5 Stars: WINNER, Ecataromance 2006 Reviewers' Choice Award. "The Miner's Wife is a story that will capture your attention and keep it. With an intriguing plot, engaging characters and explosive sex, this story has it all. Hannah's background is almost unbelievable. The quick and powerful rise of the new Tiberius Group has surprised everyone, especially the women. Their antiquated views of women and their place in society are in direct opposition to what she's worked so hard for all of her life. When she meets Brutal, she expects him to treat her in the same manner that her father and her previous husband did. But he eventually surprises her, showing her gentleness, caring and support throughout the story which she hadn't received from the men who were supposed to care or her. Brutal is a bio-genetically engineered man, who must have sex in order to recharge his batteries. I loved this! Brutal is definitely all man, strong, sexy and a hard worker. Not only does he need sex, he gets a better charge from his partner's satisfaction, and boy, does he satisfy! Hannah and Brutal are highly combustible, enjoying their sexual escapades and explorations. But what I really liked about Brutal was his caring attitude toward Hannah. He allows her the opportunity to work and show her intelligence and believed in her when no one else would. The pace of this story is just right, telling about their backgrounds then quickly moving to their relationship. With a little danger from Brutal's nemesis and a surprise from Hannah's past, you won't find one minute of boredom is this story. Add this one to your must read list and keep on the lookout for the other Wives Tales!"--Trang, Ecataromance
5 Angels: "Lara Santiago has created a wonderful story mixed with futuristic elements, uncertainty of ones emotions, and a splash of danger from an evil miner. Hannah is a feisty, charismatic woman that is passionate and has a personality that readers will love. Brutal, although he can be very deadly, offers readers a possessive and protective man that is honorable regardless of the arrangement between Hannah and him. The chemistry between Brutal and Hannah is explosive, mind-blowing, and quite tantalizing to say the least. As the plot intensifies, readers will be pleased with a couple of surprises along the way. These surprises will only make the readers love Brutal more and cheer for Hannah to have what she wants. The Miner's Wife is a wonderful story about finding love when and where you aren't looking for it!"--Jessica, Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Hot Tattoos: "The Miner's Wife by Lara Santiago is a great book. I love the premise and plot. I could not put the book down. There is action, suspense, and romance all combined to make a reader's heart race. The well developed characters grow as the story progresses. Brutal looks like a gruff rough miner but he has a heart of gold. His tenderness and understanding towards Hannah started my heart to fluttering. Hannah is a modern independent woman forced under the new world order's thumb. The determination and strength she possesses helps her succeed in her changing world. The racy love scenes between Hannah and Brutal leave little to the imagination. An instant attraction bonds these two lovers and propels them into a sensual world of desire and passion. I would gladly live on another planet for a man like Brutal. Ms. Santiago has created a vivid futuristic story for the romantic. I can not wait for her next work."--Ophelia, Erotic-Escapades
4.5 Hearts: Nominee: The Romance Studio 2006 CAPA. "This book is a never-ending adventure, and readers will find themselves wrapped up in the drama that Brutal and Hannah create. Brutal lives up to his name with a dark and sensual air that readers will love. Hannah is a free spirit who finds that maybe all men aren't alike. The love scenes are so hot, the pages almost burn with the heat. This is the first book I have read by Lara Santiago and Siren Publishing. I can certainly say that I will be on the lookout for more of this author's work in the future."--Angel, The Romance Studio
4.5 Blue Ribbons: "The Miner's Wife will take you into a future where women are reduced to mere possessions in a male society. Hannah's plight will have you empathizing with her even as you realize how much Brutal truly needs her, and not just for his sexual desires either. They're both wonderful characters who are wronged by the very people who should have cared for them. This story is powerfully moving and truly a delight to read. I can't wait to read the other two books in The Wives Tales series."--Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
4.5 Kisses: "Lara Santiago has a refreshing and delightful writing style. Not only is The Miner's Wife a very creative story but her characters are mature and well developed. I really appreciated that while Hannah did not embrace what happened to her, she didn't place blame on Brutal, which allowed them to have a sweet, fun, and healthy relationship. The humor is perfectly timed, as is the action and adventure. Not only are the love scenes hot but they are also sweet and full of emotion. I highly recommend The Miner's Wife and look forward to reading the other books in The Wives Tales series!"--Kerin, Two Lips Reviews
