Rescuing Himself While RESTRICTED–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M space opera adventure romance from A.C. Thomas. RESTRICTED is the first book in The Verge adventure series and I loved it LOTS!

Scroll down for an excerpt and to enter the $10 GC giveaway.
About the book:
Dr. Aristotle Campbell is a desperate man. His twin brother has been abducted, and Ari will do anything to find him. Forced out of the comfortable solitude of his laboratory, Ari must leave their home world of Britannia and search the farthest reaches of space for his other half. He hastily equips himself with a flawlessly tied cravat, a handful of clues, and his small science vessel. Now, all he needs is a pilot to get him across the Verge, a barrier separating the civilized world from ungoverned space.

Pilot Orin Stone is a desperate man. No ship, no pay, no prospects. He spends his days barely scraping by in the rough colonies lining the Verge interior. When he gets an offer from a frantic, upper-crust professor in need of a pilot, he has no choice but to take the job. He just can’t believe it when the professor turns out to be the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen and that his offer includes a ship of Orin’s own. If Orin can keep his heart (and other portions of his anatomy) from leaping every time sweet, innocent Dr. Campbell looks at him, this should be his easiest job yet.

Rugged Orin and aristocratic Ari work together to navigate the lawless areas of space beyond the Verge, soon discovering that they work well together in all areas. Their immediate and intense attraction to one another is an obstacle to their plans that neither saw coming. More than sparks will fly when they break through the force field and enter restricted space, all alone together for the perilous journey, leaving barriers to their growing attachment far behind.

In their search across the stars, can two desperate men find their home in one another?

How about a little taste?

Chapter One
“You want me to do what?”

Ari straightened his shoulders, hands folded together on the table between them, suppressing a wince as his skin stuck unpleasantly to a thick smear of residue best left uninvestigated.

Somewhere behind him the sound of glass breaking was followed by a bowel-shaking roar, a meaty impact, scuffling sounds, and hearty guffaws.

Definitively best left uninvestigated.

He sniffed quietly, regretting the action as the odor of stale beer and unwashed bodies assaulted his senses. Forcing himself to meet his companion’s bored regard, he cleared his throat before speaking in as firm a tone as he could manage.

“In the interest of saving both of our time, I’ll cut to the chase. I require a pilot capable of navigating uncharted areas with immediate availability and a willingness to negotiate a flexible pay schedule.”

Mr. “Call me Orin, honey” Stone slumped back in his seat with careless, sprawling grace, the edge of one enormous scuffed leather boot sliding across the floor to rest a millimeter away from the polished black toes of Ari’s spats.

“So, just so we’re clear— You’re asking me to find you a pilot ready to jump right across the Verge into the deepest, slimiest dark, for—and this is the bit that really sticks in my throat, pumpkin— You want me to find you some sap willing to do all that for, apparently, no pay.”

Keen bourbon eyes swept Ari from head to toe, that restless boot finally edging just close enough to touch.

“You’re cute, sugar. But you’re off your rocker.”

Ari’s chair scraped against the floor as he jolted forward in his seat, one hand closing around the fraying cuff of Orin’s greatcoat.

“This is a matter of utmost urgency. My brother is—” He paused to clear his throat after an embarrassing crack in his voice. “My brother is missing; he has been abducted by an Outlier fiend, and I am utilizing every resource at my disposal to ensure his safe return. My inquiries led me to you, with the assurance you could facilitate a jump with immediate effect. Now I demand that you either provide said assistance, or you cease wasting my time.”

Orin fixated on the white-knuckled grip holding his sleeve. The coiled strength of his thick forearm underscored Ari’s awareness that he could break free at a moment’s notice with very little energy expended.

“What kind of resources are we talking, here?” Orin’s eyes narrowed under a heavy brow, the sweep of space-black lashes unexpectedly elegant against his brutish visage.

Ari drew a long breath, attempting to steady his resolve.

