Published by Random House Publishing Group on April 26th 2005
Genres: Romance, Romantic, Science Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
Sexual Content: Explicit sex scenes.
Reviewed by: Kim
Independent trader Trilby Elliot is making some not-quite-legal modifications to her starfreighter, when an unexpected visitor falls out of space. Literally. He’s crashed onto the uninhabited planet of Avanar in a crippled ’Sko fighter–the last place you’d expect to find a Zafharin military officer because the ’Sko and the Zafharin have been at war as long as Trilby can remember. Rhis Vanur is your typically arrogant Zafharin. But to Trilby’s surprise, he doesn’t look down on her or her slapdash ship. Still, Trilby’s learned the hard way that even though she found Rhis, she can’t keep him. She’s just a low-budget jump jockey as far as men like him are concerned. She’s not falling for his offer to help…until Port Rumor reports her best friend missing and Trilby learns that the ’Sko are hunting both her and Rhis. Now they’re in it together for better, for worse–or till death blasts them to oblivion....
This book is the ultimate blend of science-fiction and romance. It will leave you thinking about the world and characters long after you finish the book, wishing you could be back on Trilby's ship for just a few more pages.
When Captain Trilby Elliot saves Rhis from a crash on a wild jungle planet, he tells her he’s a pilot who got lost. He promises his commanders will pay her to get him back to civilisation. She’s wary, but when he offers to help her finish the repairs she was making to her ship as well, she agrees to take him to the nearest space station - she's seriously strapped for credits. It also helps that he’s kind of charming, and good with an electric wrench and computers.
Unfortunately, Rhys isn’t quite who he says he is. He may not even be fully human.
The interactions between Trilby and Rhis are testy at first, but as they work together the tension turns from wary to hot. They’re trapped together, at first on an uninhabited planet and then in Trilby’s small ship, for the first half of the book. They do have a slightly annoying but endearing AI with them as well, but he lacks a physical body. Trilby’s not used to having another person around, especially not one that doesn’t listen to her orders.
The author does a great job of making a small space feel both claustrophobic but complete. Trilby’s ship feels like a character in itself, a recycled, cobbled piece of crap that should have been retired years ago… Or at least, it seems that way from the outside. Trilby and others have done so many illegal repairs and modifications to the ship that it could probably outlast, if not outrun, many modern ships.
By the end of their short trip, they’ve really made a connection; too bad Rhis hijacks her ship and takes them back to a massive space station where everyone listens to him: he’s actually a high ranking military officer. Not only that, he’s known as the coldest, meanest commander in the fleet, who everyone fears and most hate. Rhis appears to be gone, replaced by Khyrhis Tivahr, and Trilby feels betrayed. Too bad for her, he’s not the only one who has used her without a full disclosure.
The plot, which started out relatively simple when they were stranded on the jungle planet, gets more complex, and as new characters and locales get introduced, it’s easy to get a feeling that what Rhis and Trilby have gotten themselves into could easily prevent - or start - and deadly galactic war.
This book has a bit of everything: there are political plots and betrayals to uncover, unethical experiments to unearth, competing military factions and alien computer programs to hack. The science and space combat is strong enough to satisfy the more traditional science-fiction lovers, who may be turned off by the idea of a scifi-romance novel.
This is one of those books I selfishly wish was part of a series. Although all of the plot points are wrapped up, I just want to read more of Trilby and Rhis’ interactions and romance. Although they seem so different at first, when they find shared passions, they are fun and work amazingly well together. I’ve read this book a few times a year since I discovered it, every time enjoying the evolution of the characters and of their relationship as much as I enjoy the discussion of space cannons and space maps. This book is a must read for both romance and science fiction fans.Series Titles: