Saturday, April 30, 2016

Choosing Riley & Paul's Pursuit by S.E. Smith

Title:  Choosing Riley
Series:  Sarafin Warriors #1
Author:  S.E. Smith
Publication Date:  March 13/13
Length:  266pgs
Genre:  SciFi Romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google PlaySmashwords

Back Cover Blurb:

Riley St. Claire has always followed her own rules. When she discovers her current employer is not as law abiding as she thought, she has to leave town in a hurry or end up buried with the dead guy she discovered. What she doesn't expect is to find herself being picked up by a passing trader from another world.

As the ruling King of Sarafin, Vox d’Rojah, was expected to produce a son who would be joined in marriage with the first born daughter of the King of Valdier. The problem was Vox had no intentions of having any sons, at least not in the near future. He was quite happy with the wide selection of females he had at his disposal. When he is captured by a ruthless Valdier royal and sold to a mining operation the last thing he expected to find with his bride mate.

Vox isn't sure which would be easier: fighting another war with the Valdier or capturing and holding onto the human female who is unlike anything he has ever encountered before.

Now, Vox has to escape back to his world while fighting pirates, traders, and Riley!

The King of Sarafin has met his match with Ms. Riley St. Claire from Earth. Now, he just needs to figure out a way to let her know he has chosen her as his Queen and he has every intention of keeping her by his side forever.

Author's Note: This series will follow along with the Dragon Lord series as it is based on the species they had fought during the Great War and later became friends with. Several of my readers asked me about these characters. Both characters have very vivid personalities.

My Review:

I felt as if I were living this story right alongside the characters.  Smith`s writing is so vivid that everything comes to life with ease.  Getting a look at Sarafin was both beautiful & fascinating.  I liked how the different types of aliens were developed.  Each is so different yet vividly and fully developed, giving you a sense of the universe at large.  The combination of war & intrigue, politics and friendship added an extra layer to this one of a kind romance.  The every forward moving plot was fast paced, keeping me captivated, while also telling a steamy tale of two characters that I really enjoyed.

There was a vast array of not just personalities but also of outlooks on life in this cast of characters.  Riley was a bit over the top at times.  It made her hard to take seriously, but also made the story pricelessly comical.  The way that Vox continually botches everything when around Riley humanized him and made him so much more loveable.  The Riley/Vox dynamic is telling not just of the characters involved, but also of the vastly different cultres that they come from. 

This novel was a great start to Smith’s Sarafin series.  I enjoyed reading it on its own and also the way that it ties back in to some of her other series, showing just how vast yet small the universe really is.

Title:  Paul's Pursuit
Series:  Dragon Lords of Valdier #6
Author:  S.E. Smith
Publication Date:  June 14/13
Length:  339pgs
Genre:  SciFi Romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★★+
Book Links: GoodreadsAmazon(US)Amazon(CA) - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google PlaySmashwords - Audible

Back Cover Blurb:

Paul Grove loves two things in the world more than anything else: his daughter, Trisha, and roaming the mountains and forests of Wyoming. One he would kill for, the other is who he is. He has spent his life devoted to his ‘little’ girl, even though she isn’t so little anymore. When she disappears, he focuses all of his hunting and tracking skills on finding her. The tracks he has found make no sense, the clues left behind unlike any he has ever seen before, and the disappearance of Trisha and her friends a mystery he is determined to solve. When his daughter unexpectedly returns with a warrior from another world, he realizes he has no choice but to return with her to her new home or lose her forever.

Morian Reykill is a High Priestess for the golden symbiots of their world known as The Gods Blood. She is their protector and a member of the Royal House of Valdier. When her first mate is killed she is devastated, for while he was not her true mate, they loved each other very much. She thought to join her mate in the next life but something told her it was not yet her time. She believes it is because of her five sons, all Princes of Valdier devoted to protecting their people and the Hive, the birthplace of the symbiots. When both her sons and her people are threatened, she will do whatever she has to in order to protect them.

Paul Grove finds love in the beautiful alien woman who takes his breath away. For the first time since his wife died when Trisha was a baby, Paul wants someone of his own to hold. When a madman threatens his new family and takes the woman he is determined to claim, he will use all of his skills in hunting, tracking and guerilla warfare to get her safely back by his side.

Morian discovers that the alien male who has claimed her is the true mate she has always hoped of having but thought an impossible dream. Will she be able to save him before a powerful Valdier Royal kills him as he did her first mate or will she lose not only her true mate but her entire family to a man obsessed with gaining control of the Hive and the people of Valdier?
She is willing to sacrifice anything, including her life, to protect them. What she does not know is that Paul is the ultimate predator when his family is in danger. For when he is in pursuit of an enemy, his prey never gets away.

My Review:

Suspense, sizzling romance, and some all-out alpha shifters in space: what more can a gal ask for? I had my heart on my sleeve throughout and tears more than once. At the same time, I laughed and loved alongside the characters and also found myself sitting on the edge of my seat as the suspense ramped up. I liked how certain scenes were shown from different perspectives. I gave me a real sense of the big picture. The connection between Paul telling Trisha that her mother was in the stars and the current story was both ironic and heart wrenching. It also helped to bring Valdier and its culture forward, playing a prominent role in the tale.

I thought that Morian, her dragon, and her symbiot were hilarious. Their banter along with their desires were all very clear. Her history was fascinating. Not only was it her personal history but it was also the history of the royal family. This put a lot into perspective with respect to Raffvin (who was absolutely batty, by the way). I love how Paul became so much more than simply the solid hero we’ve previously known. That’s still there, but by getting to know him so much better you really see how much more there is to this fantastic alpha hero. His resolve and determination to do right by his daughter, even if not in standard terms, was fantastic. His skill had me constantly reassessing him.

Paul and Morian are the perfect couple. The little bit of doubt that they have at the beginning makes it all the more real. I thoroughly enjoyed the twist on dragon fire here. I also appreciated the stilted speech pattern of Paul’s dragon. It really allowed the conversations to stand out while also showing just how young Paul’s dragon really was.

This novel was a real winner from cover to cover. Smith had me crying in the prologue, laughing throughout, and gasping in suspense. This is definitely a must read story for all those who enjoy a good romance with a kick.

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