Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: Heart Scarab by Anna Butler (Taking Shield Book 2)

Blurb:
Telnos is an unpleasant little planet, inhabited by religious fanatics in the festering marshlands and unregistered miners running illegal solactinium mines up in the hills. But the Maess want Telnos, and Shield Captain Bennet’s job is to get out as many civilians as he can—a task that leaves him lying on Telnos while the last cutter of evacuees escapes in the teeth of the Maess invasion.

Bennet is listed missing in action, believed dead on a planet now overrun by Maess drones. His family is grieving. His long-term partner, Joss, is both mourning and guilt-ridden.

And Fleet Lieutenant Flynn? Flynn is desolate. Flynn is heart-broken… no. Flynn is just broken

Review:
A fabulous sequel to Gyrfalcon. You get to see more of the emotion and relationship between everyone in this book but there’s still so much going on. This book was amazing and I seriously want all of the books in the series rightnowrightnow, but at the same time I don’t want the series to end. Once again I sucked into this story and this world where I had to know what happened to Bennet. It was heartbreaking seeing how everyone reacted to his death. Flynn though. He was the hardest to read because he had to mourn on his own. His emotions were raw and I cried with him. I feel like we got Joss’ true self a bit more in this story and I didn’t like him much. I understood why he acted the way he did and all of the things about change and growing were completely spot on and were the biggest factors into his and Bennet’s relationship ending. But Joss also wasn’t cut out to be a military spouse. You could tell from his flashbacks that he never really intended for Bennet to go into the military. He thought he could persuade Bennet to stay and be a civilian forever. Joss truly loved Bennet and he as deeply sentimental of their time together. You could feel his grief. But it was also apparent that even if Flynn had never entered the picture they weren’t ever going to make it forever. I did understand Bennet’s mother’s loyalty though. She worked hard to get Joss into the fold of the family as a way of keeping Bennet around. I would venture to guess she was one of the reasons they managed to make it as long as they did. That moment when Joss realized it was finally and completely over. That was hard to read because he realized all the hurt they both caused and went through, it still wasn’t enough. I felt bad for Joss right in that moment. It’s hard to see Flynn and Bennet still not be in the right time or place to be together yet but there’s so much love between them it’s absolutely beautiful. There are tons of clues sprinkled throughout the book about the Maess. Added with some things that turned out to be clues in the last book, at least I think they are, that I have some interesting guesses for the future of the science fiction aspect to the series. There were some things about one of Bennet’s friends and officers aboard his ship revealed that I didn’t see coming but hindsight lets me see where the clues were there. I hope the plot, the one that comes up in the epilogue but was hinted at through the book, gets resolved and put away quickly, though I don’t think it will. I don’t want it getting in the way of Bennet and Flynn being together. But even if it goes the way that’s hinted at that’s alright. I’m still eager for the next book.
Stars:
Four and a half

Guest Post:
Shield Captain Bennet stops by today to give us a little hint of what comes next. It’s a little bittersweet, but definitely worth a look. I hope it also means there are more adventures to come for Bennet, but that’s not for me to decide sadly. Read and enjoy!
Almost getting your leg shot off by a Maess drone is not fun, let me tell you. The doctors were brilliant and managed to save my knee—at least, enough of it to replace it with bionics. It was months before I got back to full fitness, of course. Nearly a year. But I still have my leg and I can even play Tierce, and that’s more than the docs could have done even a generation ago, when I’d have been lucky to be able to walk on a cane. But the real point is, I can still run in and out of Maess bases on it. I’m still in Shield. And that’s all that matters.

So, you want to know what happens next.

