Memoirs of Hecate County ySted but the same thing happened with the first book so hang in there Also The worldbuilding seems kind of sketchy10% Wh Great science fiction shaky at best romanceTo be fair I did not read the first story in this series I suspect that if I had my allegiances would have been different coming into the story but I m not sure I would have been satisfied as a reader in terms of the romanceBennet is a military man The rebellious son who paves his own way ignoring his father s wishes He s stubborn determined and duty bound the epitome of noblesse oblige Joss twice Bennet s age and the dilettante academic who loves him They ve been together since Bennet was eighteen and pursuing him He s sophisticated and torn while Bennet is way on missions He wants Bennet to give up the military and stay home he s already been egregiously injured onceJoss was right This mission takes Bennet s life as far as his loved one know Planetside he meets a scrabble of people not evacuated before the Maess invasion There are some great characters introduced Ifan local minerex infantry man who finds Bennet and Luke orphaned child Ifan and he find while surveying the local holdings for survivors of the Maess attack True to Bennet form they are important characters in his life until he moves on and then they re discardedThe beginning is heavily militaristic but when the botched mission turns domestic as Bennet navigates his injuries and subsisting with the other refugees while plotting an escape plan And leave they do but not without conseuences During the formal grieving observances Flynn reenters the storyline Flynn the talented pilot who once saved Bennet and stole his heart The first book in the series from my understanding has a much greater emphasis on this relationship And thus a love triangle emergesBennet is an unmitigated ass to Joss during his recovery Definitely his father s son there Cruel in his dismissal of Joss s care seeing it as a slight against his weakness They have been together forears and there have been changes or rather Bennet has changed and Joss expects things to be the sameThe line between open relationship and infidelity is very thin both Joss and Bennet teeter on it as their actions wobble their uasi marriage they made vows that are not legal in Albion Then they take off the gloves and hurt each other in ways that only someone who loves Three Barnyard Tales you can The status uo is no longer working for Bennet and Joss is angry that his wishes in their relationship are ignoredBasically Bennet is the sort of man who expects to the be sun and have all others orbit him in this he is like his father He doesn t do compromise and frankly he deserves to be alone But he keeps finding people who are willing to bend over backwards for him So as far as leading heroes goes he does not engender positive feelings And the set up for the third story hints heavily not to expect better from him I loved the expeditions but honestly would have loved to see the romance dropped I hated the dynamics the backstabbing and disregard founded on poor communication Overall the science fiction military exploits is the win while the romance leaves a bitter taste Favorite passage Having it all Yes Isn t that the wayou like it Sure it was Only once A Short History of Ireland, 1500-2000 you d got it allou sometimes wondered what it was If an Elephant Went to School you d got and why the hellou d wanted it in the first place A copy was provided to me for a No Glitter Blown reviewReviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews 425 StarsThis installment of the series was much character driven and less action oriented than the last Still plenty of excitement and danger but time was spent focused on the playersGetting Joss POV was interesting in that it definitely humanized him but not necessarily in a good way I felt the pain of his loss while grieving for a mistakenly dead Bennett and was freuently in tears along with the rest of his family especially his Dad but for the most part his reaction felt very self centered and that never endeared me to the character I was very glad to see the backside of him and not just *Because He Was An Impediment Sort Of Not Really Though *he was an impediment sort of not really though Bennett and Flynnbut because of how much Bennett compromised and hurt just to keep him happy Without the same compromise from Joss Joss compromise was to sleep with anyone he wanted to while n Be careful what ou wish forI d remarked that in Gyrfalcon Joss was pretty awful and meant to beSo in volume II Butler gives us big chunks of Joss s POV As a result I was interested in Joss than the MCs and skipped a couple of chapters supposed to be their great love scenes and discussing feels with all their friends and relatives mostly one after the other but sometimes in groups Caeden s manipulative behaviour seemed based on revenge is a dish best served cold And the future seems