“I possess a three-year-old Xalanthe Explorer model 953V. It is in exemplary condition, and I am prepared to offer it as payment upon my brother’s safe return to our home on Britannia.”

Before he finished speaking, Orin sat up in his chair, the full extent of his imposing size suddenly evident even while seated. He turned his hand in Ari’s grip, long fingers wrapping easily around his thin wrist.

“You’re trading your ship. A brand-new ship. To any asshole willing to fly it? Just to finish a little game of hide-and-seek with your brother who—no offense, Red—sounds like he ran off with a bit of strange?”

Aristotle bristled, slim shoulders rising to his ears as the heat of an angry flush spread from the unfortunate ginger of his precisely parted hairline down to the white of his starched collar points.

“He did not ‘run off’! He was abducted. I have no more time to waste with your nonsense, sir. Are you able to assist in my endeavor, or shall I continue pursuing a pilot on my own?”

A lopsided grin spread across his companion’s face, revealing a hint of prominent canine and a surprisingly charming set of dimples. Orin gave another insolent sweep of his gaze, ticking to the length of Ari’s throat rising above his cravat. The rumble of his voice dropped low enough that Ari had to strain to hear him above the surrounding chaos.

“Hmm, that depends, Red. That blush go all the way down?”

The clatter of the cheap aluminum chair against the cracking concrete floor was lost in the cacophony of raucous laughter, clinking glasses, and blaring synth music that characterized drinking establishments on the rough ring of colonies lining the Verge. Ari wrenched his arm away as he stood, breaking free.

He turned his back, adjusting his waistcoat with trembling fingers as he wracked his brain for alternative solutions. He had only taken a half step away from the table when a firm grip on his coattails wrenched him backward. He swung around, fists in a pugilist’s stance, raised to the smiling face of Mr. Stone.

“Whoa now, slow up there, professor. If you’re wanting to trade a whole damn ship for the temporary services of some sleazy sack of shit with a pilot’s license, I got just the guy you need.”

Knees weak with relief, Ari nearly attempted to sit before remembering he had overturned his chair, which was now likely glued to the filthy floor of the saloon.

“Excellent. Where can I find this person?”

That lopsided grin opened up into a full-blown smile, revealing rows of white, uneven teeth. “You’re looking at him, sweetheart.”

Ari twitched at the endearment, unaccustomed to the way they seemed to drip from the pilot’s every phrase like butter melting off the plate.

He turned fully to face him, coattails twining around his narrow hips as Orin maintained his grip, tugging once with a waggle of thick brows at Ari’s resulting unintentional pelvic thrust before releasing him with a flourish.

Orin pushed off from the table, broad shoulders rising up and up to just above Ari’s line of sight. Ari swallowed an obvious comment on the pilot’s intimidating height, realizing how much he’d underestimated the man’s size.

Ari stared straight ahead at the hollow of Mr. Stone’s throat, bronze skin left exposed by the open vee of his collarless shirt. A few dark, curling hairs peeked out of the opening, inches from Aristotle’s nose. A strange fluttering sensation swept through his abdomen at the sight.

Recognizing the sensation as inappropriate at best and disastrous at worst, Ari turned on stiff legs and led the way out of the saloon, doing his utmost to avoid brushing up against the rough clientele. Heads swiveled to follow Ari even as they ignored the much larger figure of Mr. Stone following close behind his every step.

Ari ducked his head as they emerged into the daylight, squinting against the intrusive brightness before heading off toward the nearest dry dock, zeroing in on his ship after a few minutes’ walk. Mr. Stone was a silent shadow at his back, footsteps shockingly light for a man of his size.

The small exploratory vessel stood out among the busted-up freighters and speeders cluttering the dock. Clean panels of riveted steel shaped the subtle curves framing the centerpiece—a large frontal view screen. The only unnecessary ornament was that of the exaggerated dorsal fin, the sight of which had caused Aristotle’s brother to laugh out loud when they first purchased the ship.

Ari’s back stiffened at a low whistle, two familiar notes usually directed with prurient interest.

