Storms and Stars

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Title: Storms and Stars
Author: Neena Jaydon
Cover Artist: n/a
Publisher: Torquere Press
Amazon Buy Link:Storms and Stars
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: 247 pages/77000 words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: A fun and exciting fantasy adventure which explores the “from enemies to lovers” trope.

Blurb:

It’s lonely at the top for Commander Villam Elding, who has always ranked loyalty to the empire and career ambition over romance. He finds it easier to love ideas than people; without military life, he’s lost. Even so, it’s his close relationship with Kardiell, a popular officer, that tears him from his life. Those with competing ambitions try to take Villam hostage to leverage Kardiell’s soft spot for him. In the struggle, Villam crashes the small spacecraft he’s riding. All hands perish except he and Luke, his kidnapper.

Luke Sicinik travels the galaxy performing dirty missions for money to send home. Born on a desert colony abandoned by the empire, he has no love for imperial soldiers. He spent his childhood in a monastery which taught the evils of anything impractical or sentimental. Yet when he crawls from the destroyed spacecraft, his first instinct is compassionate: he drags Villam’s unconscious body free of the wreckage. Stranded together on a wild planet, Villam and Luke know that survival means cooperation. A truce becomes trust, and trust turns to passion, as they struggle to find a new life together — just the two of them against an entire world.

Review:

The blurb sounded as if this book would have my favorite romance trope “from enemies to lovers,” so of course I was unable to resist it. While I had some niggles, overall it was a fun and pretty decent read.

I thought that the moment Luke and Villam landed together among the wilderness their struggle to survive was pretty well done. I also thought that the changes in them were actually pretty well done as well. Villam’s priorities transform from being an ambitious Imperial officer in the beginning of the book to somebody whose main priority is the person he loves at the end of the book. Luke’s journey shows even more significant change as he actually allows himself to exhibit emotions, which is a very significant adjustment especially because of his upbringing.

I really liked how their feelings about each other change as well and they very slowly establish trust, although I thought the love came a bit too fast. Do not get me wrong, the love does not come before they become friends, but I thought that between the reveals about Luke’s upbringing and him deciding to embrace what Villam was offering, well I was not sure if enough pages passed between these two events. I am not complaining much though, as I said overall at least I was sold on them becoming friends. They started as real enemies, so I suppose I can live with a little too much speed of them becoming lovers after all, even though I would have loved to see Luke’s acknowledging and accepting that need within himself. I also liked how the author managed to make them accept each other while helping each other out, saving each other from the dangers of wilderness. I thought it sounded believable and credible.

The world-building, while showing some interesting things, was like a little bit of philosophy and religion; we get to glance at through both guys’ eyes, but overall it was a bit too trivial for me. It is basically Empire with the spaceships and colonies. I experienced a little bit of “been there done that” and many times feelings. I also felt that the secondary action storyline kind of lost steam by the end of the book. I had so much hope to see more of well-drawn Kardiel and Hije dishing out revenge for what was done to Villam, and eventually we only hear of it and not see.

Having said all this, while the book was a fun read, it was not an outstanding read for me, and the guys, while likeable, did not make me fall in love with them, just like them, which is no small achievement in itself.

If you like fantasy adventure reads, I do recommend this one.

8 thoughts on “Storms and Stars

  1. Raine

    Yes- sounds interesting, need to check the voices in this one.

    When I read the blurb to this I thought of you jumping up and down in excitement at the the enemies to lovers vibe…. :hurrah: ……but you sound like your feet are on the ground. :grin:

    Thanks Sirius.

    1. Sirius

      Heeeee, it was good, don’t get me wrong, definitely better than many varieties of this trope that I have read and book as a whole was good, just not “vowed me and swept me off my feet” good. I mean for me Aisling started as enemies to lovers for example and while it evolved along the way, it was so, I don’t know, breathtaking? This one was good but far from being breathtaking. My other favorite story in mm romance with this trope is “Kei’s gift” by Ann Sommerville.

  2. Hellga

    Weird, I loved the first Aisling book, but had a bit of struggle staying focused on the second and third.. no jumping up and down for me :-)
    Will definitely try this one and Ann Sommerville too.

    1. Sirius

      Hellga, this book is different from Aisling, so if you were so/so about Aisling, and tempted by this one, I do not think the similarities will be a problem. The only one I noticed is that they both are written in fantasy genre (this one is actually much more of scifi than fantasy). Myself I will go for enemies to lovers in any variety in any genre (as long they are not raping each other while they are still enemies I will read anything. One exception would be Bloodraven, which has all the horrific violence and more, but I loved it, but thats the only exception).

      Oh and I will start squeeing enthusiastically about Kei’s gift if I dont reign myself in, so I will just say at least take a look at it. Must shut up.

      1. Hellga

        Pam Nunn can just weave her magic – is all I can say :)

        I really like enemies to friend too) Off to read))

        1. Sirius

          Totally agree with you Hellga. Wait, wait dont go yet ;). You do like this trope too? Recommendations please? Yes, I am greedy and I never feel that I can find enough of good books with this trope :). Thanks in advance.

  3. Name (required)

    ohhhh! kei’s gift. (???) i looked it up and i checked it out. now i’m off to read/order/desire another book. damn you wave and your readery/reviewery minions!!!!! :0)
    -kkm

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