Click on Jodi and laugh!
Until…Ishmael Zaid, an elusive international terrorist, and a villain from Devlin’s past, masterminds a terror attack that decimates Rome’s train station and rips Lucky’s life apart.
Devlin vows revenge. He teams with his HELL Ranger crew to battle Ishmael’s “Race” of followers and to diffuse a dozen more bombs set to wipe Rome off the map by midnight. The stakes skyrocket when Ishmael kidnaps Devlin’s young son and violates the sanctity of the Vatican, robbing one of its ancient relics to use as a symbol of war on mankind. Devlin and Ishmael finally collide in a showdown that will ultimately determine the fate of the world, and there will be HELL to pay.
TR: Good morning, Gina, and welcome!
GF: Good morning, Thomas, and thanks so much for having me…
TR: What were they, and in what genre?
GF: The stuff I wrote in high school were all thrillers, but after I returned from studying abroad in Italy during college, I sent my short stories and feature articles (on travel mostly) out to the rest of the world.
TR: What made you start writing to publish?
GF: After I had seen the world a bit, and experienced life, I realized that I had novels clamoring to get out too.
TR: Voices that can’t remain unanswered, eh? So, what was the inspiration for “The Race?”
GF: The main inspiration is the city of Rome, Italy. I lived and studied there, and I return often to explore–it’s always changing, yet it always stays the same. Rome is fast-paced, exhilarating, sometimes frightening, other times warm and inviting, but always thrilling and full of intrigue. The city inspired characters so caught up in a suspenseful plot that I just had to share it!
TR: It sounds like a fascinating setting for a story. Tell us a little more about it, and where it’s available.
GF: In The Race, Formula One champion Devlin “Lucky” Lucchesi’s life is torn apart in a terror attack. Devlin vows revenge against Ishmael Zaid, a villain from his past, whose “Race” of followers have set a dozen bombs to wipe Rome off the map. When Ishmael abducts Devlin’s son and violates the sanctity of the Vatican, Devlin and his covert HELL Ranger crew must race against time to beat Ishmael at his own game.
TR: Very nice. Exciting, isn’t it? Now, is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
GF: Dreams; headlines; twists on history; what-if extrapolations on real life; my husband’s genius spin on something he learned. Of course, every trip to Italy uncovers a bunch of new ideas for me.
TR: Nice to have a hubby to help you come up with story lines :) Okay, so you are published traditionally. What made you choose traditional publishing?
GF: I believe both methods offer strengths and weaknesses. That’s why a hybrid of both likely presents the best alternative for any writer. For me, it’s about choice, and how an author chooses to allocate his or her publishing rights.
TR: Good thought. It is all about freedom and choice, isn’t it? Now, if you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
GF: While every element is important, I believe that human connection is vital. So, whether it’s meeting in person at a signing or event, or else chatting and sharing information across states or continents via Facebook, the goal of any author’s platform is genuine connection and these two methods work best for me.
TR: Well said! What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?
GF: I believe that I underestimated the amount of time and organization required in putting it all together (ie the editing phase, the promotion phase, etc.) Going forward, I’ll utilize many of the great apps and programs available to authors in producing, promoting, and managing my books. For example, Scrivener for writing the manuscript, Grammerly.com for editing, Goodreads for connecting with readers–all of these were great options that I picked up along the way. Now, that I know about them, I’m spreading the word to new writers!
TR: It can be an achingly long process, can’t it? Do you have an idea for your next book?
GF: My next book, The Sculptor, is a suspense thriller, akin to the mystery stories of Harlan Coben, Lisa Gardner, Dan Brown, and Daniel Silva. It’s about a graduate student, Mara Silvestri, who discovers that she’s targeted by Rome’s serial killer, dubbed The Sculptor. After uncovering family secrets that draws him to her, Mara must turn the table on him, before she winds up the prized masterpiece in The Sculptor’s collection of plastered victims. Due out in 2014, there’s an excerpt of the novel on my website that I hope your readers will enjoy reading it.
