Review: Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga, Book 1) by Sherry Soule

Book_Cover_Lost_in_StarlightHeroine: You thought dating vampires was difficult? Try being a high school reporter and dating an alien. Yeah. That’s what I thought. I’m like Lois Lane and he’s like Superman, except he doesn’t have an alter ego and I’m not as dumb as Lois.

Summary: Sloane Masterson loves horror films and critiques them every chance she gets. She doesn’t approve of stupid females running toward bad guys and doing idiotic things that land them in hot water. She’s a tough cookie with a strong mind, no alien is going to tell her she’s seeing things. Sloane does not hallucinate thank you very much. And she’s no weak-willed female willing to just go along with the flow. So when she witnesses Hayden Lancaster bend forks, she knows she going to get the dirt on him.

Review: I love that Sloane is totally willing to own that she finds the Hayden attractive and that of all her options stalking him for a story is just one small reason why she wants to keep her eye on him at all times. And just what is Hayden’s secret? He’s an alien hybrid (on the book blurb, so this is not a spoiler) – part human, part alien. And he’s not alone. Dating a human girl is strictly off-limits and yet his and Sloane’s attraction to each other is supernova hot and undeniable. Sloane is a heroine I think you’re going to enjoy reading because she’s willing and able to save herself, and Hayden is… well… he is interstellar! I can’t wait for the next book.

Favorite Quote: “If I’d never met you, Sloane, I have the strangest feeling that I’d spend the rest of my life looking for someone like you…”

[Rating:4.25]

Buy: Lost in Starlight (Starlight Saga Book 1)

Our Favorite Cat Aliens are Back!

Cheryl Brooks PhotoGuest blog by Cheryl Brooks, author of Rebel

I was given these topics to choose from for my guest post here on Love Romance Passion.

  1. Interstellar homelessness
  2. Refugees and the Homeless
  3. Heroines as Bait

Since none of them look easy, I’m going to respond to all three and hope for the best. 😉

These questions undoubtedly stem from themes present in the latest installment in my Cat Star Chronicles series, Rebel. If you’ve never read any of the series, suffice it to say that my Zetithian guys are so hot that an extremely rich and insanely jealous man, Rutger Grekkor, blew up their planet after his wife, Amelyana, took a Zetithian lover. Two, actually. After Grekkor killed the first lover, Amelyana went to Zetith in search of another.

Why would she do that? What makes Zetithians so hot? Some say it’s their feline characteristics. They have fangs, glowing vertical pupils, and they can purr. They also have pointed ears and upswept eyebrows like Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. But it’s really their sexual abilities that make them so irresistible — and addicting.

Rebel’s hero, Onca, was only a baby when Zetith was destroyed by Grekkor’s Nedwut henchmen—a rather nasty, wolf-like race of hunters who will basically do anything for a buck. Amelyana did her best to save some of the children from the holocaust. Onca was one of those she saved, which brings me to the first topic:

  1. Interstellar Homelessness.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds, flying through space with no place to call home. Lots of fictional characters have done it. Case in point, Han Solo in Star Wars. But did he ever mention where he was from? Nope. Not in the movies, anyway. I read a few of the related novels, and one of them mentions that the red stripe on the side of his pants leg is the Corellian Blood Stripe, which “wasn’t given for perfect attendance.” Therefore, one would assume that he was Corellian. But did he ever go there and visit his parents? Hmm…don’t think so. Han’s ship was his home, which is the same kind of homelessness my Zetithian refugees experienced.

Unlike the citizens of Alderaan, who “cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced,” the people of Zetith knew they were about to be obliterated, and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. After ensuring that the natives had no means of getting off the planet, Grekkor’s minions redirected an asteroid to collide with Zetith. Then Grekkor put a bounty on any offworld survivors in order to rid the galaxy of any remaining members of that species. Yeah. He was pissed at them, and he had the means to retaliate on a massive scale. Any remaining Zetithians were rendered homeless in a way that none of us can even begin to comprehend. Not only were their homes destroyed, but their entire world. And that brings us to the second topic:

  1. Refugees and the Homeless

When I first began writing the Cat Star Chronicles, I based the series on six members of a military unit who were captured near the end of the war in which Zetith was destroyed and sold into slavery. But during the course of writing those six books, I was asked to write three more. I needed more Zetithians, so I came up with the idea that a hundred or so children were rescued from Zetith. At the time, I didn’t give a great deal of thought to the logistics of such an endeavor, but just imagine two adult couples caring for a hundred kids, some of whom were only babies. Granted, many of the children were old enough to help care for the smaller ones, but they flew around in space for twenty-five years!

Where did they find food?  In Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry solved that dilemma with food replicators. But he also thought that living people could be “beamed” from one place to another. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Star Trek, but I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that a living being could be dissolved to the atomic level in one place and reformed in another, alive and kicking. Not buying it. Food replication might be more feasible, but I’m going to assume that Amelyana had to send someone down to a planet now and then on a resupplying mission. Money wouldn’t have been too much of an issue since she probably relieved her dear husband of a hefty chunk of change when she commandeered one of his starships.

