Monday, January 20, 2014

There All Along by Lauren Dane and Megan Hart (Review, ADULT title)


There All Along is an ADULT title

There All Along is a volume containing two sensual novellas that explore a very different society as seen through the ideas of Lauren Dane and Megan Hart. Land’s End by Lauren Dane describes life in a dystopian society where small enclaves are surviving despite depredations from lawless brigands who seem to be losing their humanity. Widow Verity Coleman survived her abusive marriage and is somewhat content running the mercantile but thirsts for something different in her life. Lawman Loyal Alsbaugh patrols the garrisons in his sector but finds himself drawn to the unique qualities of the attractive widow. They have to find a relationship that will suit her desire to see the world outside of her garrison at Silver Cliffs but will comply with his strong directive to keep those under his protection safe. By the Sea of Sand by Megan Hart is a science fiction tale that is set on a planet with an unusual ‘sea’ which is populated by whales who produce a consumable product called milka. A lighthouse is maintained by a woman named Teila who also has opened her home to soldiers who have been terribly injured in the war against the inimical Wirthera, most recently one who has significant meaning to her. The inherent danger in dealing with these brainwashed and damaged individuals is an ever-present specter but the responsibilities that Teila juggles so efficiently become threatened by her reaction to her newest charge and the complications wrought by her powerful father-in-law, the head of the Defense Force.

These stories showcase the remarkable ability that both of these very talented authors have to create well-textured and imaginative worlds. The beautiful and erotic love stories that are presented are given depth and peopled with vivid characters who are challenged by the threats inherent in their lives yet are not afraid to live and love. I am not usually a fan of dystopian stories as I find it depressing to consider our society degenerating so much that we return to such a primitive way of life but I have to admit that Ms. Dane has done a wonderful job of making the harsh reality of such a society an intriguing story. I was absolutely enthralled by Ms. Hart’s description of the planet Sheir and its unique inhabitants but I was uncomfortable with the sequence of her initial encounters with her newest patient although fascinated with the gradual revelations that gave rise to even more questions. I love the remarkable complications that are part of this society but I was REALLY frustrated by the end as it left me with more questions than answers. I sincerely hope that Ms. Hart continues this imaginative series that blends heat and creativity in such a powerful story. 

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.