In this futuristic romance Sana, a doctor and scientist is partnered with Karni to track down and bring back a criminal shape shifter, who escaped him by shifting into an insect. Sana has invented the instruments which can scan and locate Marlick no matter his form. Karni is upset that the criminal, Marlick managed to escape him so easily, the last time. He had no idea that Marlick could reduce his body mass and shape shift into something so much smaller than his original form; it is a matter of pride to him that Marlick doesn’t escape again. Sana is very attracted to Karni but he has always made his dislike of her plain and much as she pretends to feel the same way, she’s knows she’s got it bad.
As they travel from planet to planet, pretending to be merchants seeking a trade agreement, it seemed that the author invents different secondary characters and situations that are in no way integral to the plot, except to push the two main characters together. The focus of the search for Marlick seems to become lost as the characters become sexually involved. It took a long time for the character of Karni to become sufficiently formed for the reader to feel that we know anything about what motivates him except for his desire for Sana and his need to prove himself in his job by retrieving Marlick.
Marlick himself whilst leaving a trail of bodies behind him is absent for much of the book. By midway the story is more travelogue than novel and dragged considerably. Marlick seems to be deliberately leaving clues to get them to go chasing after his possible location. I was hoping that Marlick would relieve the flagging pace by leaping out suddenly from on top of a large rock, original star trek style, and the plot could get moving again. Sana is attacked and gets separated from Karni, and I was actually pleased that the story had moved on from their cover of trade agreements. Marlick turns out to have more on his agenda than escape and murder. This book appears to be the second book which covers Sana’s past as a slave to the emperor. This book does touch on much of the relevant events from the previous book to get the reader up to speed but it would have been useful to have read Star and Tye’s story first. Overall this is a romance that’s worth reading, but tighter editing would have reduced the book’s length and made the search for Marlick more suspenseful.
Sana doesn’t want to work with Karni. He is obnoxious, and pushy, yet there’s something about him that makes her blood tingle.
Karni doesn’t trust Sana, she kept information from them and as second in command of the compound he found that unforgivable. Now he’s saddled with her because she’s the only one who can detect Marlick, a shapeshifter from Krenon.
How was he going to spend long lonely nights with her and fight the growing attraction blossoming between them?