The best science fiction romance books filled with action and adventure in the stars

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

I wrote...


By Greta van der Rol,

Book cover of Conspiracy

What is my book about?

Brilliant systems engineer Allysha Marten takes a job on the mysterious planet Tisyphor, where a security guard wins her trust and her affection. Together, they uncover a plot that threatens to plunge the Galaxy into inter-species war. As they scramble to prevent the coming holocaust, Allysha is horrified to learn that her new lover is ex-Admiral Chaka Saahren, the man responsible for the death of her father, along with millions of other innocent civilians.

In a race against time, Saahren must convince Allysha to set aside her conflicted emotions about him to help him prevent the coming conflagration. And perhaps while he’s doing that, he’ll win back the only woman he’s ever loved.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Hope's Folly

Greta van der Rol Why did I love this book?

After a slow start, Hope's Folly is packed with action and intrigue. Everybody seems to be trying to stop the ship from reaching its destination – including someone on board. In Linnea Sinclair's universe the spaceships are not run by all-powerful artificial intelligence. The engine room, weapons systems, and the all-important environment systems all run using computers but with people running the show. Guys get to cut code, hack, and mess about in the systems. The characters are real. They have faults, make mistakes. They're ordinary people forced to cope with extraordinary circumstances in a disintegrating Empire reminiscent of Stalin taking over in the USSR. I loved the romance. There's a big age difference, but Rya is in her thirties and knows what she's doing.

By Linnea Sinclair,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hope's Folly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enter a world where Polite, Professional, and Prepared to Kill is more than a motto…

Admiral Philip Guthrie is alive and kicking—despite an Imperial kill-order with his name on it. Now he’s leading a rebel alliance against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or he would, if he could get his command ship—the derelict cruiser, Hope’s Folly—functioning. If lack of crew and supplies isn’t trouble enough, his assigned bodyguard turns out to be former Imperial assassin Rya Bennton—the daughter of his best friend and first commanding officer. A man whose death is on Philip’s conscience.

Rya Bennton has been in love with…

Book cover of Star King

Greta van der Rol Why did I love this book?

The Star King is one of the first science fiction romances I read. It has everything I want in a space opera – politics, fast-paced action, danger, drama, angst, all mixed up with a great love story. I fell in love with the characters, especially the dishy alien alpha male. And I particularly like that the romance is between two mature people with life experience. 

By Susan Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Star King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An alien king, an Earth woman. Fated mates—Or is fate stacked against them?

Rom B’Kah is fighting for the survival of his people when a beautiful and mysterious warrior from Earth saves his life. When she vanishes without a trace, he vows to find her again.

Years after battlefield trauma sends her life into a tailspin, Jas Hamilton has given up on love. When a galactic empire makes first contact with Earth, she sets out to reclaim her lost sense of adventure—and finds it in the arms of the golden-eyed alien warrior she’s spent a lifetime trying to forget.


Book cover of Overload Flux

Greta van der Rol Why did I love this book?

Mix a couple of strong, mysterious characters with a dangerous quest and you've got me. It's a plot where I had to pay attention as the danger ratchets up with betrayals and twists and turns that kept me guessing. There's enough detail in settings and tech to convince without any info dumps and the romance is an integral part of the story. Loved it.

By Carol Van Natta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Overload Flux as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the cure for a deadly disease is stolen, two misfits are all that stands between greed and intergalactic tragedy.

Luka Foxe can’t let anyone know about his secret mental abilities. Debilitated by their influence when faced with violence, the brilliant forensic investigator now only takes assignments involving theft. But when he has to hunt down a hijacked vaccine for a galaxy-wide pandemic, the tragic first clue is his best friend’s brutal murder.

Nightshift guard Mairwen Morganthur knows she must keep a low profile. The product of illegal genetic alteration, she’s a lethal weapon with no social graces. But when…

Book cover of Escape From Zulaire

Greta van der Rol Why did I love this book?

This is another action-packed adventure where a soldier has to rescue a civilian from a planet about to erupt into civil war. What's nice about this one is that the hero needs rescuing as much as the heroine – but in a very different way. The romance is an integral part of the story and evolves in a natural way. I loved the way the stakes ratcheted up until impossible choices were on the table. 

By Veronica Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Escape From Zulaire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the house guest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot space marine Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of…

Book cover of Wave Rider

Greta van der Rol Why did I love this book?

What drew me into this story was the leviathans, a local species on a watery moon. I'm a sucker for whales and these beasts reminded me of orcas. The heroine, a marine biologist, is in danger for reasons unknown. A ranger with a connection to the leviathans helps her to escape and that's just the start of a fascinating adventure in a very different environment. Once again, the romance evolves in a natural way and does not overshadow the rest of the plot.

By Michelle Diener,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wave Rider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

About WAVE RIDER: Book 5 in the Verdant String Series

Isolated . . . Verdant String scientist, Anja Farucci, is frightened. Her calls for help from her remote coastal research station have been going unanswered and strange things are happening with the leviathan pod she's studying. She's only been on Fynian for four months, but she knows the three day trip to Fynian's only city, Rinc, is her best option for finding out what is going on.

Stranded . . . Cal is a wave rider, and if anyone understands leviathans, it's him, but when Kada, a young leviathan, grabs…

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Book cover of This Animal Body

Meredith Walters

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Neuroscience PhD student Frankie Conner has finally gotten her life together—she’s determined to discover the cause of her depression and find a cure for herself and everyone like her. But the first day of her program, she meets a group of talking animals who have an urgent message they refuse to share. And while the animals may not have Frankie’s exalted human brain, they know things she doesn’t, like what happened before she was adopted.

To prove she’s sane, Frankie investigates her forgotten past and conducts clandestine experiments. But just when she uncovers the truth, she has to make an impossible choice: betray the animals she’s fallen in love with—or give up her last chance at success and everything she thought she knew.

By Meredith Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Animal Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Frankie Conner, first-year graduate student at UC Berkeley, is finally getting her life together. After multiple failures and several false starts, she's found her calling: become a neuroscientist, discover the cause of her depression and anxiety, and hopefully find a cure for herself and everyone like her.

But her first day of the program, Frankie meets a mysterious group of talking animals who claim to have an urgent message for her. The problem is, they're not willing to share it. Not yet. Not until she's ready.

While Frankie's new friends may not have her highly evolved, state-of-the-art, exalted human brain,…

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