Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Star Dance by Samantha Cayto

What lurks in the dark is not always a monster. Sometimes it’s your deepest desire.

Malcolm MacLerie has long made his home in the wild Highlands of Scotland. Sick of the endless war with Dracul and living with terrible guilt over the crash, he seeks peace and quiet. When his captain asks for his help one last time, however, he can’t refuse. Honor demands no less. His surveillance of Dracul’s castle turns into a rescue mission when a brutalized boy runs right into his arms.

Brenin has survived the vicious life of being an alien’s slave. His desperate bid to escape leads him into yet another monster’s castle—or so he fears. The more time he spends with Malcolm, the more he doubts his own worries. He has to fight a pull toward this alien who wears a kilt and fights with a sword.

Malcolm isn’t looking to get attached to anyone, let alone a traumatized human, but Brenin’s knowledge of the monster’s lair makes him invaluable and forces them to work together. Duty turns to desire, despite his best intentions. Even as they fight their growing attraction, they keep getting in deeper.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and sexual abuse.

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Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Stars for secondary plot
2-ish stars for the main romantic couple
3 Stars overall

Star Dance is the fourth installment of the Alien Blood Wars series. I strongly recommend against reading the series out of order, especially this one in particular, as the secondary plot ties with the Dracul threat.

As a big fan of Samantha Cayto, I enjoy the few hours of escapism these stories provide. However, I did and didn't struggle with this particular novel.

Daffyd has been featured as Dracul's captive since book one, with Brenin slightly shown. This is the first time Brenin has been gifted with a point-of-view. Malcolm is also new to readers. We're in a new location, far removed from Boston and the cast we've come to know, with an overpowering accent by both of the main characters. (I love a good Scottish accent, Welsh too. But the overuse of LIKE at the end of every sentence by Brenin became distractedly annoying, 'like' he was a valley girl from the 80s.)

This is where I struggled, with each installment providing foreshadowing and a lead-in for the new main characters in the subsequent book, Star Dance breaks that pattern. I had zero emotionally invested in these new characters, while I wanted to know what was happening with the characters who have been on-scene since page one.

My biggest issue, I wasn't emotionally invested in Malcolm, whom I saw as an entirely new character, nor Brenin, because I was always more focused on what Daffyd brought to the overall story. So while their beginnings were interesting on their own, they were completely overshadowed by the drive to learn what happened next for Daffyd, as well as the plot Dracul pushed forth, which I won't mention as that would be a spoiler. The possible future romance of other characters, whom readers have known since book one, was being pushed forcefully, making me not care what was happening in this novel – I just wanted to read their novel instead.

Other main characters were drawn into the mix, in a life-threatening situation, which made Brenin and Malcolm's romance secondary, as if they weren't driving the novel. The plot taking place, and those it affected, they were more interesting, more resonating, than the romance between our main characters, to the point the main characters felt more like background characters.

While the Dracul plot was thrilling, evoking emotions within me, Brenin and Malcolm were meh because of this. While the darker content that happened to Brenin should have evoked emotions out of me, as this same type of situation did in past novels across Cayto's series, I just didn't feel anything for the character, nor for Malcolm. I wasn't invested, as I didn't have three books worth of lead-in as I did with the secondary characters that took over the plot and the novel itself.

I look forward to seeing where this leads in subsequent books, but felt this couple got shortchanged/overshadowed because things happening to other characters were more intriguing, much more important.

Also Available in the Alien Blood Wars Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Blood Dance post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Dangerous Dance post.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Pride Publishing

For reviews & more info, check out our Slave Dance post.

Samantha Cayto is a Boston-area native who practices as a business lawyer by day while writing erotic romance at night—the steamier the better. She likes to push the envelope when it comes to writing about passion and is delighted other women agree that guy-on-guy sex is the hottest ever.

She lives a typical suburban life with her husband, three kids and four dogs. Her children don't understand why they can't read what she writes, but her husband is always willing to lend her a hand—and anything else—when she needs to choreograph a scene.

Connect with Samantha

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Star Dance (Alien Blood Wars #4) by Samantha Cayto to read and review.

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