TR: I hope so, too. Gina, I want to thank you again for stopping by. The very best of luck with “The Race”, and your future writing, as well.
GF: Thanks so much, Thomas. I had fun :)
Folks, that’s a wrap. “The Race” sounds great – and centered in exotic Rome, too boot. It’s out there. What are you waiting for?
A little background on Gina:
A University of Buffalo graduate, Gina Fava holds a WNEC law degree and has studied at the American University of Rome. But, it’s her first-hand experience with bomb scares, car chases, over-eager carabinieri, and dodging gunfire while living in Rome during the Persian Gulf War that spurred her extensive research in counter-terrorism. She’s an avid auto racing fan, and she frequently travels Italy to hunt down her characters’ favorite wines. She is the author of award-winning short stories, and is a member of International Thriller Writers. A Buffalo, New York native, Gina Fava resides with her family in New England. Her second novel, The Sculptor, is due for release in 2014. The Race is available in eBook and in trade paperback on Amazon.com.
And if you’d like to get in touch:
Lorrie Duncan, an abstract painter working as a substitute teacher, dreams of making it big in the art world when she’s not busy looking for Mr. Right. She seems on the verge of getting what she wants, at least with respect to her career, because her current boyfriend Marty is a rising star in the L.A. art scene. But when a fortuneteller gives her a medallion with malevolent powers, her life and plans fall apart. Now to survive, she finds herself in a race to discover its secret, before it destroys everything she holds dear.
A Blue Moon is Vanessa A. Ryan’s first novel, a genre-bending literary urban fantasy.
Click on the cover to get it on Amazon!
It wasn’t anywhere near noon, and Beth Lowe already had a sneaking suspicion her day was about to go down the drain. The odor of urine and feces was enough to make her eyes water, and the barking dogs around her created a din that was overwhelming. Trying to ignore the yips and howls, she watched Lizzie as she tried to coax the biggest dog Beth had ever seen to the front of his pen.
“C’mon! C’mere, boy! Come onnnnnnn—nobody’s going to hurt you.” Dejected, Lizzie turned away and trudged back along the cage-lined aisle, oblivious to the bedlam on either side of her.
“Never mind, honey,” Beth soothed, “we have a lot of other dogs to choose from. Let’s keeping looking.”
Glancing around, Lizzie spotted the big dog peeking around the corner of his cage. “Look! He wants us to come back!”
Beth could only watch in dismay as the little girl darted back and was greeted by a low whine, and soaked by a tongue that would have been right at home on a Texas Longhorn. Sighing, she slogged back and stood regarding the pair with apprehension.
“He seems like a nice dog, but he’s so big—and he’ll eat so much. Look at all these other dogs. They need a home too. Like this little guy.” She knelt next to a forlorn little terrier sitting against his cage door. “He looks miserable.”
Nuzzling the canine’s huge nose, Lizzie put forth her best pout. “But, I want him—he’s soooo cute, isn’t he?”
Beth had never seen an uglier dog.
He was enormous and reddish brown in color. Eyes that were almost hidden by folds of drooping skin were framed by ears that seemed large enough for a bull elephant. His hanging jowls reminded her of a plump British colonel—except British officers seldom had strings of drool hanging from their mouths. Impossibly long legs and feet like saucers completed the questionable picture. Ugh, she thought. This brute in my house?
Just as she was opening her mouth to try one last futile protest, the beast stood up and shook his head violently, sending ears a’flapping and covering everything within six feet with long tendrils of saliva.
“Hah! Look at his ears! When he does that, they look just like the little pancakes you make us in the morning! You know, when you throw them into the air? That’s your new name fella. Flapjack!” Throwing her arms around the monster’s neck, Lizzie planted a wet kiss directly on the end of the newly christened dog’s rubbery snout. Beth shook her head. Doomed, she thought, the little so-and-so just doomed me, as usual. As the assistant who had led them back to the cages walked up, Beth asked him, “Can you tell us exactly what kind of dog this is?”
