Category Archives: Science Fiction

Books focusing on how science and technology affect individuals and civilizations.

Alpha Trine by Lexi Ander

Alpha TrineAlpha Trine by Lexi Ander
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Less Than Three Press
Novella:  49,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar’Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents’ court refuse to ever trust a frail human.

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psonics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they’ve brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.

Excerpt

This was a great book for the beginning of a series.  The world building done by the author was tremendous.  There are lots of different characters and worlds to describe to set up the story.  The author did well with integrating it with the story line so the reader doesn’t get this HUGE info dump that just bores and takes away from the story.  Instead she dives into it and gives us enough to not get lost and the rest we receive along the way without really noticing what the author is doing.

The characters the author created are very vivid and realistic.  Dargon is so arrogant and has to be taken down a notch.  Zeus is an interesting character.  I love that Zeus was adopted and then treated so much the same by his family.  I thought the author did a good job of setting it all up so you could see how a child like Zeus was struggled with the fact that he is but isn’t a race.  He was also very discerning when it came to skills.  He and Dargon did well with figuring out how to attack a problem.  The side characters are interesting and I am anxious to see what the author has in store for the whole group.

Though this is the first in a series and as the author leaves it there are a lot of loose ends but she does a good job in wrapping up this story in such a way that you aren’t climbing the walls waiting for the next book.  No cliffhangers!  Gotta like that;)

It was stated at the beginning of the story that this was created by a prompt from a group.  From that this series was born and the author was obviously inspired by it.  It is amazing what can come out of a fun prompt writing project!

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No Quarter by Christine d’Abo

No QuarterNo Quarter by Christine d’Abo
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Novel:  63,805 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  2
 

Book 1 in the Bounty series.
When bounty hunter Gar is given a simple locate-and-retrieve mission, he’s convinced it’s a waste of his skills. His success rate is legendary, and this assignment is almost too easy.
There isn’t a more prolific space pirate in the galaxy than Captain Faolan. When he walks into a bar with a proposition heavy in mind, he’s not expecting anything to go wrong.
Forced from his solitary existence to work with Faolan, Gar can’t deny his need and desire for a man who he should put in prison. When the hunter becomes the hunted, Gar must learn to put his faith in a man he doesn’t know, or run the risk of ending up dead.

Excerpt

This was a space pirate and bounty hunter book.  The idea of which isn’t real new.  Gar is a well known bounty hunter, known for getting who he is after.  He is a cold man that has a fairly clean living reputation.  Faolan/Wolf is a pirate.  He lives in the now and makes the most of his time.  He is also very successful and known as to never leave a crewmember behind.

The writer did a good job with the writing in the story.  The world created wasn’t full but what was given was very well detailed.  I think though that the author made it a bit shallow.  There was very little background ever given about the world.  You are actually left knowing very little about what seems to be a major conflict within this world.  Also this is an action type adventure but I really didn’t feel the excitement of that type of read.  It seemed like the sex scenes lasted the longest of anything.

The characters were vivid.  I loved their attitudes.  Gar’s decline in character from this cold fighter to a much warmer one was well done.  I think because of this shift some readers will be turned off.  Gar’s character in the beginning makes a much better read for some.  I get that the character was hiding but there is something about a ridged man giving in to love that just makes some of us gush.

The read was good but not great.  It just felt a little to cliché.  It becomes boring and the characters didn’t click with me.  I didn’t get into the feel of the book so it wasn’t what it could have been.

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Sub Zero by Angel Martinez

Sub ZeroSub Zero by Angel Martinez
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Amber Quill Press, LLC
Novella:  40,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Major Aren Dalsgaard’s newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the natives have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Aren should be the ideal Special Investigations officer for the assignment. So what’s the problem? Drass is where he died, more than a hundred and twenty years ago.

Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a cryo-revived investigator who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. Major Dalsgaard could be crazy or he could be lying, but the sincerity in his spring-green eyes disturbs Nyachung more than anything else he encounters in the foreigners’ city.

Now, confronted with mysterious black boxes and a beautiful yet evasive young man as a prime suspect, Aren hopes he can solve the murders before his fierce sexual attraction to Nyachung gets the better of him…

 Excerpt

Aren is the main character of the story.  He is a man lost in a future world.  Aren had been a linguist and a xenologist when he met with a man on Drass and fell in love.  He and his lover died in an accident and Aren was frozen by his government.  Now he has been revived over a hundred years later and all he knew is gone.  He now works as an investigator and is sent back to Drass to investigate a group of murders that is happening there.  Nyachung is a “native” of the planet Drass.  He is of the same race as Aren’s lover.  Nya is also the one that the authorities arrests for the murders that have happened in the city.  Now Aren must find out what is happening and what to do about his sudden attraction for Nya.

