Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger
Why this one: Not really sure why. I love Sci Fi Romance and this one just seemed to call my name
Steam Level: Although there were only two love scenes, and not all that explicit, still I would call this very steamy overall.
Blurb: 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?
My Thoughts: In the baseball vernacular, I love, just love when a new author hits the ball right out of the ballpark in her first at bat and to my way of thinking, Jess Granger has done this with Beyond the Rain. This debut book is Very Good – Very Good Indeed! And how so you ask?
First of all, the world building is excellent. I always admire authors who write SciFi Romance/Futuristics because to me they start from scratch more then any other genre. Whereas a medieval or a historical or RS already has a basis on which to start a story, a good Futuristic starts from nothing. The author literally has to create a whole new world. And I believed the world that Ms. Granger created.
And what is a Very Good - Very Good Indeed book without a heroine and hero you can grab hold of? Cyani is an excellent heroine. Trapped in a destitute environment, she is taken away from it and trained at great cost and pain, to be a warrior without feeling. The only reason she can justify for going through what she has had to is the knowledge that she is saving the life of her twin brother and parents. She has one last mission to accomplish before she heads back to her home world for a life of solitude and silence. But on her last mission, just as she is ready to head back with a group of prisoners she has rescued, she discovers there is one more. When she sees him, chained and masked so he can’t see, with all the damage done to his body, she sends her crew away rather then risking their lives and stays and rescues this mysterious man. She is a woman of strength and honour, compassion and loyalty.
And Soren, the hero – WoWzErS – what a hero he is! He is one of those tortured heroes I love so well. While not an alpha in the traditional sense, neither is he a beta hero. He combines the best of both and is a hero onto himself. He is willing to risk his life over and over in order to give Cyani her choices. He respects and admires her, not just for rescuing him from a life of hell, but because he understands her. He is one of the most noble heroes I’ve read in a very long time. And not only that – he is one of those yummy virgin heroes. But since he comes from a very sensual race, he makes for a very good partner. I can’t say enough good things about him.
In addition, the secondary cast of characters are equally well done. There is one in particular who just screams out for his own story. I don’t see any mention of it on Ms. Grangers web site – but I hope she has something in the works for him. I’m not always like this with secondary characters, I can be just as happy with stand alone books, but this is a real exception.
Now I better warn you because I know this theme isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoy it, this is one of those bonded mate stories.
When I close the cover and want to go back and read it all over again, I know I’ve found me a good one! I hope the buzz on this one continues to be good; Dear Author has this as one of their recommended reads for August, as I think there are many readers who will think this one Very Good, Very Good indeed.
Grade: 5 out of 5