|Read in Kindle|
Genre: Space opera
My Rating: 4 stars
This is one of those books that you see mentioned once and again and I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time. It was chosen by the All About Romance readers as the Best SF/F & Futuristic romance of 2007. And it was finalist in the Rita Awards, in the Futuristic/Fantasy/Paranormal.
At the beginning I was a little bit lost with the background story. It looks like there had been two enemy forces in the past, the Triad and the United Coalition. And now they form an Alliance. The hero, Branden Kel-Paten, is a Triad officer and the heroine, Tasha Sebastian, a United Coalition one. Perhaps there was a former book in the same universe and all those things made more sense if you had read the previous one.
Anyway, this is a kind of enemies-to-lovers story, as the former enemies have to work together now. He is the admiral and has requested her to serve under his orders in the Vaxxar, the greatest huntership of the fleet.
Kel-Paten is a biocybe, this is a kind of cyborg, half human and half machine who should not have feelings, but he’s got them, and very deep, towards Tasha. He’s been in love with her for years, but of course she knows nothing about it, as he gives her only a cold image.
So she distrusts him and suspects of his reasons to have her there. It’s a great opportunity but at the same time, a risk, as she’s got a past to hide. She had been -.years ago- not only an enemy officer but also the notorious mercenary Lady Sass, something that Kel-Paten could never accept and forgive.
She’s very competent, a terrific warrior and very tongue-in-cheek character, so she clashes with the so serious and quiet Kel-Paten, who doesn’t know how to reach to her, how to make her see him in a different light. And he’s afraid that his mechanical body could repel her. He’s got no experience and is half machine so it’s quite difficult to him to try to develop a normal relationship.
Their current mission is looking for a mercenary that was supposedly spying for this new alliance, but when he comes up on board, Tasha is at risk, because he knows her former persona. There are more dangers lurking in the background, this spy says, and they all should work together to put an end to that, but of course, Kel-Paten would not believe anything of it. It doesn’t help that Kel-Paten and Jace Serafino, this mercenary, hate each other. Serafino is not in good shape and he needs the help of Dr. Eden Flynn, the doctor of the ship, and Tasha’s best friend.
There are so many things happening here that I cannot go into more details. And the book is faster as you progress in the reading like a roller coaster so in the end I just couldn’t stop reading to know what happened next. The dynamics of these four characters is quite interesting, for instance, Eden is Tasha’s best friend, but also respected by Kel-Paten and desired by Jace Serafino. Tasha is the secret love of Kel-Paten, the best friend of Eden and her relationship with Jace is complex, they both have been mercenaries, and are in friendly terms but at the same time he represents a threat.
The love stories are well developed. You see a lot of sexual tension between Kel-Paten and Tasha who is completely unaware, at the beginning, of Kel-Paten feelings. When she realises what’s going on, she has to change the way she sees the biocybe, and tries to understand him better. Falling in love is not an easy experience for any of them, but it’s really sweet.
Did I say I enjoyed this book? O yes I did. But I guess it’s also because of the different space adventures these four people ‘enjoy’, and not only the love stories. There’s intrigue, there are moments when you don’t know what’s happening, what part is real and what part is a trap for their minds. Have I told you there are empaths and telepaths, and monsters that make you want to die? And alien animals that remind you of cats and look just like pets at the beginning but they have an important part afterwards?
So if you like science fiction and romance, I think this is a book you should give a try. My minor concerns are about Kel-Paten’s falling in love. I just didn’t know how it happened or why as it was supposed not to happen because of his programming, or why anyone had to create biocybes in the first place and try them not to be human. You know he loves her just from the beginning so there’s not a lot of evolution in his feelings, only if he is going to overcome his shyness and connect with her and also, if he’s going to feel the same once Tasha’s past is revealed.