Kresley Cole Is Back!

The Immortals After Dark series at Amazon

In the summer of 2019, Kresley Cole went silent on the interwebs. These days that likely means death, right? Highly anticipated new book release dates came and went. These dates were changed to generalities like Summer 2020, and those came and went. No clues were given, and we still don’t know what happened. But she’s back! Kresley sent a newsletter out giving “proof of life” and followed that with a specific release date for “Munro” of January 15, 2022.

Do you know who Kresley Cole is and why you should care?

“Munro” is #19 in the Immortals After Dark series, #17 in the main series as there are 2 Dacian novels—a parallel series. These are among my favorite books ever written!

Kresley Cole has crafted a paranormal world called the “Lore” that is far and beyond the best I have ever seen. Forget everything you thought you knew about vampires, werewolves, witches, gods, demons, and so on. It’s all wrong anyway, just PR those among the Lore want you to believe.

Here you will find the truth!

By that, I mean you will find details, explanations, and histories that are so good you can easily suspend your disbelief. Fly through these fast-paced stories going, “Uh huh”, “Yeah”, “I follow”, “That makes total sense”, “I remember this”, and “This is so cool!”

I don’t read series that haven’t been completely published. I’m spoiled by technology. I binge-watch and binge-read. I want the entire story available before I begin it. This series isn’t finished, but I can read it. I’m not left with cliffhanger questions. Each story is intertwined with the others, but they can all be read as standalones! Major characters see very minor characters doing things in Book 2 that make little sense. In Book 12, that minor character is now major, and we see that scene from Book 2 as an important part of a bigger picture. This means a detailed outline of Book 12 had to exist when Book 2 was written. That is craft!

Or it’s all true.

Some of this is set in New Orleans. I live near there, hence the “NOLA” in my web address. And I have seen some very spooky things around here!

Now this series is dark romance, but that’s true only part of the way through each book. We always get a HEA. It contains nonconsensual sexual scenes, so it isn’t for those with trigger issues. There is unwanted touching, confinement, and bullying, but no actual rape. If these things don’t bother you, then you are blessed because these books are awesome. Part of what makes the darkness, the lack of consent, palatable is that none of the characters are human. In most of the paranormal books I’ve read, the couple consists of one paranormal and one human. But here, neither are human. They are older, sometimes centuries older, so we can more easily forgive them for their archaic “lock the women up and control them” ways. Plus, those women are badasses who aren’t going to take that for too long before they rise up and prove they are that man’s equal.

The Arcana Chronicles is another series, pitched to YA/NA audiences. This is a completely separate world, but one that has also been very finely crafted. I read “Poison Princess” and “Endless Knight” years ago but stopped reading the series because each book can’t be read as a standalone. I’m glad I stopped because Kresley Cole’s disappearance delayed the last book’s arrival massively. I will be very happy when the last and 7th book, “From The Grave”, comes out in 2022 and will read the series from the beginning.

In the meantime, I’m reading the Immortals After Dark series from the start right now and will be giving reviews on each individually. I hope you take the journey with me and love it as much as I do.

We are still left of the mystery of Kresley’s disappearance. Writer’s block? Personal tragedy? I don’t think so. You see, in order for a human to be changed into a creature of the Lore, they have to die and come back to life. Maybe she’s been turned. A vampire perhaps? Being turned Lykae wouldn’t have happened this fast. A ghoul wouldn’t be able to write anymore. So yeah.

Vampire Kresley, welcome back! 😀

Congrats on the immortality. I look forward to reading new books in this series for the rest of my life.


The Immortals After Dark series at Amazon

Aflame: A Fall Away Novel (4) – Penelope Douglas


The Fall Away Series:
1. Bully
1.5 Until You
2. Rival
3. Falling Away
4. Aflame

Aflame
A Fall Away Novel (4)
Penelope Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Continuation of Jared and Tate’s story – hot second chance romance

Blurb:

The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…

Everyone wants to be me.

Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.

I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.