And now, more than twenty-five years have passed. Grekkor’s death has set the Zetithians free and made them rich. Onca has grown up on that starship and has been educated in his own culture as well as others, including Earth’s history and traditions.

Not long before Grekkor’s death, Kimcasha Shrovenach, a Zetithian child living on the planet Rhylos with her family, was orphaned by a band of Nedwut bounty hunters. Since the age of ten, she has been living on the streets of Damenk on the planet Rhylos, hiding from unknown and unseen terrors. Her only friends are other street people, and now, some of her buddies have gone missing, which brings us to the third topic:

  1. Heroines as Bait.

With no other options, Kim uses herself as bait to discover where her friends have gone. But she isn’t captured by the Herpatronian thug who accosts her, she is rescued by Onca—and she isn’t happy about it. Poor Onca. His one and only stab at being a hero, and the damsel in distress nearly bites his head off. But wait! She’s Zetithian, a very rare and unsuspected find. Onca isn’t looking for love, but he is willing to help Kim locate her friends, as well as helping her to receive her share of the trust fund established for any surviving Zetithians. As the attraction between them grows, Onca begins to realize that he is the one who must use himself as bait, perhaps even sacrificing his own life to rescue the homeless friends of an adorably feisty young Zetithian woman he is convinced would be better off without him.

So now, the roles are reversed and the hero is the one at risk. At risk of losing his home, his wealth, his freedom, and certainly his heart.

I know which version I like best. Onca is my hero!

rebelBlurb:

He helped to find her kidnapped friends. Will he let her steal his heart?

Kimcasha has lived by her wits since she lost her family when she was eight years old. So when three of her friends vanish, she has no fear about using herself as kidnapper’s bait, until a stranger foils her plot…

After ten years of selling his services in a brothel, Onca has decided to retire. A refugee of planet Zetith, he has no family, no surname, and no woman—until he rescues a young homeless girl from a kidnapper. Onca helps Kim find her friends, but as their intense attraction deepens, he begins feeling too jaded for someone so innocent. It’s up to Kim to convince him otherwise…

Buy: Rebel (The Cat Star Chronicles)

Author Bio: Cheryl Brooks is a former critical care nurse turned romance writer. Her Cat Star Chronicles series includes Slave, Warrior, Rogue, Outcast, Fugitive, Hero, Virgin, Stud, Wildcat, and the current release, Rebel. She is a member of the RWA and IRWA and lives with her husband and sons near Bloomfield, Indiana.

Author Website: http://www.cherylbrooksonline.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylbrooksauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherylCatMaster @CherylCatMaster
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/cbcatmaster/

Giveaway: One print copy of Rebel by Cheryl Brooks. Open to US and CAN readers. Enter by leaving a comment. Ends 8/8/14.

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Movie Review: Man of Steel

man of steel

Reviewed by Sandra Scholes

Man of Steel – Heart of Gold.

Remember the original Superman movies that had the late Christopher Reeve being sexy as well as super? Then you might like this better than the previous one with Brandon Routh in the starring role. In Man of Steel, Henry Cavill dons the outfit and cape (but not the tight trunks) to become a superhero for today’s generation to marvel at.

Some might remember Cavill from English drama The Tudors as Charles Brandon, the 1st Duke of Suffolk, but it is interesting to see that he has studied Reeve for the role, and also makes his character a stronger role than previously expected. It is easy to be daunted when a new actor comes along and plays a character everyone is familiar with, whether they have seen the other Reeve movies or been a fan of the comic books. Many people form a bond with the actor who plays the character and also form preferences, so prepare to be impressed. Once he is on the screen, he plays Superman like he was made for the role.

He acts out the characters two parts, Clark Kent and Kal el, though in this version Clark doesn’t start off working at the Daily Planet, or meet Lois Lane there either. Instead, Lois tracks him down after discovering he isn’t a normal man, but an alien who crash landed on Earth as a baby and grew up adopted by the Kent family who felt it only fair to let him believe he was human rather than telling him about the alien craft he came in which is now hidden away in the family barn like Dorian Gray’s painting.

While Clark grew up feeling the pain of being different to his classmates, coming to terms with the onset of alien puberty (this is where he discovers his powers) he tries to rise above the ridicule and grow into a tall, buff man who goes from place to place like David Banner, not wanting anyone to find out he has alien powers. Clark isn’t that forward thinking though as General Zod has followed him after his dubious descent into the phantom zone, after vowing to find Kal El to Clark’s original father Jor El’s face. Zod is vague about what he intends to do to Kal once he finds him, but judging from the look of his evil face, he doesn’t want him to be his best friend.