I’ve tried to stay friends with Joss. It’s hard, because we hurt each other a great deal in the break up. I hurt him the most, I expect, because I think I’ve been gearing myself up to walk away these last couple of years, ever since I first met Flynn on the T18 mission, while Joss just went on thinking everything was normal. I didn’t walk earlier, because… look, when I was eighteen, I left my home and my family to be with him. I loved him so much I ached with it. I couldn’t just leave him as if that didn’t matter, didn’t have significance. I fought to keep it going and I only left when everything—Joss, my job, Flynn, Joss’s consolation prizes while I was away on a Shield job—teetered on the pivot and tilted the balance. That’s when the significance of nine years of my life with Joss weighed lighter against who I am now and what I want and need now. That’s when it was over.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see Flynn again, that’s the hardest part. I’m in Shield, he’s in Fleet. It’s always been the big, insurmountable problem between us. I can’t plan for a life for us together, no matter how I try to twist all the variables into place. And believe me, my life is all about planning and strategy. It’s what I do. That I can’t achieve a good outcome for me and Flynn right now, irks me. What I think I can say is that although I can’t see a future for me with Flynn, I do have one I can determine for myself. I’m free to do that.

So. Free of Joss. No Flynn. There are still people in my life I love, and all I’m going to say about that I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s people I love, not gender.

In my professional life, I’m teaching at the Military Academy two days a week, and at the Strategic Studies Institute, my old alma mater, for one. The rest of the time, I’m locked into an office in the Military Strategy Unit, analysing the data I brought back from T18 more than three years ago now. And as for what I’ve found there… no. I won’t tell you yet. Not unless you want the nightmares too.

Believe me, you won’t.

Excerpt:
Flynn liked kissing. In fact, Flynn considered himself something of an expert in the art. He’d tried it in all its forms, from the first tentative pressing together of juvenile lips that had you wondering what all the fuss was about, to the discovery that if you just opened your mouth and, you know, kind of moved everything, your tongue suddenly had a lot more positive uses than just allowing you to articulate clearly and swallow things without choking. Flynn got the hang of it, ran with it, and never looked back.

Soft kisses and hard kisses; kisses that were wet and slobbery with people who didn’t know exactly how to hold their lips to get the best and sexiest effect, and wet and sexy kisses with people who did. Kisses that turned the blood to molten lava and kisses that cooled you as you came down. Kisses that inflamed and kisses that soothed; feverish kisses and languid after-sex kisses. Kisses that meant only good fellowship and casual affection, and kisses that were desire incarnate.

Flynn had not only tried them all, he’d made them his own. He was considered by all the relevant authorities to be rather a specialist in the area.

Flynn really liked kissing. He had been gratified by the discovery that Bennet liked it too. Because now he could add slow kisses to the repertoire. Kisses so leisured and intense the world came to a stop while a hot tongue moved over his lips, explored each and every tooth down to the last molar, while teeth pulled at his bottom lip, biting it gently until it was swollen and hot and heavy, and he had to lick his lip to cool it and met Bennet’s tongue with his. Only then, would Bennet’s mouth close over his and start a real in-earnest kiss that lasted several more centuries. Those were kisses Bennet seemed to specialise in.

Flynn was always willing to take tips from another expert. A man should always try to extend his technique.

About Anna:
Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction. She lives in the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockapoo.

Author Contact:
Email || Website and Blog || Facebook || The Butler’s Pantry (Facebook Group) || Pinterest || Twitter || Goodreads

Where To Buy:
Wilde City Press || Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon CA || Kobo

Tour Stops:
22-Jul:
Prism Book Alliance
29-Jul: Just Love Romance, Bayou Book Junkie
5-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
12-Aug: Andrew Q. Gordon
19-Aug: My Fiction Nook
26-Aug: Joyfully Jay
2-Sep: The Hat Party
9-Sep: Inked Rainbow Reads
16-Sep: Velvet Panic, Molly Lolly
23-Sep: Emotion in Motion
30-Sep: BFD Book Blog, Jessie G. Books
7-Oct: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
14-Oct: MM Good Book Reviews
21-Oct: The Novel Approach
28-Oct: Amanda C. Stone
4-Nov: Butterfly-O-Meter

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5 responses to “Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: Heart Scarab by Anna Butler (Taking Shield Book 2)

  1. Pingback: Heart Scarab By Anna Butler | Pride-Promotions

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