The world building that the author did in the book was amazing.  In short order without a huge info dump we are able to learn so much about the world we enter into.  Aren is an interesting character.  It is obvious that he was a rebel and believed in doing right.  Even now in this unknown future he struggles to make sure that what he believes is right it done even if it goes against the current bigotry and racism.  Aren isn’t current to the times but he does remember how hatred works and when things don’t make sense.

Nya is a singer.  When I first heard this and realized that the author was most likely to put these two together I couldn’t believe it.  A singer with a ledged and rebel, because that is what Aren is to Nya’s people.  Until I understood Nya’s people I didn’t think a singer would be a big role player in this world.  I love that Nya’s people are so peaceful.  They are a wonderful culture that I’m sure we all wish there were more like.  I think that human nature as it is took advantage of this sweet race of people.  I’m glad to see Aren return and help them.

This story is a really lovely one.  The writing was excellent and the characters and world just vibrant.  I really enjoyed the read.  I will say some may have difficulty with Aren and Nya’s relationship considering that Aren’s death, along with his lovers, seemed to him to have occurred a short time ago.  Some will wonder about the amount of time that Aren seems to have grieved for his lost love.  I will say it seemed to have been really quick.  I would have enjoyed seeing that play out a bit more.  The route to love seemed to get drowned in the story itself.

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When I Fall by Belinda McBride

When I FallWhen I Fall by Belinda McBride
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Novel:  52,661 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

As king, Helios Dayspring is desperate to secure the future of his people and their new homeworld. His lost memories are slowly returning, bringing with them danger and betrayal.

As the king’s consort, Griffin Hawke wrestles with growing isolation from his lover. When Helios’s secrets begin to come to light, Griffin finds that he barely recognizes him anymore. And Griffin is haunted by his own secrets, nightmares that bring torture and death in his sleep.

Surrounded by enemies and allies, seductive aliens and dangerous operatives, Helios and Griffin find themselves tested to their physical and moral limits. Not knowing who to trust, they can only turn to each other.

Will you be there to catch me when I fall?

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, violence.

Excerpt

This is the second book in the An Uncommon Whore series.  I really didn’t think this was as good as the last.  This time the POV is from Griffin.  I did feel the author let down a lot of readers in the way he was portrayed.  He was a very insecure man.  I think this wasn’t too unexpected given how he was about his scars and eye but he really went off the deep end about secrets.  I really believe a man of Griffin’s position would understand and know that Helios would have secrets, that as king and priest, he couldn’t reveal to ANYONE.  Griffin is even keeping one and instead of being understanding he is suspicious and jealous of everything.  This might have to do with the way his relationship changed so dramatically with the two men’s return to their people but it did have a negative impact on the character.

The world building was much better in this book.   We learned a little more about everything in this story.  I was glad that Helios seemed to take well to being a leader.  It was interesting to see him through Grif’s eyes.

The writing was good.  The plot line was easy to follow and made sense.  I was disappointed in the overall story line though.  I thought there would be a little more focus on the relationship between the two men but it felt like it was more about the new world and the people’s growth there and in politics.  I really felt out of the story.  I couldn’t connect to most of the story line and really didn’t become involved until the end when the tide seemed to turn back to the two men and their family.

Overall I think the story was good just not good enough to capture and hold me.  I hope that the next book in the series will find a balance between the world building and the relationship.

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Butt Pirates in Space by Kiernan Kelly, Kage Alan, Angelia Sparrow, T.C. Blue, and Shae Connor

Butt Pirates in SpaceButt Pirates in Space by Kiernan Kelly, Kage Alan, Angelia Sparrow, T.C. Blue, and Shae Connor
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  MLR Press, LLC
Novel:  88,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  2
 

Strap yourself in and strap something on as you’re transported across galaxies and lifetimes by Kiernan Kelly, Kage Alan, Angelia Sparrow, T.C. Blue and Shae Connor. Whether it’s an interspecies pregnancy between two hormonal males, a swashbuckling group of pirates, or free gifts that talk, you’ll soon learn why in space, no one can hear you cream. Open wide for BUTT PIRATES IN SPPAAACCCEEE!

What to Expect When Your Boyfriend is Expecting
What fun is a cross-species pregnancy without an old-fashioned kidnapping to shake things up?