Mr. Orin Stone was circling his ship, one hand, large and square as a shovel head, trailing long fingers over the surface with surprising reverence.

“What’s your name, beautiful?”

He directed his inquiry to the ship but turned to Aristotle as though expecting an answer.

Ari cleared his throat. “As I have previously mentioned, it is a Xalanthe—”

Orin cut him off with a rude sound pushed between full lips. “She.”

Ari opened his mouth to reply, mistaking a brief pause for the conclusion of the pilot’s statements.

“Ship’s a she. And she’s a pretty little thing, deserves a name. If you don’t have one for her yet, I can think of something fancy to call her. Something with a bit of glitter to it. Little lady like this one deserves to shine.”

His eyes in turn glittered at Ari, sparkling with amusement and apparent satisfaction upon viewing the small science vessel.

Without looking away, he spat into one rough palm before holding it out to Aristotle as if to shake.

“You’ve got yourself a deal, Red.”

Ari recoiled from the offered hand, curling his own into protective fists at the notion of sealing a verbal contract with an exchange of bodily fluids.

“That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.”

Orin’s throaty laughter rang out against the polished metal panels of the ship exterior, echoing across the shipyard.

“Is it now? Well, stick with me, sugar; I could really expand your horizons.”

My Review:
Dr. Aristotle Campbell is a resident of Brittania, one of the Core planets stuck within the Verge, a force field that prevents marauders from attacking the main planets. He’s an introverted geological scientist, who is dedicated to his outgoing twin brother Dr. Theo Campbell, which is why Ari is now frantic. Theo has been kidnapped by a ruffian from the Restricted Section beyond the Verge. Ari screws up all his gumption and pledges his own spaceship to a Verge pilot, Orin Stone, who promises he can get Ari out to the Restricted sector.

Orin Stone is a “Verge trash” man who happens to be a huge and imposing person, compared to lithe and delicate Ari. He’s so uninhibited and coarse, and shocking in his open desire for Ari, whom Orin finds to be completely appealing–even more so because Ari is a complete innocent.

This is a unique and engaging world that’s a bit of a mix with Victorian sensibilities and the space exploration tech. Ari and Orin develop a sweet friendship, that Orin is quick to offer more. Ari is so tentative, and concerned about his lack of experience, and his fears surrounding Theo. Ari thinks he’s a fraidy cat, especially since he’s always allowed outgoing Theo to lead the way. Orin believes Ari to be so brave, though, and his constant reassurances give Ari the confidence to take what he wants, for himself.

I really loved the story, and the originality of the plot twists. It was such a fun and engaging adventure, watching Ari develop his inner strength, and fall head over heels for Orin, who doesn’t believe himself worthy. This is a dual-narrated story, so we do get into Orin’s head a bit, and that was so sweet, because we can easily see how captivated he is by Ari, and the admiration he has for the ship–that he names Delilah. His bawdy humor cracks through Ari’s refined persona and really settles Ari’s nerves by his sheer confidence and competency as a pilot. It’s a fun love story for these mismatched lovers, but they are both dreading crossing into the Restricted Space–because Ari’s plan is to leave Orin and the ship, to save Theo himself. The resolution is so joyful, when Ari and Theo reunite and Orin finds that he’s not surplus to the situation. I cannot WAIT for Theo’s love story…

Interested? You can find RESTRICTED on Goodreads, NineStar Press, and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter link for your chance to win a $10 NineStar Press GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
A.C. Thomas left the glamorous world of teaching preschool for the even more glamorous world of staying home with her toddler. Between the diaper changes and tea parties, she escapes into fantastical worlds, reading every romance available and even writing a few herself.

She devours books of every flavor—science fiction, historical, fantasy—but always with a touch of romance because she believes there is nothing more fantastical than the transformative power of love.

