Thursday, November 10, 2011

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Two Sci-Fi Romances From Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews (who writes urban fantasy as Kate Daniels) has two science fiction romance stories out that are set in her “World of Kinsmen” series (scroll down). The first is “Silent Blade” and the second is SILVER SHARK.

News like this sometimes takes me by surprise, mainly because of the fact that since sci-fi romance is still so niche, I don't often think to check the blogs of mainstream print authors to see if they have released any books in the subgenre.

Perhaps now that will start to change with the advent of ebooks and all the advantages that digital publishing has to offer. Maybe more big-name authors will take a chance with science fiction romance, which in turn can help raise the visibility of authors who are already deep in the niche trenches.

Ilona Andrews's stories take place in a futuristic setting, although you might also find them tagged as urban fantasy and paranormal romance. (Maybe it's time to change the name of SFR to urban fantasy? Hyuk!)

Here's the lowdown:

Silent Blade,” a short story, was released as an ebook through Samhain Publishing in 2009. Here’s the story description:

Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder.

On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport—in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask.

Kill the man who ruined her life.

Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen—and skills with a blade—won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control—his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?

It’s almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment.

And when she’s sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade’s worth of pain—in a single, brutal dose of reality.
Click here to read the excerpt.

SILVER SHARK, a novella, is the second book in the Kinsmen series. Ilona Andrews self-published this one in September 2011. Here’s the description:

Claire Shannon is a Kinsman, a woman gifted with enhanced mental capabilities. Her skills and her life were taken over by the military to fight in war that has raged on her home planet for decades. But as the war ends, she is forced to hide her abilities in order to make a new life for herself as a civilian. It’s a new persona, a new planet and new job that has her crossing paths with the powerful and alluring Venturo Escana. Is she strong enough to hide her true nature from her perceptive new boss? And as they grow closer, will she even still want to try?

Click here to read the excerpt.

Okay, so I cheated: I peeked at one Amazon review by Kindle-aholic, and found some helpful, non-spoiler information about the SF and romance elements in SILVER SHARK:

For the sci fi fan, there are biologically enhanced psychic warriors (called psychers), bionet computers that psychers jack into and interact with, and the issues of refugees from one planet trying to assimilate to life on a new one. You also have a planet that while beautiful to look at, is ruled by mafia-type families whose feuding often leads to bloodshed. Only the strong survive and thrive here. I really liked the bionet scenes, there was a lot of action and imagery.

For the romance fan you have a smolderingly hot male lead, Ven, who can't seem to find the right girl to settle down with. You also have Claire, the ultra powerful psycher from a war-torn planet who must pretend to be normal to have a chance at a new life on a world that appears to be a paradise compared to her home.

From what little I gleamed (since I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers), these stories fall on the steamy side of the heat level fence.

Ilona Andrews isn't the first mainstream print paranormal romance/urban fantasy author to dabble in sci-fi romance early/earlier in her career. Let's start a list. I'll kick it off with Sherrilyn Kenyon (BORN OF NIGHT). Who would you like to add?

Joyfully yours,