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Review: Stark Pleasure; the Space Magnate’s Mistress (LodeStar #1)

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Where did you get the book: Bought
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: Out now

Can she survive the perils of the galaxy on her wits … or will she have to use her body?

Kiri te Nawa will do anything to escape the perilous streets of New Seattle, Earth II and find the treasure for which she searches the galaxy, even become the mistress of space magnate Logan Stark. But is he her savior, or simply the man who wants to own her sexually?

Just when she is ready to submit more than her body to this powerful, magnetic man, she’s kidnapped and thrown into her worst nightmare. Will he search for her, or believe she’s betrayed him with an old lover?

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

Space tycoon alpha meets struggling but determined barista in a science fiction setting with hot smexy action. I knew this was a book for me! And I am glad I did pick this up, although there were a few issues with the plot and characters. I enjoyed the premise because it was an addictive mix of Harlequin Presents and science fiction.

I am a sucker for obsessive and protective heroes, and Logan Stark definitely fits into that category, especially when he spies on the heroine, Kiri te Nawa, who makes an ill-fated bet on a lottery stand next to her coffee stall that gets her into trouble. Kiri is desperate for funds to improve and upgrade her business, but due to her bad bet Stark helps to save her from her predicament and sweep her off her feet at the same time with a hot and heavy affair.

Nonetheless, Kiri is street smart and savvy and doesn’t totally get swept up in her relationship with Stark, who is fast becoming obssessed with Kiri even though he won’t admit his developing feelings for her like a typical alphahole hero. I also liked that Kiri wanted to keep her independence and keep her business going despite her growing feelings–and she was more honest with her feelings, although she was realistic about her situation and wanted to keep her guard up just in case things go downhill with their relationship, which of course it does.

And this is where the book faltered for me. I have to warn you all: this has the cheating trope, although to be fair, Stark who was the one who cheated because he believed Kiri had a fling and escaped with an old flame. She was really abducted and forcibly taken to another planet for her safety due to the machinations of her ex-lover because she was in danger.

Stark and Kiri later reunite but the truth of his fling with a spaceship passenger comes out and it gets ugly and I am so glad she doesn’t let him sweet-talk back to resuming their sexual relationship. There is tentative steps to work on fully becoming a couple because they both realise they’re in love with each other. Stark also deeply regrets his actions, but I really dislike this trope so much and it takes a lot to recover and forgive cheating even though he felt that Kiri was the one who betrayed him. Even though they were working through their issues, the book ends pretty abruptly with them wanting to resolve their problems.

I had no idea if there was another sequel about them until I checked the author’s page. There are two other sequels and a novella which takes place soon after this book and focuses on the hero and heroine’s brothers. But I was glad to see there was another book planned, called, Stark’s Honor: the Space Magnate’s Bride. That was difficult to find on her site although it  was mentioned in her blog which took a few entries to discover. I wished the author would update her main site because I can see people asking questions about the ending if there was true followup. If I didn’t search out for this news, I would have been miffed because the ending was entirely unsatisfactory especially since I felt I was left hanging with how things developed.

So while this book started off really well, it did go off the rails a bit at the end despite the promise sequel which I hope will be released soon. But I really like Cathryn Cade’s voice and I like how she combined the elements of Harlequin Presents with science fiction which was well thought out with different type of planets, aliens and settings. New Seattle’s neo noir feel to the western tone of the planet Frontiera gives the book and this series a huge scope and I will definitely check out the sequels, which I think hasn’t got the same issues as this book had with the cheating and abrupt ending. But this was an enjoyable and crackalicious start to a promising series. I will definitely follow because the sequels feature space pirates and miner heroes!

I give Stark Pleasure; the Space Magnate’s Mistress a C! (Due to the cheating and abrupt ending which left me hanging I would have given this a much higher grade.)

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By Has

Has is a voracious reader and a geek at heart! She is a fan of most sub-genres of romance and fantasy, but especially loves fantasy and some sci fi. She's currently looking out for historical romances with unusual settings, and fantasy romance, in the vein of Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan who are on her list of favourite authors. She's also a fan of authors such as Tamora Pierce, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Ann Aguirre, Lisa Kleypas and Nalini Singh. She is always on the look out for new authors and loves the feeling of discovering a brand new author and books she loves.

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