Higher Ground by Becky Black

Title: Higher Ground

Author: Becky Black

Genre: Science Fiction, Futuristic

Length: Novel (279pgs)

Publisher: Loose Id (28th February 2012)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Zach is impatient and likes to hurry. Adam likes to take it slow and to tease. But, they’d have worked it all out — if only the end of the world hadn’t gotten in the way.

Zach Benesh is sure his prediction is right – the island colony of Zahara is about to sink into the ocean. Adam Gray isn’t as certain, but he’s happy to follow the intense, brilliant geophysicist into the mountains to escape the flooding. Though he’d be even happier without three hundred other people – and their pets – tagging along. He’d like to have Zach all to himself out there.

But Zach’s prediction is right and as disaster begins to unfold towards an unstoppable, inevitable conclusion, the two young scientists must become a team in the fight to save their people. They draw strength from their rapidly developing relationship, but the higher Zach and Adam climb, the more difficult the tests they face – as lovers and as men.

Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/Higher-Ground.aspx

Review: Zach is a geophysicist who has been running tests on a small earthquake in his spare time.   When the results come in he prays they are wrong, but knows they are right and the colony is in grave danger. Adam is a botanist and has just started dating Zach.   He doesn’t know what to believe, but Zach is so sure in his conviction that Adam will follow him and support him while their relationship is pushed along fast and is tested to its youthful limits.

This is a well written story that has good characters, an interesting story-line and a great conclusion. Zach is a genius who is never wrong, but this is one time that he wishes he was.   When he can’t get any of his colleagues to read his findings he goes directly to the people on the Island.  He has some small success, but because of what they face he knows that some of his colleagues and the council are playing with fire. Adam might not be sure of what Zach has discovered, but the lengths that Zach goes to convinces him that Zach really believes the Island will sink and so he makes the decision to support his lover.

I think this story is brilliant… it’s a disaster story on a terraformed planet, a small island sat on a super-volcano, the closest rescue a small outpost 18hrs away, the colony elders disbelieving and 300 people climbing to higher ground. I must admit there wasn’t as much world building as I wanted, but the descriptions that we did get were brilliant.  The characters are interesting and likeable. Zach is just so passionate in his belief that disaster is days away but even as he climbs the mountain and is thrust into a role of leadership he wants to be wrong and you can understand the emotions he is feeling. Adam you can understand why he supports Zach, even if he doesn’t quite believe and the fear that they both go through when the next earthquake strikes is palpable.

The relationship between Adam and Zach had only just begun days before and on their journey it is forced to progress faster than either really wanted and although they declare their love a spanner is thrown in the works by Zach’s jealousy over a new arrival Glyn. This is a great story it’s more than just a romance, it’s about survival and blind trust, it’s about grabbing on to life in a disaster and doing the right thing even in the face of adversity.

I will recommend this to those who love science fiction, disaster movies, life and death situations, a fast paced relationship, hot sex, jealousy and a great story.



The Storyteller By Blaine D. Arden

Title:  The Storyteller

Series:   Storm Moon Press Free Reads

Author:  Blaine D. Arden

Genre:   Fantasy, Mild BDSM

Length:  Short story

Publisher:  Storm Moon Press

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥41/2Hearts

Blurb:   Banished by his family, young, blind aristocrat Oleg finds there are advantages of living isolated with just his tutor for company. But the perfect day said tutor, Neiam, planned for them, Oleg’s father seems hell bent on ruining.

Product Link:  http://stormmoonpress.com/books/The-Storyteller.aspx

Reviewer:   J.

The Storyteller is another wonderfully written story with a little extra towards the end. More of the B&D and S&M themes but not in a way where it’s all the usual “whips and chains” but an understanding between Neiam and Oleg. It’s interesting how the term “pet” comes to mind in this and how it’s used in a term of endearment. Overall, I also enjoyed this story writing which wasn’t all about fluff and sweetness. Then I read the biography and saw that the author is from the Nederlands so that made all sense. Europeans are more sexually open and tend to go for the gut of things without the sappiness that some American writers go for. I did like that ideal that these two characters trust each other and that their relationship stays constant even after the more kinkier edges.

I’d give this story an A- for its depth (father and the relationship between the two) and that realness in the story (two friends, lovers, exploring each other in safe boundaries).