Aurora Blazing (Consortium Rebellion, #2)
by Jessie Mihalik

In this sequel to SF space opera w/side of steamy romance Polaris Rising, Mihalik introduces us to the next sibling from House Von Hasenberg: Beatrice.

LIke her younger sister, Ada, Beatrice is caught up in the web of political necessity their House requires in a galaxy of constantly shifting Houses, alliances, technical discoveries, and virtual reality.

Beatrice was married off to a scion of a lesser house, but unbeknowst to her family, her ex husband used her for illicit experimentation, leaving Beatrice somewhat broken and physically weaker version of herself.

But that isn’t going to stop her when her oldest brother and House heir Ferdinand disappears. What else isn’t going to stop her? Ian, the mysteriously lethal head of House von Hasenberg’s security and the man completely focused on keeping her safe and locked up.

What follows is basically a thriller conducted amid several planets (with all the accompanying realistic-to-nonscientist-me calculations about what constitutes a day, time changes, FTL travel cooldowns, and differing space ship security (as well as awesome cyber security code crackers, back door portals, viruses, and security protocols as Beatrice is a hacker) as they track down Ferdinand, fend off rival House Rockhurst machinations, break into secure locations, and hide from Beatrice’s father.

Polaris Rising couple Ada and Loch also make an appearance to help 🙂 Love it when former hero/heroines get to strut their stuff in the new books.

There’s a couple bits of lovely tension between Beatrice and Ian, and some believable de-escalation of steamy bits due to actual physical exhaustion and the damage done Beatrice’s body, but I wanted a bit more couple time to fully invest in their sudden decisions to trust/commit/believe in each other. We spend the whole time in Beatrice’s head, which, don’t get me wrong, was super fun and interesting. Mihalik makes me love her main heroines. I just wanted more of Ian/Beatrice time where they weren’t falling into bed exhausted or into a tank for regeneration.

Still, I’ll totally go on to the next book to find out about the next Hasenberg sibling. This is total escapist space opera fun with a small side of steamy romance. Perfect for the mood I am in these days.