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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Review and Giveaway: The Key by Pauline Baird Jones

This is one of my FAVORITE series!! I am highlighting the series this week with reviews, giveaways and an author interview. If you love action, snarky humor and clean romance, don't miss the Enterprise Project series! (My followers know that I don't this is me gushing in case you don't recognize it.)

by Pauline Baird Jones
  • Perfect Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: L & L Dreamspell; 1st edition (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603180109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603180108
Genre: "A science fiction/action adventure romance novel"
My Rating: 5.0.

Book Description
Publication Date: July 15, 2009
When Sara Donovan joins Project Enterprise she finds out that what doesn't kill her makes her stronger. An Air Force pilot - the best of the best to be assigned to this mission - Sara isn't afraid to travel far beyond the Milky Way on an assignment that takes her into a galaxy torn apart by a long and bitter warfare between the Dusan and the Gadi. After she's shot down and manages to land safely on an inhospitable planet, Sara encounters Kiernan Fyn - a seriously hot alien with a few secrets of his own - he's a member of a resistance group called the Ojemba, lead by the mysterious and ruthless Kalian. Together they must avoid capture, but can they avoid their growing attraction to each other? A mysterious, hidden city on the planet brings Sara closer to the answers she seeks - about her baffling abilities and her mother's past. She has no idea she's being pulled into the same danger her mother fled - the key to a secret left behind by a lost civilization, the Garradians. The Dusan and the Gadi want the key. So do the Ojemba. They think Sara has it. They are willing to do anything to get it. Sara will have to do anything to stop them.


Captain Sara Donovan is a top military pilot with the secret Enterprise Project.  She is sent on special assignment to a warfare battle in another galaxy. The opposing armies are searching for a “key” to a lost civilization. Sara ends up in the middle of the action when it becomes apparent that she holds some secret to the key. 

Sara is shot down on an alien planet, Kikk, where she is rescued by Fyn, a big, muscled alien, wearing leather armament and with a full head of dreads. Fyn (dubbed "Chewie" for his size - he's not that hairy) is strong and fierce but kind and ultimately protective when it comes to Sara. Sara’s team picks them up and Fyn’s apparent warrior skills are soon put to use.  As they begin to get to know each other, though keeping secrets, the battles rage around them.

Sara’s craft is pulled by a strange force into a hidden city on the Kikk planet. As she explores the buildings she touches a panel and receives some “hitchhiker” nanites. They are little sentient, computer companions to their hosts and add other (fun) characters to the stories.

I was drawn into and invested emotionally in Sara’s character. As such I was impressed with Fyn as a hero, dreads and all.  Pauline does a great job with the action scenes so you feel you are right there facing the enemies or dodging the shots around you.  She also provides humorous, snarky dialogue. There are fun military euphemisms that take the place of most of the swearing.  Sara’s usual expletive is “Dang!”

I read this two years ago but never did my review. I have to say I enjoyed remembering the story as I skimmed through to prepare this review. I think reading the series closer together would help the reader keep track of the personalities, the time stream and the enemy force. This is a series that is a keeper for me and I will enjoy reading them all again.

I did get The Key on Audible.  I wasn't crazy about the narrator at first but she grew on me.  Or better... the story became so engrossing I didn't notice any more!  That is a sign of a really good story! This is a great series for anyone who likes sci fi action, like Star Trek or Galaxy Quest (funny movie!), with a clean, warm, intergalactic romance.

Examples of fun dialogue:
Colonel Carey:
“Looks like we have another furball, playmates,” Carey said.  “Fangs out and form up on me. Let’s teach these gomers their second lesson in intergalactic etiquette.” P 83.

Sara and Fyn:
“It didn’t seem right being there without you on my six.”
“I your...six,” he said, his voice husky. P 387.

 Thank you to the Author for the book to enjoy and share!  

I had to add these notes from the author's website as it will give you a taste of her humor!
Author's note: Following the release of The Key realized that some readers didn't know that my series is set in the present day, in a kind of alternate reality, I guess. Unless there IS a secret project taking our people to the stars on beyond. If that's the case, it is accidentally true.
Tags: space opera; science fiction romance; alternate universe; no sex; sexual tension; mild swearing
TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for the signed Review copy: 

1. Visit the author's website and tell me something that interests you there. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower (GFC, Twitter, FB, email) or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For two more entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Four total entries possible.)

* This contest is only open to residents of US and Canada.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on March 16, 2012.
The winners will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on March 17 with 72 hours to complete the winners form.


  1. I was very surprised to discover that this book was originally published in 2007 but is still going strong. That's the sign of a great book.
    I follow this blog on Twitter (@carlrscott)and I Tweeted about the giveaway!/carlrscott/status/177114380868128769 so everybody would know!
    That should be 4 entries, you can just send me my copy now, OK? ;^)

  2. I found out that Kicking Ashe is coming out March 10 also. It looks good too. This is a new author for me but look forward to reading the books.
    +1 follow
    +1 comment
    GFC & email follower Rachel Vessar
    pefrw at yahoo dot com

  3. I love the author's backdrop and connection of buy links-I always discover new online stores! edysicecreamlover18@GmailDOTcom subscribed
    GFC Krystal Larson

  4. So glad you liked the book, Martha! :-D

  5. Pauline, I had no idea you wrote a book about adapting your novel to film! What a great topic.

    Congratulations on THE KEY!

    :) Heidi

  6. GFC: Leah
    blogged here:

    I like that Paula Baird has a section for writers and a lot of links for turning books into film. I'm not planning to do that anytime soon, but I know that it helps others to read someone's advice on the situation. They're not in the dark.

  7. I learned that she has a page called: Behind the Book: The Writing of My Novels!! Isn't that awesome?!

    email subscriber: jwitt33 at live dot com
    tweeted: Behind the Book: The Writing of My Novels

  8. Sorry! The tweet link is:!/jwitt33/status/177509134458028032

    :D jwitt33 at live dot com

  9. I learned that she has a new novel coming out on the 10th, and from what I see from her picture she seems like a very interesting person (or maybe just in the Irish spirit)!

    GFC subscriber: Lilian Cheng


  10. Independent Book Bronze Medal (IPPY) for 2008; a 2007 Dream Realm Awards Winner; The Key.

    e-mail subscriber

    tiramisu392 (at)

  11. I liked the "Are you a closet suspense writer?" post.
    I follow via email.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. The narrator makes a difference for me too... if the voice is easy to the ears then it makes the listening a better experience...


Your comments are always appreciated!


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