Yesterday I began a new series of posts highlighting science fiction romance -- "Featuring SFR"-- with an overview of the Shielder series by Catherine Spangler (click here to read overview). Today, that same feature continues with Part 2. As promised it consists of information, and some quick personal notes on all five individual books.
I can NOT end this post without making a comment about the covers! This is definitely a case of "don't judge the book by its cover."As you can see, they are... well... quite dated and the first four definitely don't reflect the genre or content of the books. The fifth book does have more of a sci-fi "feel" to it, although it still doesn't reflect content except for the somewhat pink moon. Ummm, but hey they are quite colorful, aren't they? ;P
SHIELDER (Book #1)
Unjustly shunned by her people, Nessa dan Ranul knew she was unlovable—but when an opportunity arose for her to save her world, she leaped at the chance, disregarding her own life. Setting out for the farthest reaches of the galaxy, she had one goal: to elude capture and deliver her race from destruction. But then she found herself at the questionable mercy of Chase McKnight, a handsome bounty hunter whose hard-muscled arms both captured and protected. Suddenly, Nessa found that escape was the last thing she wanted. In Chase’s passionate embrace she’d found a nirvana of which she’d never dared dream—with a man she could never dare trust. But as her identity remained a secret and her missions incomplete, each passing a day brought her nearer to oblivion. Nessa knew the truth could save her, but could she risk trusting her heart?
The first book in Spangler's Shielder science fiction romance series, this book is an excellent beginning to one of my favorite, older SFR series. Nessa was brave, vulnerable and relentless in her journey and Chase was sexy, brave and compassionate. I loved their romance and adventure. This book will hook you into reading the rest of the series.
SHADOWER (Book #2)
Sabin had been in every hellhole in the galaxy. In his line of work, hives of scum and villainy were nothing to fear. But Giza’s was different, and the bronze-haired beauty at the bar was something special. Not only could she sweep a man off his feet, she could break his legs an steal his heart. And though Moriah wasn’t what Sabin had come for, she was suddenly all he desired.
His Heart’s Prey
The man was a menace, what with his dark good looks and overwhelming masculinity. Worse, Sabin was a shadower, a bounty hunter, which meant he was only one step removed from the law. He was dangerous to a smuggler like Moriah, to her freedom. Yet he drew her as a moth to a flame, and even as she pledged to stay cool, her senses caught fire. Then, in his arms, Moriah realized that this bounty hunter was different. His touch was gentle, and his kiss sweet. And his love led to a fantastic freedom she’d never known.
The second book in the Shielder SFR series, Shadower is my favorite book. A smuggler, Moriah is one of the strongest heroines and my favorite female protagonist all around. Sabin is both sexy and intriguing, plus he also gets my vote for favorite male protagonist of this series. I loved both the action and the romance in this book.
SHAMARA (Book #3)
In a universe of darkness and depravity, the Shielders battled to stay one step ahead of the vengeful Controllers. Their survival depended upon the quest of one man.
Jarek san Ranul had found evidence of a wormhole, a vortex to another galaxy; escape from those who sought the destruction of his race was at hand. But when his search produced the most intriguing woman he’d ever met, he found he wanted something more than duty and honor.
On the run from a mighty warlord, Eirene Kane had to protect her identity. She was an Enhancer, one of a genetic few with a powerful gift. Then her flight hurled her into the arms of Jarek, a man who both stole her heart and uncovered her perilous secret – and though she knew she should flee, Eirene found herself yearning for both the man and the one thing he claimed would free them forever.
I just re-read Shamara in September. I wanted to do this post and needed to refresh my memory. This book is key to the overall storyarc because this where Jarek fights to find a way out for the Shielder race, unfortunately this is also the biggest disappointment of this great series. The problem? Characterization and lack of focus. The overall storyarc seemed to lose focus in this installment and went in circles centering more on the romance and the weakest and most frustrating female protagonist of the series. For me, this was the weakest book of an otherwise excellent (classic) sci-fi romance series.
SHADOW CROSSING (Book #4)
Celie Cameron spent her youth as a smuggler, skirting the law. But though she's given that up, she misses the adrenaline rush of danger. Then a routine delivery goes haywire, throwing her into the arms of a handsome pilot—an android, or so she thinks—and Celie suddenly finds herself embroiled in a galaxy-spanning intrigue and deception. Rurick is a miracle creation. But though he attracts her as no human ever has, his secrets threaten all Celie has ever believed. She resists his allure...until she learns to trust her heart. Then they will challenge the evil that threatens the Verante quadrant, and love will bring light to the dark expanse of space known as Shadow Crossing.
The fourth book of the series was a definite a winner! And especially pleasing after reading Shamara (3rd Book), which was a disappointment. Celie, Moriah's younger sister and partner in her smuggling business, is another strong heroine, and Rurick was an excellent romantic pairing for her. Their adventures through space were exciting and the inclusion of the human-like android added to the story. Deceipt, fast paced adventure, romance, strong characters and lots of space time. Who can ask for more?
SHADOW FIRES (Book #5)
In the relentless heat of the wild Sauran desert, Jenna and Arion wage a battle of wills until they discover that the heart is mightier than any weapon-and that love will forge shadow and fire together.
The fifth book in the Shielder series, this is the FIRST book I read in 2005 and the one that later on (2007/2008) got me to read the rest. This is the most alien book of the whole series as it focuses on a Leor male protagonist -- a reptilian-like race -- and a female Shielder as the romantic central figures. The whole story takes place on the Leor planet. The romance itself is well developed, and I give the author high marks for making me fall in love with a reptilian-like hero. Spangler is quite creative developing this alien world.
After reading the series in order and re-reading this book, I found some inconsistencies in the heroine's personal conflicts, plus the fact that the Controllers become a factor here gives the overall storyline a predictable feel. Having said that, the creativity factor still ranked high when I revisited Spangler's alien world, and I couldn't forget how fresh it felt the first time I read Shadow Fires.
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Series: Shielder Series
Published: 1998 through 2004/Love Spell
Grade for Series: B+