Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Bantam
Released on March 23, 2010
After the sizzling action and romance of Hope’s Folly, I was thrilled that there was at least one more in the series and was intrigued that it involved Admiral Phillip Guthrie’s youngest brother. A murder, an attempted kidnapping, spaceport mafia, and intrigue dog the boots of a down on her luck cargo ship captain and the brightest mind of the Guthries who might get their chance together after all if they play their cards right.
Rebels and Lovers is the fourth and final entry in the Dock Five Universe. It refers back to prior events, but has a standalone plot. I found reading them in order made sense of the several references to prior events and other people.
Devin is the computer and financial wizard of the Guthrie empire and his father and older brother have left him to it until now. He’s being called home and he suspects he knows why- his parents are pressuring him to marry a woman in their wealthy, powerful class. Devin never has bought into the family status and his heart was captured long ago by a beautiful space pilot who his family would never have approved of and that was before her husband got fired and she went with him.
But, before he was home for long, his nephew Trip disappears and he rushes to find him. It’s dangerous to be from a powerful family in the turbulent times of an Empire in civil war.
Kaidee Griggs is at wits end. After leaving the Guthries’ employ, her husband got them into trouble with his gambling and greed. Divorcing him hadn’t helped because now after his death, the gangster holding his gambling markers and the lien on their ship wants payment or he’ll take it out of her hide. Repaying him would have been a snap with a few lucrative cargo runs, but the imperial fleet has everyone locked in port while they chase the rebels led by Admiral Guthrie. The Guthries, especially Phillip, Devin, and Trip had been good to her and she wishes she hadn’t been blackmailed by her scum ex to quit. It is then that she catches sight of Trip acting furtive and not where he should ever be- the decks of Dock Five. What’s he doing here? And, several harrowing events later, she encounters Devin to and wonders what she is doing involved in their issues and they, in hers. Oh, and would her heart stop racing whenever Devin even looks at her? It could never work out.
Rebels and Lovers gives the reader an inside look at the Guthrie family and financial empire that had been hinted at since book one. Except this time the focus has shifted to another part of the family- Devin and Trip. It also introduces a heroine who has inner steel and grit, but can’t seem to catch a break. At heart, it’s a class difference romance set against the political intrigues of an empire in space.
It was all I have come to expect from the author’s great sci-fi action and romance stories, but as an entry in a series and the final one at that? This is where I struggled. It connected to the series on some levels and especially toward the end. But, rather than act like a normal series ending book, it didn’t wrap up the overarcing series plot. I hesitate to get specific because of spoilers, but let’s just say that this one didn’t conclude like a series ender and was more like a book written with expectations that there would be more. It finished off the books’ plot arc and tied it in with the previous stories at the last minute, but kept a lot open.
Okay, now that I addressed what bothered me, let me get to what was great. Namely, Kaidee and Devin. Coming from two different worlds with a wealth of background and yet so right for each other if she can get past the damage her ex did to her trust and reach for what she wants instead of merely settling and running from something good. Devin is in the power position and merely has to flout family expectation. He loves Kaidee and will do what it takes to prove it while not shirking duty to family if he can do both. He is an awkward geek type in ways, but his older brother has trained him for danger, too. I liked how that looked on him and liked that Kaidee had a colorful background that gave her an edge and an edgy persona as a tough ship captain not exactly polished.
It was also great with the secondary characters of young college-age Trip and old, sly Barty making up the rest of their underdog team again all that their unknown or guessed at enemies throw at them. They are trying to work out the conspiracy and what is going on with the Guthrie family and the business along with who else might be involved while keeping from capture or killing.
All in all, I was thrilled with it as an entry in the series and not so thrilled with it as a final book. Dare I hope that a decade after this one that the author will release more? Yes, I do hope and I recommend this book and the series for those who loved action-packed space sci-fi romances.
Mt. TBR #71
Reading Assignment Fall #16
Series That Never Ends #12
About the Book
Out of options… Techno-billionaire Devin Guthrie can’t forget Captain Makaiden Griggs even though it’s been two years since she was in his family’s employ. A Guthrie does not fall in love with a mere shuttle pilot. Going against his wealthy family’s wishes isn’t an option—not with the Empire in political upheaval, much of it caused by Devin’s renegade older brother, Admiral Philip Guthrie.
When a Guthrie heir—Devin’s nineteen-year old nephew, Trip— goes missing, Devin’s loyalty to his family’s edicts is put to the test. Suddenly the unthinkable becomes the only option available: Devin must break the rules and ally himself with Kaidee Griggs, the one woman he could never forget, the one woman he was forbidden to love. It’s a desperate move that could change the fate of the Empire—and the Guthrie family forever.
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