Spacehunters
The Future of Perfect Love Is A Bitchfest!

B’Utopia
There are times when even a space pirate needs to do the right thing. This isn’t one of them.

Free Gift with Purchase
Sometimes the free gifts are the ones that keep on giving…whether you want them to or not.

Pride of the Rangers
Disgraced Lieutenant Commander Cliff Cody of the Space Exploration Rangers escapes from prison and turns pirate.

Excerpt

“What to Expect When Your Boyfriend is Expecting” by Shae Connor

This was a cute, little story.  Yes, it is shallow but it is fun.  We learn really little about the main character, Zeke.  We know for some reason he came to a different planet in the second landing of humans and met his boyfriend there.  They had a quick relationship and moved in together.  Zeke had no idea that his boyfriend could get pregnant and of course he does.  Now the two are the first cross-species pregnant couple.  They get word that privateers are after his boyfriend and baby.  Poor Zeke ends up in their clutches though.

I really liked the background of the story.  All the little details that make up this world are interesting.  Zeke is a smart man and knows he and his boyfriend are in love and never wavers in his faith in his boyfriend.  I would have loved to have seen more of the background and surrounding story of these two.  I think it would have made an excellent novella with a little more detail.  As is it is just a cute short.

Roses: 3

“Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” by Kage Alan

This was a lighthearted story that was more about humor than story.  It was hilarious!  Some of the “cult” names…lol.  Jayden and Chace are boarding a station illegally to get a scroll.  It is never said what is on the scroll.  It really doesn’t seem to matter in the scheme of things.  Jayden and Chace snark back and forth the whole story long.  At times it is not always easy to follow them but that is the fun of the story.  As I said this is more about humor than anything so the plot and all else is pretty thin, but it is an enjoyable read as it is.  The only trouble that I had is that I got so tired of all the names…it got a little ridiculous.

Roses:  2

“B’utopia” by Kiernan Kelly

Hmmm, this one just didn’t catch me.  I thought that Rictor was interesting but personality challenged and Jerrick was just…Blah.  The whole premise of the story sounds good but the actual story just was too over the top for me.

Roses: 2

“Free Gift with Purchase” by T.C. Blue

This was a very interesting story.  It is a well thought out one.  I loved the characters.  The story could have had a little more detail too it.  It was tough to be in a short that had so much thrown at you so quickly with little time to truly absorb it.  It could get a little confusing.  I enjoyed the characters.  Mama was a very interesting addition and Miss Jocelyn Uranus, lol!!!  Ah, it was a very enjoyable read.

Roses: 4

“Pride of the Rangers” by Angelia Sparrow

This book was definitely not for me.  I didn’t like the characters.  The premise itself was good but it had little feeling in it.  There was lots of sex but it was stilted and lacked any emotional connection for me as a reader.  It also made no sense to me how Cade, Jake, and Frank ended up together.  There really wasn’t a connection there.  I didn’t feel or see it.  I had no sense of Jake and Frank as characters.  One minute Cade hates everyone the next in love…yeah, no.

Roses:  1

Overall the book is trying to be funny and lighthearted but really just ended up being too over the top to really enjoy.  I know this was supposed to be funny but mostly I was glad to finish the book.

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City of Foxes by Cornelia Grey

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The last thing Jake Sullivan wanted to do upon returning to the city was get involved in the ongoing struggle between the organized militia and the fox people. After saving a fox child from bullies, however, he finds himself in the heart of the foxes’ slums, where showing his face as a human can be just as dangerous as messing with the militia in the city proper. The proximity of Liam, a white fox with healing powers, certainly doesn’t make things any easier. The attractive fox throws his own powers into an uncontrollable overdrive, not to mention his libido.

When several of the fox people are captured by the militia, Jake’s presence is like salt on old wounds. Prejudices and politics flare, and Jake’s secrets threaten to ruin his shaky alliance. If they are to save the foxes taken by the militia for experimentation, it will take all the cunning and power the clan can muster. Unfortunately, that also means they’ll have to put their trust the one place they’d never imagined: in the hands of a human.

Expert

This is a short story that I find I like but I wish was much longer.  Jake is human and comes across some bullies that are mistreating a child who turns out to be a fox, he gets injured and meets Liam, who is  a  white fox and is acting as the leader of his group  in the absence of the chief who was taken to the “lab”. This is a story that is told from Jake’s point of view and the humor between the characters is fast pasted, and has some lines that just makes you laugh out loud. The story is fast over all, grabs at you and is almost impossible to put down, the only sad part is that it ends, but it ends and leaves you feeling like what?? I know I wanted to flip a page and find out more so I Hope another book is coming and this is the first. The author has made me a true fan with this story the writing is humorous, fast pasted and just fun

A very sweet love story that I would have to keep  in my re read bag.