4.5 Stars: "The Miner's Wife is a science fiction story about a future controlled by a corporation and the archaic laws that they enforce concerning women. It is a novel idea for a story even though I think I would probably be one of the first women to form a rebellion against the nitwits. There was considerable thought up into the universe that Ms. Santiago has come up with. There is a plausible explanation for the new laws and how they affect the female population. Ms. Santiago's characters are believable and very likable or despicable depending on the character. The love scenes for the most part are very, very hot. Brutal turns out to be a very gentle and caring lover when Hannah allows him to be. I am interested in reading the rest of the series to see if the women really do take to these new laws [or] if they rise up and stomp some bureaucrat's ass."--Oleta M. Blaylock, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
4.5 Unicorns: "Taking us into a world where women are no more than property and sexual tension relievers, this author pens an interesting story of a couple brought together under less than ideal circumstances. Hannah [is] a woman after my own heart even if she no longer has rights in her country, because she still shows spunk when she's not fainting. Her miner isn't half bad either because from the onset, he is willing to protect the woman he initially sees as an energy source and outlet for his needs. After making the best of their situation, these two become ideal partners in and out of the bed. With its action, passion and touching moments, readers will enjoy this [first book in] The Wives Tales Trilogy."--Rachelle, Enchanted in Romance
"I fell in love with Brutal Blackthorn in The Miner's Wife. He was a big ole sweet man who tried to be tough, but once he fell in love with Hannah, she was his whole world and I liked that. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside that a hero as tough as Brutal would become putty in Hannah's hands. As for Hannah, for having gone through what she did, she was an extremely strong, intelligent woman. She was in control of Brutal without him even knowing it, and I loved that! The Miner's Wife is the first book I have read written by Lara Santiago and it will not be the last. The storyline kept me spellbound and the romantic interludes of the characters were extremely erotic. In fact, I couldn't put this book down until I read the last word. Lucky for me, there are two more books in Ms. Santiago's Wives Tales Series, The Executive's Wife and The Lawman's Wife, that I look forward to reading! If you are a fan of futuristic books, or even if you aren't, The Miner's Wife is just a good, all-around read that is totally satisfying!"--Talia Ricci, Joyfully Reviewed
"The auction is about to begin," said a twangy voice trying to sound formal, which was a complete waste of effort in a mining town barroom, Brutal thought.
"Bring out the all the girls," said a rowdy voice from the back of the room. Thomas 'Brutal' Blackthorn agreed with Mr. Rowdy. He was ready to start the bidding. It was already going to take all damn day just to get a woman ... he meant a 'wife.'
Dusty, the auctioneer for today, glanced around the room once, heaved a deep sigh, and promptly left the stage as if in a huff. He returned a few minutes later with a petite Asian woman dressed like the sordid porno version of a schoolgirl complete with pigtails and knee stockings. Together they walked across the expanse of the small stage as hoots of appreciation and hollering ensued. She was led to the space next to the podium for auction. Brutal thought she looked bored. Not surprising. The women here knew how the auction worked.
Most brides sold themselves into this life because of an addiction to expensive shoes, fine clothes, and unaffordable jewelry. Most just wanted to do their time quickly and return to their credit cards back on Earth. They would take the cash they earned from marrying miners for a short time and then come right back for more. No better than prostitutes for current fashion.
Brutal wouldn't prostitute himself for anything as shallow as fashion, but he understood the reason why. It was perhaps similar to the motivation for his living on this harsh planet in a backbreaking job--the dream of a better life on Earth. However, he worked hard to better himself and wanted so much more out of life than simply fashionable attire.
Brutal had experienced a couple of other auctions when he first arrived here four months ago. He foolishly decided at the time that he wouldn't need more than a month or two to reach his mining goal and secure enough cash to live the good life. He was mistaken.
The landowners he rented his mine from had been less than forthcoming about the rate at which ore could be retrieved here when he signed the contract to excavate. But he was up to the task as long as he had an outlet for his pent-up testosterone. He needed a woman, thus the reason he was giving up a day at his mine to obtain a regular sex partner ... he meant a 'wife.' He needed sex. And he needed it soon.
