Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander


Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander
Publisher: self
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (355 pgs)
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

This historical novel is based on the author’s parents and what they went through as children in Germany during the Second World War. As the wife of a history buff, I’ve seen a great many movies and heard a lot about the soldiers during that war, but except for The Diary of Anne Frank I’m not familiar with what the children had to go through. This book is eye-opening and heartbreaking, and I would recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in the war.

Lily and Gunter grew up in the same city, but their lives during the war took very different routes. The book is told from each of their points of view- the hardships they had to face and the struggles to stay alive.

My heart broke for Lily as her mother so obviously preferred her younger brother and worked her like a slave, even turning a blind eye to potential dangers to Lily in order to make life more bearable for herself. It’s hard for me, as a mother, to understand Mutti’s reaction to her daughter, which cannot be blamed on the war as she was already disengaged from Lily at the beginning of the story. Her father lied to the family, telling them he had been drafted, but he is full of enthusiasm to do his part in Hitler’s war.

We first meet Gunter as he takes part in the local youth drill that all the young men had to join—training children to one day be soldiers. Once his father is drafted, life is different for him as well as supplies become short, and he is forced to do whatever he can to help keep his family together.

When Lily and Gunter met, the war was over but they each had to deal with the baggage they gathered during it. They fell in love, but the path of true love, in their part, didn’t run smoothly. I enjoyed the way they were together as they each worked through their own demons.

This family saga is wonderfully written and, aside from the emotional ramifications, very easy to read. I stayed up too late a couple of nights reading it. I was really invested in the characters and wondered what was going to happen to them next. Knowing it was based on the author’s parents, it was obvious they would get together at the end, but there were still moments I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out.

I highly recommend this book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Man Down by Tracy Tappan

Man Down by Tracy Tappan
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure
Length: Full (371 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

After being shot down by the Taliban on a Special Operations mission, a Navy pilot and Navy SEAL rescue a beautiful humanitarian doctor. While the three of them evade capture in a race for their lives across northern Pakistan, the two former boyhood friends heal a 10-year breach, and the pilot and doctor find a way to let go of their painful pasts to find love.

Content guidelines: Contains profanity and adult situations. Sensitive readers might find a scene depicting the death of a pet upsetting.

Filled with action, lots of military jargon and enough romance to satisfy, Man Down kept me turning pages from the start.

First, I have to say how grateful I was for the easy to use glossary in the book. One click on an unfamiliar military term took me to the definition, and one more click took me right back to where I was in the story. Loved that feature!

While the book was presented to me as romantic suspense, I’d be more inclined to call it an action novel with romantic elements. Yes, our H/h met near the beginning of the book and there was clearly attraction between them, but not much more than that until nearly the end of the book. And, actually, I didn’t mind that at all. One complaint I often have with fast-paced “thriller” type stories is how the characters manage to take time to heat up the sheets while their lives are on the line. That didn’t happen here, and made things feel more realistic and authentic. When they did finally get physical, though… WHEW! The heat was on for sure!

I’m not typically a fan of stories told through flashbacks, though, and this book is packed with them. I understand what the author was trying to accomplish, and that the information needed to be shared with the reader; the flashbacks were a fantastic way to put the reader in the moment and let us feel what the characters were actually going through (and some of the things that happened were incredibly horrific–note the warning in the blurb), but even so, the time jumps were frequently frustrating for me. Other readers may not have the same trouble with them.

The characters were interesting and well-rounded. I got very invested in them and worried a lot during their trip out of danger. I really enjoyed Farrin and how open and honest and caring she was. It was a little surprising, given her background, and I was pleased to see she hadn’t been permanently scarred by her treatment as a child. I was utterly horrified by Jason’s upbringing, though, and I read one scene right before bed that I couldn’t get out of my mind for some time after.