They all still talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?

But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.

Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.


As the book opens, we find out that Jared and Tate broke up shortly after the events in “Falling Away”. WTF? I was not happy! I was pissed off that they broke up after all they went through before. And I read on reluctantly. I’m not a fan of restart romances in general. They often feel like the author couldn’t let go of the characters they loved. The characters themselves often behave in ways uncharacteristic of them in order to fit to a new story line. Thankfully, that was not the case here!

As I read on, I understood Jared’s reason for leaving. He needed to grow up and discover what he wanted out of life, what would make him happy, and who he was outside of his relationship to Tate. He was going through the motions of life, heading into a career he didn’t want. Tate was his only focus and happiness. He didn’t want to end up resenting her. He always intended to return to her.

Tate only saw abandonment and thought she lost Jared forever. She tried to move on. Jared thought she had moved on and stayed away longer. He returns to town for family reasons, and his friends knock some sense into him. It’s a collective effort from all our favorite characters with some very funny moments.

They were very young at the end of Bully/Until You. They had to grow up and figure themselves out before they could come together as mature adults and make it stick. The usual cliches aren’t found here, which I’m grateful for. This was very fast paced and enjoyable. The sex scenes are very hot. And the grammar has gotten much better!

1st person past tense from both Tate and Jared.

Contains graphic sex scenes – hot ones, including some very good sexting.

Occasional foul language.

HEA. We finally get the epilogue(s) I’ve been wanting and find out some things about the future for all the couples.

8 errors. Very good editing.

$3.99 on Amazon.

237 pages.


Favorite Quote:

Jared and Tate are talking about the kids from all the couples being in high school together later on. Jared: “Relax.” He grabbed his jacket and slipped it on. “I don’t think anyone can get in as much trouble as we did.”


Falling Away (Fall Away Book 3) – Penelope Douglas


The Fall Away Series:
1. Bully
1.5 Until You
2. Rival
3. Falling Away
4. Aflame

Falling Away
(Fall Away Book 3)
Penelope Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Two victims of abuse become survivors and break the cycle by learning to love each other

Blurb:

Jaxon is the guy she’s supposed to avoid.

K.C. is the girl he won’t let get away….

K.C. Carter has always followed the rules—until this year, when a mistake leaves her the talk of her college campus and her carefully arranged life comes crashing to a halt. Now she’s stuck in her small hometown for the summer to complete her court-ordered community service, and to make matters worse, trouble is living right next door.

Jaxon Trent is the worst kind of temptation and exactly what K.C. was supposed to stay away from in high school. But he never forgot her. She was the one girl who wouldn’t give him the time of day and the only one to ever say no. Fate has brought K.C. back into his life—except what he thought was a great twist of luck turns out to be too close for comfort. As the bond between them grows, he discovers that convincing K.C. to get out from her mother’s shadow is hard, but revealing the darkest parts of his soul is nearly impossible.…


K.C. has another truly messed up wicked mother. She has been enduring abuse and conforming to her mother’s wishes in most things to lessen that abuse. Jax bullies her a little bit, telling her she is gutless, in order to spark her defiance and get her to be herself, to figure out who that really is. Jax has to do the same thing, moving past his own history and learning to accept love.

The sex with OP scenes at the beginning really skeeved me out. But I pushed past it and did enjoy this very much. The sex scenes with the main characters together were very hot. The story is good. I was happy to get to know both Jax and K.C. a lot better. They both grew tremendously and got better from interacting with each other.

This was another fast paced and enjoyable read with a lot of emotion.

Graphic sex scenes.

Occasional foul language.

HFN verging on HEA

8 errors. Very good editing.

!Start Rant!
I really hate reading detailed sex scenes with Other People. I don’t care if the main characters aren’t in a relationship yet. I don’t care that it isn’t cheating. I don’t like characters to be promiscuous, male or female. It’s a hurdle I have to get past, something I have to actively try to ignore, in order to enjoy the book. I wish authors would stop with this! I don’t need to be shown that a character is attractive and popular by them having sex with OP!
!End Rant!