Kneeling to give Flapjack a rub, the caretaker answered, “Well, we can never know exactly, unless the previous owners give us their papers. This fellow was an owner-surrender, but they left him tied up at the door. He looks like a Bloodhound, but we can’t say he’s full-blooded.”
Bloodhound. Even the breed name sent a slight shiver up her back. Glancing down at the Kodak moment unfolding before her, she knew two things with equal certainty. She didn’t want the dog, and Lizzie most certainly did. Sighing, she caved to the inevitable. “Okay. Let’s get the paperwork done.”
“Yes!” Lizzie shouted, “You hear that, boy? You’re coming home with us!”
The young attendant looked at Beth, his bemused expression indicating that he knew exactly what had just happened. Beth shrugged and dug for her wallet. So she was easy—so what?
They had been watching television one evening when Lizzie asked, “Why don’t you own a dog?”
“I don’t know,” Beth had murmured, her mind focused on deciding whether the main character was secretly married, “Guess I’ve never really thought about it.”
“We should have a dog.”
Suddenly realizing she’d been missing something, Beth looked over at Lizzie. “Why?”
The youngster’s face was carrying an expression that was a mixture of innocence and solemnity, “Well, we’re out in the country, so we’re kind of alone. What if someone tries to break in?”
Silently amused, Beth decided to see where this would go, “I hadn’t thought about that.”
The opening wasn’t wasted. “You should. I bet it would take the police a long time to get out here. And we have a fenced-in yard, and woods he could run in, and I promise to take care of him.”
“Have you considered being an attorney when you grow up?”
Lizzie contorted her face up in a way that suggested she was eating lemons. “An attorney? Yuk. Why would I want to be one of those? I’m going to be a country music star. Please? I’ve never owned a dog before.”
“You made some very good points, so I’ll tell you what. I don’t have any classes Friday. Why don’t we go to the animal shelter and have a look around? One condition, though. It’s your dog, so it’s your responsibility. You feed it, you water it, and you take it outside to potty. Agreed?”
“Yayyy! You’re the best!” Lizzie ran over and gave her a huge hug. Beth grinned and hugged her back, silently acknowledging her defeat. But, she reasoned, both of them would enjoy the additional companionship. They did have Barlow, a Persian cat Beth had owned since her college days, but he stayed to himself much of the time. A dog might be a nice addition.
Three days, fourteen suggestions and one decision later, the two ladies were driving to the pet store with the newest family member. While they browsed around, picking out food, bowls and toys, Flapjack acted the perfect gentleman on his new leash, occasionally sniffing a stuffed animal, or a package of rawhide bones. On the drive home, Lizzie insisted Flapjack ride in the front, and he took advantage of the treat by sticking his head out the passenger window. As soon as they piled out of the car, Lizzie was up the driveway, Flapjack close on her heels. “Come on, boy! You’re home!”
Home. The word shot Beth’s mind back to her arrival in the sleepy little community of Hemingway. Originally from Clifton Heights, a suburb of Philadelphia, Beth had traveled to western Pennsylvania as a child with her parents. The tiny hamlets and villages had impressed her with their country charms, and she had never forgotten the serenity that had enveloped everything there. When an opportunity to teach Entomology surfaced at Paxton University, just a few miles outside of Hemingway, Beth had leaped at the chance.
She had rented a room above one of the general stores in town for a short time, until she was familiar enough with the area to consider a house purchase. When the time came to look for a more permanent residence, one property in particular had struck her fancy. Large and roomy, it was styled after farmhouses commonplace in that area at the turn of the 20th century, and boasted a large fenced yard with a brick barbeque pit. It was situated on a back country road, and immediately to the rear of the property was a large wood in which she could gather samples for her class work. The old house was a fixer-upper, but she hadn’t minded, since it furnished an everyday escape from civilization. Beth had spent many weekends slapping paint, laying tiles and patching holes, but the result was a warm home she could call her own.
