The Slave Catcher by Lilia Ford 5*
BLURB: Star City, best known for its brothels and casinos, is one of the few planets in the quadrant that outlaws slavery—for everyone, that is, except the galaxy bullies, the Borathians. Telepaths and recent conquerors of a backwards planet named Earth, the Borathians are simply too powerful to refuse. A special treaty allows them to bring their pleasure slaves or “bonds” onto the planet, and if one escapes, they have five days to recover him.
Sam Beron, private locator, may have been born on a Maradi space cruiser, but Star City is his home now and he’d say he despises slavery as much as any native. Unfortunately, a run of bad luck at the casino tables leaves him flat broke and scavenging expired military rations out of a neighboring dumpster. Next thing he knows, the Borathians are offering him a fortune to track down one of their escaped bonds, a beautiful Earth boy named Liam. What's a hungry locator to do?
My Review: I picked this one up purely and simply because it was a Science Fiction m/m with a lovely cover picture and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of world building the author managed to get into this short story. I loved the characters and the mangled naming of stuff that was so believable and apt. I most especially loved the twist on the idea of slavery that the author manages to produce. I hope that the author intends to write more stories from this world of hers - I would love to read more about the bonded pairs.
The Gravedigger's Brawl by Abigail Roux 5*
BLURB: Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.
Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.
But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.
My Review:Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley. I am a real fan of the kind of story that feeds you facts in such a way that it's all so interesting you don't realise it and Ms Roux did that here with panache. This would be a perfect non-horrific spooky story to read for Halloween. The romance is an added bonus to a really good historical facts and ghostly goings on story. It was the perfect mix of everything you need in a good 'take me out of myself' story. I recommend that if you like this kind of story race to the nearest digital bookstore and buy it when it comes out on the 19th of the month.