The Second Mango [Mangoverse #1] by Shira Glassman

Title:   The Second Mango [Mangoverse #1]

Author:  Shira Glassman

Publisher:Prizm Books

Kisses: 4 Kisses

Blurb:

Queen Shulamit never expected to inherit the throne of the tropical land of Perach so young. At twenty, grief-stricken and fatherless, she’s also coping with being the only lesbian she knows after her sweetheart ran off for an unknown reason. Not to mention, she’s the victim of severe digestive problems that everybody think she’s faking. When she meets Rivka, an athletic and assertive warrior from the north who wears a mask and pretends to be a man, she finds the source of strength she needs so desperately.

Unfortunately for her, Rivka is straight, but that’s okay—Shulamit needs a surrogate big sister just as much as she needs a girlfriend. Especially if the warrior’s willing to take her around the kingdom on the back of her dragon in search of other women who might be open to same-sex romance. The real world outside the palace is full of adventure, however, and the search for a royal girlfriend quickly turns into a rescue mission when they discover a temple full of women turned to stone by an evil sorcerer.

Review:

To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I liked this story to begin with. However, now that I’ve read the first three books, I find that I rather like the series. The series is mostly about the queen and what she gets up to in solving the crimes, but it also deals with issues found in our society today: LGBTQ acceptance, feminism, bigotry, crime, greed, politics, and a person being true to themselves.

If you read this series, do not expect your “typical” romance, rather this is what I’d call high fantasy with the main characters being in relationships (either with each other or not) that follow the full spectrum of human sexuality. Don’t give it a miss just because you prefer to read about particular types of relationships.

A good story with interesting characters. And the fact the society practices something similar to the Jewish faith adds an intriguing element (not having much experience with the religion, I couldn’t say how similar it is). The author has obviously thought very carefully about all aspects of the story, and it shows.

This is definitely one of those series’ that, while you might not get the huge highs and lows you do with some books, would be a shame to miss it.

Reviewed By: Alison

Buy link:

http://www.prizmbooks.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=72

S.A. Garcia – A Moon Too Far

Title: A Moon Too Far

Author: S.A. Garcia

Publisher:Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 54

Characters:  Captain Tanner N’Tirant and Denzantalen

POV: Third

Sub-Genre:   Science Fiction

Kisses:      3 kisses

Blurb:

Stranded on a moon smelling of rotten eggs with tunnel ghouls attempting to eat him, Captain Tanner N’tirant meets a legend and finds the truth is a lot hotter than the myth. A scorned mother landed him on this rock, and while sleeping with her son wasn’t the finest decision he ever made, trusting Denzantalen, a gene-spliced hybrid thought to be extinct, might be the best decision of his life.

Review:

“A Moon Too Far” is, like some of S.A. Garcia’s other stories, a bit flowery with the language and descriptions, and is very much a train-of-thought type of story. While I found this irritating at times, I’m sure there are those that would love it.

Captain N’tirant is on a run for a friend/ally when his ship’s propulsion systems stop working (I must admit, I thought the reason they wouldn’t work was pretty inventive). Hurt badly in the crash and unable to find the moon he landed on in his space charts, N’tirant decides on drink and sleep before getting to repairs.

I’m not sure that I really liked N’tirant all that much, but Denzantalen was fascinating with his history and biology.

This story might appeal to anyone who likes the train-of-thought style of writing, science fiction, space operas, situations characters get themselves into because of bad decisions, unusual aliens, or tentacle sex. And no, I’m not spelling it out. You can just find out for yourselves.

Having read “An Elf For All Centuries” by this author, which I enjoyed, I came to the conclusion that they must enjoy writing campy, poke-fun-at-themselves stories.

Reviewed by Alison

BUY LINK:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5146