Life was slower here than in the hustling burbs, and she had grown accustomed very quickly to country living. Everyone spoke, milk was delivered to her doorstep, and the mailman waved every day on his rounds. Beth had found contentment in Small Town, USA, and since Lizzie had come to live with her, she truly felt her existence was complete.
Since securing a position at the small university, there had been no time for a man in her life. She was a pretty woman, flaxen-haired and petite, with limpid brown eyes that gazed at her world with a combination of scholar and schoolgirl. Various professors—and students—had hinted at their interest, but she had politely and firmly turned away each in their turn. Her life was her work, and since Lizzie’s arrival, her daughter’s welfare and upbringing.
Now, Beth couldn’t help but smile. This was the most life Lizzie had shown since arriving at her aunt’s house, almost nineteen months earlier. For weeks after her mother and father’s death, the nine year old had remained in an almost catatonic state. Fortunately, Beth and her sister had been remarkably close (having sis’s first child named after her still brought a tear to her eye), and under the conditions of the will, Beth had become Lizzie’s custodian. Month by month, the little girl had been responding to her aunt’s tender nurturing.
On the night before the formal adoption, Beth had explained to Lizzie exactly what was to happen—that her mother would always be her mother, but she would now be her legal mom, and would take care of her forever. Lizzie had responded in typical Lizzie-ish fashion.
“Well, then you’ll be my Momma Beth. Is that okay?”
It was indeed okay, and slowly, the youngster had begun transforming back into the bright, cheerful girl Beth remembered.
Nor had it taken long to realize Lizzie shared her love for anything outdoors. Soon after her new daughter’s arrival, Beth was preparing for an afternoon of specimen collection, when Lizzie stuck her head around the workroom door.
“Where are you going?”
“Just out in the woods for a bit. I wanted to give a class on the Rose Hooktip moth, so I was going to collect some specimens.”
“Can I come?”
“Well…sure…I didn’t know you liked the woods.”
The shadow of a frown came across Lizzie’s features. She averted her eyes, “Daddy always took me with him went he went fishing. He showed me how to bait my own hook and everything. Sometimes, we would just walk in the woods, and he would help me lift rocks and look at all the bugs underneath.”
Beth managed to swallow the lump in her throat. “Well, I could sure use an assistant. Carrying all these jars and stuff gets to be a bit much. You interested in the job?”
And from there, the pair had been a team, foraging the quiet woods for specimens, and occasionally catching sight of a deer or fox before it bolted from sight.
As a bonus to the course curriculum, Beth hosted barbeques from time to time, leading her students through the woods to view their subjects in a natural habitat, before treating them to a supper of grilled burgers and corn on the cob. On these occasions, Lizzie slipped seamlessly into the role of host, chattering happily, making sure glasses were full and everyone had eaten their fill. Everyone fawned on the new lady of the manor, and she was quickly absorbed into the close-knit community small colleges often afford.
As Beth came out of her reverie, Lizzie was pelting around the house corner into the back yard, breathlessly urging her new buddy to keep up. “Look, boy, look at this huge yard. We can play all the time out here.” The big dog sniffed around several spots, lifted his leg once to mark his territory, and then allowed Lizzie to lead him inside to the kitchen. “Here’s where I’m going to put your food and water bowls—right beside where I sit to eat, see? Come up these steps, there you go, good boy, this is my room, and this is where your doggie bed is going, nice and big and soft, and right below my bed, so you can protect me. The guy in that poster is Toby Keith, and that’s Taylor Swift. See,” she stuck two CDs under the new arrival’s nose, “these are their new albums. This is my stereo and my TV—we can watch what you like sometimes—and,” she bent forward and whispered into the dog’s ear, “you can even sleep up on my bed with me some.”
Running for the stairs, Lizzie looked back, “Come on, boy!” While his new owners busied themselves filling his bowls and arranging his bed, the huge canine began his own inspection of every inch of the house, sniffing and snuffing, woofed once at Barlow, and finally flopped down on the rug in front of the fireplace. Flapjack was home.