You can catch up with A.C. online on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Out Today: HORATIO SLICE: GUITAR SLAYER OF THE UNIVERSE


Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for an erotic M/M+ space opera by Oleander Plume. HORATIO SLICE: GUITAR SSLAYER OF THE UNIVERSE is a campy, fun erotic romp through time and portals—which emulate space. All it takes is one super fan wishing to bring his rock idol back to Earth…and a whole lot of lube.

About the book:
Horatio Slice is NOT dead.

Gunner Wilkes knows a secret. Heartthrob rock star Horatio Slice is not dead. Sure, Gunner may turn heads with his big brain, good looks, and gym-built body, but his mind is on one thing only: returning his all-time favorite rocker and secret fanboy crush to Earth.

Yes, there are VAMPIRE PIRATES

Fame and stardom were starting to wear thin for Horatio Slice, but when he was sucked through a magical portal while on stage at Madison Square Garden into a jail cell in a strange dimension called Merona, his confusion quickly cleared upon meeting his sexy, dark-haired cellmate, a vampire pirate named Snake Vinter, who filled Horatio in about life in the universe, jumping from dimension to dimension, and craftily avoiding the wrath of gnarly-mask-wearing leather queen King Meridian—a guy nobody wants to cross.

The metal ship is named Frances.

And on Snake’s metal ship live eight identical blond Humerians, who proudly display their cocks and assholes in carefully crafted trousers, as well as a wild assortment of untamable, cock-hungry travelers and stowaways. But someone has hacked into Frances’ mainframe, demanding that Snake and crew deliver Horatio Slice to King Meridian, or feel his wrath.

All the zany magical comedy of Mel Brooks, an adventure not dissimilar to Indiana Jones meets Barbarella, and men, men, horny men, of all shapes and sizes, Horatio Slice, Guitar Slayer of the Universe is wild, fun, pornographic fiction for anyone who loves the masculine, the feminine, and all identities in between. Even more so, it’s for cravers—for aficionados—of big, hard, pounding cock, and anyone who can handle laughs that won’t stop coming.

How about an intriguing taste?

Gunner raced to the machine and squatted in front of the laptop, hands trembling as he typed in an eight-digit password. A red box popped up this time with the words, Open the portal? Y or N. In four more minutes, he would tap the Y key again and hope to hell his invention worked. He willed the clock to move faster while his fingers twitched in eagerness.

At 10:24, Gunner pressed Y, and the room exploded with light and sound.

“Holy fucking shit!”

He dove behind the ramshackle fortress head first, as if sliding into home base, wincing when his elbow scraped the rug. He scrambled to his knees and poked his head over the top of the couch, barely comprehending the chaos taking place around him. First, the air sizzled and turned blue. Loud vibrations caused every object in the room to quake. The clamor grew louder and louder until it evolved into a thunderous crack that reverberated through his spinal column. Gunner bit down on a knuckle to stifle his screams of terror when a shimmering circle of light appeared in the ceiling. Right before his eyes, a figure emerged from the portal. Two bare feet, followed by two bare legs, a pair of balls, and a cock—a gigantic, hard cock.

“It’s actually working,” Gunner mumbled around the knuckle still wedged between his teeth, “but where the hell are his clothes?”

Choosing to stay behind the bunker, Gunner rose higher on his knees to get a better view as the rest of Horatio Slice appeared—intact and alive. Once the top of his head cleared the portal, the circle winked out, leaving a ring of what appeared to be soot behind.

“Ow!” Horatio said as he hit the mattress. He sat up and rubbed his neck. “That hurt like a motherfucker.”

And just like that, Horatio Slice was back—stark naked and kind of pissed off.

Gunner almost lost control of his bladder as he watched the hunk rise to full height. The man was a glorious six-and-a-half-feet of chiseled muscle and masculine bravado. A seductive snake tattoo wound over one calf, while another circled his right bicep. Horatio brushed his long, brunette hair out of his eyes and looked around. “Where the hell am I?” he asked.

“Earth,” Gunner said. “New York State, to be exact.” He couldn’t take his eyes off Horatio’s cock. The rumors were true. Horatio Slice sported a behemoth between his legs, a fully erect behemoth dripping copious amounts of pre-come. Gunner wondered what Horatio was up to before he fell through the portal.

