Politics drive everything in the Verses. Imperial or Federation. You are on one side or the other, either by choice or circumstance. Carina is the daughter of the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Verses, and knows he has to be stopped. He’s insane, and his lust for more power is going to result in a magnitude of innocent lives being lost. Enter Daniel Haws, operative extraordinaire of the Phantom Corps, and unbeknownst to many, the man who commands it. His mission is to get the information that Carina has, and Carina herself, out of the Imperial Verse and into Federation holdings. She’s cargo of the most precious kind, but soon becomes simply precious to Daniel.
Carina has been bred and raised to be a game piece on her father’s chess board. Now that her future has been decided, it’s the last impetus she needs to facilitate an escape with newly discovered information that holds the secret to her father’s insane plan. Her life is tied to the information to ensure her safe passage, but soon after she and Daniel meet, she becomes Daniel’s only concern for the person she is, not her rank or the information she holds. She becomes what Daniel never knew he needed, and his desire to protect her and cherish her becomes insatiable.
With odds against them, both Daniel and Carina toss convention out the window in favor of what the other makes them feel. Alive, wanted and valued. Daniel puts up a small fight based on Carina being untouched and younger than he is, but he’s not the man he is because he vacillates over what he wants. Once he and Carina cross that line, he makes his claim and for better of worse Carina is his. He does give her a choice after they’ve reached safety, but she only gets the one chance to walk away.
While this was a good read, and a welcome continuation of the series, I felt it didn’t live up to the depth of emotion of the first two books. The story was fast paced and full of the political intrigue we’ve come to expect from the Federation Series. Do I believe you can fall in love in as short a time as Daniel and Carina had? Yes, I do. The romantic story line was at times erotic, funny, touching and sad. An engrossing read, with lots more than just the romance going on, and of course the ending left it wide open for another book. Bring it on.