All-in-all I was impressed by this author. I’ve never read anything by her (and as an aside, this is part of a series, but stands alone just fine) but I fully intend on reading the next book. I have got to know what happens to Shane!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ghost Wolf by Elsa Jade


Ghost Wolf by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest – Book 6
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The harvest moon is rising…

Corrine Ayres was a werewolf with a charmed life. Until her love was taken from her in a place called Mesa Diablo.

Javier Roque’s wolf never rose, so he left Angels Rest to make his own way. Until a deadly threat to his pack brought him home.

Can the widowed she-wolf and the tattooed bad boy missing his wild side find what they desire? Or will they lose everything before they can claim their fate?

A bad boy werewolf who isn’t a wolf sounds like it’s its own conflict. If that’s not intriguing enough, this story picks up with someone I met in the last book, Lost Wolf. Corrine has had the worst thing happen to her. The love of her life, her other half, for all intents and purposes now belongs to another woman and is mated to her courtesy of the hated Kingdom Guard. They destroyed the man she once knew and replaced him with a stranger. She had it all and lost it all. Both Javier and Corrine are tortured in different ways but they are both seeking something they believe is out of their reach – impossible dreams of happiness, love and fulfillment. At the point when I first watch them meet, they are both in a bad place in their lives and there’s no better hook than wanting to see them find their way to a happy ever after, together. But what is it going to take? That’s one of the questions that had me picking up this book, determined to find the answer. I already wanted peace for Corrine but how could Javier give it to her when he couldn’t find it for himself? Ghost Wolf has great hooks, awesome conflicts and a romance story that delivers a solid and well-earned HEA.

What I liked about this tale is that unlike the previous books, both the hero and heroine are part of the werewolf community. There are no secrets between them – they both understand werewolf culture. But Javier is an anomaly within that culture which is unique. Once again Ms. Jade has found a clever twist to make the paranormal genre her own. I enjoyed every minute.

The only thing that I felt was a disservice to Javier was his grandmother. Oh, there’s love, respect and a wonderful interaction between the two, but I just couldn’t understand why she didn’t want him in that little hut. Why didn’t she ever teach him anything? Why did she deny him? Why did she treat him that way when in every other aspect she proved she loved him unconditionally? How can he learn his way without being mentored? That was never explained so I was a bit bummed. There’s a story there that was never told and I felt the book suffered from the lack.

Except for that little dangle, I thought Ghost Wolf was a wonderful addition to the series and worth every minute of my time as I watched Corrine and Javier fall in love. Once again, the story celebrates what the power of love can do, even accomplishing the impossible. I continue to be impressed with this series and am enjoying myself tremendously. I wonder who is next?

Cape Zero: The Fall by Nicholas Woode-Smith


Cape Zero: The Fall by Nicholas Woode-Smith
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (122 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When social recluse and all round introvert, Peter Swart, manages to survive an attack by an insane homeless man, he soon discovers that Cape Town is not going to remain the holiday destination that it was previously regarded.

In the wake of a failed government state of emergency, society crumbles in South Africa as a virus turns people into violent cannibals. Within a day, the already compromised military collapses. Cape Town becomes a dark zone and its residents are forgotten.

With violent mobs roaming the streets, social anxiety and doubtable sanity thrown into the mix – will Peter be able to survive the apocalypse or, worse yet, the necessity to live with other people?

No one is safe when the undead rise.

The zombies in this story were nicely written. I liked the thought Mr. Woode-Smith put into how these creatures move and behave in this universe. He added some logical developments to their mythology that made me shudder. As much as regular zombies scare me, this version of them is even more frightening. I liked the scenes describing what it would be like to accidentally stumble across one of them because of this.

Peter’s character development was confusing to me. The way he behaved suddenly and completely changed about a third of the way through the plot. The medical explanation that was hinted at in the storyline didn’t make sense. Had it actually been the reason for the dramatic change to his personality, I would have expected there to be references to it beginning in the first scene. It’s definitely not the kind of condition that anyone would be able to hide, especially in an environment as stressful and chaotic as the one he was living in.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this story was how the characters reacted to being in such a dangerous world. The fact that so many of them chose to work together to create a safe place to live made me smile. That doesn’t always happen in this genre, so I was glad to see folks working together so cooperatively this time.

There were multiple grammatical and punctuation errors. Some of the sentences were hard to understand because of how unusually they were written. It often wasn’t clear to me exactly what the author wanted his audience to get from those sentences. The storyline itself was interesting, but this book would have really benefited from another round of editing.

The characters in this tale had a refreshing amount of common sense. I appreciated the fact that they always remained cautious around the zombies and never let down their guards when they were in an unfamiliar situation or away from home. This doesn’t always happen in the horror genre, so I’m happy to meet characters who are so sensible.

Cape Zero: The Fall should be read by anyone who really likes zombie fiction.

Lost Wolf by Elsa Jade


Lost Wolf by Elsa Jade
Wolves of Angels Rest – Book 5
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The harvest moon is rising…

The black wolf lost everything when the Kingdom Guard werewolf hunters drugged him, tortured him, and tried to turn him into a weapon against his own kind. All that remains is Zane—a man with no memories, no future, and a bloodthirsty monster lurking under his skin.

But after a seemingly chance encounter with a curvy, black-haired beauty, Zane starts to remember things: glimpses of his past, his favorite book, the taste of desire…

Mahalia Booker needed to dig up the past — just a few petroglyphs from an archeological site on Mesa Diablo — to finish her master’s in history. She never expected to uncover a secret society of werewolves thousands of years old. She’s always stood on the outside, but now she’s become a part of the story — a story with a scary, strangely fascinating and sexy hero…

Zane is an unusual hero even within the paranormal world – he’s an anomaly because he has no memory of who he was before his capture. No one knows the level of trauma and depravity this man has suffered through and how it’s affected his mind and sanity. He’s more animal than human yet the man I come to know in Lost Wolf has depth, passion, drive and all the makings of a true leading man. Hallie, the heroine, gets more than she expects when she comes to Angels Rest to do some research. Research that nothing and no one is going to stop her from accomplishing, but she never counted on meeting Zane and stumbling onto a secret more fascinating than anything she could have envisioned. Fate has something in store for both of them they never expected and the romance that evolves despite the challenges they have to overcome make this novelette another must read from the talented Ms. Jade.

Zane is the unknown assailant from the previous story. Initially it was thought he was unreachable and not able to be saved and there was a good chance he’d have to be destroyed. If a reader is a fan of the tortured hero redeemed theme then Lost Wolf delivers in spades. The very short prologue hints at how badly he’s been treated. It’s heartbreaking. It’s a great hook and very effective. The visual imagery Ms. Jade uses about the water washing ashore is as beautiful as it is haunting because of what it means to Zane’s sanity. Another strong bit of writing is when Zane first claps eyes on Hallie. That whole scene just sucked me in and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the book. A romance is born.

Characters from the initial books in the series are on hand to bring context, continuity and support to Zane and Hallie. There are a couple of new characters that are introduced which amp up the complications between the hero and heroine and create a powerful emotional tangle. For a while there was a lot of uncertainty which contributed to some drama and suspense.

The part when the wolves of Angels Rest were looking for their lost wolf gave me goosebumps. The writing was at its most powerful during this whole scene and made an impact. My emotions were in a tight grip from that point all the way to the very beautiful, poignant and promising happy ever after.

I don’t know how Ms. Jade does it but she’s continued the high quality of writing and storytelling even into this fifth installment of the Angels Rest Mating Season series. Lost Wolf is another keeper along with the previous books. I’m a happy reader and I can’t wait to find out who gets their HEA next.

Toys for Boys by KD Grace


Toys for Boys by KD Grace
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, Toys, Spanking, Exhibitionism
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Alpha nerd Will Charles teams up with Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones in a coast to coast walk across England reviewing outdoor gift suggestions for the Christmas edition of Toys for Boys—an online magazine dedicated to the latest gadgets to tickle a man’s fancy. Will is recording their adventures with the latest smart phone technology. Doc is reviewing the latest outdoor gear. The two quickly discover the great outdoors provides even better toys for boys, toys best shared al fresco, toys that, in spite of Will’s great camera work, will never be reviewed in Toys for Boys.

The boys are away and they will play…dirty.

I knew going in this would be a hot story. I had no idea how hot and I’m glad…in a good way. Toys for Boys was a delightful and sweltering surprise. I already liked the work of KD Grace and this one is no exception. She even has written herself into the story!

Doc and Will are great together, even when they don’t want to be that way. I loved how the guys were initially polar opposites. Will has charm to boot and when he turns it on… well… Doc wasn’t the only one helpless. I liked Will from the start. The writing flowed well, even when I wasn’t sure initially why the author had written herself into the story. Trust me, it all makes sense in the end and it’s worth the reward. Now writing herself into the book (or a character called KD) could’ve been considered a show of ego, but in this book it’s not. It feels more like a diary entry or a retelling to a friend rather than something one-dimensional. I’m glad the author took the story in this direction. Well worth the effort.

Did I mention it was a hot read? I’ll never look at tree branches, rocks, or even butter exactly the same way again. I won’t spoil the story, but oh… man… It’s sinful. The only thing that marred the story for me was the few typos. One character’s name changed spelling and it confused me for a moment. With another quick pass by an editor and this story will shine brighter. It already shines, but it can be brighter.

If you want a hot story that’s sinfully hot and involves nature, then this is the book for you. Recommended.

The Bucktown Babies by Janine R. Pestel


The Bucktown Babies by Janine R. Pestel
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Suspense/Mystery, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (124 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Johann Gunter, a former priest, whose sister has been taken by a demon, travels to a small farming community where there is an alarming outbreak of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Knowing this is the work of a demon, he prepares to fight the monster and, hopefully, save the town. Before he can finish his investigation, however, he finds out his cover has been blown, and an unlikely person steps up as an ally. “The Bucktown Babies” is the first book in the Father Gunter Demon Hunter series.

Sometimes the innocent suffer more than anyone else.

Johann had an sad and interesting backstory. I appreciated the fact that the narrator waited quite a while to share it with the audience. Not knowing what it was that originally drew this character into such an unusual line of work kept me curious in the beginning. Finding it out eventually was also important, though, and I’m glad that the author made sure her readers had a strong understanding of this part of his past.

This story spent a lot of time telling me what was happening instead of showing it to me. The premise was incredibly interesting, but I had a hard time getting into the plot because there weren’t enough details to draw me into the scenes. Even what should have been the most exciting sections were described so vaguely that I had trouble picturing what was happening in them and what it would be like to be standing next to Johann at those exact moments.

Why would a demon decide to prey only on babies? This question haunted me as I read. The nice thing about this part of the plot is that it was so open to interpretation. There were passages early on that supported just about all of the theories I came up with to explain why this might be so. This made me eager to push on and find out which one of them might be correct.

There were some things I didn’t understand at all about the demon. For example, Johann’s plan for getting rid of this creature was much simpler than I thought it would be based on how distressed he was at the news of the demonic infestation in the opening scene. Other scenes shared the same kind of information about the demon. It seemed contradictory to me at times, so I would have really liked to see more time spent explaining why the main character was distressed about this case.

The science fiction and mystery elements of the plot were balanced wonderfully. It actually took me a while to figure out how to classify this tale because of what a good job it did at mixing these genres together seamlessly. The mystery tag won out in the end, but only barely. This is the sort of thing that can appeal to more than one audience due to how much care it took in making sure that the storyline included the best from both of the genres it was playing around with.

I’d recommend The Bucktown Babies equally to fans of both of these genres.

The Road To Winterhill by Gloria Gay


The Road To Winterhill by Gloria Gay
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (214 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Snapdragon

In the silence of St. George’s Cathedral, the clergyman’s voice rang out unnaturally loud: “Do you, Richard Branston, Earl of Berrington, take this woman, Belinda Presleigh, of Hunsley Manor, as your lawful wedded wife, to love and honor until death do you part?”