The next morning, Beth and Lizzie piled into their Ford Explorer and headed for the veterinarian. As they drove, Lizzie looked over with worry in her eyes. “Why do we have to take Flapjack to the doctor? He looks fine.”
“Oh, I’m sure he is, but I want Doc Barchfield to take a look at him. Who knows when he’s been treated for fleas, or had a rabies shot? We’re going to get old Flapjack up to date on everything, so we can make sure he’s all healthy and happy.”
The good doctor gave the big dog a thorough exam, and then sat back and smiled. “Well, he’s in great shape. I don’t see any signs of fleas, his heart sounds strong, and his teeth are in good order. A little tartar on them, but nothing a couple bones won’t clean. He’s hale and hearty, and strong as a horse. Weight is 105, which is about right. We’ll give him shots for rabies, parvo, and distemper, give you some stuff for flea control, and you can be on your way.”
“Thanks so much, doctor. How old would you say he is?”
Prying open Flapjack’s mouth, Doc Barchfield peered in for a few moments. “It’s hard to tell when a dog isn’t very old, but I’d hazard he’s around three or so. Plenty of years left in this fellow.”
In due time, Flapjack was absorbed seamlessly into his adoptive family, and Lizzie was true to her word. It was she who ensured his bowls were full, called him to go outside for a walk, and (with Beth’s help) gave him his bath. She said her prayers with Flapjack in his bed, and once Momma Beth left, she softly patted the bed to signal Flapjack it was okay to jump up. It wasn’t long until Beth caught on and snuck back into Lizzie’s room to peek, but the forlorn look in the dog’s droopy eyes was enough to convince her to exit again without protest.
After a couple weeks, Beth decided to enlarge Barlow’s kittie door into the back yard, allowing Flapjack to use it also. The standoffish cat had even been observed lying up against his bony head from time to time, while they all watched television in the evening.
Mr. Flapjack had developed into the perfect pet. He was a gentle giant, and distributed nuzzles and slurps to everyone alike. He only barked when a stranger came to the door—discovering he was a stranger caused the fleeing postman considerable dismay—and his only desires seemed to be food, a scratch behind his ear, a bit of cavorting in the back yard, or a long walk.
All that made it even more puzzling for Lizzie, when she came out the back door and discovered her dog peering through the chain link fence bordering the woods. Silent and stock still, with his head bent slightly to the side, he appeared to be listening, so Lizzie looked about, listening too. He remained in that position for several more minutes, and then seemed to shake himself. Turning, he spied his young mistress and bounded happily to meet her. Wrapping her arms around his thick neck, she asked, “What was it, boy? What did you see? Was it a rabbit, huh? Did you see a bunny? Come on, it’s time to go inside now.” Flapjack followed his mistress obediently, but he glanced over his shoulder once more before disappearing inside.
Several days later, while the three enjoyed an after-dinner ice cream, Beth mentioned casually, “You know, I have a new semester starting in a few weeks, and I have to start preparing. Why don’t you and I go out in the yard tonight and collect some lightning bugs? Then you can help me get them ready for class.”
Leaping up, Lizzie breathlessly replied, “Sure! These dishes will only take a minute,” practically throwing the bowls into the dishwasher. Chuckling, Beth walked into the spare bedroom that served as her workshop. Taking down several quart-size jars and her backpack, she began making preparations.
“Honey, get two flashlights out of the drawer and make sure they have good batteries.”
“Okay!” came the muffled reply, and within minutes, all was ready.
As they exited the house, Flapjack slipped by them, determined to be included. “Oh no, boy. We’re working here,” Beth admonished.
“Oh, he’s okay, Mom, let him come. He’ll be good!”
Beth stopped in her tracks.
It was the first time Lizzie had not called her Momma Beth. Her attention diverted, she wordlessly allowed the standoff to pass, and they immersed themselves in the business of catching the luminescent insects by the light of the full summer moon. While Beth coaxed the flashing insects into her jars, Flapjack bounded playfully at the lights dancing about his back yard. He tried again and again to ensnare one in his snapping jaws, while Lizzie ran in front of him, pointing out the biggest and best insects for him to chase.
