This RITA® Reader Challenge was written by Courtney. This book finaled in the Paranormal and Best First Book categories.
Plot Summary: After a stint in an alien prison, Captain Ari Rose wonders why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father’s scientific expedition to finish a Ph.D. she doesn’t want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. She wasn’t built for it, either. But when pirates commandeer her father’s ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner. As far as pirate leader Cullin is concerned, Ari’s past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin’s sights. If she hasn’t been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he’s convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can’t afford the desire she fires within him and he’ll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.
And now, Courtney’s review:
I shouldn’t love this book as much as I did. There are niggly little craft things all over the place: sentences that could be smoother, plot points that could be less confusing.
But the romance was one of my favorites: super-prickly and awesome woman of many talents who has severe PTSD and fears that she is going crazy; otherwise cold dude who has harbored a secret crush forever; government intrigue, rebel flight. I stopped noticing all the niggly craft things after about ten pages and just fell into the story.
Which is awesome. There are knife fights. There are romantic knife fights. *swoon* There are space battles. There’s a threat to a planetary empire. The plot gets started with a rip-roaring vengeance and never lets off, and unlike a lot of cross-over romance/sci-fi books, neither the romance nor the sci-fi felt skimpy or tacked on. Instead, they feed off each other, the plot and the romance interweaving almost seamlessly to the conclusion.
Marcella Burnard put me in mind of Linnea Sinclair and Ann Aguirre, two of my favorite sci-fi authors. This book proved to me that a phenomenal story trumps everything.
I read this and immediately bought her next, and since it’s a $9.99 Kindle download, that’s saying something.