Themed Book Recommendations: Sci-Fi Romance

This list started out with me asking Twitter for recommendations of Alien Romances. It’s a sub genre I’ve seen around for ages, but never dipped my toe in. I didn’t know where. I didn’t (and still don’t) know if it’s even a genre I’d enjoy.

Twitter delivered in big ways. In no time at all I had a long list of Alien Romances and then some. That’s why the title of the post says Sci-Fi instead of just Aliens. You’ll find a bit more than just little green men in this list. For example, in one series you’ll find big blue barbarians instead.

I hope you find something great to read. I still have to figure out which I’ll be trying out myself. If you have other suggestions, please comment on this post with titles/authors.

And before you get to that list. I’d like to thank the following people from Twitter for helping create this list: @Daisy_Prescott, @cmhrose, @bokerah, @elle_rush, @mhowardwrites, @AlanaAlbertson, and @SarinaBowen

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

 

#Review: A Cupid in London, by Tom Caval

Title: A Cupid in London
Author: Tom Caval
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is our first Valentine’s Day together, so it has to be extremely special.

Harry is excited about his first Valentine’s Day with his boyfriend Will, who helped him get over a broken heart.

To be on time, he’s willing to do anything. He’ll even get on the bus dressed in a ridiculous costume that draws more than a few looks, while carrying a box of pink cupcakes.

But when he arrives home, ready to start the special evening in a sexy way, Harry’s jaw drops when he realizes that Will is not alone …

Single or not, treat yourself with this a funny and unapologetically cheesy gay Valentine’s short story, full of tender and unexpected moments.” (description from Goodreads)

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I had this story sitting on my Kindle for a few months. I needed a short read to have with my coffee this morning and I’m glad this was the story I picked up.

It’s a quick read. It’s a light read. But it’s also carrying a strong message. Acceptance and being open minded is how we should all be, especially when it comes to family. I liked how the scene between Noah’s father, Will, and Harry played out. It was a confrontation without a perfect outcome, but it still may have planted a seed for a better future for the family and for Noah. I’d like to see where this leads if the story is to continue later on.

I’m going to have to check out more of Caval’s work after reading this one. I have a feeling I’ll being enjoying it.

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If you’d like a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

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About the Author:

After years of dating men, Tom still considers himself as one who’s far from being an expert in the love domain; yet, being courageous, he continues to evolve and learns a bit about himself in the process.

Endowed with a creative mind and a witty perspective of a real world where one can have their fantasies come alive, his ingenuity with words, guy stories and the human nature, motivates him to put together his experiences into fiction-laced writing.

When he is not putting his characters into real trouble, Tom collects inspiration for his stories from his (and his friends) dating life, pop culture, reading Gay comedy romance, and exploring the nightlife. Tom’s idols are Sophie Kinsella, Candance Bushnell and Truman Capote.

Find out more:

#Review: Rainy Day Friends, by @JillShalvis

Title: Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone #2)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Rating: 4/5 stars

Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day Friends, Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. 

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.” (description from Goodreads)

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I recently read the first Wildstone book Lost and Found Sisters, which lead me to go buy the novella The Good Luck Sister. While I didn’t dive straight into that novella yet, I didn’t let myself wait too long before jumping into book 2 in the series Rainy Day Friends. I’m glad I decided to read this one when I did. Book 3 will be coming out in a month or two and it would have been too long of a wait to revisit the town of Wildstone.

What I like about this series is that each book really does stand on it’s own. With Shalvis’ romances, each series stands alone, yet they are also closely related and have interconnecting characters throughout. I really enjoy those other series, but Wildstone is a fresh change for me. This book is set in Wildstone, but instead of being set in town like the first book was, it mostly takes place on the Capriotti Winery. The winery is almost like a small town in itself with a family full of characters, gossip, and friendship.

For those familiar with Shalvis’ writing, you know what you’re going to get with her well-developed characters and how the multiple storylines weave together. Her writing is just as strong as ever in this one. If this ends up being your first Shalvis book, you’re in for a treat and possibly an increase in your TBR piles.

