worlds while incorporating the theme of pets in space so effortlessly. The heart and passion for which the authors deliver these tales are both inspiring to read as the cause for which this book speaks are so important, and the creativity that this anthology has sparked is a testament to the amazing talent these authors have. 

What really stood out to me as a reader was the depth of world-building that each story had. Each individual story did a great job of pacing and building enough atmosphere to get a feel for the unique universes each author had created, and as with any great sci-fi story, each author built a hefty and gripping mythos that the readers won’t be able to stop diving head-first into. The emotional pull of both the featured romances and the love between the characters and their pets was so relatable and added the emotional connection the readers needed for each of these stories and their protagonists. 

The Verdict

A thrilling, action-packed, and emotionally investing sci-fi anthology, “Pets in Space 6” is a must-read novel of 2021, and the perfect sci-fi read heading into fall. The charity organization the book is dedicated to and is helping is such a worthy cause, and the author’s flair for creative storytelling and heavy world-building made this a brilliant narrative that is not to be missed. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Book and Its Authors

Website: https://petsinspacebooks.com/

Newsletter Signup: https://petsinspacebooks.com/subscribe/

Pets in Space® Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetsInSpace/

Book Cover Link: https://petsinspacebooks.com/wp-content/uploads/PISA6_Ebook-Cover-750x1125px.jpg

Cover Artist: Carol Van Natta

Pet Illustrations: Adrian DKC, https://www.fiverr.com/krrjuus

Pets in Space® is back for a new year of adventures! 

Join the incredible authors in this year’s Pets in Space 6 for another out-of-this-world adventure. This award-winning, USA TODAY Bestselling anthology is packed full of your favorite Pets in Space®. Featuring 11 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling Science Fiction Romance and Fantasy authors, Pets in Space 6 continues their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities. Don’t miss out on this limited-edition anthology before it’s too late!

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0994RRBK2

Apple:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1576119274

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pets-in-space-6-veronica-scott/1139825092?ean=2940162171713

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=wMk3EAAAQBAJ

Kobo Books:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pets-in-space-6

Books2Read (universal): http://books2read.com/PISA6 or https://books2read.com/u/mdD57E

OUR CHARITY: HERO-DOGS.ORG

Proud supporters of Hero-Dogs.org, Pets in Space® authors have donated over $15,300 in the past five years to help place specially trained dogs with veterans and first responders. 10% of all pre-orders and the first month’s royalties of Pets in Space 6 will again go to Hero-Dogs.org. Open your hearts and grab your limited release copy of Pets in Space 6 today so together we can continue helping this worthy charity! https://www.hero-dogs.org/

FOR MORE DETAILS ON OUR Pets in Space 6 AUTHORS…

S.E. Smith: https://sesmithfl.com/

Veronica Scott: https://veronicascott.wordpress.com/

Honey Phillips https://www.honeyphillips.com/ 

Carol Van Natta: https://author.carolvannatta.com/

Cassandra Chandler: https://cassandra-chandler.com/

JC Hay: http://jchay.com/

S.J. Pajonas https://www.spajonas.com/

Greta van der Rol https://gretavanderrol.net/

Deborah A. Bailey dbaileycoach.com/brightbooks

Melisse Aires https://www.melisseairesbooks.com/ 

Kyndra Hatch: http://kyndrahatch.blogspot.com/

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Pets in Space 6 STORIES

BEHR’S REBEL

Marastin Dow Book 2

by S.E. Smith

Two battles: One fights for a cause; the other fights for survival…

General Behr De’Mar, leader of the Marastin Dow rebel forces, knows that it is only a matter of time before he is caught and executed. It doesn’t matter to him. The cause he is fighting for is much larger than any one person—or so he thought.

Raia Glossman doesn’t know what to think when she is hired by the strange, purple-skinned aliens. After all, the Marastin Dow are known for their cutthroat, kill anything-that-moves mentality. Why would they need a lone human woman to rescue their General? But credits are credits, and Raia never turns down a chance to earn a tidy sum. Besides, it seems like an easy job for her and her two innovative pets, Chummy and Pi. They’ll get in, rescue the guy, collect their credits, and disappear again. The three of them perfected that little trick years ago. Now she is on the run with an army of Marastin Dow warriors on her tail! Not to mention that she is stuck with a tantalizing General, and she discovers she is the new poster-girl for the Marastin Dow Revolution. So much for anonymity!

Behr knows the moment he meets Raia and her two pets that they are special. Can he keep them alive and safe against the massive army threatening to end their hope of a new way of life, or will the history of the Marastin Dow’s savagery doom them all?

STAR CRUISE: TIME LOOP

Sectors Romance series

by Veronica Scott

Raelyn Cantorini, senior stewardess on the interstellar cruise ship Nebula Zephyr thinks the alien artifact she bought on the last planet the ship visited was just a pretty glass orb…until her pet Eyn knocked the ornament off a table, shattering it and sending her into an infinitely repeating time loop.

