He was THE Senior Captain T'vahr! Known by many less friendly titles. He was created by the Empire. He had been genetically manipulated. Keeping his identity hidden from her, he let her call him Rhis Vanur. He had escaped from the Ycsko and needed to complete his mission. Soon the Sko would own Trilby's Conclave, and later the Empire, unless he succeeded. No one, not even Rhis, believed he could ever care for anyone. Emotions were a waste of time and dangerous! But Trilby slowly wiggled inside his defenses.
The Sko had Trilby's ship on their Kill List though no one knew why. An old, high-ranking, ex-boyfriend was out to win Trilby back for his own treacherous reasons. Trilby's nav charts (over 30 years old) were suddenly valuable to some anonymous forces. Her old friends were disappearing, Sko related somehow. But her new friends from Razalka were dangerous. With her new friends as crew, in her new and powerful ship, and with THE T'vahr the Terrible aboard, it was time it go kick some serious Sko...
***** It gets no better than this! An author after my own heart! This one caught me quickly and never let go. In fact, I read it in record time. (My husband is currently into the story.) Perfect for male or female readers. Don't think "bodice ripper". Could not be farther from the truth. No, this is jam packed with excitement, battle, adventure, romance, and treason! Highly recommended reading! *****
Trilby and Rhis are well-rounded characters of the type you don't consistently encounter in futuristic romances, or any romances, for that matter. They don't fall fully into romance stereotypes, being more reminiscent of inhabitants of the novels of Anne McCaffrey or Tanya Huff.
More specifically, Trilby is tough, capable and independent and doesn't need Rhis any more than she needs another hole in her spaceship. This makes it all that much more convincing when she begins to fall in love with him, plus her character doesn't morph from Space Amazon.com to Space Bimbo once S-E-X enters the picture. Rhis isn't a foil for Trilby, as they are alike in many ways, which allows them to respect and understand one another. I have few complaints with Trilby and only a minor one with Rhis -- he's such a hard and rather cold man that I wasn't entirely convinced when he lost his head over Trilby.
The plot is pure, rollicking space opera, with suspense, computer programming, backstabbing, space battles and galaxy-wide threats galore. The secondary characters are neither too few nor too many, and the author doesn't write any of them in such a way that you can tell she intends you to be intrigued and "demand" the next book. The worldbuilding is satisfactory, if focused on spaceships and technology instead of exotic climes and sexy alien men with psychic powers, but this novel is refreshingly stand-alone. Sometimes you just want to read a good space adventure instead of get trapped in a family saga.
We don't get to know much about "the enemy," the 'Sko, but how much did you get to know the giant insects in the movie Starship Troopers? You didn't care about the bugs; you just wanted the good guys to shoot bug heads until green goo flew everywhere. Finders Keepers is that kind of good time, without the tragic loss of the most interesting female character prior to the end of the work. A recommended read.
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