After reading the action-packed previous book in the series and encountering the hero in a supporting role, I was thrilled that the next book would be Dale’s. But then I started reading and realized that yet again, the author wowed me not only with a likeable hero, but a heroine that intrigued me from the moment she entered her first scene. I devoured this book in one sitting and now can only wait eagerly for more.
The story opens with Dale Homme, a cyborg and owner of a deeply hidden space version of a chop shop. He and his team acquire ships and retrofit them to order for big sales. The business is not shady, but some of the customers are so the operation is deep in a thought to be lifeless moon and cloaked from discovery.
Of late, Dale has become restless. He left cy-ops, but now he misses the intensity and excitement of the missions. With a hundred twenty-eight employees depending on him for their livelihood, though, he can’t just ditch the business.
But then the shuttle returns with candidates for the open position of tech work that will hopefully produce a computer wizard who can figure out the glitches in their latest work project. A mysterious female who tells more lies than truths and is not who she says she is gets Dale’s attention. He should hire one of the others, but his gut tells him that there is something important behind her deception and he wants to know what it is and help her.
Illumina is a Faria, but she is the only one in existence without her beautiful fairy wings. And that’s because her ex-husband turned into a torturous fiend after she wanted to divorce him when he showed his true and awful colors once they were married. Now, he stalks her across the galaxy with plans to kill her and anyone who gets in his way or helps her. Illumina sees the top secret work for Dale Homme as a god-send. She’ll hide out and take a breather from her running and do a good job for Dale while she’s at it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t expecting him to be cyborg and a very perceptive one at that. He knows she lied to him, but he’s biding his time. And while he bides his time, they both feel the attraction tighten between them. Illumina can’t give in to the passion and must leave if she is to keep Dale and the other’s safe even though the big cyborg seems quite capable of fighting his own battles.
So, this was a fast paced and easy to read spicy sci-fi action romance. It’s perfect for the moments I just wanted to lose myself in a good story that didn’t delve deep, but entertained and engaged me. I love the cyborg world that the author has created with the top secret special ops teams, the fraternity of cyborg warriors, the spicy romance, and of course the mission. In this case the mission was to protect Illumina and bring down her evil ex who was getting away with more than just his murderous stalking since he had powerful and wealthy connections he used to protect his dirty secrets.
The characters aren’t deeply developed, but they are developed enough to get to know them and connect with them. As I pointed out earlier, I liked Dale from his intro in the last book. It was neat getting his background and how he became cyborg and came to own the chop shop. He was most definitely an assertive leader, but he tempered this with understanding so that he could see the potential in his team of workers when no one else could.
Illumina was the fascinating woman from an alien race. There was a little bit about her race and background. She’s a survivor and a protector, but she is a computer genius because of her psychic gift that allows her to connect telepathically with technology. I had strong respect for this one who had survived much and had to live by her wits.
I enjoyed the pair of them together. They made a sizzling romantic pair, but also work well together in daily life and work, too. They both thought the other would think less of them because she felt she was ugly because her wings are missing and he thought he was ugly because he is half computer. Instead, they were treated to acceptance and attraction. Lonely people connecting and bonding.
The action scenes and intrigue were exciting and I enjoyed the pacing in the book. There were a couple surprise twists that enhanced the final big scene in particular. The last book was loaded with more action, but that doesn’t mean this one was lacking.
The final epilogue style chapters brought a smile to my face to see how things wrapped up for this pair and the cyber ops team in general. Now after getting my wish of more Dale-time, I wouldn’t mind some more Sonny or Carter.
In summary, this was exciting and had a good amount of spice. Perfect for the light sci-fi romance lover who wants something quick and entertaining.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #117 SFR
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