I wrote this piece years ago for a romance blog that has since gone away, but I thought I would share it here, for entertainment’s sake.
The Dangerous Type, the first book in my space opera series, centers around two interlocking love triangles, with the same woman at the apex of both. The people in the story are adults. They get themselves into adult situations. The book has been described as brutal (although I think the violence is actually pretty restrained, more hinted at that gleefully described) and grimdark (although the meek survive). I was beginning to think that reviews tell more about the reviewer than the book at hand.
And then I got this review:
“The Dangerous Type is the perfect science fiction novel to give to your friend who loves to read hot and heavy romances. It could be a great gateway book to entice your friend who never thought they’d read science fiction. Due to the violence, use of adult language, and holy cow amount of sexual situations, I would recommend it to adults only.” – TheQuillery.com
Yes, there is sex in the book. Inspired by Emmy Z. Madrigal’s Kiss Counts as a way to rate romance books, I went through The Dangerous Type to see what I could find.
This “adventurous space opera” has 25 kisses in 285 pages. The kisses range from beautiful and loving to pecks on the top of someone’s head to celebratory kisses to mean, dominating kisses. Here’s the description of my favorite:
Raena twisted in his arms until she could look up at him. With a smile, she rose up on tiptoe. Sloane found himself bending down. Their lips met so softly Sloane thought he’d imagined it.
Then she pressed against him. She was shorter than he remembered. He lifted her feet from the floor without really intending to. Her small hands held the back of his neck like a vise. He felt her smile against his lips.
Eventually they separated a fraction, enough to look wonderingly at each other. Raena made a long exhalation that might have been a sigh. She stroked his beard with the palm of her hand, traced the lines which creased his face, pushed a lock of dirty blond hair back toward his bald spot. “I’ve lost so many years.”
Sloane gazed at her. Tears sparkled in her eyes. The crystalline shimmer against the black depths of her eyes was possibly the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, in a lifetime of coveting beautiful things. How could he have ever doubted this was Raena herself? Then he remembered to put his thoughts into words. “I can’t believe I’ve found you again.”
So yeah, big romantic kisses, complete with bald spots!
I don’t know that there are “holy cow” number of sex scenes, either, but I counted 10 of them. They’re not all nice, it’s true. The villain of the story is power-mad and doesn’t stop at the bedroom door. Things might get trigger-worthy, if that’s an issue.
On the other hand, one of the love triangles is comprised of a man and two women — and the women had a relationship before they met him, so things glide from straight to lesbian and back over the course of a couple of the intimate scenes.
A different reviewer accused me of arranging the three-way scenes for the male gaze, but that’s another observation that I don’t agree with. The ménage scenes are told from the male point of view, true, but the emotional tone is frustrated — because the women are so focused on each other that he’s an afterthought. He wants to be the center of their attention, but their relationship with each other is older and deeper than he’s had with either of them individually. He does the best he can to keep up.
Hot and heavy? I would own that. But there are only 10 sex scenes in the 168 scenes in the novel.
So would romance readers like the book? I honestly don’t know. It is about sharp-tongued people who are not nice. When they love each other, they go all in. When they don’t, the same is true.
From the back of the book:
Set in the wake of a galaxy-wide war and the destruction of a human empire, The Dangerous Type follows the awakening of one of the galaxy’s most dangerous assassins and her quest for vengeance. Entombed for twenty years, Raena Zacari has been found and released.
Thallian has been on the lam for the last fifteen years. He’s a wanted war criminal whose entire family has been hunted down and murdered for their role in the galaxy-wide genocide of the Templars. His name is the first on Raena’s list, as he’s the one that enslaved her, made her his assassin, and ultimate put her in a tomb. But Thallian is willing to risk everything–including his army of cloned sons–to capture her. Now it’s a race to see who kills whom first.
Alternatively, Gavin has spent the last twenty years trying to forget about Raena, whom he once saved and then lost to Thallian. Raena’s adopted sister, Ariel, has been running from the truth — about Raena, about herself and Gavin — and doesn’t know if she’ll be able to face either of them.
The Dangerous Type is an adventurous space opera that grabs you from the first pages and doesn’t let go. Along with a supporting cast of smugglers, black market doctors, and other ne’er-do-wells sprawled across a galaxy brimming with alien life, The Dangerous Type is a fantastic beginning to Loren Rhoads’s epic trilogy.
You can pick up a paperback copy of The Dangerous Type for half-off on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dCln4r or check out the audiobook on Audible: https://amzn.to/31l01FW. The whole series is available to binge, if you like it.
Also for entertainment’s sake, I counted the kisses in Lost Angels, the first of my succubus/angel books: https://lorenrhoads.com/2015/03/27/orally-fixated/