I admit, I was a picky reader this month, and I just wasn’t in the mood for any of the unread category romances in my TBR. Instead, I picked a book that I bought a while ago because I encountered the author on Twitter and then liked the sample I downloaded of her book. It was quite good (I immediately bought the sequel), and it reminded me that I’ve read quite a few good books in the past couple of years in a genre I don’t talk about much — science fiction romance.
First, the book I read: Space Junque by L. K. Rigel. It hooked me right into the story and the world; I liked how she created a future both recognizable and horrifying to a reader of today. It reminded me of the works of Sheri Tepper, which to those who know my reading taste is high praise indeed. I didn’t find it to be as complex and intricate as Tepper’s longer works, but the type of world and the issues characters faced were similar, especially the kind of creepy paranormal element, which I won’t spoil here. The romance made me happy; there’s a satisfying, hopeful dynamic when romance happens against a background of violence and uncertainty, and Rigel got that balance just right for me. WIN
While I’m on a roll, let me mention some other good science fiction romance. I also recently read Chain Reaction by Zoe Archer, the second book in her series about the 8th Wing versus PRAXIS, a universe with a Star Wars feel to it. It has Archer’s trademarks, including instant sexual attraction, deep emotions, kick-ass heroine, very capable hero, and lots of action of both the sexual and the adventure variety. I loved the role reversal of the super-competent woman pilot and the kind of overlooked engineer wallflower, and I read the book in a single sitting because I had to know they succeeded at the end. WIN
Also highly recommended in this genre are Anne Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax novels, Sara Creasy’s Song of Scarabaeus and Children of Scarabaeus, and the Liaden universe books of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, beginning with “Local Customs.” Good fiction, interesting science, strong romance.