Published By: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: February 2012 (available now)
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Received From: Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley
Gemme is a hi-tech matchmaker who pairs the next generation of Lifers aboard The Expedition, a deep space transport vessel destined for Paradise 18. When the identity of her lifemate pops up on her screen, she’s shocked that he’s the achingly gorgeous and highly sought after Lieutenant Miles Brentwood—a man oblivious to her existence. Believing everyone will think she contrived the match, she erases it from the computer’s memory.
Just as comets pummel the ship and destroy the pairing system forever.
With The Expedition disabled, the colonists must crash land on the barren ice world of Tundra 37 where Gemme is reassigned to an exploratory mission, led by Lieutenant Brentwood. Only in the frozen tundra does she understand the shape of his heart and why the computer has entwined their destinies.
I had the opportunity to read this novel thank to NetGalley. I very much enjoyed it, but while there were parts I did like, there were also parts I didn't. However, the author has intrigued me enough that not only do I want to read the first book in this series, but I also can't wait to read book three in the series.
Aubrie Dionne does a great job with her world-building, creating a science fiction novel that is easily believable is hard work and I found myself really feeling as though this place could exist. Taking place far in the future (and I mean far as in the 2700's) the population of the human species has lived aboard a space shuttle of sorts (think Xenon, Girl of the 21st Century) for centuries as they leave behind the destruction of Earth and attempt to make their way to a new planet Paradise 18. And while most of the people on this very large ship The Expedition won't live to see this planet because of the fact that it takes centuries to get there, they set off in hope of a better future for their offsprings offspring. On the way to Paradise 18, The Expedition is hit by a comet shower and the ship is forced to land on the first available planet capable of occupying life, unfortunately, said planet is currently experiencing an ice age, but with no choice they land and now a team must gather together in search of the proper supplies in this unknown world to keep the ship and it's inhabitant alive so that they can start building a future on this planet. Tundra 37.
Enter Gemme, she was The Expedition's matchmaker, attempting to pair mates together to create the best offspring possible, until she finds her own name matched to the one man she thought she'd only ever be able to dream about being matched to. Afraid that the entire ship will think that she altered the computer system so that she was paired with the ships most eligible bachelor, she deletes the matching and not minutes later, her entire computer system is destroyed in the shower. Without a job, she is placed on a research and exploration team to hunt down minerals that are needed to keep everyone alive on the crashed ship. On his trip she is paired with none other than Lieutenant Brentwood, the very person who she was to be paired with according to the matchmaking system.
Lieutenant Brentwood has never met Gemme before the comet shower but he instantly knows that she is the person he is meant to be with at all costs. However, Gemme's arch rival wants Miles Brentwood for himself and she's also one of the four members of the exploration team. Drama ensues.
What did I like about this story? A lot of things really. The world building was great, and I particularly liked that the story had several different story lines in it concerning other members of the ship and their own personal journey during the crash and subsequent landing. The pacing was great, though at times I did find the constant back and forth of story lines was annoying as I kept wanting Gemme and Miles to have more screen time so to speak, but regardless, the story had me turning the pages.
What problems did I have? I feel that due to the other story lines, the romance between Miles and Gemme was more a secondary plot, than the main focus of the story and also I feel that said romance was a little rushed. I know and love stories of destined lovers, but these two didn't know each other, there was more romance between them when they were recalling their past lives and dreams and I feel the I Love You's came too fast for the development of the relationship. Also, I tend to like my stories on the steamier side, though this is more a personal preference and didn't reflect negatively on the story overall, I just would have preferred to see more than a few kisses etc. and would have liked the sexual tension to be amped up more.
The story end with enough closure that I feel it worked, but it left enough open regarding the future of this group of people to invite the next book in the series so I can't wait for it to come out so I can see what happens.
Even though this is book 2 in the series, the story stood on it own perfectly well and I had no issues following it. I very much enjoyed the story despite my feeling of the romance storyline taking a backseat to the others stories within.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Lattes (*Note: this lower rating is not entirely based on the story itself but rather the fact that this is a romance review site and that the story, while sold as a romance between Gemme and Miles, wasn't enough of a romance in my opinion. If I base my rating on the story being strictly a science fiction with romantic elements then I would likely give this story 4/5 lattes instead.)
All My Best,