$5.99 on Amazon.

434 pages.


Favorite Quotes:

K.C.: If only life could be edited like a story, I’d rock.

K.C.:

We want a house, a car, a fancy fucking vacation, and prestige, so what do we do? We go to school, and we get jobs we hate to pay for the things we want. We deal with people we don’t like and waste years of our lives sitting in stark, fluorescent-lit rooms and listening to coworkers who bore us so we can pay for a small amount of precious time to enjoy what makes us happy. To achieve a fraction of our lives just feeling as if it was all worth it.

We sacrifice to earn.

Ciaron, Fallon’s father, to Jax: He shook his head. “Son, women are easy. They simply want everything. It’s not difficult.”


Rival (Fall Away Book 2) – Penelope Douglas


The Fall Away Series:
1. Bully
1.5 Until You
2. Rival
3. Falling Away
4. Aflame

Rival
(Fall Away Book 2)
Penelope Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Angst, drama, humor, and hot sex scenes

Blurb:

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….


Fallon and Madoc have another love to hate to love story filled with secrets and misunderstandings. I loved Tate’s dad, and Jared’s mother was getting there, working on it. But Fallon has a queen bitch evil mother. There is a lot of drama from her.

I loved the witty verbal sparring between Madoc and Fallon. They have fun together, and I got their connection. Madoc is loveable, sweet, and funny. Fallon is grittier, darker, and more damaged. But Madoc brings out the spunk and humor in her.

This is a re-read, so it must be 5 stars. Fast paced, fantastic writing.

You have to read the dedication! It’s a hilarious and cute poem, “To Hubs”. Don’t miss it!

Again, I had a big problem with having to read detailed sex scenes with Other People! Ewwww!

Contains graphic sex scenes. Other than the OP ones, they are very hot! Characters are 18 and in their summer before starting college.

Occasional foul language.

HFN verging on HEA

1st person past tense from Fallon and Madoc. I was very happy to get chapters from each of them this time.

14 errors. So the editing has gotten much better with this one.

$11.99 on Amazon.

366 pages.


Favorite Quotes:

Fallon: One thing I knew right then and there. I might hate Madoc, but I loved his friends.

Madoc: Sometimes I wondered if the angels talked to get me to behave or to entice the devil to come out to play.

Fallon:
I wished I didn’t feel the invisible cord pulling me to him, wanting to touch him again, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. We always want what’s bad for us.

Madoc was hot. He knew it. And he knew everyone else knew it.

Madoc: Her white bikini was just that. A bikini. In every possible definition of the word, it was evil and temptation in its worst form.

Fallon: Who was I kidding? I’d have better success trying to jam a tree branch up my ass than convince myself I didn’t want him.

Fallon: “Madoc?” she whimpered, sounding pained. “I’m not a piano. Stop playing me.”


Until You (Fall Away Series) 1.5 – Penelope Douglas


The Fall Away Series:
1. Bully
1.5 Until You
2. Rival
3. Falling Away
4. Aflame

Until You
Fall Away Series 1.5
Penelope Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jared and Tate’s story told from Jared’s POV – Not just a rehash!

Blurb:

Have you ever been so angry that hitting things felt good? Or so numb that you actually felt high? The past few years have been like that for me. Traveling between fury and indifference with no stops in between.

Some people hate me for it, while others are scared of me. But none of them can hurt me, because I don’t care about anything or anyone.

Except Tatum.

I love her so much that I hate her. We used to be friends, but I found out that I couldn’t trust her or anyone else.

So I hurt her. I pushed her away.

But I still need her. The sight of her centers me, and I can pool all of my anger into her. Engaging her, challenging her, bullying her…they are my food, my air, and the last part of me that feels anything human.

But she left. She went to France for a year, and came back a different girl.

Now, when I push, she pushes back.


