This is the first book in a new series from Liquid Silver, it is a very well written Sci-Fi Romance and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novella. The primary characters are well written, the emotional depth is surprising for such a short story and the Sci-Fi elements were very well incorporated into the main story. The plot moves at a good pace.
Rhada Kaden is a young woman who is hiding out on the planet Jericho, near the end of the Galaxy. Rhada is on parole from her prison sentence on Acheron, a notoriously hard prison planet and she is trying to stay out of trouble so that she will be able to remain on parole and not have to serve out the rest of her sentence. Unfortunately, she gets into a brawl over a card game and ends up seriously injuring an obnoxious player. She gets sentenced to return to Acheron to serve out the rest of her 2 year term. Luckily for her the United Planets Fleet (UPF) is desperate for pilots and one of the commanders has been going thru local prison files and realizes that Rhada has had Fleet Academy training. She had been one week from graduating with her pilot’s commission when she was expelled for fighting. The commander offers her the opportunity to become a pilot instead of returning to Acheron for the rest of her sentence which she accepts and they proceed to Sentinel Five, a UPF Battle Station.
Davin McAvoy is the CAG (Commander Air Group) on Sentinel Five and has just been informed by the station’s commander that he has a new pilot, when he is given her file he is not happy to see that he is being shackled with a female pilot and with one who has a file that points to an “attitude” problem. Davin is a very good looking man who has spent his life playing by the rules, he acknowledges that he’s intrigued by Rhada’s picture in her file but also senses that she will bring change to his unit and it might not be a change that he wants. He is pleasantly surprised to discover that she is a good pilot and is curious as to what set her on the path that she has taken so far but is scared to change anything in his life, including the go nowhere romance that he is currently embarked on with another woman on Sentinel Five.
When Davin and Rhada are forced to spend more time together as pilots they form a difficult friendship, they both realize the depth of their attraction but fight it due to the difficulties of being on a space station with little privacy. There is also the added element of the fallout that will occur from having any kind of relationship with someone that you work with and have to depend on in combat situations. Rhada has not let anyone near her emotionally for a very long time and fights letting Davin close, yet he is the first person in a long time that is able to get close and that is when we get to see the real woman. She’s been seriously let down by a society that has treated her as if she is not worthy of being a part of it. Davin makes mistakes in getting to know Rhada that hurt her, but they are mistakes that come from inexperience and from her lack of trust; he however perseveres and works on earning her trust.
The romance in this story is sweet; the good boy who is attracted to the “bad girl” and in the process both characters grow and true love is the outcome. The spicy elements are well done and were incorporated into the story in a way that enhanced the outcome. The ending is not a Happy Ever After type ending but is an ending that is realistic to a short story, more of a Happy For Now type ending that leaves us with the feeling of hope for both characters and a desire to see more of them in either additional stories in the series or in a sequel to the novella. I look forward to reading the next book in this series from this writing team.
The United Terran Colonies are under attack. Desperate for pilots to combat the enemy raiders the Fleet puts out an all pilots call, hoping to fill their empty fighter squadrons. A call ignored by ex-con Radha Kaden, who figures she doesn’t owe anyone anything. Since a pilot’s life expectancy is slightly less than that of your average lemming, she steers well clear.
Then a bar brawl violates the terms of her release and she has a choice. Go back to Acheron, the harshest prison facility in the combined systems, or pilot a fighter…
Thanks to high casualty rates Wing Commander Davin McAvoy constantly needs new pilots. Dead men can’t fly Valkyries nor can they protect the base or her crew. When he’s told he’s getting that rarest of creatures—an experienced pilot—he’s ready to throw a party. Until he finds out not only is his new pilot an ex-con but she’s a woman too. Both unforgiveable sins in Davin’s book.
Until he meets her and sparks that have nothing to do with the war fly…