Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book Tour for Mated with the Cyborg by Cara Bristol (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of sci-fi romances and their entertaining blend of action and sexiness I'm excited to introduce readers to this second installment in the Cy-Ops Sci-Fi series, Mated with the Cyborg by Cara Bristol.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of this action-packed thrill ride, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  You'll learn even more about this book from Ms. Bristol and her discussion on worldbuilding.  In honor of this release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Making pretend real—creating a believable sci-fi world by Cara Bristol......
What drew me to sci-fi romance was the freedom of expression. All fiction is pretend; an author creates things that don’t exist in real life. Science fiction (as well the fantasy and paranormal genres) represent the ultimate make-believe.
In sci-fi you don’t develop just characters and a story, you have to create the environment in which they live. Their world is bigger than the setting. The setting is the planet or space station or spacecraft where the characters live and act. But you also have to devise culture, language, laws, institutions, government, communication, transportation, social and physical infrastructure, and even belief systems that go along with your setting and story, even if you don’t overtly refer to it.
For example, take religion. “God” is a monotheistic earthling concept. So if you’ve written an alien sci-fi romance, what is your character going to cry out in passion, shock, or anger? Probably not, “Oh, God!” Do you substitute another deity’s name? Are your characters atheists? If so, then what do they cry out? Those are things you need to think about.
In contemporary literature, it’s enough to say he got into his car and drove away. You might choose to describe the vehicle, but you don’t have to. Everyone knows what an automobile is. But if your characters are on an alien planet or earth in the far future, chances are they’re not driving SUVs. So how are they getting around? What is the vehicle called? How does it work? Does it roll, fly, float, hover, swim? Do they even need vehicles? Maybe they teleport. If it’s an archaic society, and they’re using wagons, what kind of animals are pulling the wagon?
You have to build everything from the ground up and describe it in a way that readers can visualize it without overwhelming them with an overload of detail.
When you’re writing a sci-fi romance, you have to think about the social customs of the society. Do couples still marry or do they just partner up or not even form partnerships? Are couples still couples or are marriages now menages?
What kind of clothing do people wear? What is made of? Does it have special meaning? How do describe the clothing in a way that is authentic to the story? You can’t have “silky” or “woolen” fabrics on an alien planet that doesn’t have silk worms or wool-producing animals.
One technique I use to world-build in the Cy-Ops Sci-Fi Romance series is to extrapolate the future from the present. For instance, in the first book, Stranded with the Cyborg I created a PeeVee or Personal Vehicle, which is a hands-free smart car of the future. There is no driver; a passenger gets in and instructs the computer where he/she wants to go. From airline travel, I projected what commercial space flight would be like.
This technique gives the readers a base of familiarity and helps to ground them in the story. But I don’t use it exclusively.
make a point to question my assumptions and not use too much of the familiar. The benefit to sci-fi is that you can think outside the box, so why create another box? I try to stretch my imagination so that I can create a unique, but believable worldfor my readers.

Kai Andros’s orders were simple. Get in. Gather the intel on the terrorist organization. Get out.
Then he met her. Mariska. Beautiful. Innocent. Ignorant of her father’s atrocities. And marked for death.
His orders said nothing about saving her. But he did. He went off-mission.
Can a rogue cyborg outrun both Cyber Operations and the terrorists to save the woman he loves?


Her father pushed back his chair and patted Janai’s head before rounding on Mariska.
She dropped her gaze to the floor. Her stomach was already there. Show no fear. Show no fear.
“Stand up,” Obido ordered.
She attempted to rise, but her feet tangled in her skirt. R981’s arm shot out as if to keep her from stumbling.
“What are you doing?” Obido glared at the android.
“I am performing my duty and assisting her,” he replied.
“Your duty is to report to me.” Her father confirmed what she’d suspected.
“She was about to fall."
It sounded like R981 was arguing. The general must have thought, too, because his eyes narrowed on the android, but then he jerked his attention back to her. “Remove your scarf."
No one had seen her face since she was a child teased to tears by her siblings. It had been a relief to be ordered to wear the veil to spare the sensibilities of others and escape their horrified looks. While bathing, she avoided the reflection glass and its taunting reminder of her ugliness. Stomach clenching into a hard knot, she released the opaque fabric from one side of her headdress.
Her father grimaced, and Janai, who’d never seen her naked face, gasped.
Mariska held her head high and stared straight ahead.
HOLY HELL! KAI Andros almost fell over. This was what Lamis-Odg considered deformed, ugly? Fortunately, his black contact lenses concealed most of his shock. Intel intercepted by Cyber Operations had reported the fifth daughter of one of the most infamous terrorists had a “significant facial defect.” Her eight sisters had been married—mated was the term these people used—but no one wanted her, fearing she would produce hideous offspring.
He hadn’t seen her face until now.
In the genetic game of chance, Mariska had been dealt a royal flush. She was fucking gorgeous.
Don’t gawk! A real android wouldn’t react, but as a cyborg, a red-blooded heterosexual man working undercover as a robot, how could he not?



When it comes to good sci-fi it's all about the vividly depicted world so very different from our own and those unique individuals that inhabit it.  With her Cy-Ops Sci-Fi series Ms. Bristol has crafted books that nicely blend colorful worlds and unique gadgetry with memorable characters with thought provoking ideals amidst fast-paced action sequences.

