The other day, I received a request from KC Klein (author of DARK FUTURE) asking me if I had time to read and review an anthology that she, Erin Kellison and Jessa Slade had come together to create. As soon as I read the blurbs on Amazon, I couldn't say yes fast enough. Three stories of sci-fi romance, oh yes! Since I'm still reading them, I decided to give each author the credit due them. I am going to treat each novella as an individual work, which they are of course, and will review each one as I finish reading it.
The first novella in the anthology belongs to Erin Kellison, ALL THAT GLITTERS.
Cheated out of a fortune by the Sol royal family, lowborn Simon Miner will do anything to get his revenge, no matter how ruthless. When Princess Mica Sol, a terraforming expert, is shot out of the sky on the way to her sister’s lavish wedding, she fears the worst—scavengers—and flees into an alien jungle to avoid capture. But the man who pursues and captures her is none other than Simon, her former lover. Passions reignite as violence rocks Sol City, and Simon and Mica must fight for love, family, and their world… or lose everything.
ALL THAT GLITTERS starts out fast and never slows down. In the true tradition of science fiction, Sol is a well imagined, believable place with environmental dangers that put our heroine into a precarious position from the very beginning. If the fear of scavengers (those who live on the outskirts of the dome protected city and who are willing to do anything including kill a Sol Princess to regain control of their planet) aren't enough to worry about as she flees her disabled ship but she also has to worry about the planet itself trying to kill this determined daughter of Sol, Mica.
Simon isn't with the scavengers, he's on a mission of his own - to regain the riches that were stolen from him and the families of the men of whom he feels responsible for being killed while mining the precious red mica. His mission - steal it back during the extravaganza that is Mica's sister, Pilar Sol's wedding event. Unknown to him, the one woman he'll always love is on the ship that he and his men choose to shoot down and steal to use to get into the highly protected domed city. Once he realizes the ship belongs to his beautiful, headstrong Mica, he has a new mission - keep her alive even as his two partners would just as easily execute the daughter of Drummond Sol, the head of the Sol family.
Mica hadn't expected to meet up with Simon, the only man who had a claim on her heart, but there he was and now she had not only a need to know what had happened in his life since she left Sol five years earlier but she had an even greater need to be his once more. Unsure of what he has planned and not fully trusting him, she decides to free herself by aiding his cause and turning the tables on him. After getting the three would-be thieves into the city, she allows Simon's partners to disappear into the crowds knowing they wouldn't stay out of trouble long enough to worry about and claims Simon as her consort thereby forcing him to remain at her side with the hope of protecting him from her father's wrath. So begins their journey together to right the wrongs done to those in need, protect the Sol family from attacks by the scavengers, all the while reigniting the love that had survived a five year separation.
As someone who enjoys science fiction as easily as any other kind of fiction, I am always thrilled when an author mixes romance with one of my favorite genres. ALL THAT GLITTERS is all that and more. It snatches up and deposits the reader on a new and strange world. The setting, different than anything we normally expect in a romance, abounds with dangers and wildlife that make it most hostile toward Humans. Erin Kellison paints a story using a pallet of colorful images that brings the world of Sol to life and endears us to Mica and Simon immediately. Star-crossed lovers torn apart by a vengeful father but reunited stronger than ever to overcome all obstacles before finally coming together as an even more loyal pair in love.
Even if you're not a science fiction fan or a romance fan, for that matter, I think everyone who ever enjoyed a sexy conflict struck romance with a HEA ending or a Robert Heinlein novel will thoroughly enjoy ALL THAT GLITTERS. My only question to Erin is, what happened to the injury to Mica's shoulder? By the time she is discovered by Simon, it's gone. Just a little nitpick. That aside, ALL THAT GLITTERS by Erin Kellison is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it ... it's a wonderful way to introduce yourself to science fiction romance, if you're not already acquainted.
Now, on to reading the next two novellas, next up - TO BUY A WIFE by KC Klein. Even if I were to not like the next two as much as ALL THAT GLITTERS, this anthology would be worth getting just for this novella.
HOTTER ON THE EDGE, a science fiction romance anthology featuring novellas by Erin Kellison, KC KLEIN, and JESSA SLADE. Published by Hotter Edge, released on February 2, 2012, ASIN: B00757WOT6. Ebook format. Available at Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. Limited time: you can get it for $.99. A great Valentine's Day treat for yourself or someone you know loves science fiction romance!