Author: Pippa Jay
Title: *Terms and Conditions Apply
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: ’36 pages’
“Welcome to Venus Ascendant, a Public Grade space station in the Andromedan Sector. With our open-to-all policy, any being in the universe can find their perfect R & R, romantic getaway or dangerous liaison at our purpose built resort. The on-board empathic AI Ganesa ensures that anyone coming to Venus Ascendant will find their heart’s desire, with suites that transform from luxurious boudoirs to sunset-lit beaches to dark BDSM dungeons. So come to Venus Ascendant and find exactly what you’re looking for!”
It was meant to be a romantic getaway for Marie and the love of her life Jaisen; a chance for him to get to know her better after months of her denying him more than a few stolen kisses. Instead, Marie finds herself dumped and alone on Venus Ascendant with no credit for a transmat and the next starship home not due for another hour.
But the all-seeing AI isn’t going to leave anyone aboard the space station with their dreams unfulfilled. Marie’s boyfriend might not have made it to the station, but there are others willing and able to take on the role – even if they aren’t entirely human.
Not sure what it is about this one, but I don’t like it as much as some of Pippa’s other covers. Maybe because the faces are such huge features . . . I’m not sure. Regardless, something about this one gave me pause. Not that it stopped me picking up the book though. 😉
Dumped by her boyfriend as she reaches the holiday destination set out for the pair of them, Marie has some time to kill before she can go back home. Cue a stunning AI, tasked with ensuring that any and all visitors to Venus Ascendant are happy and fulfilled.
Another great idea.Simple by well played out and touching in all sorts of cute (but-totally-non-twee) ways.
Marie: The dumped girlfriend. I think this is the first time I’ve felt immediate sympathy for the ‘dumped girl’ trope. Marie had a few moments of self pity before firing right up and getting the hell on with it. I know this is a short story, so she’s pressed for time, but this is the sort of character I like and I’m pleased to see it executed so well.
Soren: Adorable in a sad and kinda ‘I just wanna-hug-him’ sort of way. Guess I’m more of a softy than I though because as his past was revealed (slowly and non-info-dumpy) I grew to like him more and more. And to feel that he kinda deserved something good to happen to him.
Not erotic so much as sensual. It fit the tone of the book incredibly well and I think it was the better choice for these two characters. Something in the style of Harper Miller or KC Falls would have been too much for these two. Especially given the length of the story too.
A (very) good read. The end was a little abrupt for me – can’t talk too much about it without giving things away – but the story rounded up nicely, which is a great feature for a short story. Not dangling questions and a very satisfying end of completeness. Also the book is formatted nicely and written in such a way as to gently pull me along without feeling like I’m getting dragged.
Average across all scores is 4.2, which rounds out to 4 fireballs.
A sweet little story, actually very different from the things I usually read. It reveals in me a desire for HEA or HFN stories that I used to think weren’t for me. There’s something slightly bitter sweet about this one, but I did enjoy and would gladly recommend it.
At the very least because the piece is a great piece of romance blended with believable sci-fi, but also because . . . hey, it’s a good read!