“No shit? I’m back home,” Horatio said. “Sweet!”

“You’re welcome.”

“Who said that?” Horatio turned toward Gunner.

“Me. I’m a big fan. Really big. I can’t believe you’re here.” Gunner took a breath. “I can’t believe you’re alive.”

“Of course, I’m alive.” Horatio stepped over a bundle of wires, crossing the six feet that separated him from Gunner in two, long strides. Smiling, he leaned over the bunker and peered down at Gunner, who shrunk back in shock. Was the guy checking him out? “Hello, hottie,” Horatio said, his smile deepening into more of a leer.

While he’d imagined his idol’s homecoming many times, none of those fantasies included Horatio being naked or staring at him with a throbbing erection and a predatory glint in his eyes. He practically melted under Horatio’s piercing blue gaze. “Um, hi,” Gunner said as he crawled out on his hands and knees from behind the sofa. “You made one hell of an entrance.”

“The impact almost shattered my spine,” Horatio said, “but I think I’m okay.”

Gunner took the hand Horatio offered and let the man hoist him to his feet. Instead of flip-floppy, Horatio’s touch turned Gunner’s stomach into an over-inflated basketball that thumped against his ribs. The ball bounced faster when he noticed Horatio eyeballing his crotch. Still holding Gunner’s hand, Horatio pulled him closer and stared into his eyes. “You don’t work for Meridian, do you?”

My Review:
Gunner is a college student with a powerful fan crush on Horatio Slice, singer and guitarist of Monotony. Two years ago, on Gunner’s birthday, Horatio Slice was spirited away through a galactic portal, to become the love slave of Meridian, a king and captain so the police. He was intercepted by Snake, a vampire pirate, first, however. Gunner’s obsession with Horatio led him to construct a rudimentary portal to bring him back to Earth–and that’s where this adventure begins.

Knowing that Meridian will be hot on his tail, Horatio insists that he must return to his sanctuary–with some help from Snake. They convince Gunnar that he needs to come along, or risk Meridian’s wrath.

They dodge through dimensions until they make it back to the safety of Snake’s ship. There Gunnar meets Snake’s partner Sugar, and his nearly identical seven Humerian cohorts. All the while there is sex, nudity, double-crosses, more sex and daring escapes. Lots of orgies, some pirate missions, and tenderness between crew members fill the gaps between avoiding Meridian’s grasp. If you dig whacked out adventure plots, kinky sexytimes, and wise-cracking dudes of any species, this erotic romp is for you!

Interested? You can find HORATIO SLICE: GUITAR SLAYER OF THE UNIVERSE on Goodreads , Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Inktera, and Go Deeper Press.
About the Author:
Oleander Plume lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her husband, two daughters and a pair of obnoxious cats. While she writes in many genres, her favorite is m/m. Or m/m/m. Or m/m/m/m, or … who’s counting, anyway?
Horatio Slice: Guitar Slayer of the Universe (published by Go Deeper Press) is Oleander’s first, full-length novel, but her short stories have appeared in anthologies by Violet Blue, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Shane Allison, Alison Tyler, Neil Plakcy, and F. Leonora Solomon.

Oleander also edited a self-published erotic anthology, titled Chemical [se]X, featuring stories centered around the theme of aphrodisiac chocolates.

For more information, please visit her at website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, or email her.

Galactic Menace at the PRESSURE POINT–Review and a FREE Book!

Hi there! I’m excited to share a review for a new space-opera, sci-fi novel from Adam Quinn. PRESSURE POINT is the second book in his Drive Maker series, and you’ll need to read FLASHPOINT for it to make sense. But, FLASHPOINT is FREE on Amazon through today, so rush off and pick that right up.

pressure-pointAbout the book:
What does a galaxy fear?