Stuck reliving the same day over and over, Raelyn has only hours to try to save the ship and everyone on board from dying in a terrible catastrophe. As she tries to solve the mystery of what happens to the ship right before midnight each time the day repeats, Raelyn meets Kev Gordonn, the former Special Forces soldier turned actor and finds herself falling in love with him. Each time the day repeats, she learns more about him while he has no memory of her. Can she persuade him they’ve met before? Will he trust her enough to help stop the Nebula Zephyr’s destruction?

And if they do save the ship, will that reset time for Raelyn?

THE CYBORG WITH NO NAME

by Honey Phillips

Dr. Rose Abbott is the scientist who pioneered the technology behind the robot horses used in the attempt to terraform Mars. Disgusted by the way her creations are treated by the GenCon Corporation, she chooses to leave her work behind and live in isolation.

Then one of her horses finds her and leads her to an injured cyborg ranger – one with no memory. She reluctantly decides to take the big male, who she nicknames Roy, back to her home to heal.

All Roy can remember is cold and pain. But the prickly little scientist taking care of him begins to thaw his frozen heart, awakening feelings he never thought to have. He is determined to protect her – even from his unknown past.

With the help of a robot horse and a cybernetic dog, can two wounded souls find peace in each other’s arms? And what will happen when the source of Roy’s injuries comes looking for him?

ESCAPE FROM NOVA NINE

A Central Galactic Concordance Novella

by Carol Van Natta

She’s a space pirate with vital information. He’s a wanted fugitive with enemies hot on his afterburner. Will their unexpected attraction survive escaping a dangerous asteroid mine in time to avert disaster?

Trouble is arising across the galaxy, and space pirate Julke Defayensdytr has vital information for her clan. She’s almost given up trying to escape the hidden rogue asteroid mine she’s been imprisoned in for over a year. But a new batch of prisoners brings hope in the form of kind and sexy Zade.

Starship crewman and wanted fugitive Zade Lunaso always runs from conflict. Unfortunately, this time it landed him with a one-way ticket to toil in the dangerous mine for the rest of his soon-to-be short life.  He’ll need all his considerable skills to escape. Not to mention help from the intriguing Julke, and a flock of curious space griffins with secrets of their own.

Their bid to steal the cruel Warden’s yacht goes off course when they take a wrong turn and discover a motherload of forgotten ships. But even if they somehow free every prisoner to fly them, the Warden will kill them all to protect the secret of his claim.

The arrival of bigger enemies means trouble has found Zade once again. Can Julke and Zade pull off the unlikeliest escape of a lifetime, or will their luck play out and leave them stranded in the void?

TRADE SECRETS

The Department of Homeworld Security series

by Cassandra Chandler

Gwen Williams wants nothing more than to explore the vast possibilities of outer space, but Earth’s technology isn’t going to get her there. Her solution? Make contact with aliens. The only problem is, her plan works a little too well—landing her on the radar of a group of aliens with plans of their own that involve her homeworld.

Xan was just trying to help his Vegan friends avoid getting into trouble for messing with human things they should have left alone. He didn’t expect to run up against Gwen, a brilliant, beautiful Earthling who stirs a depth of emotion in him that he didn’t know he possessed—and who also has evidence of his friends’ transgression. Adding in the fact that the super-smart “space cat” who’s adopted him has plans to bring Gwen into their little family and this Coalition pilot has some tricky space to navigate.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, the trio discovers a plot on Xan’s ship that could compromise the security of all of their people—and the newly forged bonds between the sentients working toward peace in the galaxy. Will they be able to work together to secure a more peaceful future, or will their secrets drive them apart?

SEE HOW THEY RUN

TriSystems: Smugglers

by JC Hay

Jesusa Baker loves three things: big powerful engines, open space, and not getting attached. That last one has been under constant assault since she joined the crew of the Sentinel of Gems, as the quiet chief engineer inspires both friendship and desire in equal measure. But there’s no room for love in Baker’s too-messy life, especially when she knows how much of a lie happily-ever-after is.

April Rambova has pined after their fellow engineer almost since Baker’s first day, but life as one of the inhabitants of the Far Reach colonies means a body adapted for microgravity, and a life apart from the people who can walk the surface of the TriSystems’ worlds. Worse, it means a potentially shortened lifespan, and no one should be saddled with a partner who can’t promise forever.

When a trio of mice bring a potentially deadly disease onto the Sentinel, Baker and April are quarantined together. Close quarters mean fewer secrets, for April, Baker and the mice. Now, someone wants the mice back, and is willing to kill to find them. And April has a choice: run toward the chance of happiness, or protect the people they love…

SURI’S SURE THING

Kimura Sisters Series

by S.J. Pajonas

All work and no play…

Suri Kimura has decided not to go to the Hikoboshi Farewell Ball. She’d rather work in orbit and earn more cash, even though her overbearing father insists she should attend. When she meets up with her dog, Finn, and her best friend, Erik, for a short planet-side rest, they’re met with a surprise. Her ex-boyfriend is back and he insists on taking her to the ball.

