Bobbi and the Beast by Selina Qinby 4*
BLURB:Once upon a time, there was a handsome king who trusted no one. He brought many bedmates to his concrete castle overlooking the city, but allowed none to say an entire night, for he believed love was beneath him. Then a vengeful witch placed a curse upon him, turning him into a beast by night. By day people sensed his savageness and turned away from him. Shunned and feared, the king learned the meaning of true loneliness.In the city below lived a beautiful young man named Bobbi who struggled to support his family. Outlaws abducted him and dragged him to a dark forest, but they didn't know someone lurked in the shadows.
That night the beast would kill, an exiled king would fall in love and a curse might be broken.
My Review: I love Beauty & the Beast stories and, for a short m/m tale, this one managed to be both full and truly sweet. My only complaint is that we don't find out more about Shawn.
Eleutherios by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller 5*
BLURB:Godsmere Abbey: once a citadel of hope and learning, now a fallen stronghold reduced to decay and a place of imprisonment for petty criminals on a planet in decline. Friar Julian knows he might at least hear beautiful music once again if the abbey’s organ can be made to sing once more. Enter alleged thief Niku, who claims he can repair the organ—for the price of his freedom. A tale of the Liaden Universe® from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
My Review: Although set in the vastly popular Liaden Universe this story can be read with absolutely no previous knowledge of it needed. A wonderfully clever result that makes for an enjoyable half hour read. I especially liked the happy ending.
Callum of Drakkar Coven by Leigh Jarret 5*
BLURB:Laramie had grown up listening to stories regaling Lord Callum's strength and beauty, but also warning of his ferocity and bloodlust. But was it true? Were Lord Callum and his brothers really vampires? Laramie's first glimpse of Lord Callum set his heart racing, partially out of fear, but mostly out of fascination and Lord Callum took note of that, pleased to have found his next plaything.
My Review: This is an unusual vampire story that doesn't flinch from portraying vampires as bloodthirsty monsters yet still managed to make me feel sympathetic towards the main character. I am going to have to look for more Drakker Coven books to find out what happens next and if the nasty vampire gets his come uppance.
With The Lightnings by David Drake 4*
BLURB:Daniel Leary is a lieutenant in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy with no money and no prospects since he quarrelled with his ruthless, politically powerful father. Adele Mundy is a scholar with no money and no prospects since her family was massacred for conspiring against the Government of Cinnabar. Kostroma is a wealthy planet which depends on diplomacy to stay independent in a galaxy whose two great powers, Cinnabar and the Alliance, battle for supremacy. In a few hours, diplomacy is going to fail Kostroma. Daniel, Adele, and the scratch crew they gather aren't much to stand in the way of a powerful invasion fleet, but just possibly they're enough.
My Review: I love military Science Fiction and have read collaborations by this author in the past so decided to try one by him alone. I was very pleased with my decision as this turned out to be an action packed adventure with wonderful characters.