Time to talk about more science fiction romance new releases! I’m going to start with my latest, Danger in the Stars, which is romantic suspense in an interstellar setting. The heroine is an empath and I have to say that one of my influences was an old Star Trek episode, “The Empath”, which made a huge impression on me many years ago. Not only did I identify with the heroine in that program, feeling I was probably pretty darn empathic myself, but also it left me with a desire to write a story featuring someone who had those powers to a ramped up degree. How would she use them, what could she proactively do with them? Writing this book allowed me to explore the concepts I’d started contemplating way back when, and of course take my story in a completely different direction. Another early influence was Andre Norton’s ‘Jacks,’ the interstellar criminals she introduced into her Solar Queen series (and other novels set in that galaxy). I was always intrigued by the idea of organized crime moving into space along with the rest of human civilization.
The plot of Danger in the Stars: Miriell, a powerful empathic priestess, has been kidnapped from her own primitive planet along with a number of her people, and sold to the evil Amarotu Combine, the largest organized crime syndicate in the Sectors. When she and her handler are sent to use her power to commit an assassination, she must leave behind her own sister as hostage to ensure her compliance. Miriell cannot ask for aid without endangering herself and others.
Despite his best efforts, Combine enforcer Conor Stewart is entranced by Miriell, and helps her evade the worst of brutal treatment from the rest of the mob. But Conor must keep his distance, before the lovely empath learns that he has secrets of his own — secrets that could get them both killed.
The situation becomes dire when Conor and Miriell come to the attention of both the Combine overlords and the deadly Mawreg, aliens who threaten the Sectors. Can she save herself and the Mawreg’s next victims? And will Conor help her, or remain loyal to his evil bosses?
Other SFR novels released recently for which readers were waiting, include the next in Anna Hackett’s Galactic Gladiators series, Champion. The book’s blurb: Fighting for love, honor, and freedom on the galaxy’s lawless outer rim…
Space marine Blaine Strong enjoyed being a composed, controlled member of space station security…until he was abducted by alien slavers. Forced into underground fight rings and pumped full of drugs, he’s now seething with anger and out for revenge.
Rescued by gladiators and fellow humans on the desert world of Carthago, Blaine is fighting to be the man he once was. But when the House of Galen is attacked, he must focus on joining the gladiators to fight back. That means teaming up with a tough, competitive female gladiator who not only challenges him at every turn and awakens a fierce desire he’s never felt before, but a woman who can sense the churning emotions inside him.
Gladiator Saff Essikani is the best net fighter in the Kor Magna Arena. Raised from youth to fight, she bows to no man and uses her empathic abilities to win at whatever cost. With her House targeted and people under their care threatened, she’ll stop at nothing to find those responsible. But then she finds herself face to face with a big, tortured man from Earth who affects her like no man before. As Saff and Blaine head into the desert to uncover a conspiracy, their incendiary desire flares hotter than the desert suns. But as Blaine’s angry emotions rage out of control, Saff knows that unless he learns to embrace the man he is now, he has no chance of survival.
A new adventure in Anna Carven’s Dark Planet Warriors series, entitled Electric Heart, was released. I never get enough of her worldbuilding! The plot: Riana’s terrified of these fierce Kordolians. They fight like demons and possess strange alien technology which makes them damn hard to kill. After her nerve-wracking experience on the superfreighter Hendrix II, she wants nothing to do with them.
All she wants to do is live a peaceful Kordolian-free life back on Earth.
Too bad the Board of Corrections is on her case over past misdemeanors.
Too bad someone’s trying to kill her. She has no idea why.
Too bad the only one who can keep her safe is a scary-hot, silent alien with coldfire eyes and a very sharp sword.
But hey, at least she doesn’t have to deal with flesh-eating insectoid monsters anymore. The only monster she has to deal with now is a silver-skinned one named Kail.
And he’s more than a match for her attackers. That’s reassuring… right?
Two of my favorite authors branched out a bit from their signature series. Cynthia Sax left her ‘sizzling cyborgs’ on the sideline (they’ll be back in May with a new adventure) and wrote Dark Thoughts, with a hero who isn’t human and likes to eat his prey. The book had its very dark moments, but the characters were fascinating in their complexity (why they do what they do) and I hope there’ll be a sequel. The plot: Can love redeem a monster?
The Refuge is home to some of the most violent beings in the universe. Kralj, its leader, reigns over the remote outpost with terrifying ease, ruthlessly squashing any rumors of rebellion, killing anyone who breaks his rules. Primitive, deadly, powerful, he’s a monster, scarred both on his face and his soul. He has never met a being he couldn’t control.
Until he meets her.
Dita has one mission — to kill the three targets claiming sanctuary within the Refuge. Or so she claims. For the first time in his long lifespan, Kralj isn’t certain of another being’s intentions. The tiny assassin is immune to his powers, her thoughts unreadable. He can’t predict her movements, can’t control her, can’t stop wanting her.
Dita is rare, as unique as he is, and, to keep the residents of the Refuge safe, Kralj will have to kill her. But first, he’ll touch her, taste her, show her how passionate the beast inside him can be.
Interestingly enough, author Cara Bristol has also been writing mostly cyborgs of late, but her new title Alien Mate is a somewhat playful turn on the cold planet/large warriors/Earthwomen brides trope. The synopsis: I’m Starr Elizabeth Conner. Earth’s government falsely convicted me of a crime, packed me on a ship with other female felons, and sent us to Dakon, a primitive, frozen wasteland of a planet. Why? Earth needs minerals, and Dakon is desperate for females.
But I’m no barbarian’s ‘mail order bride,’ even if he is super tall, muscular, and the chief of his tribe. He doesn’t want a BBW blonde, either — it’s written all over his chiseled face. He’ll be truly angry if he ever learns what my ‘crime’ was.
I am Torg. I have waited 34 rotations for a mate of my own. With this shipment, I was sure to get a fine, sturdy mate who’ll bear me many daughters. Instead, I receive a small, curvy, pale-haired female who looks at me with anger and fear.
It is only when we ‘kiss’ that I believe things may work out between us. But I’m hearing rumors that Starr and her shipmates are law-breakers. To survive, Dakonians must obey all laws…or be exiled into the frozen wasteland. Just when I have found her, will I have to send my mate to die?
And because I like to present readers with a wide variety of what’s available in SFR, I’ll finish with Redshift by A. R. DeClerck, involving a wormhole and some time travel. The plot: When a mysterious wormhole appears on the edge of a Nevada town, Rand Hazen and his team race to study it. Together with his partner and the love of his life, Rand knows he can be the first physicist to prove that time travel is possible. In a devastating twist of fate, the wormhole goes into flux, and when Rand opens his eyes all of Verity Pines is gone, taking with it his lover. Rand knows that he will do anything to find her, even going so far as to jump into the hole to follow her. Rand vows to himself that he won’t say her name until he sees her face again. On the other side of the wormhole Rand finds himself in a place he never imagined: the far, far future. The world as he knows it is about to end, but none of that matters; all he cares about is finding HER. Through a shining silver city and into a vast desert, Rand will comb this world until her finds her, or until the world itself burns around him.
What new science fiction romances have you been enjoying this month, readers?