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Publisher's Summary

To save her brother and protect her family’s future, a powerful princess must join forces with a dashing man from her past in this thrilling space adventure, the second novel in the Consortium Rebellion trilogy.

As the dutiful daughter of High House von Hasenberg, Bianca set aside her personal feelings and agreed to a political match arranged by her family, only to end up trapped in a loveless, miserable marriage. When her husband unexpectedly dies, Bianca vows never to wed again. Newly independent, she secretly uses her wealth and influence to save other women stuck in dire circumstances. Information is power and Bianca has a network of allies and spies that would be the envy of the 'verse - if anyone knew about it.

When her family’s House is mysteriously attacked, Bianca’s oldest brother, the heir to House von Hasenberg, disappears. Fearful for her brother’s life, the headstrong Bianca defies her father and leaves Earth to save him. Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security - and Bianca’s first love - is ordered to find and retrieve the rebellious woman.

Ian is the last man Bianca wants to see. To evade capture, she leads him on a merry chase across the universe. But when their paths finally collide, she knows she must persuade him to help her. Bianca will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As the search takes them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely....

©2019 Jessie Mihalik (P)2019 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Aurora Blazing: A Novel

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  • Phx17
  • 18-04-2021

Sci-fi & espionage get better, romance not so much

Still a 3-4 ⭐️, good to great listen, but a step down from book 1.

The series:
This is the rare series that balances both sci-fi action and romance, and even contains smart, strong women who can scheme, fight, and F right along with the men. The sci-fi falls more on the space opera/action end than the deeper Heineken/Asimov end, so if you absolutely must have books religiously adhering to the laws of science, you’d better pass. But still, it’s not as bad as books having ships blinking from one galaxy to another and science that feels more magic than science. As for romance, this has the feel of regency romance (marrying for alliance, “royal” houses like the Consoritum trio as Dukes, and lower houses as Viscounts, Marquis, etc., balls & galas where the participants can scheme and flirt...), but placing the storyline in future Earth allows the author to escape the constraints of Victorian morality, embrace strong women, and avoid the tired “virginal female/dark & experienced male” trope. There’s occasional F bombs and mostly TV level violence, with mild themes of torture and domestic abuse.

Pros:
This book falls heavier on the sci-fi action side than the romance side, which gives a meatier spy thriller vibe. The action and espionage are better spread compared to book 1, with some decent assassination/kidnap action in the front and a prison breakish segment towards the end. There’s also better use of multiple members of House Van Hasenberg, so the story doesn’t get monopolized by the MCs and romance. The five children of House Van Hasenberg, male and female alike, are equally used by ruthless father Albrecht, in marriage, espionage, and war. I love that this book features Bianca as the MC with a tortured past, neck deep in espionage and an underground railroad for royals seeking to escape fates like hers- she’s in control of herself from the get-go and is every bit the alpha compared to Ian.

Cons:
I didn’t really buy the “high stakes” war that is supposedly being waged between Consortium families, perhaps because the war happens largely off screen. This book follows the same formula as book 1, mostly focused on the two MCs, using only as many side characters as necessary to move them along. But, more so than in book 1, the idea of Bianca going behind enemy lines practically on her lonesome didn’t make sense- and I think the action in the second half would have been far better with a larger cast of characters (if the Van Hasenberg family is so tight, why aren’t they storming castles together?). I usually get past narrator Zeller’s low voiced “telling you a ghost story” style after a few minutes, but here I found it intermittently distracting. Also, she can only do so many sexy male voices and I didn’t feel her rendition of Ian was sexy or dangerous. Although, that may also be the writing, which did not sell the chemistry between Bianca and Ian. Combine that with a glacial, angsty slow build to two oddly clit-heavy scenes at 11 hrs (ch28) and the final 10 minutes, and the romance side was just okay. Lastly, for a story set in the “verse,” I craved Firefly panache in dialogue, but the clever, the humor, or the snark were all on the average end.

