Inheritance (Confluence #3) by Jennifer Foehner Wells – Review

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Review by Riley

Right after I read this book, I went to Arizona for vacation. When my brother-in-law asked if we wanted to go for a hike and experience the vortex, my first thought was of the Inheritance character Darcy, experiencing the unexplainable when she touched the pile of stacked rocks and then getting abducted by the aliens in Arizona.  On my hike, I did feel the vortex and saw a lot of those stacked rocks. I did not touch the rocks!

So, no alien abduction for me.

About Inheritance

Darcy has a ten-thousand-year-old secret buried in her genetic code.

As a second year medical student, her life revolves around classes, studying, and her boyfriend Adam—until she treks through the desert, touches some mysterious stacked stones, and a network of glowing blue lines radiates under her skin.

Then she saw the spaceship. And it was coming for her.

She faces impossibly bad choices and a missing boyfriend.

Darcy struggles to accept her heritage and master her newfound powers as she navigates deception, betrayal, and danger in order to prevail in the galaxy’s most dangerous game—and survive to save Adam.

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Review of Inheritance

Darcy is blessed/cursed with the Druid gene, genetics left over from a race that populated the earth years ago, but have died out. This special gene is what gets her abducted by aliens. It also gives her unusual abilities that she must learn to control and use. But that takes time. In the mean time, she is one of many captives of various races, held on a space ship by the insect-like hymenoptera.

Why they are captive is unknown, though it is generally thought they will all be sold as slaves.  It will become clear that the captors have more than a passing interest in Darcy though.

Darcy will develop an unusual relationship with Raub, who ends up in a cell with Darcy after she attacks her captors.  He will teach her to fight and to defend herself. All along, she wonders why he would do this. Why does he want her on his ‘team’?  The truth is, no one on the ship can be trusted, as much as she really wants to see the good in people.

Tesserae71, a hymenoptera and two fellow prisoners, Nembrotha and Selpis are secondary characters that also fall into that can-they-be-trusted? category.  But they end up working with Darcy and Raub in an escape attempt, which makes them a permanent part of the ‘team’.  The addition of three different aliens to the core group serves to remind you that Earth is very far away.  And aliens are not human.

Raub’s motives will be revealed in the tense, climatic last few chapters. I really like the way this story was told. Despite the nastiness Darcy endured, the telling of the tale has Darcy developing from a sweet medical student who only wants to help people to a kick-butt heroine who doesn’t take crap.  And she can still help people.

Inheritance is part of the Confluence series, but does read as a stand alone. The other books Fluency, Remanance, and Valence need to be read in series order.

I am very intrigued with this character and how she will play into the continuing Confluence series, and how she might interact with the characters I came to know in the first two books. Confluence is continued in Valence, which is most definitely on my TBR list.

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Links

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Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries #1) by Jennifer Ashley – Review

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Review by Riley

 

About Death Below Stairs

Victorian class lines are crossed when cook Kat Holloway is drawn into a murder that reaches all the way to the throne.

Highly sought-after young cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered.

Intent on discovering who killed the helpless kitchen maid, Kat turns to the ever-capable Daniel McAdam, who is certainly much more than the charming delivery man he pretends to be. Along with the assistance of Lord Rankin’s unconventional sister-in-law and a mathematical genius, Kat and Daniel discover that the household murder was the barest tip of a plot rife with danger and treason—one that’s a threat to Queen Victoria herself.

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Review of Death Below Stairs

Intelligent, hardworking, kind and purposeful, this Kat Holloway is a new favorite heroine. Kat has an unusual relationship with Daniel McAdam who is a friend and could possibly be more. But Daniel is a bit mysterious and has a variety of jobs and disguises. He seems to work for the good, but you never know who he works for or is financed by. That is part of his charm, to be honest, and though I really want to know more about him, I also like his mystery.

There will be many tense moments for heroine, hero, and, of all people, Queen Victoria. Intricately woven, the the plot keeps you guessing, but don’t guess too soon. In fact, you really need to read to the end to appreciate the suspense that propels the story and reflects the politics of the day.

Lady Cynthia, who prefers men’s clothing, and the nerd mathematician Thanos are cool characters. They definitely deserve to have recurring roles in future books. Daniel’s son James is the youth-nearly-a-man that wants to be like his father. So far, he is the least interesting, but has potential as he most certainly could be getting into trouble.