a bit like the 1980s No fun games or entertainment These are #military on long haul patrol and have state of the art training simulations But no # on long haul patrol and have state of the art training simulations But no games let alone VR That was a tad disappointing The ending was bad also Talk about out the blueVolume III is mostly alien bashing apparently so I may try it TitleAuthor Heart Scarab by Anna ButlerSeriesStandalone book twoGenresub genre science fiction with some MM romanceBook Format ebookLength 396 pagesLGBT Orientation GayViolence Yes some distressing war scenes do occurWell writtenEditor Needed well written though I do wonder why we were inside Joss head so much when those parts could have been cut down a lot maybe even completely without losing much
I also wonder about the world building When we re not in space also wonder about the world building When we re not in space with scary aliens we re basically in 2019 United States on Earth even though Earth is long gone in this world Would I Recommend esPersonal thoughts I really liked the first part of this book There was plenty of action lots of plot to ponder and wonder what would happen next But the second part was long and drawn out with lots of repetition that got very boring toward the end where it seemed like a bland contemporary romance view spoilerI can t stand Joss and how selfish he is But their breakup was ugh Joss just kept repeating the same lines over and over cementing his self centeredness I just wanted Bennet to rip the bandaid off already hide spoile. Grieving Joss his long term partner grieves with them; lost unhappy remorseful First Lieutenant Flynn has no official ‘rights’ here He isn’t family He isn’t partner or lover All he is is brok. .
S sci fi series I didn t like the way this ended though and no I don t need my HEA but I don t like being left feeling confused on a cliffhanger with no mention on when the next book is going to be released I think there are a few books planned for this series but talk about how NOT to end a novel Come onThe writing is excellent I love the fast paced rhythm to the storyline These books don t linger they re snappy Situations arise and bang they re resolved I like this and it works well for these books The MC is great but due to being in one relationship since he was 18 with a much older lover for nine The Ideal Muslim Society years it s like he s emotionally tackling new relationships now like an actual 18ear old after he broke it off with his partner The end of I ve been looking forward to story ever since I read book one in the series Gyrfalcon What can I say I love a good military sci fi story and once again Anna Butler deliversThis is epic space opera at its finest in the tradition of such writers as David Weber or Eric Flint More than any other genre convincing sci fi needs a strong foundation of characterization plot and world building Many authors shine at one or two elements it s rare that Linux Networking Cookbook you get stellar treatment of all three in one story I bet ifou asked the author for details about the ships and the structure of the political organizations things that aren t related in the story she could tell Marcus Garvey you about them without hesitation I certainly hope that future stories include specs on some ships the geek in me really wants to see them The different branches of the military Fleet and Shield and the rotational system designed to keep Shield officers from burning out makes sense from a logistical standpoint but man is it hell on relationships Add to that the political machinations behind the military and it is small wonder that the idealistic Bennet has a hard time knowing where he stands sometimesThen we have the characters themselves What I love most about them is that they are complicated people with the kinds of motives and failings that make them so very real so very human I love too that even the secondary characters are fully fleshed out to the point that if something happens to them I feel a strong sense of loss for them Bennet is not very likeable when he hurt which keeps him from being too too perfect Bisexuality is common in this universe but there are still sects that disapprove of same sex relationships The biggest obstacle that Flynn and Bennet face is not societal disapproval or even the no fraternization rule which Bennet takes very seriously but the sheer distance between them and the unlikelihood they will ever see each other again except if they can somehow arrange leave together That makes even starting a relationship foolhardy unless it s one with no strings Flynn isour classic no strings attached flyboy this should be easy for him right But Bennet is hard for him to forget and when a dangerous mission goes pear shaped and Flynn realizes just how close he came to losing Bennet forever well his actions are easy to understandThe relationships in these stories are complex and very real No this is not MM romance It is however adult fiction and for that I am truly appreciativeI ll be the first to admit I don t leave reviews often I think there is an art to it and I find it difficult to leave a good review without too many spoilers When a book really speaks to me I do my best however Gyrfalcon was a strong opening to an epic series with a large over arching storyline that I fear will break my heart It was a tough first act to follow but Heart Scarab takes us to the next level effortlessly I can t wait for the next installment Reviewed for The Novel ApproachGod what a ride this book was *As A Fan Of *a fan of first book I was thrilled to read this one It gripped