Today, said his horny libido forcefully.
The original expeditionary party who founded the society on this asteroid almost two decades ago had decided quickly to outlaw whorehouses and drinking establishments right off the bat. They wanted a civilized operation, and to that end, built in lots of social rules early on. No drugs, no gambling, no drunkenness, no loose women or prostitutes.
The word 'no' was pretty much the standard answer for everything here.
The founding expedition members knew the value of the Thorium-Z as a replacement for fossil fuels, which was in abundance on this moon circling Mars. But they didn't want to own a rowdy, corrupt town in space. So if a miner had a woman living with him here, he had to be married to her. A few miners brought wives with them, but the majority opted for temporary wives. Probably not what the owners had in mind originally, but things changed over time.
The miners who had come to work way before Brutal got here found a few loopholes in the laws laid down--the most important being that a marriage didn't have to be permanent. They decided that marriages could be annulled, or couples could be divorced after their service was no longer required, or if the bride's previously established 'time' was up. The minimum sentence ... he meant marriage ... for a mail order bride here was six months, the maximum two years.
"Okay, listen up, you miners. I need to make an announcement before we begin these here proceedings. This is important, so pay attention," the senior loadmaster for the transport craft said irately. "Now, all the men who had attached wives will still get their selected women, unless you don't want her anymore. See me if that's the case."
"Get on with it, Dusty. I'm horny," said the rowdy voice from the back of the room. Laughter burst from most of the other occupants along with other grunts of approval.
"Well, keep it in your pants. There's a slight problem with the unattached females on this run."
"I know what it is," said the same rowdy voice. "They're horny, too, so get on with it." The room burst with loud laughter once again.
"One of the unattached females ... didn't make the trip," Dusty said to the laughter dying down. "We weren't able to revive her from cryo-freeze. That means there is one less female up for auction today."
Brutal flinched inwardly. He needed to take a woman home today. It was imperative. At this juncture, he'd be unable to continue if ... no, he wouldn't even consider the option of not going home with a woman ... he meant a 'wife.'
"So someone's going back home with a chunk of wood between his legs today then," Mr. Rowdy said in disgust.
"When is the next transport, Dusty?" another voice inquired.
"Well, that's something else I need to tell ya about. The thing is, there ain't no scheduled bride transports, at least not at this time." Loud groans and grumbling ran through the crowd of men.
"Now, wait a minute. It don't mean they won't send one later on, but there's gonna be some changes 'cause a new group's in charge back home." Dusty went on to explain briefly the Tiberius Group's takeover and the new plight of women at home.
Interesting turn of events, Brutal thought as the auction finally began. He wondered what other changes were going on back in the U.S. since his arrival here.
As the parade of mail order brides were brought out, auctioned off, and dwindled quickly, Brutal felt the first stirrings of true panic. Twenty-five men had appeared today to bid on the available twenty-four mail order brides in the auction. The first twenty-three had been bid for quickly and contracts were already being drawn up.
Brutal and one other man remained to bid on the final woman available. The bidding thus far had been higher than usual for these events because of the supply and demand issue. Brutal was about to bid against his arch nemesis, Erik Vander. Erik had the distinction of being the only other man at this mining colony who was taller and heavier than Brutal.
"All righty then," Dusty said. "Here's the final woman up for auction today. Now, she ain't much to look at right now, on account of her fainting earlier and one of the other girls throwing water all over her to wake her up, but she cleans up nice. You can take my word for it."
"Get on with it," Erik's chilling voice cut through the din of conversation from the others watching the drama.
"Since all the attached women have been claimed, there's only one girl left for the two of you remaining. Do either of you want to back out?"
The room was completely silent until Erik said clearly, "Hell, no!"
Brutal merely glared at Dusty, certain the negative response was evident in his eyes, but he shook his head slowly to remove all doubt.
"Buck!" Dusty yelled over his shoulder. "Bring her out."
The final mail order bride shuffled out to the podium, her face pointed to the floor. Her shoulders slumped in what could only be described as utter mortification.
