The flow of new releases in science fiction romance continues unabated, which I happen to think is a very good thing, and thus I always have fresh content to bring to your attention in this space!
Anna Hackett has her 16th entry in the post-apocalyptic Hell Squad series, with Manu. We had glimpses of him in the last book so now it’s his time to shine. The plot: When former berserker Manu Rahia lost his leg on a mission, he was forced to leave his squad. He knows his new role as head of the Enclave’s firing range and armory is important, but hates that he isn’t still out there fighting face to face against the aliens and protecting his brothers’ backs. But then one woman catches his eye. A no-nonsense woman dedicated to her job as head of security. A woman who seems cool on the surface, but who Manu is convinced is hiding more under her business-like exterior.
Captain Kate Scott dedicated her life to her career in the Army. Now she works hard taking care of security for the Enclave and its residents. She learned a long time ago that she isn’t a passionate woman, and that she’s better off sticking to her work. But seeing one big, bronze-skinned, muscled man at the range every day has her hormones going into overdrive. She’s never felt like this and she’s determined to get herself under control.
But when the aliens launch a viscous new attack, right on the Enclave’s doorstep, Kate and Manu must join forces to stop the raptors before more people get hurt. Kate will fight fiercely to protect her team and the base, as well as her heart. But Manu Rahia is a man who knows what he wants, will walk through fire to get it, and what he wants is Kate.
Tasha Black released Buck, the 11th book in her Stargazer Alien Mail Order Brides series. The last one in this set was so much fun, I can’t wait to read this one as well. The plot: Beatrix eats, sleeps and dreams graphic novels. And her latest creation is about to be made into a movie. But Bea’s new-found fame keeps putting her in the spotlight in social situations when she’d rather be curled up with her sketches. Worse, an incredibly sexy interstellar hunk is distracting her from putting the finishing touches on her fundraising efforts.
Buck is the ultimate extrovert. From the instant he wakes up until his head hits the pillow at night he applies himself to interacting with the captivating inhabitants of the strange new world that is now his home. The only one who doesn’t respond to his efforts is the beautiful Beatrix. The reserved artist has a sharp tongue and an unmatched ability to resist Buck’s alien magnetism.
When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Bea at Comic Con turns into an insurmountable battle for her dreams she’ll have to rely on the hunky alien to help her embrace her emerging celebrity status. But will she be able to resist the mate bond that draws them inexorably together?
Stepping away from series with multiple entries, there’s Dash (The Cyborg Chronicles Book 1), by Kelsey Nicole Price. Cyborgs are an ever popular trope in SFR and here’s the story Author Price tells: When the Global Allegiance terminated all Cyborgs, rumors were rampant that they still existed, either hidden away with wealthy collectors or—even more scandalous—part of the Cyborg Rebellion.
Iris: I collect stuff. Some call me a hoarder. I prefer the term treasure hunter. In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d find a cyborg but maybe my dreams should have been wilder because that’s exactly what I find.
Big, blue and now mine, I take him home promising him that he is now free.
I can’t help the fact he is sexy as hell…and that blue is my favorite color.
478 Dash 942: I have been kept locked in a box, hidden away and forgotten.
Then I am pulled from my box by a strange human female who calls herself Iris.
Iris gives me a name and promises that I am no longer just a possession.
That my job is no longer only to serve.
The thought is terrifying but for the first time I feel hope.
Maybe this human is truly different.
One thing I know for sure is that Iris is fascinating and…tempting.
Another title on my To Be Read List is Twist of Fate (Veredian Chronicles Book 4) by Regine Abel. The blurb: For her, he would endure a lifetime of agony.
First Officer Ghan has entered the final stages of the Taint, the deadly disease that kills most Xelixian males by the age of forty. He is determined to bring an elusive foe to justice before his body shuts down completely.
When tragedy strikes a close ally, he finds his soulmate in an unexpected twist of fate. If only she had revealed herself sooner, she could have cured him. Now, she can only keep him in limbo. Is it too late for them or will fate deal them a new hand?
Up for one more cyborg recommendation? Mixed with a prison planet trope? Author Naomi Lucas brings us Ashes and Metal (Cyborg Shifters Book 5), with this story: No one messed with Gunner. No one.
He was the Jackal, living chaos, the infamous Cyborg banned from civilized society. He was also the only Monster Hunter for the EPED who took the hard jobs, the under-the-table work. Jobs that often left a trail of blood and bones in their wake. When a pirate commandeers his ship, Gunner takes it upon himself to exact a revenge that will ignite a wildfire of rage, death, and torment upon those who made the mistake of taking what was rightfully his.
Elodie has spent most of her life pretending to be a boy to remain alongside her father in space. He’s the only family she has left. When the ship they worked on is attacked, she’s taken prisoner. Every day, she feared that her secret would be discovered—that she’s a woman alone amongst men. When a strange man is dragged into the cell next to hers, she realizes she was living on borrowed time.
He stared at her as if he knew her secret…
Machine Metal Magic (MIND + Machine Book 1) by Hanna Dare combines intriguing world building with a tense plot: The galaxy’s a dangerous place. Best not to travel it alone.
It’s been over a century since the AIs rose up and attacked, driving humans from Earth and leaving them scattered across the galaxy. Humanity survives, but always fearful of the technology that allows them travel among the stars, never knowing when it may turn against them once more.
An interstellar fugitive.
For Jaime Bashir, born with the ability to communicate telepathically with computers, his gifts are more of a curse. They also make him a target. On the run, he finds himself among a starship crew, one transporting a mysterious cargo. Even more intriguing is Rylan, the muscled guard watching his every move. Jaime has no reason to trust him, but nowhere else to turn.
A disgraced ex-soldier.
Rylan Slate is looking to leave his past behind. Joining a crew of smugglers is one way to do it. But capturing Jaime is both an opportunity and a danger. He starts out as a prisoner, but then becomes something more, testing loyalties in ways Rylan never expected. Will regaining his honor mean betraying Jaime?
I’m going to close with a straight up hard science fiction recommendation, because I love The Murderbot Diaries series by Martha Wells so much. The first book, All Systems Red, was exceptional, I thought. I really love the main character, the Murderbot, as he calls himself. To be clear, there’s no romance at all but the character is compelling.
I would recommend reading the first book and then the second, to have a better feel for where the self styled Murderbot is coming from, including his deep addiction to binge watching SF adventure entertainment. (Hint: he cares about people a lot more than he says he does.) Here’s the plot for Artificial Condition, the new entry: It has a dark past—one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself “Murderbot”. But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more.
Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don’t want to know what the “A” stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.
What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks…