Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Cornering Carmen & A Warrior's Heart by S.E. Smith

Title:  Cornering Carmen
Series:  Dragon Lords of Valdier #5
Author:  S.E. Smith
Publication Date:  December 13/12
Length:  313pgs
Genre:  SciFi Romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★★
Book Links:  Goodreads - - - B&N - Kobo - Indigo - Google PlaySmashwords - Audible

Back Cover Blurb:

Carmen Walker has spent the last three years of her life focusing on avenging the murder of her husband. Following leads to the man responsible, she finally has a chance to bring closure to the overwhelming pain and grief that is slowly eating away at her. Catching a ride on the business jet her sister is co-piloting, she heads to California to meet with her informant. Plans change when one of the women on board is kidnapped when they land and Carmen is mortally wounded. She wakes to find herself on board an alien warship heading to a distant world.

Creon Reykill's skills as a warrior are legendary among the Valdier. He is credited with ending the wars between the Valdier and the Cruizan and Sarafin worlds and building a strong alliance with their former enemies. But, that victory came at a cost. Creon has given up hope of ever finding his true mate, believing his soul is too dark to ever be gifted with one.

That all changes when a small, delicate female unlike anything he has ever seen before is brought to his world. The moment he sees her, he knows she belongs to him. His dragon will do anything to claim her, his symbiot will do anything to protect her, and he would do anything to chase the shadows from her eyes. For he knows he has found the light to his darkness.

Now, the challenge will be to corner her long enough for her to realize he is the only one in the universe who can heal her shattered heart. She will fight him at every turn to return home to finish what she has started. He will do everything in his power to keep her by his side. It will take every skill he possesses to stay one step ahead of her.

Can he convince her to give love a second chance before she risks everything - including her life - for revenge?

My Review:

Smith has created a fun, action packed, sizzling SciFi romance that packs one heck of a powerful message. The vivid, action packed tale took me completely out of this world. The fast pace of the story kept me on my toes while the romance builds from the ashes of where both of these characters have been. This story definitely had me crying happy tears at the end.

Seeing Carmen’s past shredded me. I enjoyed seeing Carmen’s views on her actions and reactions. It gave insight into her psyche. I love how Creon loves and cherishes the contradictions that are the essence of who Carmen is. His first reaction to Carmen was hilarious and served to highlight the differences between the two cultures that we get up close and personal with here. Creon’s dragon is also absolutely priceless. It might just be my favourite yet.

His was yet another fantastic escape into the world of the Dragon Lords of Valdier. I loved every moment of it and I definitely can’t wait to see what happens with Mel.

Title:  A Warrior's Heart
Series:  Marastin Dow Warriors #1.1
Author:  S.E. Smith
Publication Date:  January 4/15
Length:  83pgs
Genre:  SciFi Romance
Shelf:  own
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Ben and Aaron Cooper’s life had never been one of ease. Deserted by their mother and raised by a drunken father, they fought to survive on the Kansas farm where their father worked. Life deals them a horrendous twist when they are kidnapped by an alien trader and sold.

Ben, the oldest by sixteen months, convinces the aliens who enslave them that he and Aaron will die if they are separated. It is the only way he can think of to keep them together and protect his younger brother.

The next fifteen years prove to be the most challenging of their lives. They do what they have to in order to survive. They are convinced their time has come to an end when the freighter they are on is attacked by a species known for their lust for blood and killing.

Evetta and Hanine Marquette are Marastin Dow; a species whose leaders thrive on living in the old ways where only the strongest, most ruthless are allowed to live. The life expectancy for most Marastin Dow is short, especially on one of the warships that all Marastin Dow, male or female, are expected to serve a mandatory service. Advancement usually comes by murder.

Evetta and Hanine want a different life and work together to stay alive in the hopes of finding a life away from the constant threat of death. Life changes for them when they encounter two strange and unusual alien males.

When the males’ lives are endangered, there is only one thing these warrior women can do to save them… run!

My Review:

What an intense story! Smith mixes action with adventure and genuine people with emotions in this quick yet rewarding read. The plot is suspenseful and wrought with danger. She also developed a romance so hot that I think I saw steam coming from my ereader at one point. I enjoyed this look at the culture and beliefs of the Marastin Dow & the growing resistance of the few. I found this beginning in the shift of a cultural paradigm almost as intriguing as the fantastic character that Smith has falling in love throughout the tale.

This is one of those rare tales that had me so captivated throughout that I have very few words to express it now. It’s both a brilliant intro into Smith’s work and the perfect segue into a new and demanding culture.

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