She was quite a bedraggled-looking little creature with wet, stringy blonde hair hanging over her eyes. Her arms were crossed over her chest. Brutal figured she was hiding the size of her breasts under the sodden, see-through blouse and skirt she wore. Too bad, he thought, but then anticipation rose quickly in him at the pervasive visual of her in his bed without her garments. She looked like she'd just emerged from a pool of water. He would have loved to see that.
Someone must have thrown five gallons of water on her. Brutal glanced around the room and saw the smirking face of one of the previously bid-on females. He also wished he had witnessed the catfight resulting in the soaked girl dripping before them now.
"Make her uncross her arms," Erik said, breaking Brutal's trance. "I want to see her tits."
"Eat shit and die," came the muttered curse from the girl, which was heard by everyone in the pin-drop silence of the room.
"Now, missy, don't insult the man who might just be your lord and master for the next two years," Dusty admonished her before turning to the room again.
Brutal hid a smile. He loved feisty women. Erik, he knew, liked women who were downtrodden. This would be his fifth temporary wife, if he succeeded, which he wouldn't because Brutal wasn't going to allow that to happen. He was already planning the best way to peel off the sopping wet white blouse and skirt clinging to her trembling body. Then he would help her warm up.
"Now, we have a provision for this unusual circumstance, believe it or not. We can flip a coin, or you two can fight until one of you is incapacitated. That means unconscious or dead," Dusty explained.
"Fight," both men said in unison, and each began peeling off his outer constricting clothing.
"Ask the girl which one she wants," shouted the rowdy voice from the back of the room.
"It don't matter which one she wants," Dusty said in an exasperated tone. At the same time, the blonde girl uttered a resounding, "Neither!"
"Rule number one," Dusty said, ignoring the ensuing outburst, "either of you two may, at any time, surrender your interest in the female. Rule number two, the two of you will fight for the right to marry this female until one of you is unconscious or engages rule number one as explained. Do you both understand?"
Brutal and Erik both nodded.
"First, I deserve to see what I'm fighting for," Erik said and strode two steps over to the female, grabbing both of her arms and pulling them away to view her breasts through the translucent shirt. She kicked him in the shin. Erik quickly tightened his grip on her forearms. He then twisted them up, making her cry out and fall to her knees.
"Just the way I like to see my woman," Erik smiled callously, "on her knees, crying."
"Enough." Dusty stepped between them. "Do that again, Erik, and you lose."
Erik grunted once and released her, retreating with sardonic amusement on his cruel face.
Brutal wondered if this very last mail order bride would root for him to win now that Erik had shown her his good side. She remained kneeling on the floor with her head down and didn't look up.
"I'd like to know the name of the woman I'm fighting for," Brutal said in an even tone. Her head moved slightly, but she didn't look at him.
"My name is Hannah Brent," she finally said, raising her eyes to meet his momentarily before she looked back at the floor.
Brutal stepped over to her and squatted down. "If you want Erik, I'll step out of the fight right now," he said and watched her head snap up as she glared at him.
"Stomp his ass, and I swear I won't give you any trouble," she whispered in a trembling voice.
"As you wish. I hope you're worth the effort, Hannah." Brutal inhaled deeply of her scent before he stood to face Erik.
So Brutal readied himself to fight Erik, the biggest, meanest miner on the off-world planet, for the right to marry a woman temporarily. He'd fought bigger, meaner men in his colorful past and beaten them easily. It was no competition. Brutal felt confident this battle was already a victory for him, even though both men were spurred on by lust.
Brutal even more so now because he had gotten close enough to inhale her delectable fragrance while crouched next to her. And she smelled incredible, not perfumed up like the others. Possibly due to the unexpected shower she had received, but he caught her natural scent and the light fragrance of her hair.
Need sex today, his libido commented, also responding to her scent.
Brutal wanted her. Soon. Now. He hoped he could wait until he got her back to his mine to take her for the first time. Conjugal rights were the primary reason he was marrying. Just like every other miner here.
"I'm going to knock you on your ass," Erik mocked.
Brutal didn't bother to respond. He pondered his best strategy to ensure he stayed on his feet before crushing Erik as quickly as possible. He and Erik circled the room twice before they just rammed into each other.