There is a warmth and instant chemistry between Clark and Lois. Clark shows he is more human than alien, and at times goes from mildly annoyed with others to seriously annoyed and able to destroy with a single look. He cares about the humans he lives among even if they do have their own flaws and a serious aversion to aliens. Lois, unlike in the original already knows that Clark and Superman are one and the same so there is not room for a reveal.

Most who have seen it have also mentioned that there’s no red trunks, no changing in fone booths and no juicy reveal, so why should we watch it? I watched it for the full cinema experience of seeing a man who looks like he has worked-out for months to get his uber fit body in shape so he can act like a believable hero. Cavill takes on the role like he was born to play Superman, and like the recent adaptation of Total Recall it is a completely different movie, so it is impossible to compare it with the previous ones.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Man of Steel

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Review: Waking Up Immortal (Universal Security, Book 1) by Rachel Carrington

Waking Up ImmortalHero: Kier is part-man-part-machine and is the head warden for the most dangerous prison in the galaxy. One particular inmate is a huge problem and despite all efforts to isolate the man and contain his powers, the inmate keeps progressing forward a master scheme to get revenge and gain his freedom. So when the inmate’s daughter starts looking for her father, Kier gets a little edgy.

Heroine: Chloe nearly dies and learns from her mother that she’s an alien. Apparently dying triggers some immortality gene and she’ll be young and pretty forever. Chloe has no desire to live that way and decides to find her absentee father and get the goods on reversing this little tick. Along the way she finds out her father was tortured and then imprisoned by two different parties and hopes he’s not as bad as everyone says he is… A handsome Terminator-like fellow tries to persuade her otherwise, but Chloe is going to get answers!

Review: The world-building for Waking Up Immortal is too vague. You can catch the general picture of the setup but the nuances are missing to really solidify the how the aliens/humans on earth interact and what exactly is their purpose/mission. Chloe goes back and forth quite a bit on wanting to meet her dad, and when she finally meets her dad he tries to kill her / turn her over to the people who tortured him and everything gets a bit muddled. She disobeys Kier when she should listen to him in a very (too-stupid-to-live) TSTL kind of way– I mean really, the girl just realized she’s an alien and has no clue what is really going on and instead of listening thinks she knows best? The dad is a very interesting villain and the head-case drama he can pull is creepy. Kier by far is my favorite character.

[Rating:2.5]

Buy: Waking Up Immortal (Universal Security)

Review: Eviction Notice by Robyn Wyrick

eviction noticeReviewed by Karin

I thoroughly enjoyed Eviction Notice. I didn’t want it to end, so instead of blitzing through it, I tried to savor it.

The author has a wonderful imagination, and the book flows well. I was given a copy to review, but that has not influenced my feelings for the book.

The book isn’t quite a romance, yet there is a romance in it.

Alice Able is having a hard day on top of a hard year. She has decided to kill herself, but first she feels she should take a shower, look her best, and put post-a-notes on all her belongings so they will be distributed after her death. Imagine her surprise to be confronted by two aliens, one that looks like a huge white furry monster (a lawyer) and only speaks in what sounds like growls, who think she is in charge of the planet. They are investigating whether it is owned by the other and can be used as his collateral in place of delivering the Glen Fairy.

Alice has to do some fast thinking. She ends up being the heroine of the story, courageous and resourceful.

Some high school kids, as a prank, have crushed a large crop circle design in a nearby field. Unknown to them, the identical design was to be the drop off point (or pick up point) for a Glen Fairy who is going to be given to the Zorgons so that war will be averted. When the space ship carrying her crashes in the high schoolers’ field, she is unexpectedly freed, but the one who is to take her to the Zorgons finds out he signed a contract that he will be killed if he doesn’t fulfill his part. Using the earth as collateral, which he claims he owns, he is given a one week grace period to deliver the Glen Fairy. If he doesn’t, all earth peoples will be evicted from the earth. Of course, the aliens don’t think this means our extermination. They think we have space craft.

Well, the book is off and running. Some chapters are Alice’s story with the investigators. Some chapters are the high school kids with the Glen Fairy. Some are the aliens trying to find the Glen Fairy.

The action heats up. You can imagine how difficult it would be to get anyone to believe you, if this were happening to you, but when you can be spirited away instantly to where you want to go (and away just as quickly), it makes for a fast learning curve for the nonbelievers.

Honestly, I can’t begin to tell you how clever the book is. It even has a bit of gentle satire. And Alice finds out her one high school date years before with the fellow who is now a sheriff had more going for it than either of them knew at the time, and her thoughts of him and how he acted when he never dated her again were not his motivation at all. And you guessed it, if they haven’t fallen in love, it is sure the next best thing.

There is a lot of humor in the book — it simply is very clever. There was one paragraph that echoed the idea of Christ — at least to me.

It is a very good read.

[Rating:5]

Buy: Eviction Notice