I love “Until You” more than “Bully”. Maybe it’s being a woman and seeing into the mind of a man? I know I like novels from the man’s POV, so yes. But “Until You” is better beyond that difference. In “Bully”, I didn’t totally get the connection between Jared and Tate. Because I didn’t get inside his mind, I didn’t completely believe his swift turn around. But here I get it. I’m so glad that Penelope Douglas wrote this story! It’s not the same story from a different POV, so you won’t get bored. You don’t need to make choice on which one to read. There are lots of extra things in each of them. But if you only want to read one, I recommend “Until You”. It had more feels for me. Plus there is an extra sex scene 😂.

As I said in my review of “Bully”, I like bully stories. I especially like this one because the bullying doesn’t go too far. There is no sexual harassment or physical violence. The girl isn’t depressed or brought to suicidal thoughts. Both Tate and Jared are strong. Jared gets stronger, grows, throughout this novel.

My one big problem with this was the parts in the beginning where Jared was with Other People. They were much too detailed! I don’t like it when the main characters are promiscuous before the relationship. I don’t care that it isn’t cheating. And I definitely don’t want to have to read the details of it. Nasty! I wanted it to stop! If you are with me, I hope you can push past it as I did.

1st person past tense all from Jared.

Contains graphic sex scenes, hot ones.

Occasional foul language.

HFN (Happy For Now)

There are many errors (25). That I love it anyway is a testament to how good it is!

$4.99 on Amazon.

406 pages.


Favorite Quotes:

I used to keep her up late watching scary movies, and after all this time, nothing had really changed.

Her ass still wasn’t getting any sleep tonight.

“I never touched their bodies like that or held them. I never cared about them enjoying it. They didn’t get any part of me worth having, Tate. Especially, K.C. I never touched her like this.” I stroked her hair. “You own me body and soul, and everyone is going to know it. Sometimes I’m going to go slow with you, and sometimes I’m going to fuck you. But it will always be love, Tate.”

Always has been. And always will.

Tate, we are climbing out of this fucking mess one way or another, because no one ruins us.

“You made me mean. And now I pummel poor, defenseless girls… and guys,” she added, and I wanted to laugh again, thinking of the damage she’d done to Madoc.

“You might say that I turned metal into steel.”


Bully (Fall Away Series Book 1) – Penelope Douglas


The Fall Away Series:
1. Bully
1.5 Until You
2. Rival
3. Falling Away
4. Aflame

Bully
Fall Away Series Book 1
Penelope Douglas

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Very steamy love to hate to love YA/NA romance

Blurb:

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all.

We’re neighbors, and once, we were best friends. But then, one summer, he turned on me and has made it his mission to screw up my life at every opportunity. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to hide from him. I worried about what was around every corner and behind every door.

So I left.

I spent a year studying abroad and bathed in the freedom of life without Jared. Now I’m back to finish up high school and get the hell out of here forever. I’m hoping that after a year of breathing room, he’s moved on and forgotten all about me.

But even if he hasn’t changed, I have. I’m not interested in avoiding him or turning the other cheek anymore. We’re going to go head to head, because neither of us wants to back down.


I love this book. I read it in 2014 and was surprised how much I still remembered from it. I’ve read hundreds of books since then! So this is very memorable. I like bully books. This is definitely one of the best. The bullying wasn’t that bad. There were no sexual assaults or threats of it and no physical abuse. Jared didn’t make Tate’s life miserable, and she never became depressed or suicidal.

Tate is strong, which I love. Jared bullied her before she went to France for a year, but she comes back a badass. The way Tate became the bully was handled brilliantly. “This is how bullies are made.” I also liked how that didn’t go on too long, how Tate pulled herself back from that abyss.

Jared and Tate had a history of love, and Jared had a great excuse. He just needed to grow up and figure himself out after the trauma he went through. I didn’t completely believe Jared’s swift turn around at first, but by the end I got it. I believed how Tate could take Jared back into her heart as quickly as she did, which wasn’t overnight quick (a cliche I hate in bully books).