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Infected: Undertow by Andrea Speed

Undertow by Andrea SpeedInfected: Undertow by Andrea Speed
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  344 Pages
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  4
 

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

Now Roan is locked in a coma as the struggle between his human and werecat sides reaches a new extreme. All Dylan can do is sit, wait, and think.

Meanwhile, Roan’s assistant, Holden, wants to shed his old street life and his relationship with Scott, but he can’t seem to do either. Holden doesn’t want a relationship with Scott but finds himself drawn to him all the same, even if he can never fully reveal his past.

With Roan out of commission, Holden looks into the murder of an old friend. At the same time, Fiona takes on a case about underground death matches between infecteds —one with connections to the Church of the Divine Transformation.

Finally Roan wakes only to discover that his shifts have new consequences. His lion’s strength is growing, and he can’t hide from it any longer….

Excerpt

This is the seventh book in the “Infected” series.  This series was actually started as a blog story and grew and grew.  These aren’t really romances either.  The series is focused on Roan McKichan and his life.  Roan is a virus child, born with the Werecat virus.  Most virus children do not survive and NONE as long as Roan.  Roan is unique in the world, hated and feared by many.  Roan has a rocky road in life that never sees Roan get much peace.  Dylan is Roan’s husband and Roan’s happiness.  The two are very different but somehow they need each other.  But again this isn’t a romance, Roan and Dylan’s relationship aside.

Andrea Speed writes a story that is fascinating.  The characters are so different and they suck you into the story.  Roan’s troubles grip you and leave you wondering what kind of situation he will find himself in next.  You root for him and mourn for him.  In this book Roan is so troubled by how he is changing, he worries constantly if he can “control” his lion.  Roan’s life is also going through some changes.  Two of his hockey friends are leaving with his secretary and friend, Fiona, considering going with one of them.  Holden/Fox is also changing and getting more involved in Roan’s business.  Holden is also involved with Scott, another hockey player, but doesn’t want to be.

There is always a bit of mystery in the storyline.  It isn’t always hard to figure it all out but it is interesting to follow what happens.  Just like in the rest of the series there are lots of times Roan has to “lion out” to deal with runaway cats.  Roan shows how tough his is not just physically but mentally in the book.

Overall I have always loved Roan in this series.  Andrea Speed keeps bringing him to life in my mind as I read through this series.  The books in the whole of the series are character driven.  This particular book didn’t hold the power of some of the previous books in the series but it was a solid read.  I feel like there is a lot still going on with Roan and that the series is going to be one that I will continue to enjoy.  (5 roses for the series!)

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All Wrapped Up by Various Authors

perf6.000x9.000.inddAll Wrapped Up by Laylah Hunter, Thea Hayworth, Gryvon, and Morgan Harcourt
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Storm Moon Press
Anthology:  80,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

Tentacles are a taboo subject for most, something most people look at from between their fingers as they hide. But for a growing number of people, it’s a subject that is fascinating and sexy! Tentacle erotica has been around for ages, fromThe Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife to Demon Beast Invasion—it’s a genre that is here to stay. All Wrapped Upexplores this genre through the lens of gay erotic romance, offering four science-fiction and fantasy stories featuring tentacled heroes in all their wiggly glory.

The men in Ground Mission are podmates, a matched set: Simon Pollux, the lethal scout, and Adrian Lovasz, his willing and even more lethal combat specialist. In the midst of exploring an alien world, Simon is infected with an alien virus; to what lengths will Adrian go to ensure Simon’s comfort? In the wood-locked town of Orm, ranger Koster meets the mysterious Irsing: the guardian of the forest. Is he the one letting the forest turn to wilds, or is the forest turning to wilds on its own? In Wildwood, Koster aims to do whatever it takes to set things right.

Eli exchanges his a life of poverty in Dark Covenant when tricked into signing a contract giving himself to the masters of the Academy. His body, his movement, his life is theirs to do with as they wish, until the enigmatic Eramus offers Eli his power—if Eli will join with him. Sebastian Reed lives on the legal limits in Situation Normal, barely scraping by in his hunk of junk ship until a Peace Officer, Ten, commandeers his ship… and his body. Not that Sebastian minds, except for wondering exactly where it is that Ten means to take him.

