Time to catch up on a few of the many new science fiction romance releases in August.
I’m going to start with Found Girl: Project Enterprise Book 6 by Pauline Baird Jones, which I enjoyed immensely. I loved the concept of the alien spaceship being crewed by the American military, and run like an aircraft carrier. And the heroine’s predicament of constantly learning she had more memories and experiences than a simple farm girl would ever possess was well handled and intriguing. The story: Arian Teraz would be perfectly happy if she never returned to her cheerless, hopeless world. Her life changes when her ship is damaged. Rescued by a handsome alien from a distant galaxy, Arian longs to find a place with him and his people.
Hotshot USAF pilot, Captain Jackson “Coop” Cooper knew the risks of boldly going somewhere before he signed up for the Project Enterprise expedition. When an anomaly sends his ship into a mysterious, no-exit sanctuary about to be invaded by a deadly adversary, he is forced to trust the unusual woman who might be his only ticket out.
With an invasion threatening the sanctuary and enemies emerging from Arian’s past, Arian and Coop must combine forces to seize an uncertain future together. Can they save each other as they battle the forces trying to rip them apart, or will the secret Arian’s ship carrie—along with those seeking to exploit her—separate them forever?
Tracey Cooper-Posey provided a new entry in her Endurance series, about a marathon-class generation ship on its way to a hoped-for colony planet. I thoroughly enjoy the twists and turns of life on this ship as the centuries pass. The author’s worldbuilding is meticulous. I find it highly intriguing to see what each new generation remembers and doesn’t remember about the ship itself, the mission and why life on board is lived the way it is. As the readers, we know these answers of course but it’s been fascinating to watch events develop as each new book is released. This book was Skinwalker’s Bane and here’s the blurb: Devin Bronson has climbed from an abject childhood, determined to reach the pinnacle of the Endurance: the Captain’s chair. Association with the wrong people could destroy her hopes.
Adam Wary is a typical skinwalker, living hard and fast, for life can be short. When his friend Lincoln dies and leaves a message for Adam to give to a woman called Devin, Adam tries to deliver it, to Devin’s horror. Lincoln’s message threatens Devin’s career and pulls Adam into the dark underbelly of the Endurance in search of the truth.
JC Hay has a dark and compelling cyberpunk series going on that reminds me very much of the “Johnny Mnemonic” movie, but vastly updated of course. His characters draw me in and keep me resident in their grim world, and South Seas Salvation (Corporate Services Book 3) was no exception. The plot: She’d sacrifice everything for the score of a lifetime…
…He’d sacrifice himself to settle one.
Yashilla lives in her head. She’d much prefer the digital realities that she controls like a maestro to the messy one outside her door. And the last thing she wants is a babysitter, even if she can’t keep her eyes—or her mind—off of him.
Zar’s only looking for two things: revenge and a meaningful death. To get a chance at both, he’ll have to bodyguard an impulsive hacker with the keys he needs to strike his enemy’s heart. He never expected she might give him a reason to live instead.
As their virtual and physical words collide, passion and sparks threaten the walls they’ve built. But lowering their defenses increases the danger; without trust, they both might get exactly what they were looking for, and nothing that they want.
Ruby Lionsdrake has a fun series going with Star Guardians and Hierax is the fourth book. I’ve been waiting for this character to get his chance at romance. Here’s the blurb: As a database programmer from Arizona and a fan of sedate, indoor activities, Indi Smith doesn’t belong in outer space. Certainly not in a star system with a broken wormhole gate and no way home. But through no fault of her own, that’s where she’s landed, and nobody on the ship, not even the genius chief engineer Hierax, knows how to repair the gate. The only clue that could help is an untranslatable transmission coming from an uninhabitable planet with no atmosphere.
Though she’s a fish out of water, Indi is determined to use her knack for analysis and recognizing patterns to decode the transmission and help Hierax fix the gate, whether he wants the assistance of some civilian woman or not. She refuses to die in the middle of nowhere, even if it means she has to prove her worth to an arrogant, know-it-all engineer. She’s had experience dealing with geeks, albeit not ones with such big, sexy muscles, but that doesn’t mean working with him will be easy.
Chief Hierax is used to being in charge of all things mechanical, and he’s used to being the smartest person on the ship. Few of his burly Star Guardian colleagues were recruited for their brains. So when Indi shows up with a clever way of looking at the alien transmission, one he hadn’t thought of, he’s not sure what to make of it—or her.
His focus should be on fixing the gate, but he finds himself speculating about romantic endeavors. Would she be interested in seeing his hobby projects or maybe his favorite tools? It’s hard to tell. He has a hard time understanding women—and people in general, for that matter—so charming her may be tougher than finding a way home.
I love stories where people are trying to escape a planet before some disaster strikes so Carol Van Natta’s Last Ship Off Polaris-G (A Galactic Concordance Novella) seems right up my alley with this story: A bureaucrat and an interstellar trader must overcome treachery and their broken past to save the last inhabitants of a dying planet. Frontier planet Polaris-Gamma is dying, afflicted by a suspiciously-timed blight that destroys all crops. Worse, the whole system is now under military quarantine by the Central Galactic Concordance to prevent the catastrophic blight from spreading. The settlers must escape—or perish.
Caught behind the blockade, independent trader Gavril Danilovich finds his interstellar trading ship commandeered in the desperate plan to escape. He tells himself that’s the only reason he stays, and not because he’s worried about the woman he walked out on two years ago—who still lives on Pol-G.
Government supply depot manager Anitra Helden races to gather the last of Pol-G’s assets. Her plan to launch a mothballed freighter off Pol-G may be crazy—but it can work, if she can talk Gavril into helping. Their precious cargo? Four thousand stranded colonists.
Can Anitra and Gavril, and their ragtag crew get past the deadly military blockade?
For a change of pace from space-based adventure, there’s Lucy Felthouse’s Unseen. The plot summary: Medical scientist Rory is working in his top secret underground laboratory in Central London when a procedure has unexpected results. Far from curing his patient, a monkey called Arnold, of an unpleasant disease, he manages to turn the animal invisible! In his panic, Rory accidentally gets some of the serum he injected Arnold with into his own bloodstream, rendering himself invisible, too.
With disbelief and confusion filling his brain, Rory finds it impossible to think straight, much less to figure out what precisely happened, and what on earth he’s going to do about it. So, after stripping off his clothes—which remain visible and therefore would give him away—he heads out into the London night for a walk to try to clear his head. Soon, a series of events lead him into a situation where he takes heroic action to protect somebody from hurting themselves, or someone else. And, just when Rory thinks things can’t get any weirder, he’s found, completely naked, in the home of the man he’d helped the previous evening. How can he explain his way out of this?
And to finish off, yours truly recently released Two Against the Stars. Here’s the blurb: Empathic priestess Carialle has escaped the evil Amarotu Combine, but she’s hardly out of danger. Not when she risks everything to rescue a drugged man from a crooked veterans’ clinic. By lulling the clinic staff to sleep, she reveals her powers. And once again, criminals are after her and her rescuer.
Marcus Valerian, a wounded Special Forces veteran, never expected to have his life threatened by the clinic that’s supposed to help ex-soldiers like him. But when he wakes from a drugged state to find a lovely woman urging him to run—he does. In his family’s remote fishing cabin, he suffers the agony of withdrawal, soothed only by her powers.
In their idyllic hideaway, the two also discover a nova-hot attraction flaring. But can they stay alive long enough for it to become more? Not if the Combine has anything to say—they are not giving up until Marcus is dead and Carialle is their weapon.
What new science fiction romance books and authors have you discovered lately? Always looking for new recommendations!