The story isn’t perfect. I hate that Jared was sleeping around but Tate is a virgin, and he even says how he loves that, that this makes her really his. Thumbs down on that cliche. I’m also not a fan of the cliche bitchy slut revenge for stealing her man bit. But I forgive these things because of all the rest. I love this book.

Oh! And the sex scenes were very hot.


1st person past tense all from Tate. I didn’t feel that Jared’s character was completely fleshed out because I only got Tate’s POV. For this reason, I like “Until You” better. More on that in the next review.

Contains graphic sex scenes. The characters are 18 when they get down to business.

Occasional foul language.

HFN (Happy For Now)

Alright is not a word. It’s two words: all right. Beyond that, there were 50 errors. That’s a lot. That I look past this speaks to how great the story is! Note: I may be reading an earlier version of the book because I bought in 2014. Amazon thinks I don’t own it when I go to its current webpage.

$4.99 on Amazon.

333 pages.


Favorite Quotes:

As I faced Madoc, who had raised himself to meet my gaze, I grabbed him by the shoulders and lifted my knee into his groin. Hard. The amount of pressure must’ve been a lot, because he yelped and fell to his knees, moaning while holding his crotch.

I’d been called a bitch before, and it didn’t hurt the way being called a slut did. Being a bitch could be a survival technique. They get respect. There was no honor in people thinking you were a slut.

Felony Ever After – A collaboration between: Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Nina Bocci, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Leisa Rayven, Liv Morris, Tijan, JM Darhower, Belle Aurora, KA Robinson, SM Lumetta, and Katherine Stevens

Felony Ever After
A collaboration between: Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Nina Bocci, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Leisa Rayven, Liv Morris, Tijan, JM Darhower, Belle Aurora, KA Robinson, SM Lumetta, and Katherine Stevens

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Contemporary romantic comedy, one story told by 13 authors

Blurb:

***13 Authors put their brains together to write ONE story***

Verity Michaels is new to New York City, but even she knows riding in a stolen cab is not a normal way to meet someone. Damn it if that tattoo-covered would-be felon isn’t everywhere now, and lighting everything on fire under her skirt.

His name is Hudson Fenn, and he’s frustratingly impossible to pin down. He works as a bike messenger, but has the manners of a prince—along with a strange tendency toward breaking and entering. As much as Verity knows he’s not her type, and likely to land her in jail, she can’t help but find her truest self when they’re together.

Can she be brave enough to give Hudson a real chance? Will he be bold enough to reveal the man beneath the ink, or will his secrecy doom their connection? Also, WTF is the deal with Verity’s boss? No less than thirteen of your favorite romance writers have teamed up to tell this sexy, wacky, snort-inducing tale. With them you’ll visit the world’s most irritating office, a VIP room of questionable cleanliness, and the fanciest apartment a bike messenger has ever inhabited, but you’ll still never see this ending coming.


This was hilarious and cute. A lot of laugh out loud moments. I liked both Verity and Hudson, and they were great together.

I’ve read many collections of short stories from different authors and boxed sets of novels, but this is completely different. I was surprised not to feel any disconnect or distracting differences in style moving from one author to another. It was a great idea getting one or two chapters from each author and stringing them together. It was executed very well. It was also very well edited. I only found 3 errors in the whole book! The overarching plot with the mystery of the boxes was interesting and funny. Definitely not something I have seen before!

Contains several graphic sex scenes that were also very hot.

Occasional foul language.

3rd person past tense, all from Verity.

Currently free on Amazon.


Favorite Quotes:

“You’re the only Verity Michaels in the United States. It wasn’t that hard. And I wasn’t stalking you. I looked your name up once, and bam—your Twitter account popped up, along with the hashtag ‘pound Hudson’.”

The cats silently judged her. “What?” she asked. “Like you’ve never had a sex marathon with a hottie in an alley and then binged on kibble. Please.”