The few wedding guests crowding around them waited for Berrington’s response which was long in coming. Belinda saw their smirks and heard their muffled laughter.

She felt the sting of tears in her eyes at the long pause and realized she could not undo what she had done. The awful deed had come to roost in her heart.

She wished he would say no. She’d rather be jilted than that awful hesitation in which everyone looked at each other, some with smirks of “I told you so.”

Finally, Lord Berrington’s voice rang out—loud, impatient and clear: “I do.”

Society shuns Belinda Presley when her mother’s scheme results in a forced offer of marriage from Richard Branston, the Earl of Berrington, the man she loves in secret.

Warm conversations during the day and passionate nights of love at night on their three-days’ journey give Belinda the only happiness she has ever known. Yet on arriving at Winterhill, Belinda feels the family’s animosity, as the earl, unaware of the danger she leaves her in and still resentful, returns to London.

Her only friend, Lord Wilbur, and solitary walks, are her solace, but Belinda’s enemies’ hatred soon place her in extreme peril.

Quirky and unpredictable, The Road to Winterhill sets off with what seems could be an ordinary enough challenge: Belinda Presleigh is dragged into pursuit of the ‘advantageous situation’ (otherwise known as marriage) by her very determined mother. It seems hardly a new predicament, but her mother is quite unpredictably crafty!

Belinda is concerned about decency, about embarrassment, and avoiding rogues, and that all seemed quite enough before being reminded about the spiders!

Berrington, an Earl, has friends that seem as eager to see him tie the knot as well. Vastly more interested in an assignation, he, it seems, may be manipulated too. The eerie opening setting (dark, dank wine cellar) could scarcely be more fitting. Throughout, locations never intrude, but are somehow just there as perfect background.

The two live in relative wealth, but both somewhat trapped by their status.  Yet, neither of these two are quite the pawns they first appear…the situation is riveting, long before the end of chapter one.

The unexpected intrigue brings us to quite the tale, and we run through an array of emotions. Belinda, who seemed a simple, protected gal of marrying age has actually had quite a number of experiences, sorrows, and hopes. We find ourselves hoping she will find her way to a kinder man…

The past contributes to the unexpected twists of the story. ‘The whims of fate’ indeed seem to take charge of events, but then we do begin to suspect that some one person is at the heart of suspicious circumstances.

The opening dialogue seemed a bit slow (my only complaint) but my inability to stop reading this hysterical and bewitching historical romance means I must give it top marks, and I must say, if I’d had any idea what lay in store, I’d have started reading sooner.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Road To Winterhill as the characters were so unexpectedly engaging. A real treat: Do read.

Mine Forever and Always by Tammy L Bailey


Mine Forever and Always by Tammy L Bailey
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (192 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Just shy of fifteen years old, and during a fake and impromptu wedding ceremony, Lily Scott married her best friend’s brother, Henry Dalton.

It seemed harmless enough until he leaned in and whispered to her his true feelings, amorous words she has been unable to forget: Now you’re mine, forever and always.

Unfortunately, growing up pulls them apart and transforms Henry into a pompous scoundrel. When they meet again at a house party hosted by Henry’s sister, will Henry remember his once faithful promise to Lily?

As teenagers Lily and Henry take part in a mock marriage. Shortly after, adult interference tears them apart leaving Lily with the impression Henry regrets his action and no longer wants anything to with her. Lily is invited by Henry’s sister to a party at his family home and he takes every opportunity to ridicule her.

This is a nice book, but for something in the regency line there are a lot of times when Henry would be forced to marry Lily whether he wanted to or not. The passion between them is blurred with Lily wanting him but knowing she can’t have him and Henry apparently only wanting to argue with her.

