Book #1 in the Women of Earth Series: Release 6/28/15
I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review
The people of planet Earth have suffered the tides of war for six long years, but it’s not their war. Earth is the battleground for the thousand year conflict between the invading Hahnshin and the Godan warriors of the Galactic Confederation.
Mira Donazetto’s only concern is for her family’s survival, so when she’s offered work as a translator for the Godan, she jumps at the chance and right into the arms of the new First Commander, Roark. Her heart says she should trust this alien warrior, but how can she when he has the power to take away everything she holds dear.
Roark’s new command post is a disaster with a long list of problems that he must address, including dissension among his officers. The last thing he needs is to have his heart touched by a woman who may be a traitor.
It’s a whole new world and a whole new love story in a whole new series called Women of Earth.
Roark is Ms. Rhoades first venture into the sci-fi branch of the romance genre. I was super excited when I heard she was going to start a new series and couldn’t wait to see what she did with the sub-genre. Overall I am delighted. This was a strong first in series novel and there are just a couple of detracting points I will make later. To readers that are hesitant to pick up a sci-fi book I wish to encourage you to give this one a try. At its heart this is still a romance story, with plenty of steam and spice while still giving us an interesting new type of world to explore. Everything you love about Ms. Rhoades’s other series is present in this new one; fun complex characters, heartwarming romance, an interesting look at a moral dilemma, and great dialog. She delivers all of this as she explores this new (to her) genre.
This book was fine line between a light-hearted romance and a much more serious urban fantasy feel to it. I loved both parts equally and enjoyed the switch back and forth. It kept the book from getting too heavy and bogged down while still giving the story some teeth. The beginning was not awkward per se, just off a bit and I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. It almost felt like Ms. Rhoades was trying on this new genre and it took her a few chapters to really feel comfortable in this new type of world. It could also be chalked up new series issues, I often find them feeling strange as all the rules and settings are worked out. Once we hit page 40 though I was sucked in, laughing out loud and grinning to myself as I read well past my bedtime and nearly finished the book in one sitting! Alas sleep was needed and my next day booked with chores so I needed to set it down even though I really didn’t want to.
So lets look at what worked for me and nearly had me reading all night. I LOVED Roark. He was every thing I wanted in a male lead in a romance read. He was so full of himself in the beginning I just couldn’t wait for Mira to set him straight. I also admired how honorable he was and willing to work to keep Mira in his life. He was pretty damn perfect in my eyes, of course near the end I so wanted to smack some sense into him, but I think that was part of what made him work so well. He had the necessary flaws to make him realistic and relatable, this is something Ms. Rhoades does and excellent job of when she creates characters to fill her worlds. I also really liked Mira and although she isn’t my favorite heroine of this author she would make the top three. She was strong, sassy and determine to find a way to make this new world/life work. I appreciated how resourceful she was and enjoyed her interactions with the Gordan’s. Beyond the two love interests my favorite two characters would have to be Mohawk and Harm. Mohawk we got to know quite well and I hope this foul-mouthed war hawk returns in future novels. Harm, I feel like we barely got a chance to know and I so want to know more! Ahnyis and Mason were fun too and I hope there is a future novella (or more) for these two. The only character I didn’t really care for was David. He just grated on my nerves and I had a tough time forgiving him once light was shined on his role in the plot. It will take a bit more work for me to warm up to him I think. But a good story will have a wide variety of characters and we don’t have to love them all.
So what didn’t work, not much. I already mentioned how the beginning felt off, but I also wish I knew more about how the world came to be this way. Ms. Rhoades did give us an explanation, but I guess I was just wanting more. I want to know more about the invading Hahnshin. I hope future books will touch on their race some more and I look forward to learning more about this war’s start and the different races’ history. Of course if the author gives us everything in the beginning then what is left to explore! Rhoades did a good job of creating her different races though. She made them easy to connect with as a reader yet different enough to give them that alien feel, not an easy task. I did enjoy how she made parallels to Earth culture and history and hinted at how they might be connected in the past.
This is a sci-fi romance that had a very familiar feel to it. If you are a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series or Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series I would highly suggest giving this world a try. The chemistry and interaction between characters couldn’t help but remind me of everything I love in Star Trek. A great first book in a new genre for this author and personally I am looking forward to what happens next!