Six weeks after the Trascion Crisis, the Alliance is long dead—but its secrets are not. Taylor Ghatzi knows the truth lies within her enigmatic dreams—if she can decipher them before the Kaleknarians make their next move.

On the other side of the galaxy, Cherran DeGuavra is trying to wrangle the five powers into an agreement that will open up a new era of pan-galactic cooperation—until developments within his own government threaten the foundations of interstellar order.

As Taylor and Cherran battle Kaleknarian plots and Meltian politics, little do they know more than peace is at stake.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series and needs to be read in order.

Taylor Ghatzi is an Admiral from the Order Wars, but lately she’s been an officer of the emergency services that scour the galaxy to aid ships and planets in peril. Most recently, she and her cobbled-together crew halted an invasion force of Kaleknarians (an insectoid species bent on ruling the galaxy) and they seem to be on the rebound to continue to halt Kaleknarian aggression, but that’s not all.

In unraveling the Kaleknarian strike forces, Taylor, a powerful telepath, must untangle the recurrent dreams she’s been having. It’s clear that some being is projecting messages into Taylor’s subconscious, but is that relevant to the cause? Also, the deeper Taylor and her compatriots get to crippling the Kaleknarian forces, the more she recognizes that Kaleknarian’s are not completely responsible for the most recent aggression. No, a mind-altering Spartan Plague is converting the Kaleknarians into supersoldiers built for invasion.

Meanwhile, the slipperiest of all politicians, Ryan Harrison, is mounting a bid for President of the Meltian Alliance. Cherran DeGuavra, ambassador to the Pan-Gal consortium, an association of the five galactic powers that helps maintain order, has been tasked with running against Harrison. For good reason; Harrison is a shady, shady dude. Cherran’s most important job however, is to get a resolution passed to form a defense force against aggressive forces. At first, it was conceived to hold the Kaleknarians, but now the Spartan Plague seems to be the greatest threat.

Even as the time ticks away, we can see that Taylor’s efforts to understand her expanded telekinetic powers will be keenly tested. And Cherran’s efforts to unite the five powers into taking down the Spartan Plague will likely be hard fought and hard to maintain. It’s a tough battle, and there’s plenty of cloak-and-dagger work that doesn’t go exactly to plan. Okay, it goes nothing like the plan. There’s so many layers of misdirection, it’s hard to pin down the real perpetrators, but Taylor does the absolute best she can with the limited tools she has to hand. There’s a lot of space jargon, and the names of some of the characters–and alien species–gets a bit overwhelming at times. Still, there’s no question that the stakes are exceedingly high, and the risk of galactic collapse equally dire.

This is meant to lead into the third book in the series, so we have some resolution regarding the Kaleknarian menace, and a whole new problem with the Spartan supersoldiers. Who is pulling their strings remains a mystery, but Taylor isn’t giving up, and her comrades are dedicated to saving as many lifeforms as they possibly can. There’s a touch of romance here, for Taylor and her crewmate Hezekiah, but it’s tempered by the realities of their predicaments. Do not expect heat.

In all, it’s an ambitious and creative space-opera series that’s got plenty of gizmos, tough chicks and intrigue. I like it bunches.

Interested? You can find PRESSURE POINT on Goodreads and Amazon. And don’t forget to pick up FLASHPOINT-FREE through 1/20.

About the Author:
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.

Looking for more of Adam’s work? Check out his Facebook page, or his website to learn about all his current work, and subscribe to his newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know about new releases.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Galactic Battles at the FLASHPOINT-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new space opera/sci-fi adventure by a brand new author, Adam Quinn. If you’ve liked sagas like Star Wars and Star Trek, you might could be interested in FLASHPOINT.

Flashpoint (Book One of the Drive Maker Trilogy)About the book:
Guilt-ridden over her role in the cataclysmic Order War, Taylor Ghatzi decided to retire from galactic politics and dedicate her life to the Emergency Service—until a deadly terror attack strikes her home world, and she may be the only one able to unravel the mystery behind it.