The imagination brings the scenes and characters to life, and misunderstanding provides levity to the situation, as well as tension. I loved the sister Jane, she was such a lively young lady and I felt she and Waverley would make a good pair. I would have liked to know more of how Jane managed to twist the taking of a name out of a hat to get the response she wanted. Good plot.

Dark Matter by Elsa Jade


Dark Matter by Elsa Jade
Big Sky Alien Mail Order Brides #3 ~ Intergalactic Dating Agency
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (141 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Dating and mating are the irrational pursuits of mortal races while the rare vrykoly species watches dispassionately from afar. But after his captain and first officer find love with the extraordinary females of Earth, this vrykoly is forced to wonder if he was—dare he say it?—wrong. Piloting the deathly cold and vast distances of space is why he was meant to exist, all he’s ever known, and even his dreams have always been black and still. Can anyone ever love a soul-sucking space vampire?

The third and final finding their bride story is on Earth for only a little bit of time. Outer space calls and the adventure begins when the heroine accepts the invite to climb aboard a spaceship to map a solar system.

Most of Dark Matter takes place between Del and Ivan once they leave Earth for what is expected to be a quiet, scientific exploration of Sin’s (the hero of Alpha Star) new solar system that his grandmother gave him. It’s the perfect opportunity for Del to have the adventure of a lifetime by getting a chance to go into space and she thinks it’s going to be a piece of cake. Well, after she gets used to the blackness of space, being on a ship, a panic attack, eating a very strange food product and the realization that she’s got the hots for Ivan, the hero. Oops.

From the previous two books in the trilogy I got the impression that Ivan was a risky member of the team because he ‘ate’ people; based on something Honey alluded to in the first book. It was related to a reader that he was dangerous, cold and unfeeling. Well, along the way Del finds out that yes, Ivan is dangerous, he is cold but there’s a reason for that and he doesn’t stay unfeeling for long. And the reason he’s been dark and mesmerizing is because of the type of being he is. Honestly, I never saw that coming. I was impressed. Anyway, being in proximity to Del is stimulating something in Ivan’s psyche – perplexing elements of a past genetic history thought long gone. The poor hero was very confused but unwilling to stop exploring what Del is doing to him. He’s discovering that there’s something intriguing about male/female physical relations after all. It’s at that point a reader is assured that the relationship between Del and Ivan was making significant progress. This romance story sure has a different kind of courtship in store for readers.

The drawbacks for me in this novella were that the villain called Blackworm wasn’t a successfully developed plot conflict – sure he’s been a threat since the second book but I never got to meet the scoundrel; that even in this third book in the trilogy it was never resolved as to WHO the traitor was on Sin’s ship, Sinner’s Prayer that was left dangling in the first book, Alpha Star; and the biggest thing was, I was confused about Ivan himself. The descriptions of his species and his references to cold, the elements that consist of his very existence and his matrix and relationship to the universe, and the threat to his continued survival all left me perplexed and baffled. They were certainly unique and fascinating, but I couldn’t follow it enough to decide if it had the capacity to be super sexy, profound or I simply could not grasp the sci-fi aspect of it all. I did like his innocence with the subject of sex and how quickly he caught on, but once again the use of science fiction words for things threw me. How do I pronounce ‘exciton’ anyway?

One thing that the author excelled at was in describing the crash landing, the landscape of the alien environment, and my favorite, the eel. That was a strong and amazing bit of creativity. Even the idea and description of the space lily pads was cool. The one thing Ms. Jade has in spades is a great imagination and I did enjoy most of it.

On the whole, Dark Matter was a good read. Yes, it was a challenge at times but the dynamics and dialogue between Ivan and Del were what kept me flipping the pages. I did enjoy reading about the challenges they both faced as they tried to survive in a very unforgiving landscape. I totally enjoyed Ivan’s enthusiasm once he figured out that sex in action was a lot more fun than he thought, and I thought Del and Ivan were good together. So, as far as the romance goes in Dark Matter, it worked and I totally enjoyed the happy ever after at the end. For Ivan and Del, it was a perfect ending to a very unusual courtship.