Flapjack made a sudden turn to dive after one evasive foe, and bowled Lizzie heels over head. Beth started forward, but Lizzie sat up quickly, laughing hysterically and sputtering when Flapjack engulfed her with slobbery kisses. They all ended up on the grass, mother and daughter giggling, while their oversized playmate ran about, barking to get them up and running again.
Suddenly, he stopped short, his head twisting toward the woods. Trotting over to the fence line, he sat on his haunches and stared.
“What in the wor—” began Beth.
An eerie howl split the night air. It seemed to go on forever, rising in pitch and holding, before slowly falling off. Beth felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and Lizzie stood frozen, staring up into the hills. Beth had completed her graduate work in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico, and had heard her share of coyotes yelping.
This wasn’t a coyote.
The howl was stronger—almost demanding—and lacked the mournful tone of a coyote’s lament. Flapjack whined then sprang up to pace back and forth, hunching his shoulders and sniffing ceaselessly. Another howl burst forth, this one closer.
Keeping her eyes on the dog, Beth commanded, “Honey, go inside. Everything is fine, but I think you should go in for a minute.” A third howl cut off any protest the youngster might have made, and the slamming screen door was evidence of her compliance. Turning her attention back to the woods line, Beth considered the agitated canine. “Come on, boy. Let’s go inside. We got enough bugs tonight, anyway.”
Suddenly, a faint rustling came from just inside the trees, and as her eyes snapped toward the sound, she could swear she saw a shadow flitting by an opening. Flapjack’s whimpering elevated and he was now standing with ears up. Suddenly, he bounded forward and cleared the fence in one leap. Beth scarcely had time to scream “Flapjack!” before he disappeared into the blackness of the forest.
For some, existence without their mate might seem like the end of their world…
…for the members of Verdantia’s Tetriarch, it would be.
Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. His contractual bride, Princess Fleur Constante, the beautiful future queen though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything, including her own sanity, to save her planet.
The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing””a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people who were pre-chosen by the planet Herself and promised by prearranged marriage contract.
Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary ~ Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.
The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.
|5.0 out of 5 stars Great menage romance! Loved it! :D, June 4, 2013
This review is from: Hers To Command (Verdantia) (Kindle Edition)
**This was an ARC copy given by the author for a honest review**
In all honesty, this book was great! Fleur, Ari and Doral are a awesome trio! I loved this story and have added it to my faves list. I started this book unsure what to expect but with an open mind and was surprised at just how quickly the story and characters sucked me in. I’m so glad I didn’t have plans today and could read this straight through because I don’t think I could have stopped reading.
This is my first experience with this author but I plan to read more. The story is very well written and the characters are very engaging. I hope the next book in the series comes out soon because I can’t wait to buy it!
Fleur is the Princess of a planet that’s been invaded. She’s in a tough position but she doesn’t balk from her responsibilities and duties (even ones that put her at risk). As things start out she’s rather out of her depth and inexperienced but she learns quick and has an inner strength. She has a few “moments” (don’t we all) but she didn’t come across as weak or weepy. I really liked Fleur, more and more as the story went on.
Ari was forced when he was a very young man (15 years before) to sign a contact to marry Fleur. She was very young (5 or 6 yo I think) and he left the planet before she came of age to escape the contact. Ari came back to the planet after the invasion to help with the fight. Ari’s a good and honorable man and couldn’t stay away when there was such need.
Ari gets summoned to the Capital to perform a “Great Rite” with Fleur. He’s not thrilled because he’s still unwilling to be pushed in to a marriage he doesn’t want. However, the planet is down to one defensively shielded area around the Capital city and that shield is almost dead. Ari and Fleur have to perform the rite or all is lost. He goes and helps Fleur perform the rite but finds himself attracted to her and starts considering going through with the marriage contract.