SEAL the Deal (Special Ops: Homefront Book 1) – Kate Aster

SEAL the Deal
Special Ops: Homefront Book 1
Kate Aster

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sweet contemporary military romance, currently free on Amazon

Blurb:

In the postcard-perfect seaside town of Annapolis, Maryland, the bestselling romance series begins…

Lieutenant Commander Mick Riley, a member of the fabled SEAL Team Six, can’t pull his eyes from Lacey Owens . Yet she is the type of woman he wants to avoid – the kind that gets him thinking about settling down, spawning kids, and finding lower-mortality employment.

Lacey has her own reasons for avoiding Mick. Tired of living in the shadow of her financial mogul sister, this real estate agent has tossed ethics aside to succeed, putting the tempting SEAL well out of her reach.

But when their circles of friends collide, Lacey can’t avoid Mick’s rock-hard abs and a smile that melts her into a pool of hot wax. Friendship blossoms and passion simmers… even as she struggles to conceal the unethical business plan that brought him into her life.

SEAL the Deal is a full-length novel about the fine line that divides friendship and love, and the unexpected joy of crossing it.


This was sweet. A nice, quick-paced read. There isn’t anything heavy here, no action, suspense, or mystery, no other overarching plot, just the romance. I liked the characters, though Lacey seemed a little down on herself, which I didn’t like. Mick was hot and honorable. But there just wasn’t anything very special or memorable about them. The sex scenes were kinda hot but not smoking. So just 3 stars from me, average. At least it is well edited. Only 3 errors found!

I have way more to say when I love or hate something.

3rd person past tense from Lacey and Mick.

Contains some graphic sex scenes, but not until halfway through.

352 pages.

Currently free on Amazon. Book 5 and Book 7 (a novella) are free. The others in the series are about $2.99 each.

Brady Remington Landed Me in Jail – Tijan

Brady Remington Landed Me in Jail
Tijan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Best friends to lovers with great small-town drama

Blurb:

Rayna would do anything for Brady and she has. She’s bailed him out of jail. She’s healed his bruises and picked him up from parties. She’s always been there for him regardless if he had asked or not. But when a potential love interest for Rayna returns to town, their relationship is threatened. Brady has to decide if he’s going to make her his or let her go. And when he tries to do the right thing by both of them, neither could’ve foreseen what secrets their decisions would’ve exposed. Their small town is soon rocked by controversy and in the midst of it, Rayna and Brady try to figure out if they can be together or not.


I love this book. I originally read it back in 2014. Even after all those years, I remembered a few things. “Get off!” – “I just did.” was my favorite. I thought of that recently and wanted to re-read this. I’m not going to put the quote here. It’s at the start of Chapter 2, which you can see in the Sneak Peek on Amazon. Tijan’s Fallen Crest series seems more popular, but this is my favorite of her books.

There is a lot of great humor here. It’s a fast read, quick paced. Tijan does soap opera drama very well. Whose father is whose and who slept with who and when, absentee parents, good surrogate parents to replace them, that sort of thing. I loved Rayna’s grandparents and other secondary characters.

Both Rayna and Brady grow during the story. I love both of these characters and how they interact. I don’t like that Brady has been having casual sex. It doesn’t seem like he was a real slut as I don’t know how many girls he has been with. But I don’t think he is a man-whore (doesn’t make the girls pay emotionally, doesn’t lie to get it).

All sex is off camera.

Occasional foul language.

1st person past tense, all from Rayna.

286 pages.

$3.99 on Amazon.

Standalone.

Errors: 33 (wrong words, extra words, missing words, misspelled words, wrong punctuation marks,  laughing/groaning/smirking/etc as dialogue tags, alright is not a word – it’s all right)

There is a never published start to a sequel called “Brady Remington Is My Boyfriend” that was abandoned. I have it and read it. It just stops with no resolution to the story but does have some actual sex scenes in it. I think Tijan posted the chapters to Facebook at one time, and I copied them into a Word doc. I feels like Tijan didn’t like where the story was going, and I would agree. Rayna was acting wish-washy and vague, not the great character that was in the actual book.