Me From The Beginning And Took Mefrom the beginning and took me a ride until the very end And I cannot wait for the third bookAfter a failed attempt to evacuate the religious fanatics from Telnos before the Maess invade Bennet is presumed dead his signal is gone and Rosie has watched him fall after a strafing run Left to pick up the pieces and move on are the people who loved him the most his family his lover Joss his lieutenant Rosie and FlynnAnna Butler is spectacular at characterization While I had hated Joss in the first book for the first half of this one I felt for him She not only shows things from his perspective but also switches to second person POV sometimes to show the depth of his thoughts and connect readers to Joss The second half of the book I wanted to punch him The same goes for Rosie I felt for her and her unreuited love for Bennet but I also hated how she couldn t accept that he was in love with men And Flynn Oh my poor Flynn How can FRIENDLY ENEMIES you not love him The cocky flyboy who finds himself in love for the first time in his life only to discover his lover deadand he s unable to do anything about itWhile the first book deals a lot with the action part of science fiction and the first half of this one does as well the second half is about the recovery process of loss grief and acceptance How does one cope in a situation like this where loved ones are gone for so long and placed in dangerous situations I suppose it s much like today s militaryI highly recommend this book though not without a few words of warning Firstou should definitely read the first book The relationship between Bennet and Flynn is established in that book and while T18 isn t discussed much it s still integral to how their relationship began And why would Amok you want to miss out on Flynn finally falling in love Second though I do talk about romance this book is not a romance Yes there are some romantic subplots but as a whole the book is science fiction and the relationships while important are not the main part of the bookSo ifou haven t go back and read the first book and then come back for round two Preparing to write this review feels like getting ready to rip a band aid off So I guess all I can do is take a deep breath get a grip and give it a good sharp And a Bottle of Rum yank Howou may wonder did I get from a 4 star rating for the 1st book to 2 stars for this oneIt went something like thisat 8% I m having trouble staying intere. Aess Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can but the enemy arrives before the evacuation is complete Caught in a vicious fire fight Bennet is left behind presumed dead His family is. Rating 45 of five ReadingIsResistance to gay men in armed service vanishing now or in the futureHEART SCARAB gets my full attention at my blog because the second TAKING SHIELD book is about grief love and honor and how they can conspire to ruin lives eat happiness and leave devastation in their wake What a great Booksgiving idea for Crochet your dearly beloved space opera fanAuthor Butler takes us deeper into the life of Shield Captain Bennet eighteen months following the events on Maess held planet T18 and on board the Gyrfalcon As Bennet performs his duty to evacuate illegal religious fanatic colonists on Telnos soon to be behind Maess the faceless unknown aliens winning a war of annihilation against humanity s great to the 10th power grandchildren lines he obsesses over his failing relationship with his elegant worldly lover Joss his burgeoning love for Pilot Flynn stationed on his father s ship the Gyrfalcon and his patient long suffering Lieutenant Rosie listens to him and moons and pines for him completely unheeded unnoticed unconsidered for the position she along with the rest of humanity I d guess craves Bennet s loverBut that s just the beginning of Bennet s troubles at Author Butler s hands And that s why I read space opera Pile the troubles on with the highest possible stakes Then make the stakes personal Then by gawd create some scary aliens with a baseless grudge and an attitude some super advanced tech that is actually just like what we have now on steroids so I can believe itWhy I read this space opera is simple gay guy Bennet flies in the face of humanity s one apparently eternal