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  • Tracy W.
  • 20-10-2021

Sex, spies, and action

I enjoyed the world so far, although it wasn't as heavy on the politics as I would have preferred. The main characters all continue to be able to pull off James Bond level missions with minimal support, which is somewhat off-putting but didn't really reduce my enjoyment. There were a fair bit of spicy sex scenes throughout. I would have liked a bit less action and more investigation, but that is just my personal preference. The narrator did a great job with the voices, although all the male characters had the same tone and inflection.

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  • Susan
  • 31-12-2020

great female and male characters

I love reading novels where both the leads are strong but stronger when together. Fast paced with a solid storyline. Thought this one was even better than the first, glad the 3rd book is already on Audible.

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  • Justin
  • 22-08-2020

Excellent series.

Highly recommended. Taut storylines, vivid characters, excellent Sci-Fi world building and one of my favorite slow burn romances. The author creates a detailed world that she slowly immerses you in... so well done. Excellent storytelling and excellent narration both. The whole series was enormously enjoyable.
We loved the books so much we bought the paperback version’s to read on vacation. I hope the author writes a fourth book. If you enjoy both Sci-Fi and romance novels, it doesn’t get better than this.

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  • Nikki Stickney
  • 10-12-2019

Amazing Series and Narrator!!

I loved this so much! I highly recommend this series. The story line and the characters are great. This narrator is also amazing! I hope to listen to more from this author and narrator in the future!

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  • Jenn
  • 13-11-2019

Nice follow up

This follow up book is a great adventure. The world-building is a bit stronger, as is the science fiction part of the equation. The romance, however, left something to be desired. Slow burn is one thing, but I felt like the book spent too much time with the leads too far apart, even when physically together.

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  • Catherine Normand
  • 13-10-2019

Same story as the previous novel

Obviously, there are some differences, but overall it is pretty much the same. The narrator is terrible at male voices. But it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever listened to.

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  • Chrissy’s Book Shelf
  • 29-06-2020

Family Based Space Opera

I adored the first book in this series and felt that this second book was slightly less enjoyable, though it good book. I listened to the audio version, as I did the first book and had the same problems with the narrator, Emily Woo Zeller. She is a gifted narrator and gives personality to her characters but she does insist on using voices that only come across as caricatures, especially the mens’ voices. I feel that her ability to narrate would be better served by avoiding this ‘acting’ part of her narration. She’s good at sounding natural in her delivery and it’s a shame that the voices distract from the story. This hasn’t stopped me buying the third book in the series as an audio version.

Lady Bianca is the third born child of the Von Hasenberg House of the three ruling High Houses of the Consortium. She is very private and rebels in her own secret way against her father who rules his children with an iron fist. Bianca only managed to escape her abusive arranged marriage when her husband died and was sent back home with no assets from her marriage. Though there is no love between father and children, this is not the case between the siblings who are all very close and extremely loyal. When Ferdinand the heir to the House is kidnapped the prime information gatherer of the House, Bianca, starts to search the hidden networks and information sources for news of her brother. When she reaches a dead end, she leaves the safety of Earth, against explicit orders, to find more leads.

Ian, is head of security for House Von Hasenberg, and is exceptional at his job. He takes it as a direct insult when Ferdinand is taken and then Bianca escaping off-planet. When Ian finally catches up with Bianca, they have to find a way to work together to find Ferdinand before time runs out.

This story was a bit more predictable than the first in the series, probably because the reader has more information about the family and the universe in which they live. There was less world building, but there was more detail about the way the Houses operate. There was still plenty of action, just not as much because Bianca is a much more cerebral character than Ada, her sister. I actually felt like there should be more about Ian and Bianca and I hope that they make an appearance in the next book, because the ending was very abrupt and everything has kind of been left hanging. There is a HFN, but it could easily be undone, so I hope that is handled in the next book. Other than that, it was an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading the next one.

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