As things begin between Ari and Fleur and it’s interesting to see them spar with each other. The attraction is strong between them so things do progress and it was sweet to see their emotions for each other grow. Just when they’ve decided to proceed with the wedding they find out that they are 2 of the 3 needed for a tetriarch (a very powerful trio that could save the planet if they can make it work). The 3rd ends up being Doral, Ari’s second in command.
Doral works for Ari and has loved him secretly for a while. He has a tortured past where he was forced to endure horrible things and made in to a killer (a spy/assassin). Doral suffers greatly with what he feels he’s become (a monster). When he finds out he’s supposed to be part of the tetriarch he is willing but nervous. When he meets Fleur he’s attracted to her but is afraid to hurt her. He is so worried of doing something wrong and doesn’t want to overstep his bounds. Doral is like a gentle giant…he was made in to a killer and that’s how most people see him but in all actuality he’s sweet and sensitive. Now it’s just buried under his past and only peaks out. I loved Doral…I think he is my favorite of the three (although Fleur is pretty awesome too…and Ari is great…).
Ari, Fleur and Doral learn to be together and bond while trying to secure the planet’s defenses. I really liked seeing how they act towards each other once they started settling in together. They’re became very much a trio of equals. Fleur doesn’t get all the power because she’s royalty. Ari isn’t the top male leaving Doral as the lower rank male (even though according to technical rank Ari is higher). They all order each other around or get on each other’s cases depending on what’s going on and the situation which I just loved. I think it’s one of the more even (in power) menage relationships I’ve seen.
And while the issue of getting their relationship working and building the planet’s defenses back up is keeping things hopping, there’s still more going on with the invasion and the people working against them (even from supposed allies). There’s a good amount of intrigue that kept things interesting and I was pretty impressed that the author kept things going without making things confusing or hard to follow.
I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that I’m very happy with the way things worked out. It was a great ending and I was so happy for Fleur, Ari and Doral (I was totally rooting for them). It was an awesome story that left me with an excitedly happy vibe at the end. This is totally worth buying and I’m already planning to buy the next in the series when it’s out. I’d highly recommend this story. 2 thumbs way up! :D
4.0 out of 5 stars An Erotic Sci Fi/Fantasy Must Read, June 3, 2013
This review is from: Hers To Command (Verdantia) (Kindle Edition)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars
I received this book for review from the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review.
The Prologue gives the reader some of the background of the planet called Verdantia so make sure that you don’t skip it. After all, this is the start of the series and when you get to book two, Hers to Choose, coming out in July you want to have some knowledge of the Verdantians.
Ari, Fleur, and Doral have an interesting way to heal their planet. Too bad it wouldn’t work with ours. But you never know – maybe we’re not listening hard enough.
If you like your stories with a science fiction/fantasy twist, you might want to give Patricia’s series a try. It also has touches of BDSM, M/M, M/F, and M/F/M. So if you also like erotic stories you’ll want to give this series a try. Sex can be very nice or it can be highly physical – it depends on what you’re comfortable with.
This is not a story that you want to rush. It is a short story but take your time in reading about Verdantia and its inhabitants. It’s a world that does not exist and you don’t want to miss anything – especially the struggles that go on. So if you are one of those people that speed reads, slow it down some and enjoy the love that Ari, Doral, and Fleur create.
5.0 out of 5 stars Verdantia is an erotic delight. What a planet!, June 3, 2013
This review is from: Hers To Command (Verdantia) (Kindle Edition)
Patricia Knight seamlessly weaves a whole new world, society, and culture through tantalizing, steamy scenes that make a woman yearn to experience a man (or two) with the endurance her heroes repeatedly demonstrate to the point of torture. She puts Fleur through ecstatic heaven, and a little bit of hell judging from Fleur’s demand for some serious payback on at least one occasion.
The beauty of this novel is that the Verdantian’s salvation depends on this trio spending a lot of intimate time together. This book has two strong-minded, well-endowed, and dangerous heroes, one relatively inexperienced but charming princess, and a well-crafted plot that lifts this book from the normal fare of erotica into a sci-fi fantastical feast for the senses.
