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Book CoverSandy M’s review of Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger
Futuristic Romance published by Berkley Trade 4 Aug 09

I’ve never been one to read a lot of futuristic romance. The biggest reason I don’t care to is really a lame one. I hate all the weird, unpronounceable names that authors come up with for their characters, planets, swear words, whatever. See, told you it was lame. But it’s something that always makes me cringe and then I end up irritated after a couple of pages of this kind of thing. I am so glad this author kept it simple when it came to the names she chose to use in BtR.

Because this is a very good read. My irritation level was at an all-time low, only coming to the fore a couple of times when one character was calling another some type of insulting name, but it’s done in a way that made it quite easy to figure out what they’re saying. I found, once I started this review, that Ms. Granger does have an intergalactic dictionary on her website, but that’s like having a glossary in a book that takes up 12 pages before the story starts. Just not something I like going through. And who can remember all of them if you do read through them first? So thank you, Ms. Granger, for keeping it fairly easy from the beginning.

What I like most about this book is how the hero’s emotions are reflected in his eyes. They turn different colors depending on his moods and emotions. This is done especially well when Cyani, our heroine, tells him what color she sees and he’s surprised by that a couple of times. Soren has been a slave half of his life, chained down to extract hormones from him that the enemy uses for their own purposes, and he’s just shy of madness when Cyani and her team come across him during a rescue. It’s her fox scout who finds Soren and won’t leave without him. Furry Vicca is another favorite piece of the book for me. Though she’s a military weapon, she’s also a pet/friend to Cyani and eventually Soren, and Ms. Granger uses her throughout the story quite effectively.

Soren needs to return to his home planet to find a mate. The hormones in his system require bonding, and once bonded he cannot be without his mate or death ensues. Getting to know Soren, knowing that he went through such a horrific time as she once did, Cyani is determined to escrot him home herself. She is due to become one of the Elite of her people, to live in peace and solitude after serving the last five years in a war to save her twin brother from the ruler of their planet. But the more time this couple spends together, the more their lives become intertwined.

Cyani must return to her people, despite her growing feelings for Soren. He wants her to stay with him, especially since he’s begun to bond with her. They both have a past to keep at bay and having each other helps them do that. They both have an uncertain future, wanting something they simply can’t have from the other. They go through quite a bit before they find what lies ahead. The action goes from escaping the planet where Soren has been held to crashing landing on another alien but beautiful world to rescuing children from the same fate Cyani endured, all the while giving us some sizzling sexual tension and some wonderful love scenes when these two finally come together.

There is another book in the works, I’m assuming, if the ending of this book is anything to go by. However, there is currently nothing on the author’s website to find out anything further on that score. It will feature Cyani’s twin, Cyn, and for one who doesn’t read much futuristic romance, I’m actually looking forward to it.

SandyMGrade: B

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In a universe torn apart by civil war, a warrior and a slave must fight for their freedom, for their lives, and for a love that may destroy them both…

After five years behind enemy lines, Captain Cyani is ready to retire to her homeworld of Azra as one of the Elite — the celibate warrior sisterhood that rules the planet. But first she must complete one final mission to rescue her fellow Union soldiers. The last thing she expects to find is a prisoner, chained and beaten — but radiating feral power and an unbroken spirit…

Soren is a Byralen, an enigmatic people who possess a unique hormone that they use to bond with their mates — and that is sold as a sexual narcotic in the shadow trade. For years, he has endured torture at the hands of his captors as they leeched his very essence. The last thing he expects is to be freed from slavery by a beautiful warrior woman with radiant blue eyes.

Driven by her rigid sense of honor, Cyani frees Soren even though her life hinges upon the success of her mission. But after so many years in bondage, his hormones are so unbalanced that he will die if he does not bond with a woman. Can the lovely but distant warrior be the woman he needs to survive, or will the forbidden bond destroy them?

Read an excerpt.