Death Below Stairs is historical mystery at it’s best with the heroine and cook Kat Holloway. Jennifer Ashley evokes the Victorian era with attention to detail and a well-told story that will appeal to lovers of the genre.

Although this is the first of a new series, there is a series prequel A Soupcon of Poison. There are events in the prequel that are often referenced in Death Below Stairs, so if you are a stickler for reading things in order, read A Soupcon of Poison first. However, Death Below Stairs can be read as a standalone if you are like me and don’t take the time to go back to the series starter.

Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this books so that I could bring you this honest review.

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Links

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6th Annual SFR Galaxy Awards

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Yesterday, the 6th Annual SFR Galaxy Awards were announced.  What a great day!  Not just for the winners, but for any fan of the SciFi Romance genre.  So many great books, not nearly enough time!

I am a judge for these awards, so today’s post will be my winners.  Click on the book cover if you want to purchase at Amazon.  Click on ‘My Review’ to get more details on what I thought about the book.

At the end of this post, I will include links to all the winners and I hope you will check everyone of them out!

Best Original Story
Dustwalker by Tiffany Roberts

When I was half way through Dustwalker, I knew it was going to be one of my 2017 favorites. This post-apocalyptic epic scores big with me in all my scoring categories: Complex characters, intricate plot, intense emotional situations, humanity being tested, slow-burning romance, interesting secondary characters and a really good villain. The story of human Lara and synth Ronin has all of this and more, including an epilogue that will make you cry.  My Review

Best High-Tech Love Making
Wanted and Wired by Viven Jackson

Technology, whether it is computers or programming or hackers or robots, is hard to make interesting to this reader. Vivien Jackson makes tech fascinating. She has a knack for stringing a bunch of words together to form a very readable sentence. Any subject is new and exciting in her hands. Even sex. I admit, I am the reader that just scans the sex passages in order to get to the good stuff. But Heron Farad, high-tech genius, puts a whole new spin on making love and I read every word when he and Mari got together. Mix the sizzling sex with a high voltage plot and you have one of my favorites of the year. Wanted and Wired was quickly followed by book 2 in the series, Perfect Gravity, which is also a feast of words!  My Review

Beyond Book 3 Award
Found Girl (Project Enterprise, #6) by Pauling Baird Jones

There are many series that I stop reading after 2 or 3 books because the plot becomes predicable or the book is formulaic. Not so with the Project Enterprise series. Each book in this series has been so very unique. Connecting characters and technology are what hold the series together, but each book stands on it’s own. Found Girl introduces some new aliens that are so not humanoid. Not even close. There is also a heroine, Arian, that gets more mysterious with each new thing you learn about her. Jones’ creativity astounds me and never ceases to entertain!  My Review

Favorite Cat Hero
Cypher (The Dragon’s Bidding, #2) by Christina Westcott

Cypher was actually published in 2016, but I did not get around to reading it until 2017. I love The Dragon’s Bidding series, and Jumper is the main reason why. Don’t get me wrong, Cypher has galactic politics, an evil villain, a kick-ass heroine, a split-personality hero that really mixes things up, and heart-breaking emotions. All great things in a novel. But Jumper, the talking cat, is one of my favorite cats of all time. With his spot-on ability to state the obvious, a line like “Oh shit, we are so screwed.” lets you know that things are not going as well as they could.  My Review

Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover Award
Race to Redemption (Green Rising, #1) by Shari Elder

We all do it. Get sucked in by a pretty book cover. Or put off by a cover because of preconceptions. Based on the cover of Race to Redemption (a lingerie-clad woman and a shirtless man), I would never have guessed the depth of the story that would be found within the pages. In addition to a slow-burning romance, you will find class conflict, a desert planet, flawed characters, sick kids and lots of high-flying action in this book. Shari Elder is a skilled, imaginative writer who wrote a thrilling book with a lot of twists and much less lingerie than you would think.  My Review

Links to the 6th Annual SFR Galaxy Awards

Intro and Tribute

Round 1 – Chris Stock

Round 2 – Heather Massey

Round 3 – Marlene Harris

Round 4 – Riley Moreland

Round 5 – Jo Jones

Round 6 – Eileen Koven

Round 7 – Anna McLain