Suri doesn’t know what to do. Finn’s doggy instincts don’t trust the ex, and neither does Erik. Something strange is amiss, but Suri has to give it a fair shot. After a disastrous attempt to rekindle the romance, Suri realizes Erik means a whole lot more to her than just a friend — but, does he feel the same?

Quiet and reliable project manager Erik has always taken care of Suri, but it’s never felt romantic before. When he rushes to her side to help her handle her ex and her work troubles, Suri suspects that the dynamic between them has changed… or has it?

Will Suri and Erik breach the boundaries between them? Or will Suri just return to space and leave her feelings for Erik far behind?

THE THUNDER EGG

by Greta van der Rol

No ordinary rock…

History Professor Drew Torson’s purchase of a thunder egg at a market leads to an astonishing discovery when what should have been just a rock… hatches. He isn’t the only one who wants the unusual creature that emerges. When thieves attempt to capture his new friend, Neyru, Drew is left stunned and bleeding in an alley.

Freighter captain Afra Abrussen is shocked when a strange, but beautiful creature named Neyru seeks her help. She’s no heroine. She has cargo to haul and debts to pay. The last thing she needs to do right now is get drawn into Drew and Neyru’s plight.

Drew insists that all they need to do is find out what Neyru is, where she comes from, and get her home without being caught by pursuers who will stop at nothing to get hold of the little creature. Afra thinks Drew forgot one important clause: They need to do all that without falling in love.

Can a freighter captain and an academic stay one step ahead of the thieves determined to capture Neyru, and if they do, what will happen when they discover they broke the all too important clause about not falling in love?

WORLDS OF FIRE: METAMORPHOSIS

by Deborah A. Bailey

On a Floating World…

Asira is a member of a high-ranking family of Alchemists who exert control over the libraries that store magical texts. She never believed her acceptance into the coveted position was in doubt. Yet, when she becomes the apprentice of a gargoyle shifter Alchemist who insists on keeping his pet bird with him, she has her doubts that he was the right choice for her final class.

Jaydon is from a gargoyle shifter group known as the Gigun. As an unconventional but powerful teacher of transmutation at the university, he could have his pick of mentees. It isn’t hard to tell that the last thing he wants to do is mentor a student from a powerful family. He only accepts her after he says his pet bird and advisor, Delphy, recommends that he choose her.

Asira finds Jaydon frustrating but too fascinating for her own good. But she needs his knowledge and guidance when she becomes the target of a classmate’s deception. With Jaydon’s assistance, the two of them begin to uncover those behind the criminal activities threatening not just the students, but the whole Floating World. Can she convince Jaydon that she still has a lot to learn from him—both in the matter of magic and her heart—or has she betrayed his trust forever?

STRANDED ON GRZBT

by Melisse Aires

Splat! The unlikely sound of freedom…

Mimi Stevens considers the out-of-control packing container that squishes the stinky spaceworm kidnappers a brilliant stroke of luck. She and her companions take advantage of the unfortunate event to escape into the maze of the busy space dock and plan a strategy on how to survive. With the help of a tiny elephant-mouse and her theater skills, she just might be able to make it.  

Kyre Valryssian, First Officer of the Red Haven, is shocked to hear Earth women singing in an ancient language from a planet that has not yet entered the space trade lanes. Concerned for their safety, he is determined to escort them to his clan’s ship—especially the woman with the short hair and big eyes.

Mimi doesn’t know if she and her friends can trust the handsome alien with flashing eyes or not, but she is running out of options. With the bad guys closing in, she’ll have to trust her gut—and her tiny pet—that Kyre wants to help them. Can Kyre convince Mimi that he has her and her companions’ best interests at heart, or will her distrust threaten them all?

ESCAPING KORTH

Before The Fall series

by Kyndra Hatch

As if the threat of torture and interrogation isn’t enough…

K’urt Knox, a Korthan cyborg warrior assigned to interrogate human combatants alongside his mogha companion, W’ard, is complicated by the fact that when they enter the prison cell this time, he can’t speak. He knows this prisoner from his childhood, from a time when Korthans and humans lived together in peace. Now, he recognizes the fully mature human female combatant he is supposed to interrogate as his mate.

Liana Walker is an agronomist for the Human Colony Alliance. Studying newly terraformed soil on a neutral world, she is pleased to find the terraforming process worked. Her pleasure soon turns to fear when she is captured by Korthan warriors. With no end of war between their peoples in sight, the Korthans declare her a combatant and imprison her on Korth—with a deadly creature hiding in Liana’s dark cell.

Attraction and longing build between Liana and K’urt, but there is something else lurking in the shadows, something W’ard is determined to dispatch once and for all. Meanwhile, K’urt must try to find a way to convince the Korthans that Liana isn’t a combatant and deal with the fact that his fated mate is a sworn enemy. If their love is to stand a chance, they need to find a way to escape Korth. Will Liana recognize K’urt from their childhood, and if she does, will she trust him and the feelings growing between them before it is too late?