Programmed To Please, The Tau Cetus Chronicles Book One, Jenna Ives
Genre: Romance, Sci Fi & Fantasy
Well, I thought this sounded intriguing, how could a woman act as a robot in such an intimate situation but…just didn’t work for me as a story but it was well written and for those that want erotica its pretty spicy.
Its over such a short time period that it just didn’t feel real to me, found it too much a stretch to believe that feelings could change so quickly, that someone allegedly so intelligent could be so duped, and talk to the “doll”.
I hadn’t realised it was so short – my bad – its only 159 – 170 pages (depends on which site )or 2450 kindle locations, and that just doesn’t let anything more than superficial actions take place.
If it had been longer, and spread over a longer time period I think I’d have enjoyed it but as it is its just too brief and there’s seems to have been an emphasis on sex rather than romance and story. That fine if you want an erotic read, but I was looking for more romance, love some spice but I have to believe there’s meaning behind it and with these two characters for me that was missing .
Still, it clearly works and works well for many readers so its that old one man’s meat is another’s poison rationale again.
Make your own decision: if you want story and romance you may feel as I did that its not here, if you just want a shortish erotic read you may love this.
Stars: Two, not one for me but will appeal to lovers of erotica novellas.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher
ANEW: Book One: Awakened, Josie Litton
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult), Romance
When I started this book I’d forgotten the synopsis, and went into it blind. It soon became clear there were Sleeping Beauty parallels, and yet its a very different story. Its futuristic and yet not in a star trek type way, has things in it which are beyond our current knowledge and yet – its so believable that this scenario could happen in the future. It’s scary, and with all the current research into genes, embryos and stem cells its possible that despite legislation things could go further – once Pandora’s box is open the knowledge can’t be put back, and there are always those who wish to push boundaries either for power, money or simple knowledge…in that way it’s a terrifying glimpse into what the future could hold.
Amelia wakes but knows nothing about who she is, about her past and yet she knows how to do things, ballet, piano, has a knowledge of events and people from history and current politics. How? Ian, who is the first person she comes across has answers, but seems to want to avoid giving them too soon. He’s not being as cruel as it first seems. Once we know more about the story we can see that its something new and shocking to him too.
Once he tells her more she’s shocked and I so felt for her. It must be an awful thing to happen, and then when her memories of her past creep in – wow – what a nightmare. Its like those times when someone wakes from being in a vegetative state for years, and says they could feel and hear what was going on but was unable to communicate…how awful.
For Ian she’s come as a shock, he wants to resent her, he didn’t ask for her and yet she has a pull for him he can’t ignore. He’s scared though that he will hurt her because of his past. For both of them too there’s the dilemma of are they attracted to each other because of who they are, or because of how Amelia exists? Its a paradox of free will, knowing their own minds, or are they acting because of other effects on their minds. Ian prides himself on his control so this thought isn’t a pleasant one for him, and poor Amelia, she knows so little about herself she wants to think that what she does is her choice, not something someone else wants her to do.
They struggle after the first couple of days that veer from anger to hot erotic sex and back again, and Ian introduces Amelia to more of her family. There’s so much going on politically though that her entrance into society, into the world of the wealthy and glamoured brings her into real danger. There are lots of different factions in this future world, where the rich seem to have it all and those below are tightly controlled and regulated in what they can do and have. That sort of unfairness always causes revolts and unrest, and some of the groups have spun off into one that directly affects Amelia.
Its a really unusual read ( for me anyway) and it’s so much more than a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. In fact only the first chapter really carries that sense of similarity for me. Ian is a person holding many secrets, and I really liked hm. Despite his wealth he’s a good man, has a loyal staff who’ll do anything to protect him, and even though he clearly is attracted to Amelia, both sexually (and how!!) and to her intelligence, the thought that he might be abusing her by not letting her find her own way is abhorrent to him. Of course he’s also having to face the conundrum of his own position – does he like her, want her for herself, for who she is, or for who she’s meant to be. Its a big Free Will debate for both of them, and one I found very intriguing. I think they have a genuine attraction – but then I’m an incurable romantic so would of course. In reality ( ok fiction reality) the puzzle they face is very real. What happens if one thinks their feelings are real and the other disagrees and won’t let them be together ? Its a real heartbreak and drama potential for the story, even without the danger facing Amelia from other areas.
Its a scary book in a way for me, not so much for what it is, but for how it lays out something that could very well happen at some point. Even now we see legislation having to quickly adjust to keep up with technology, especially in the gene and embryo fields, so its not such a far fetched notion that someone unscrupulous would take advantage of gaps.
Stars: Five, a fabulous read, and I look forward to the follow up.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.
ARC provided by author.
Well, I’ve had a great weekend, two paranormal books that have been a real treat to read with both comprising of something very different to the norm. (this one and Relic, Renee Collins. )
There’s a straight-into-the-story feel about this book, with further revelations about the worlds being revealed as the story continues. We meet Sara who seems like an ordinary girl, on her lunch break sitting in her car. She thinks she’s dreaming when a beautiful man begins to make love to her. Turns out he’s real, a Silver elf from a parallel world. That’s the best way I can describe it – once humans and those with magic lived together peacefully but then the humans got scared, or maybe it was the commerce problems, whatever- the humans outlawed the use of magic and Sara’s father and brother disappeared, taken suddenly by the government. Now she tries very carefully to hide her magical abilities. Once she meets Micah though, he shows her the Otherworld and they end up fighting to rescue and protect her family.
Its a world peopled with machines, drones that are programmed to spy on every facet of daily life, friends who may be anything but, people afraid to speak or trust and the government controlling every facet of daily life. For breaches – very minor – the penalties can be severe. Being 4 hours late for work leads to loss of job and bad references, and there’s always the danger one may get caught up by something seemingly innocuous that would lead to death being the punishment.
Being with Micah is anything but innocuous but Sara quickly falls for him, feeling a connection beyond anything she’s know before. Its a fight for life, secrets long hidden get revealed, the Otherworld shows Sara things she never imagined, with both good and bad people, and the danger to Sara and her remaining family is escalating throughout the novel. Once she’s accepted that Micah is part of her life though there’s no going back.
Its an amazing world Jennifer has created, I love the idea of simply stepping through into a another world, and of course its easy to believe a government would do something like this. Its almost a 1984 feel in the constant spying and regulation of people’s everyday lives, and the ever present threat of punishment for breaches of rules.
I enjoyed this book – though I love my vampires and shape-shifters its a treat to find something so very different and fresh feeling. Though there is a romance between Sara and Micah its not a huge part of the book, more a (silver!) thread that runs through it, connecting up incidents and providing a forum for exchange of knowledge. I love Micah, the way he was so protective of Sara, “my Sara” he calls her.
The gradual introduction to the alternative worlds worked well, I was able to pick up the story slowly and work out how it all fitted together. Great characters but I did find them a bit hard to really get into, didn’t really understand their motivations and feelings at first. Usually with a book like this I’d get totally lost into another world, but for some reason I didn’t here. I’m not sure why, except maybe its something to do with the lack of empathy I felt for Sara. She certainly grew on my as the story continued but I think I needed to have more of a connection to her earlier – that may have helped. Sometimes when its the first book in a series though this happens to me, there’s so much new information being brought forward that it takes me time to assimilate it, and to get hooked into the characters. Anyway this is book one in a series. It ends neatly with all the plots tied up and with the opening for the next book cleverly introduced. I’ll certainly look forward to reading that, and rejoining Sara and Micah in their next adventure.
Stars: almost a five, if I’d have felt closer to the characters earlier it would have been but it’s a definite solid four.