Meanwhile, Cherran DeGuavra, the son of the most important statesman in the past century, gave up on trying to reunite the galaxy frayed by his late father’s greatest mistake, but now must call upon all of his diplomatic powers to prevent it from tearing itself even further apart.

With the galaxy’s powers on a war footing and their own government obstructing them, Taylor and Cherran may need to start a fight to prevent one.

My Review:
This is the first book in a sci-fi space opera trilogy and is an excellent first book by a young author.

The galaxy is still healing from the Order War which claimed billions of lives in the quest for freedom from the repressive Galactic Government. Ten years ago marked the final battle, and General Taylor Ghatzi, a powerful telekinetic female humanoid, was on the front line at the point of the Pyrrhic victory. It’s where Taylor lost her friend and partner, Prince Steve.

Now, the galaxy is splintered into several factions, some systems under better (Meltian Empire) rule while others were in worse (Kaleknarian Empire) control. On Icarus Day, the annual remembrance of the final Order War battle, Admiral Ghatzi is caught is a deadly battle with fire-throwing telekinetics (aka Firestormers) from a rebel organization calling itself the Alliance. She’s able to save many, due to her quick thinking and quicker reflexes, including Hezekiah, her second in command. Hezekiah is a man she might find some solace with, if she wasn’t his commander, and if he doesn’t get killed first. Hashing out the goals and leadership of the Alliance is as high on Taylor’s list of priorities as is preventing any movement that could tip the precarious galactic power structure into war.

Cherran DeGuavra is a Meltian diplomat charged with filling his father’s large, and powerful, shoes in keeping the balance of peace in the galaxy. He’s all about the appearance of calm, knowing that a single misstep could be seen as aggression in PanGal, the loose association of ambassadors from all the empires. That the Kaleknarians have aggressively occupied Tracsion, the only system planet that mines flip-drive powering tracsionite, is a move toward war. Cherran also believes the Meltian government is not as cohesive as the president would like–specifically Ryan Harrison, chair of the Defense branch, seems to have far too many secrets, and some odd over-reaching goals, for a peacetime commander. That Harrison wants to send a powerful contingent of warships to liberate Tracsion, as well as take out colluders to the Icarus Day attackers–the small rebel Jacobian organization–is also suspect, especially for Admiral Ghatzi. She believes Harrison may be protecting the very people behind the attack, using his political will to take out rival organizations.

The stage is set for battle and it’s up to Taylor to navigate the frontlines with caution, and competence, while Cherran works his diplomatic magic–both endeavoring to maintain the peace, free the oppressed, and figure out Harrison’s angle. It’s a tense book, with several battles and skirmishes spanning what amounts to roughly two weeks’ time. Through the dual POV, Taylor and Cherran, we get both the political and the tactical sides of the experience, and there’s a tiny dash of romance–Taylor definitely has feelings for Hezekiah, which seem to be reciprocated. I expect the next book will explore this relationship as it develops from genial commander-subordinate to a more equality-type romantic one. I liked the action and the adventure of this galaxy, and the creativity of the many factions. The political intrigue was also good, but a little harder for me to follow with Cherran’s POV, compared to the investigation being run by Taylor and her commander. It think this is an inherent problem with the shell-game that is politics, than with the author’s skill, however. It’s always a tough piece to write, and to understand, when the characters can’t see the full picture due to elaborate subterfuge by the main antagonist, in this case Harrison.

Still, I really enjoyed the book. I’m a fan of adventure sagas, and this one’s definitely headed in a great direction, with Harrison’s main objective still a bit murky, and Taylor, Hezekiah, Cherran and others keeping very close tabs on him. It’s unclear if Harrison’s a mastermind, bent on ultimate galactic control, or a puppet whose nefarious projects have taken on their own new and dangerous roles. There are so many characters, it’s a little hard to track everything, but I found the pace to be good, with little down-time. The goals are always for peace, even if some battle is necessary to achieve it. Taylor’s battle scars are not only physical, she still suffers nightmares of her time in the War; and her growing affection for Hezekiah is scary–she doesn’t want to lose another lover, like she did with Steve. It’s endearing. I’m anxious to see how all of this plays out in the coming books. A great first book in a series, and one I’ll continue to follow, for sure.