character flaw religious belief to live his truth as a man who loves men Add to that his father s strong religious convictions and his family s long tradition of military service his older lover s patrician disdain for exactly how his luxurious lifestyle is maintained and military anti fraternization rules that Bennet takes very seriously and that prevent him from pursuing his new love for Flynn andou have a witches brew of good dramaStill very little sex Very little indeed And what there is is non graphic by today s standards More than in Gyrfalcon I think though I haven t done a statistical analysis I can assure the eww ick sueamish that no unpleasantly meaty words are used and with a small effort of intentional misunderstanding the import of the few sexual scenes can be contextualized as emotional intimacies that can t be expressed in any other way without falseness Who here hasn t had what Playhouse you knew was break up sex while pretending the pleasures of a familiar touch were after all enough Yeah me too and so does Bennet when the flypaper and prayers that ve kept Joss in his life finally blow apart under the final assault DeathBennetou see has the bad taste and rude vigor to return from the dead It s justunseemly And after Joss in the manner of their people has made sacrifices of his and Bennet s favorite artwork the perfect and glorious antiuities Joss archaeologist by training offered up to the gods for Bennet ancient historian by academic training to use in the Field of Reeds back comes Bennet hale and hearty and not in the Field of Reeds at all Thethejoy embarrassment confusion of it allAnd that hale and hearty is solely a valid description when matched against dead and rotting on an alien held planet Bennet is #in shards physically and psychically and emotionally his # shards physically and psychically and emotionally His will heal slowly his psyche and emotions might or might not heal at all ever and he might well never get to use his new bionic knee back in his deeply loved Shield role A soldier who s too broken to soldier is by definition A Very Unhappy Man Add to this soldier s woes the emotional mismatch between himself and his partner The immense irresistible force of falling in love with the right one The awful reality of wartime military service meaning unavoidable separation from our
Loverhappy SighI Will Say MysighI will say my expressed in my review of Gyrfalcon to get to sympathize with poor overmatched Joss came true I was sad for him as he was hollowed out by loss and the hideous regret charged acid bath that is grief All the times one falls short one is unkind impatient unwilling to understand or empathizeoh gods and goddesses those will keep a soul awake and agonized as they replay unchanging and unchangeable in the darkness But far painful is the way they play out like movies on a screen while living breathing people are making noises meant to distract console reach ou in the locked projection booth of Desire and Deceive your failingsYes Joss I know that one Author Butler was cruel toou Goodness knows ou deserved it butwelldon t we allAnd the ending of this story is fascinating It is unusual within the genre of gay male centered fiction I will read the next installment of Taking Shield called Makepeace as soon as I ve caught my breath and begun to accept the changes wrought on my feelings alreadyWhich if I need to say it is the hallmark of a really good read This second book in a very good series is well worth reading for SciFi fans The romance thread is still glacially slow and muted at the end although there is forward movement here Joss Bennet s long time partner is a focus as their relationship unravels leaving space perhaps for FlynnBennet is on a backwater colony planet trying to evacuate religious fanatic colonists when the Maees strike In the scramble to get off the ground he is injured and his helmet transponder is destroyed As his family and friends mourn his loss Bennet is working with some local outlaws to escape the notice of the Maees and get a small group of survivors off the planet and to safetyThe action is fun the mourning of those who believe Bennet is dead is affecting I *did have a uibble with the way Joss shoots himself in the foot *have a uibble with the way Joss shoots himself in the foot was hoping that Bennet wouldn t get that out of jail free card I like when splitting up is necessary but hard and with blame to both However this book took me deeper into the characters and the world building and I really enjoyed itOnce again the ending is just another beginning not a cliff but not an HFN On to book 3 375 STARSOK this book was really going places being book 2 in the Taking Shield series it was excellent as was book 1 in thi. Shield Captain Bennet is on Telnos a unpleasant little planet inhabited by religious fanatics and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines It’s about to be about to be overrun by the .