March Fellows decides to combine a bit of personal business alongside special cyborg ops business when he maneuvers his way onto a planet emerging from isolationism. He thought he had a good chance at love until he was holding a terse good-bye note. Now he wants answers.
The Cy-Ops series was a gem of a find last year and I have greeted each new release with wide-open welcome. This latest story is no exception. A second chance romance and some political intrigue in a cyborg sci-fi is just the thing.
Claimed by the Cyborg is book five in the Cy Ops series. While there is an overall series arc, it is light so a reader can pick this one up out of order or read it standalone.
March takes the job of ferrying a new space craft to Xenia that will be a bonding gift for the Emperor’s daughter. His boss wants him to get intel and soften up the Xenian government higher ups about allowing a Terran base on their planet, but March also hopes to use a few hours to hunt down Jules, the Xenian exchange student who loved him and left him years ago. He’s never gotten over her or her leaving. Only, one look at the Xenian Princess who is to be bonded with her matched mate and suddenly he has a pretty good idea why his Jules ditched him.
Juliette has dreaded her arranged bond and looks back on her two years visiting earth and living the freedom of a college student with no duty to drive her as something she wished she could have again. Leaving March was the hardest thing she had ever done, but her fate was sealed from the moment she was born the first child of the Emperor. Her people are set in their ways and the peace and future of their planet depends on her doing her duty. She is resigned until she stares into March’s amazing blue eyes.
The complication of their reunion is not the only issue the pair must face as March ends up in the middle of a dangerous plot to remove Juliette’s future bond partner.
I’ve always thought it fascinating how each story in the series presents a new alien culture and world. The Xenians rely on tight, strong societal rules, emotionless transactions and relations, and above all strive for peace. March enters this world and he’s the alien. Poor March gets the not so enjoyable surprise of learning that his Jules is not a commoner like him, but royalty. He’s angry and hurt, but also mourns again Jules’ loss just when he was hopeful of finding her.
The story isn’t long and reads quickly. It’s a nice blend of romance, sci-fi elements, and a suspense. March’s cyborg-ness is less of a factor than the heroes of previous books, but then again, his skill set is a bit different. His background and personality are also different- not as ruthless and alpha- which I think is a good thing. No cookie-cutter cyborg heroes or heroines in this series.
The political intrigue side of the plot stayed in the background somewhat until offering up a snazzy twist there at the end leading to a nice intense climax. The romance was a reunion so it had to get past the issue of her bonding and his frustration that her duty stands between them.
I try to take my time with these, but end up devouring them in one sitting and am left eagerly waiting for the next cyborg ops adventure. Those who enjoy sizzling romance with cyborg characters and a colorfully drawn sci-fi world should try this series.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.