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If you’d like a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

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About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Review: When We Found Home, by @SusanMallery

Title: When We Found Home
Author: Susan Mallery
Rating: 4/5 stars

Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love… 

Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old. Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. But affection isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit…until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, humorous and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.” (description from Goodreads)

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I’ve been holding off reading this book for many months. When you buy a signed copy, you don’t want to ruin it with a silly thing like holding it and reading. Instead, I got my hands on the audiobook, and I devoured it like I have with the other Susan Mallery novels I’ve read.

Like her others, this novel had a big cast of characters and a few storylines throughout. While sometimes this can be confusing to a reader, it’s not the case with this book. Each character’s story and full arc is given it’s time to play out without getter overshadowed with any of the others. I really liked how it was all connected together and concluded.

There’s a strong theme of family throughout, which I see in much of Mallery’s work. Family is important, but when characters haven’t grown up with a real sense of what that can be like, the opportunity to learn appears. It was great to see the journey Malcolm, Keira, and Callie took to find what family meant to each of them and what life can be with a support system.

While I’m thought this was a great standalone that wrapped up how it should have, I’m also looking forward to reading the novella It Started One Christmas. It looks like it’ll continue Keira’s story a little bit. I think it will be nice to see how she’s grown over whatever time gap there is.

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You can buy this book from:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived.

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New Release: When We Left Cuba, by @ChanelCleeton

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life–and heart–to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly.

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez–her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future–but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything–not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart…

If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Chanel Cleeton is the USA Today bestselling author of Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick Next Year in Havana. Originally from Florida, Chanel grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

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New Release: Petal Plucker, by @irismorland

The man I hate might be the first one to pluck my petals…

Confession: I, Dandelion “Dani” Wright, am twenty-six years old and have yet to be deflowered. No man has hosed my hyacinth. Fondled my freesia. Diddled my daffodil.

You get the point.

My excuse?

I was too busy running my family’s flower shop and winning floral design competitions.

Suddenly that whole pesky virginity thing becomes a big deal when Jacob West walks back into my life. The boy I once loved. The same boy who humiliated me when he stood me up for prom.

This Jacob is no boy, though: he’s all man now—confident, charming, and so sexy my metaphorical blossoms are getting scorched. I can almost forget I’m supposed to hate him forever. Almost.

To make things worse, he’s my main competition now, since he took over his parents’ flower shop. If I give into this sizzling attraction between us, it could jeopardize everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve.

But if I’m not careful, he might not just be the first man to pluck my petals—he might also be the only man to capture my heart.

If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

A coffee addict and cat lover, Iris Morland writes sexy and funny contemporary romances. If she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys binging on Netflix shows and cooking something delicious.

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New Release: Colorado Cowboy, by @SaraR_Books (w/ bonus novella from @JayCrownover)

Come home to Topaz Falls, Colorado where a down-on-her-luck bull rider falls for the cowboy she can’t resist in this heart-warming western romance!

As a champion barrel racer, Charity Stone has learned to hold her own in the male-dominated rodeo world. There’s no cowboy she can’t handle…except for one. Officer Dev Jenkins has made it clear he doesn’t look at her like one of the guys. He’s caught her attention but Charity doesn’t do relationships–especially not with a cowboy. When she suddenly finds herself in charge of her thirteen-year-old nephew, who’s had a few brushes with the law, Charity has no choice but to ask for the deputy’s help.

Dev hasn’t stopped fantasizing about Charity since she moved to Topaz Falls, but she’s been hell bent on keeping her distance. When she comes to him for help with her nephew, he finally has the chance to make his move. Winning her over won’t be easy, thoughespecially when her nephew’s mistakes start to threaten his town. How can he do his job and still convince Charity he’s the cowboy for her?

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Contemporary romance author Sara Richardson has been a communications manager, copy writer, magazine editor, and whitewater rafting guide. The day after graduating with a master’s degree in journalism, Sara realized she was too empathetic to be a journalist and starting writing her first novel instead. A lifelong fascination with true love quickly led her to the romance genre.

Her Heart of the Rockies series was published by Grand Central Forever in 2015. In 2016, her debut novel, No Better Man, was nominated for a RITA in the best first book category. Sara is passionate about writing stories that inspire people to believe in love and always enjoys connecting with readers.

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A little about Jay Crownover too…

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.