Favorite Quotes:

A tingle shot through my toes from his soft tone, but I clamped down on it. I didn’t need to be getting hot and bothered by him, not tonight. Not ever.

“You… you upheavaled my night. I wanted to stay in. I wanted to be boring. I like being boring, Brady”

I looked away when Clarissa sent a scorching glare at me. I wasn’t going to bend to her will and go against my grandmother. Viola had spoken.

The Scorpion’s Mate (Iriduan Test Subjects Book 1) – Susan Trombley

The Scorpion’s Mate
Iriduan Test Subjects Book 1
Susan Trombley

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A very alien-looking and delightfully unique alien SciFi romance

Blurb:

Claire has never really fit in with everyone around her, but she’s carved out a life for herself using her own unique style and artistic ability to support herself on the Internet. The last thing she expects is to be abducted by aliens and dropped into a research facility, where a genetically-engineered alien soldier chooses her as his life-mate.

Thrax’s pheromones are compelling, and his status as a fellow unwilling test subject makes them allies, but Claire isn’t certain she can trust someone who is convinced she belongs to him, when all she wants to do is find a way to return home to Earth—a place that her devoted alien can never follow, because there’s no way the scorpion-like alien would ever be able to pass for human.

Still, she’ll accept help where she can find it, so she doesn’t hesitate to escape with Thrax from the facility, though their time running from their pursuers in the warrens beneath the research facility will forever change Claire, and could make it impossible for her to return to Earth.

But will there be anywhere else in the galaxy they can go where their love will be accepted?


This alien romance features an alien hero who actually looks alien, strong language, violence, and open door intimate scenes.

Claire is abducted from Earth and awakens inside a research facility. When she first sees Thrax, she thinks he is going to kill and possibly eat her. Turns out he only wants to eat her in the good way.

I loved that Thrax was very alien-looking. It is difficult for us humans to imagine things we haven’t seen before, but Susan Trombley does a very good job of it! As the title and cover art suggest, the closest thing we have to Thrax on Earth is a scorpion. But Thrax is as much different from a scorpion as he is like one. He was genetically changed by their captors to me more like them, more humanoid, more human. He has a human mouth and tongue, and a working man-part, which he wants to use with Claire.

The most hilarious thing in the book is that Thrax can feed Claire with oral sex. He can consciously change the molecular makeup of what comes out of him. One of the things he can make is a fluid that meets all a human’s nutrition and water needs. It’s not just protein! Yes, you can suck him like a straw and not need any other food or water. The latest in handy-dandy survival tools! There are many other funny moments, but this takes the cake (as it is not needed anymore).

I also really loved Claire. She was smart, level-headed, not prone to panic or acts of idiocy, and had a great sense of humor. She was not an unrealistic super-character. Her strengths were all mental and emotional. A strong character, but not a fighter. Not kick-ass, until she has Thrax at her side. Claire taught Thrax to truly feel emotion. They make a great and powerful combination.

Their story is very good, fast-paced with world-building, interactions between the couple, and action scenes. There wasn’t anything I would have cut, nothing that bored me. I particularly enjoyed discovering the world as Claire did. Nothing was front-loaded. There were no data dumps. I read this very quickly and didn’t want to put it down.

This reminded me of Amanda Milo’s Stolen By An Alien series. There isn’t as much humor in it but still a good bit. I loved Amanda’s books, and I loved this.

1st person past tense from Claire and Thrax.

Contains graphic sex scenes, but only two main long ones, both very hot. There is a lot more story than sex here. I really like that we get a sex scene from Thrax’s POV.

Occasional foul language.

It has been very well edited. I found only 9 minor errors (missing words, wrong words, words that should be hyphenated, wrong punctuation, spaces before the first letter of paragraphs, and a blank line that didn’t look intentional).

290 pages.

$0.99 at Amazon and part of Kindle Unlimited.

Further books in the series are $2.99 or $3.99.