Title: Taking Stock
Author: Barbara Elsborg
Genre: Sci-fi, space, aliens
Stand Alone: YES
Re-issued /Re-edited: NO
Date published: ARC – September 2, 2014
Published by: Samhain Publishing
Publisher bookstore: LINK
Page count: 289 pages
Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide. (Try saying that fast)
After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop. Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, sometimes two bad boys for each quirky heroine, and more recently two bad boys all on their own. She hopes her stories are as much fun to read as they are to write.
You can find out more about Barbara and her books at www.barbaraelsborg.com, catch more of her scintillating wit at her blog, and if you want to tell her how much you love her books, please, email her! Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook and Twitter as well!
Her last days on Earth could be out of this world.
Zoe has accepted that a brain tumor will make this Christmas her last. She plans to spend it in the Caribbean, hoping some gorgeous guy will scoop her off the beach for a passionate affair, a one-night stand—anything just to be held and wanted.
When she discovers—horror of horrors—she has no unread books for the plane trip, she heads out for an early-hours run to good old 24/7 Supa-Mart.
Rowe’s and Kai’s lives are so regulated by their home planet’s equivalent of Big Brother they even have to hide their thoughts. Not easy when a secret attraction exists between them. When they’re chosen for an off-world reality show involving unsuspecting humans, they jump at this no-rules chance to open their hearts.
When the giant store’s exits clang shut, trapping Zoe and several others inside—including two impossibly sexy guys—Zoe figures she won’t need a beach for a no-strings romance. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize she could be facing the end of her short future sooner than she expected.
Barbara Elsborg could try very hard but at the end of the day she never disappoints.
I love Sci-fi and menages. The combination is rare so for me it is always a threat. I read this prolific author already, The small print, Anna in the middle, Just what she wants and her Misfits series. So I knew that she could do well contemporary and fantasy, but what about science-fiction?
Guess, she did!
Barbara Elsbord is a pure breed British author living in north of England. Therefore I thought is was smart to introduce the heroine as a Brit immigrant. I know that many American readers complain about the English writing and the differences. It was set from the start and poof! no more complains about biscuit and cookies or pants and trousers or whatever. I always find funny people complaining about reading English style versus American style. I was born in France, lived in England and finally became Canadian many years ago. French and English from Europe are indeed different from North America. We all understand each other but the accent, the slang and some expressions are different. Instead of complaining about it, I find it funny. Knowing that we all come from Europe and our roots are French, British, Irish, Spanish etc…, it is funny how people tend to forget their origins and make a fuss about reading a book with tiny difference of styles or vocabulary.
Anyways. Personally? I love it!
Did I find many English expression? To tell you the truth, nope. Guess Samhain Publishing have some great editors and wish to please their American customers 😛
My fist comment about this story will be how original the plot was! From the start, I was hooked and the story reminded me for a couple of seconds the movie, The Cube. But then, it was completely different.
I thought that it was totally original, a mix of survivors and the cube and a mega store.
I loved the characters. I was not sure with one male though. He was a bit too hyper active and the happy spoiled brat that I am not that fond. He turned to be more than that and I fell for him as the other one. I liked also the heroine. She was not a whinny character and she was sweet and smart.
I heard on the grapevine that some complained about the credibility. Was it or not? My opinion is simple. If I read a sci-fiction story, I keep my door very open. I know that nothing I will read will be 100% possible. Yes a couple of things bothered me like how the aliens knew about supa-mart, how they could learn so fast everything earth related including slang and culture. It was a bit rushed in my opinion but the story did not focused on the how but on the right now. So once, I read the first couple of pages, it was never an issue for me.
I also believe that some readers do find difficult to have heroes that are physically different. For me, it is fun because it is different. I am not fond of cloned stories. I like to be surprised and the author sure did, in a good way.
I did find some humor in this book, like each time I read Barbara Elsborg but it was progressive up to the epilogue. The epilogue is hilarious. I always thought “what if…”. Of course, I cannot say more without spoiling the story but you will know once you read that part. It was truly funny.
This is a long novel and once or twice I thought it was a bit redundant or too much unnecessary sex scenes, mostly at the middle/end of the story. Nothing major, but for me it did not bring anything more in the established relationship. So it was a bit disruptive for me and the story did not flow as smoothly as I wanted it to be. Once in a while, I also thought that it was a tiny bit too much over the top drama (9/11, abusive character, fatal disease, perverts aliens). The cover book for me is average. The only good part is that the heroine’s eyes have the right color as it seems her hair. But I am glad I do not judge a story by its cover. Nothing major really but enough that I could not give a 5 poly stars, even if it was very very close 😉
So now the real question is not if I recommend this story, because I sure do. The real question is if you have an open mind. Because if you do not like Sci-fi, if you think that all aliens must be human clones, if you do not accept crazy possibilities… then I suggest to find another story.
But if you like to read something different, original, crazy, funny and romantic… Taking Stock is for you!
Take the risk! It is worth it!
This is an ARC review.
Book is available in pre order.
Release date is September 2, 2014.