Excerpt

Ground Mission” by Laylah Hunter

This was a fun tale.  Since this is by necessity a short story, it will be a little shallow.  The author does a good job of making you involved with the two main characters.  Adrian is the storyteller so you get all information from his viewpoint.  Adrian and his “podmate,” Simon are soldiers.  They have been frozen and then only defrosted for missions.  As the blurb states Simon is infected by…something when they go on a mission to a planet that all colonists have mysteriously disappeared from.  The two men are interesting contrasts that make the story interesting and very sexy;)  Roses: 3

Wildwood” by Thea Hayworth

I must say this story is very interesting.  I would love to see more of this world.  The author did a wonderful job in setting up the world and telling the story in such a limited word count.  Koster is such an interesting character and we get most of the story from his point of view.  Irsing considers himself just too different for people to accept.  Koster is just stubborn enough to challenge Irsing’s beliefs and maybe in the process bring the forest back under control.  Be prepared for a rather abrupt ending!  Roses:  4

Dark Covenant” by Gryvon

Eli is such a grown up in some ways and such a boy in others.  Eramus is a mysterious figure in most of the story.  The characters really made the story.  I think keeping Eramus so mysterious really worked for the story and made me keep reading just to find out more about him.  The story was a bit predictable but I loved the characters so much I would love to see more of them.  Roses:  3

Situation Normal” by Morgan Harcourt

This one was a light BDSM and not light because of the characters but we are just not shown much of it.  Sebastian is a high risk taker.  He loves to push people’s buttons to get what he wants.  Ten is a cop who takes over Sebastian’s ship to peruse a criminal.  This is a very sex driven plot.  Yes, there is a bad guy but it’s not a scene that holds my interest much.  I like the characters but overall the story was…meh.  Roses: 2

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Aliens, Smith and Jones by Blaine D. Arden

Aliens Smith and JonesAliens, Smith and Jones by Blaine D. Arden
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Storm Moon Press
Novel:  75,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

Connor Smith works for Primrose, an organization tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. It’s a job that doesn’t know the meaning of “nine-to-five”. It also doesn’t leave much room for a social life, a complication that Connor hasn’t minded, until now. At the prodding of his best friend, Connor reluctantly puts himself back in the dating pool, even though it means lying about his remarkable life.

Elsewhere, Noah Jones has led a remarkable life of his own. Stranded on Earth in 1648, Noah was forced to transform himself permanently into human form to survive. He soon learned that in doing so, he’d become effectively immortal, aging only at a glacial pace. Alone, with no way to contact his people or return home, Noah becomes a silent observer of human civilization—always in the world, but never of the world. Then, hundreds of years later, he sees a face in a crowd and instantly feels a connection that he thought he’d never feel again. But he’s too late: Connor’s already taken.

Destiny is not without a sense of humor, though, and the two men are pulled inexorably closer, snared by the same web of dangers and conspiracies. Worse, Primrose is now aware of Noah, and they aren’t ones to leave an alien unrestrained. So while Connor struggles to understand the strange pull he feels toward Noah, forces without as well as within are working against them to keep them apart.

Excerpt

Our story starts out with Connor Smith out on a mission for Primrose.  Primrose is a very interesting government agency working in England.  Connor and his Best Friend work for Primrose as “Personal Assistants”.  To the world they are PA’s working for a security company but in truth they are working as PA’s for top Lieutenants at Primrose and being field agents.  Connor is a lonely guy whose friend sets him up a lot trying to find him a man.

Noah Jones is an alien that was stranded here on Earth and force to become “human” in order to survive.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, in so doing he made a small error and now ages EXTREMELY slow.  He is missing his home and so lonely for the mental touch of another.  He has only managed this once before and has given up hope of ever feeling it again when he stumbles across Connor Smith and their unlikely connection.

This is a bit of a different spin on the same idea of aliens and government agencys.  Primrose is such a unique idea from most other books dealing with like materials.  I was honestly surprised by the idea of an agency like them.

The story line takes a while to develop the relationship between Smith and Jones so don’t be surprised by this.   As matter of fact Smith has a boyfriend though most of the book.  Jones and Smith are very refined in how they handle this situation as well.

There wasn’t a good build up in the mystery that is involved in the story but the author did throw a surprise toward the end of the story that saddens me.  I had a really hard time rating this book due to that and because some of the medical history doesn’t support Jones’ background.  It really actually fell between 3 and 4 roses for me.  I felt like I had to give it three though because these two elements were fairly big parts to the book.  I do think that if the reader doesn’t know medical history and isn’t into mysteries you could move it up to 4 roses.

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