Received advance review copy free in exchange for an honest review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced Erotic Journey, June 3, 2013
This review is from: Hers To Command (Verdantia) (Kindle Edition)
I read this book very quickly, as the pacing is wonderful. It’s a fun ride with three main characters, all of whom are strong and have a clear cut purpose. At first, I thought it was about saving a planet, Verdantia. But, it becomes much more. It is as much the characters’ journeys as the story of protecting a race and culture.
The author did not use miscommunication as the tension between the characters. (Thank you!) Rather, the characters upped the ante for each other through love, understanding and lots of sex and lovemaking. It is erotica, after all!
The female lead is refreshingly strong – from the beginning. And, the twists and turns they must take are interesting and fun. Highly recommended book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I could ever want in a SciFi Erotica Romance, June 3, 2013
This review is from: Hers To Command (Verdantia) (Kindle Edition)
**I received an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) in order to review and provide honest feedback **
I will be perfectly honest. It takes a great deal for a work of Erotica to earn 5 stars and impress me while doing it. While I do enjoy a well written intimacy scene in a book, I am not really interested in sex for sex’s sake, which is the hallmark failure of most erotica books in any genre. If there is copious amounts of sex going on, I want there to be a very good and believable reason for it. Not only did Hers To Command deliver on that, Knight surrounded the very heated intimacy scenes with substance.
The prologue of the book begins with a historical account of the colonization, uniqueness and history of the planet Verdantia. While I am not a fan of “world building” prologues (which in most cases is just a lazy-author excuse for spewing forth an info-dump in order to avoid having to work it into the actual story), I reserved judgement and continued reading, not really expecting much if the prologue was any indication. Typically, stories with a prologue like that will fail at doing any kind of enjoyable or significant world building within the rest of the book, resulting in an automatic three stars on my score-card. I know this can be seen as a bit harsh, but my background is Space Opera, folks, where world-building is queen, second only to an epic story.
Imagine my chagrined surprise when Knight proceeded to hand me a well-formed world-building hat, lathered in rich story-dripping ketchup, and asked me to eat it. And eat it, I did.
Verdantia and its cast of characters are presented as living, breathing three-dimensional props that support not only the reason for the very heated intimacy, but also a story and world that has a long standing history, a complex present and an uncertain future. There is a war raging on Verdantia, and because of its unique physical properties which renders technological devices useless, the war is a brutal campaign of swords, horses, and all the medieval trappings of a fantasy novel. This is supplemented in the science-fiction sense by the science of the planet’s electromagnetic properties, which the commoners call magick, and the participation in the war by the League of Federated Planets. There is an interplanetary war between the Haarb, Verdantia and the LFP who is backing Verdantia in a support role. So, although the book does have a strong Fantasy vibe at times, it is a work of Science Fiction.
So, world-building: Check. Science Fiction with a unique twist: Check. Characters…. Check, Check, Check. Three checks for three very well crafted characters, who are also supported by a full cast of memorable people. Even the smallest role is given enough life for me to remember them twenty pages later. I won’t spend much more time on the characters, as I expect many of the other reviews to focus on the three protagonists, but I will state that Ari is a strong, captivating man with presence and a reluctant heart. Fleur is just as strong, with a quick enjoyable wit but who still retains a hint of graceful naivete, and Doral is the aloof, cool, grounding force with a troubled past that completes the Tetriarch.
There are two lead villains – one a corrupted government official who loves money almost as much as he loves himself, and Krakoll who is the leader of the Haarb brute forces who are trying to conquer Verdantia for its wealth of an aphrodisiac spice called cinnagrin. They have almost equal appearances in the book, and I am hoping to see more of Krakoll in book 2, as he was the more viciously interesting of the two.
I think my only true gripe with this book falls back to the prologue. I don’t think it was necessary, I think it will, however, lead to the confusion and possible deterrent to readers with less science-fictional interest. I think some of the points in the prologue should be woven into the story (though many are) and it should be removed.
Overall, very impressed and I am looking forward to book 2, Hers To Choose, due out in July.
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