Interested? You can find FLASHPOINT on Goodreads and it’s on sale at Amazon for $.99.

About the Author:
Adam Quinn is a Chicago-based author of science fiction and space opera. When he’s not writing about the technology of the future, he’s studying engineering so that one day he can help create it.

Looking for more of Adam’s work? Check out his Facebook page, or his website to learn about all his current work, and subscribe to his newsletter to make sure you’re the first to know about new releases.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Saved by Kismet–MATE CALL-Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a sweet M/M dragon-shifter space-opera romance novella from Amber Kell. MATE CALL is the fifth book in her Dragon Men series, but it was fully enjoyable on its own.

Catch my review and enter to win a $15 GC in the giveaway below!

Mate Call 400About the book:

King Zeir had it all, a prosperous kingdom, a fated mate and the love of his people. But when his mate dies he goes half mad with grief and transforms into his dragon form. Unable to get past his sorrow, he pines for the love he never fully knew.

Colton Lanx has known nothing but travel. His parents flew from planet to planet, never settling down. Becoming a navigator was an easy choice to make until an error by his captain forced him down to the planet Dragait.

Two men joined by destiny have to overcome their past if they wish to build a future together.

My Review:

3.5 Stars for this dragon-shifter, space opera, M/M romance.

Colton Lanx is a navigator on an explorer ship who’s got serious problems with his inept, ego-centric captain. Despite his certification, Captain Jael altered Colt’s course coordinates which has brought their starship too close to the atmosphere of Dragait, a planet known to be populated by reclusive dragon shifters. Dragait is the homeland of Colt’s father, Seltin, but Colt has never been there. He’s a half-dragon, though he’s never shifted.

Unable to correct the course in time, Colt joins his crew in evacuating. He’s “rescued”  by a space dragon, Baroy, who ferries him safely through the atmosphere.

King Zeir isn’t happy that an escape pod has landed in his kingdom. He hates outsiders, and loathes anyone not of his realm. He’s been in his dragon form for nearly a century, since the loss of his mate, Seltin. Even if they hadn’t fully bonded, Zeir has mourned his loss and doesn’t ever wish to find another mate. The appearance of a newly-shifted golden dragon from the wreckage of the escape pod trips all Zeir’s buttons, however. He feels the mate call, now, far stronger than with Seltin. Learning that Colt is Seltin’s offspring, Zeir is sure his previous mate call was simply for Seltin’s bloodline–and that Colt is his true mate. That’s a small problem, compared to how frustrated he is that he has a mate at all. He doesn’t want to mourn another partner. Add to that, Zeir must confront his father-in-law to be: Seltin, his previously-claimed mate. Gotta cause a bit of discomfort at the wedding, don’t you think?

There’s some machinations regarding the exploration company, Captain Jael, and the interest each man feels for  the other. The book moves along at a rather brisk pace, with a couple stops to allow Colt and Zeir to bond. The conflict level is mild, with quick resolution to all difficulties. The sexytimes were good, but not boiling hot. I had expected a bit more steam, to be honest. That said, my biggest issue with the book was dialogue. I’m a firm believer in story-appropriate language, and I often get pulled out of fantasy books–like this one–when the dialogue is too pedestrian. Too everyday, too now. It’s my own hang-up, perhaps, but I really like to feel transported by a fantasy, and hitting speed-bumps in the diction takes me out of the story. Otherwise, it’s a cute breeze-read.

Interested? You can find MATE CALL on Goodreads, Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords.

Other books in the series: Mate Dance, Mate Healer, Mate Hunt, and Mate Test.

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Amber KellAbout the Author:
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building. When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life, he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn’t writing, she remembers she has children who humor her with games of “what if” and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius, she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.

Catch up with Amber on her  website, Facebook and twitter.
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