A satisfying, sexy, and fast-paced alien romance.

BARBARIAN ALIEN

From the Ice Planet Barbarians series

A human woman is kidnapped by an alien who believes she's his mate.

Liz has had a pretty bad week—she was stolen from her Oklahoma farm by little green aliens and transported millions of miles from Earth. After something goes wrong on the ship, the green aliens abandon Liz and the rest of the human women on a cold ice planet with two distant suns. The planet’s local inhabitants, the sa-khui, are a small tribe of large blue aliens that have developed a symbiotic relationship with the khui, a glowing space worm that helps their bodies withstand the bitter climate. The tribe has suffered devastating population losses from hunting accidents and sickness, leaving them fewer than 30 members, only 4 of whom are women. Raahosh is a hunter who resigned himself to a life of loneliness, but when his khui resonates for Liz, he knows she is his mate. Rather than chance being separated from her, he spirits her away to his hidden cave, hoping to prove himself worthy of her. Liz is furious at being kidnapped again and is determined to make as many choices as she can for herself. She demands to hunt with Raahosh, making her own bow and arrows to prove her worth. Raahosh and Liz have explosive chemistry and learn to respect each other’s strengths. Liz is an especially appealing character: feisty, brave, and stubborn. She’s the perfect match for the taciturn Raahosh, who wants to be loved for who he is and valued as an equal partner. In the background of their romance, Dixon shows how the sa-khui and humans are beginning the hard work of building a new culture together.

A satisfying, sexy, and fast-paced alien romance.

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-54603-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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Suspenseful and snarky with surprising emotional depths.

GIDEON THE NINTH

From the Locked Tomb Trilogy series , Vol. 1

This debut novel, the first of a projected trilogy, blends science fiction, fantasy, gothic chiller, and classic house-party mystery.

Gideon Nav, a foundling of mysterious antecedents, was not so much adopted as indentured by the Ninth House, a nearly extinct noble necromantic house. Trained to fight, she wants nothing more than to leave the place where everyone despises her and join the Cohort, the imperial military. But after her most recent escape attempt fails, she finally gets the opportunity to depart the planet. The heir and secret ruler of the Ninth House, the ruthless and prodigiously talented bone adept Harrowhark Nonagesimus, chooses Gideon to serve her as cavalier primary, a sworn bodyguard and aide de camp, when the undying Emperor summons Harrow to compete for a position as a Lyctor, an elite, near-immortal adviser. The decaying Canaan House on the planet of the absent Emperor holds dark secrets and deadly puzzles as well as a cheerfully enigmatic priest who provides only scant details about the nature of the competition...and at least one person dedicated to brutally slaughtering the competitors. Unsure of how to mix with the necromancers and cavaliers from the other Houses, Gideon must decide whom among them she can trust—and her doubts include her own necromancer, Harrow, whom she’s loathed since childhood. This intriguing genre stew works surprisingly well. The limited locations and narrow focus mean that the author doesn’t really have to explain how people not directly attached to a necromantic House or the military actually conduct daily life in the Empire; hopefully future installments will open up the author’s creative universe a bit more. The most interesting aspect of the novel turns out to be the prickly but intimate relationship between Gideon and Harrow, bound together by what appears at first to be simple hatred. But the challenges of Canaan House expose other layers, beginning with a peculiar but compelling mutual loyalty and continuing on to other, more complex feelings, ties, and shared fraught experiences.

Suspenseful and snarky with surprising emotional depths.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31319-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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A funny but uneven take on love at the end of the world.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE HOT GUY

It’s the end of the world as she knows it, but the Prince of Hell is fine.

Callie, a recent college graduate living back at home with her mother, is admittedly “flailing a bit” at adulthood. With no idea what to do with her history degree, she's helping to run The Great Escape, the family’s successful escape room business. But on Callie's first weekend taking the reins while her mom is away, all hell breaks loose—literally. A satanic cult headed by the blackhearted Solomon Elerion has been drawn to the occult-inspired escape room for a prop book of spells that turns out to be very real, hoping to summon a high-level demon. Their plan? To bargain for the location of The Holy Lance, which they will use to bring about the apocalypse. Luke Morningstar, Prince of Hell, is also finding adulthood harder than he imagined. He has yet to receive his wings and is under strict orders from his father to start harvesting souls for the underworld. When his supervisor, Lucifuge Rofocale, is summoned by Elerion, Luke goes in his stead with grand plans to accomplish this task and get his dad off his back. What he doesn’t plan for is Callie, their immediate attraction, or how much he wants to help her save the world. The author successfully creates a tongue-in-cheek supernatural adventure held up by witty banter and a ragtag team of heroic underdogs, including Callie's nonbinary best friend, the artistic and stylish Mag. But the lackluster instalove romance between a stereotypically bookish heroine and a demon who's supposed to be hot as hellfire but lacks any sinister devilishness, pacing that's off, and ham-fisted pop-culture references drag the novel down.

A funny but uneven take on love at the end of the world.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2507-7174-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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