Mariska's been living a life of loneliness, reviled for her facial deformity but kept safe from death by a beauty mark believed to be of importance.  Her only companionship throughout her life has been cyborgs who were to keep her safe but also to make sure she remained under her father's control.  Her recent cyborg guards though have been acting more and more human which is just the first of many changes in her life. After being mostly ignored by her father she's happy to finally feel important when he chooses to send her to a far away planet to become a concubine to a savage race he wants to curry favor with to further his terroristic agenda.  With certain death awaiting her the truth about her cyborg, her bloodline, and her father takes her life in an unexpected direction as vast possibilities are finally within her reach if she can just stay alive.  Mariska's a sweet young woman who's always been made fun of for what her people see as a deformity of face, isolated and kept ignorant of life except for matters relating to sex as is befitting women of her race.  Her beliefs are strong, as is her loyalty, which at first makes it difficult for her to accept the truth of her father's vileness and cruelty.  All she's ever wanted though was to feel loved and have a family of her own which has her burgeoning feelings for Kai throwing all her previously held beliefs in disarray.  As she grows closer to the man determined to keep her safe she'll find out more about herself and find an inner strength she never thought herself capable of.  It's delightful seeing Mariska come out of her shell and become a bit of a badass as she's earned the right to let loose after a lifetime of oppression.  Even more delightful are the steamy interludes excitingly juggled with edge of your seat action-filled moments.

Kai became a cyborg after becoming disabled from a mission gone awry but swore to protect and serve which had him willing to mechanize his body to become the perfect soldier.  Kai's always been devoted to the missions given to him and to his fellow cyborg operatives.  He's never wanted to connect to anyone other than his brethren for fear that those feelings would distract and weaken him.  After seeing the kind heart Mariska has he knows he can't let her die though and will defy his mission and his future to keep her safe.  To keep her safe he must earn her trust and while doing so he earns her heart.  He puts his life on the line repeatedly to keep her safe as he sees her as weak and sheltered, but together their strength will get them through every dangerous and pulse pounding moment.  Kai's immensely sexy but has the tendency to stick his foot in his mouth and isn't exactly a ladies man.  He's a good man though, loyal and with loyal friends willing to jeopardize their jobs for him.  He's super strong with the brain of a computer and Ms. Bristol vividly depicted his cyborg abilities while retaining his humanity.  At the end of the day he's good looking and charming and just wants to be a hero.  His connection to Mariska brings out a sweet and playful side to him in a relationship that starts out with him playing the protector but ultimately becoming a mate on equal footing with the woman that awakened his heart.

This was an exciting story with unexpected reveals all playing out in a vividly depicted world where the creatures are colorful and the beliefs intriguing.  The main characters are memorable and become larger than life as their relationship evolves.  Being together brings out a softer side to the battle-ready Kai and turns the quiet and easily moldable Mariska into a feisty woman hungry for knowledge willing to jump head first into every new experience.  The romance between them does move fast but with danger constantly chasing them it's perfectly believable and adds extra steam for all their desperation in trying to stay alive.  Surrounding this compelling couple is an intriguing cast of secondary characters whose glimpses we received have me longing to know more.  The loyal friend Brock with his tech knowledge to the pseudo thief Dale who's full of charm are just two whose mysterious pasts need to be told. Though this is the second installment in this series it can definitely stand on its own as the overall story arc is just a tiny piece of this epic read.  Fans of sci-fi will enjoy this fast-paced read with action-packed sequences that kept me furiously turning the pages.  Lovers of romance will appreciate the sweet and steamy coupling that gives Mariska the chance to be in control and is the first step into making a life of her own choosing.  Overall this is a book that I highly recommend as it balanced many of my favorite elements into a memorable read with characters I felt fully invested in and that has me excited to return to this cleverly crafted world.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Multi-published, Cara Bristol is the author of more than 23 erotic romance titles. She writes science fiction, contemporary, and paranormal erotic romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.


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  1. What is your favorite non-fiction?

    1. Probably writing, marketing, and motivational books.

  2. Also, thank you for the awesome and comprehensive review! You put such depth into analyzing my characters. I love that.

    Brock Mann, one of the secondary characters of Mated with the Cyborg, was the hero of the first book in the series, Stranded with the Cyborg. Stranded is available now on Amazon, BN, and ARe. It's also available in Audiobook!

    (Mated with the Cyborg is currently in production as an audiobook and should be available in February).

    Dale Homme, who you also mentioned that you wanted to know more about, will be the hero of the next Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance, Captured by the Cyborg. It will be published in March.

    Carter Aymes, the Cy-OPs director, will probably be book 4, and will be released in the summer.

    Readers who'd like to be notified of these releases should sign up for my newsletter.

    Thanks again for the awesome review!

    1. Thank YOU for your kind comments and for taking time out of your busy schedule to stop by to answer questions! Thanks too for the info on the Cy-Ops boys which I'll be adding to my reading list.

      The Scarf Princess

  3. Great excerpt and review~I really enjoyed learning about you and your book! Thank you for a great post and contest!

  4. What a wonderful review. This sounds like a fabulous book.

  5. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing and for your impressions.

    1. You've been such a consistent visitor to all the stops on the tour. Thanks, Eva.

  6. I'm looking forward to checking this one out! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. This is such a wonderful series! I can't wait for the next book!

  8. This is such a wonderful series! I can't wait for the next book!

    1. Thank you! Captured by the Cyborg (book 3) will be out in March. To be notified of the date, sign up for my newsletter. BTW, Mated with the Cyborg is in production to become an audiobook.

  9. A great post! I enjoyed the excerpt and the review. I appreciate the review because it helped me fill in some of the blanks. Thank you.