Series: Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance

Hunted by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Hunted by the Cyborg by Cara BristolHunted by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
Series: Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance #6
Published by Cara Bristol on January 9th 2018
Pages: 270
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four-stars

Billionaire Carter Aymes, director of Cyber Operations, a covert cyborg force, devotes his wealth and life to saving others, rescuing hostages and other victims from desperate situations. His ultimate mission is to hunt down and eliminate Lamani, the alien terrorist mastermind, before he conquers the galaxy.

When Carter hires Beth O’Shea, a vulnerable but courageous woman with connections to his past, their attraction is immediate and strong, but he knows getting involved with her is a bad idea. He’s her boss, and he has way too many classified projects to protect to risk letting someone get close.

Rejected by the progenitors who cloned her, Beth is determined to live a normal human life, beginning by getting an ordinary job with a security firm. But, from the start, she questions the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the organization. She can’t help but wonder about the tall, muscled, larger-than-life director who gave her a chance when she desperately needed one. Could he ever be romantically interested in a woman like her, in a clone?

When Beth is attacked, they both realize how short and tenuous life is, and their mutual attractions becomes too powerful too resist.

As their relationship heats up, so does the urgency to capture Lamani before he can unleash a stealth weapon at a critical planetary Summit meeting. With time running out, Carter discovers that stopping Lamani may require sacrificing Beth’s life.

Will Carter be able to rescue her, or will his new love be the one person he can’t save?

Cara Bristol’s Cy-Ops series have always stood out for me, not just because of the imaginative breadth and ‘scientific believability’ of Bristol’s writing (what do I really know about nanotechnology?) but also for the compelling cybernetic future she presents in these books.

‘Hunted by the Cyborg’ feels like the book that I’ve always been waiting for, not just for the pairing but for the overtones of our very own contemporary concerns and fears that come through so strongly here. Carter Aymes had always been in the background of all the Cy-Ops books, the orchestrator of events, but he clicked in and out so quickly that it was impossible to know if he had a story of his own.

That Bristol chose to write Carter’s story made me finish the book in one sitting and I found it hard to put down when Bristol decided to pair this mysterious man with a clone (of an ex-girlfriend) and the resolution of their very unequal relationship and how that gap was ultimately bridged. There were concerns of whether Carter merely saw Beth as a naive, inexperienced replica of her ’twin’ but this being syfy-romance, the angst isn’t too overt—some issues did feel a little glossed over—as the action finally takes over, continuing the narrative arc of the space war that this whole series is built around.

This was however, an enjoyable and entertaining read overall, and I’m definitely hoping the series isn’t ending here.

four-stars

Captured by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Captured by the Cyborg by Cara BristolCaptured by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
Series: Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance #3
Published by Cara Bristol on March 15th 2016
Pages: 135
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four-stars

Sometimes the biggest risk is to one’s heart….
A science fiction romance by USA Today Bestselling Author Cara Bristol
An ex-Cyber Operations field agent, Dale Homme has kissed danger and betrayal more times than he cares to count. Now he runs a clandestine factory beneath the surface of the moon Deceptio, where confidentiality and security matter more than anything. When a beautiful young woman arrives seeking a job, Dale knows within minutes she’s lying. Everything about her is false: her past, the people she claims to know, her reason for being on Deceptio. Illumina Smith? Even her name is an alias.
Logic says send her packing. His gut says she’s in trouble. She needs him. So he’ll do anything to keep her safe…. even if it means keeping her captive.
Captured by the Cyborg is third in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance series but is written to be read as a stand-alone novella.

Thoroughly engaging and a breeze to read, ‘Captured by the Cyborg’ catapulted me deep into the familiar, beloved vocabulary I’ve come to associate with syfy-romance: it’s geek-speak recontextualised into a narrative, woven around a pairing that didn’t seem plausible in the beginning but left me wanting by the end.

The story brings us straight into the mysterious operations a kilometre beneath an isolated, barren moon and into a secret operations factory run by former special operative Dale Homme, whose latest recruitment drive brings a beautiful, ethereal but damaged alien into his employment. Illumina Smith isn’t who she says she is and despite his better instincts, Dale keeps her on the payroll, eventually discovering a past that is as painful and fraught as his. I enjoyed every moment of Illumina’s and Dale’s interaction and without the hindrance of TSTL actions by both sides, found this pairing unusual but entirely suited to each other. I only wished though, that the process of integrating cybernetics into a body – especially for Illumina – was’t the be-all and the end-all solution; her regaining her wings and the miraculous hair growth seemed a tad too eager for everything to end well…and quickly.

Action-packed, (but) with an over-the-top villain that made me grimace a little, it’s nonetheless a book that surprised me again and again with well-written scenes and dialogues, and proved to be a superb entertaining distraction on what would have otherwise been a dull and mundane day.

four-stars