NOTE: This book was originally included in the Carved in Flesh anthology from Storm Moon Press.
After enduring a brutal assault, IRA explosive expert Seosamh O’Brien, fled his war-torn homeland for America. Now Joe Colson, he wears his scarred face like armor and keeps out the whole world, protecting the meager little life he’s carved out for himself as an illegal immigrant in the Boston slums. But a night programmer with a face like an an angel and an elfin grin full of mischief gets past the armor and scars, and into the softer places of Joe’s heart, before he quite realizes what is happening.
This is a hard book to review. I admit to knowing nothing about the IRA and the rest that the main character was involved with/in so I don’t know the kind of research done on that subject so I can only come at this as a pure fictional work.
Joe is a man nearing 50. He is badly scarred and believes with his past he will have no chance at ever having a relationship. Along comes Ryan who seems to see past the scars and age to the man beneath.
This was a very shallow read. We learn some about Joe and really nothing on Ryan. It makes it hard to understand Ryan and his devotion to Joe. Joe is ran down. He just coasts day to day. He really has no goals other than to get through each day. Ryan is the one to bring him out of that. Ryan gives back a little happiness to Joe. Joe is a pessimist though and with good reason. He has seen and done some bad things. Life is not all sunlight and roses and especially not for him.
I thought the writing was well done. It wasn’t overtly flowery and it was just dark enough to set the tone for the whole of the story. We really get so very little of Ryan he really isn’t all that impressive to the reader. Joe is the main character and we catch glimpses of his background and what he was and is now. I think it would have helped to understand a little more of his time in Ireland. The writings lack of character information or really emotional involvement made it difficult to connect to the characters and story. I never really got into the story and so it didn’t really stick with me like good writing can do. I think the idea was sound but the characterizations were lacking.
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?
The Future of Perfect Love Is A Bitchfest!
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.