Trustworthy by Astrid Amara

This is the second book in the sci-fi  Policy of Lies series and is a solid follow up. Ivo and Mack were involved when they were younger, but they’re separated after a battle with rebel forces. Years later Ivo, with no memory of his past, ends up taking Mack prisoner and the reunion begins.

It is definitely not all hearts and flowers and our heroes are certainly made to work for their happily ever. They’re on opposing sides of a corporation war and this becomes more apparent with a few surprising admissions from Mack. I enjoyed the world building, which was pretty dark and oppressive. There was plenty of snarky tension between the leads and it was super hot. Ivo has a unique and refreshing voice, despite his memory loss and I just adored Mack.

This was definitely enjoyable, but it felt a little short. If anything,  I wanted a little more from the novel, longer maybe and more depth. Good read and I recommend you check out A Policy of Lies. 

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
4 Stars
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Off World by Stephanie Vaughan.

Synopsis.
The year is 2132 and Caleb Adams has it made. He’s the good-looking son of an Area Governor, with all the money he could ever need and a ready made future in the Diplomatic Corps handed to him on a platter. He’s got everything in the world going for him and only one real problem: Caleb is gay and homosexuality isn’t just frowned on — it’s a crime punishable by death.

Sarhaan is the ideal soldier and for good reason: he’s the result of generations of genetic engineering. For years his government has conducted a secret project to breed the perfect soldier and Sarhaan and his teammates are the results of those experiments.

But things have begun to go horribly wrong and word of Dr. Elihu Rondi’s Super Soldiers is beginning to leak out. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are dying mysteriously. The work of a serial killer or something else — something even more sinister? When Sarhaan’s unit is blamed and Cal realizes he may have information that clears them, both must act.

Thrown together when Caleb tries to help Sarhaan’s team, the two men fight an attraction more powerful than any they’ve ever felt. But neither one got to where they are without learning to suppress their natural instincts and both men know desire can be deadly.

Caleb is found by two soldiers aboard a stolen ship. He is there to help the soldiers on the Vigilant but first must convince them he is not a spy… Convincing the handsome Sarhaan might not be too much of a hardship though! Merow!

Caleb’s best friend Daphne, who worked a coroner’s office, has died but Caleb does not believe her death was a mugging as reported. He believes that she was murdered to cover up whatever she has found out about a series of killings in Havana and Cuba. The men of the Vigilant are under suspicion for the murders and Caleb takes it upon himself to help the team escape framing by corrupt politicians on their home planet, Earth.

Initially I found Caleb to be a bit of an ingenue, but as I read on his spine began to show through and he was quite engaging in the 2nd half of the book. He becomes more than a match for the more physically imposing Sarhaan. Our big, tough, nasty “send in the marines” hero Sarhann was plenty smexy and has been living off world for some time. His sexual preferences are not an issue on the ship whereas on Earth they are illegal. He has had far more time to become comfortable with his sexuality than Cal and this was quite a sweet plot point. The intimate moments were hot for the most part but somewhat lacking variety… or maybe I am just jaded?? heh.

I guess the problem I had with this book was that you needed to read the synopsis very closely to help decipher what was happening in the book. Even then, I still spent the 1st 50 pages floundering a bit. It’s convoluted in parts and as its first novel of a series it suffers from trying build a complex world in 150 something pages. There were so many threads, often really great ideas, that were not fully fleshed out and just left hanging. It lacks the tightness of a Stephanie Vaughan’s stand alone novels and this did spoil my read just a bit. While not my favorite of her books she is an author to check out. 

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My Fair Captain by J. L. Langley.

Synopsis.
Talk about a compromising situation!

A storm of political intrigue, murderous mayhem and sexual hungers is brewing on planet Regelence.

Swarthy Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel Hawkins ran from a past he had no intention of ever reliving. But when his Admiral asks him to use his peerage, as an earl and the heir to a dukedom, to investigate a missing weapons stash, he’s forced to do just that. As if being undercover on a Regency planet where the young men are supposed to remain pure until marriage isn’t bad enough, Nate finds himself attracted to the king’s unmarried son.

All Prince Aiden Townsend has ever wanted was to be an artist. He has no interest in a marriage of political fortune or becoming a societal paragon. Until he lands in the arms of the mysterious Earl of Deverell. One look at Nate’s handsome face has Aiden reconsidering his future. Not only does Nate make a virile subject for Aiden’s art, but the great war hero awakens feelings in Aiden he has never felt, feelings he can’t ignore.

After a momentous dance at a season ball, Aiden and Nate find themselves exchanging important information and working closely together. They have to fight their growing attraction long enough to find out who stole the weapons and keep themselves from a compromising situation and certain scandal.

After seeing a few reviews for this recently I was compelled to do a re read, cause this book is just that good. I initially picked this up after seeing it sitting pretty on The Naughty Bits, I mean who could resist that cover? Shallow, much! I think the 1st time I read it I did not stop till it was done. Then, I counted the days till payday to placate the beleaguered credit card so I could get another Langley fix!

Aiden is so engrossed in his art and has no aspirations toward marriage. He is so innocent for a man of his age but not nauseatingly so, he certainly has backbone and is utterly captivated with Nate. The society is based on that of the Regency period and works well. It reminded me of a steampunk or cyberpunk kind of novel, errr minus the steam. Young men are chasete until marriage and this was one aspect of the world building that I was not sure would work, would they be kinda girly? I wondered if it would take away from their masculinity and how real blokes are just blokes. Weird thought, I know. But this was not the case. it was handled well and the fact that they respected this custom was seemless. I found Aiden to be an utterly charming character with surprising inner strength who was a perfect foil for Nate who is kinda dark and broody and hard and oh man, he is so drooly!

Nate is a bit of a strong, silent type who has risen fast in the ranks due to hard work and is a man worthy of respect. He has not had an easy life getting to where he is and this holds him back from becoming more intimate emotionally with Aiden. He is also aware that he is a Captain and has a duty to do his job and not totally debauch the local Royalty! Excellent self control…most of the time. He has a son, who he has adopted, after finding him abandoned in some space port. Awwww, guy with kid. (kid is a total hardass and cute to boot, hoping he gets book???)  Nate is just smokin and there is just a wee bit of top peaking out through the chest hair. Merow!

 I guess the best part for me of the book was the world building and the closeness of Nate and Aiden. The scenes with them alone in the lift, and when they’re kind figuring out the bad guys, are just beautiful, intimate and loving. Aidens obsession with Nate’s beard is so endearing and the smexin is incredibly hot. I would advise a close proximity to a freezer or fan when reading.

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