This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by Lauren Dane
Third in the Federation Chronicles and first in the Phantom Corps romantic sci-fi series with the couple focus on Daniels Haws and the Princess Carina.
Omigod. This was so bad. Just… I have to believe Dane either didn’t have an editor or they didn’t care. It’s an interesting enough story with the usual theme of the nasty despot destroying all around him while the brave and glorious good guy is trying to protect it all.
Dane has one of her characters commit suicide, but never explains why. I think he was too embarrassed to be associated with this story.
I get that Carina is, should be, an intelligent woman who stays alert and schemes to remain safe, so why is she such a nincompoop on the trip? Dane tries to insert tension and drama and it only makes me want to stop reading. Or gag. I think Dane got hold of a book on writing fiction and is trying to create that tension, but without dong the work involved in writing to make it tense or dramatic. She’s got Carina bouncing from flirty little girl to experienced warrior woman to ignorant, sheltered princess so fast, my eyeballs spun. It just doesn’t hold together. Hell, Dane can’t even maintain consistency in language.
Christ, woman, do some work to build your characters, give them depth, take the time to build a scene!
Why would the silly bint feel soft toward her father’s Skorpios? She knows what they are, how they operate… WTF, I thought she was supposed to be smart?
Dane has Carina falling for Daniel immediately. Well, thank god Dane is telling us because the storyline certainly isn’t building up to it. Dane just whips it on out there like it’s part of the outline…oops…it is part of the outline. Why bother to take the time to make this believable. Dane wrote the words and so it must be. Gag. Dane has Carina offended pretty much every time Daniel opens his mouth. Again, she’s ‘sposed to be smart?? Why not assume he’s good at his job and LISTEN. Daniel has w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y more patience that I do. Carina does at least have a practical appreciation for what Daniel does.
Dane keeps having Carina pull stupid stunts as though this will build her up in our eyes as being a strong character and create tension. Yup, it was tense…unbearably tense as I kept hoping the stupid twit would get caught!
Then there’s the short bit of requisite whining — good thing we got that out of the way. Mark up your mind, Dane, either Carina is really strong or she’s stupid.
Please, pick up a dictionary. Use your words properly. It can only help.
How does the Imperium know she’s with Daniel? Why don’t we ever get a point of view from the other side? Oh, duh, I forgot…Dane would have to work.
What danger exists on this escape? Dane says it…a lot…but only shows us a couple scenes.
On what basis is Carina making judgments about men? Her “vast experience” of her father, brothers, her father’s ministers? The Skorpios shock troops?
One of the few believable things in this story is how long it’s taking to get Carina back to the Federation. To my regret.
Christ, Dane makes Carina — the virgin — sound like she’s pleasured the garrison, “Oh, I’ve never done that.” No shit.
Dane has all these tragedies happening and we learn nothing. Wait, forget I said anything. If Dane had expanded this story, made us more sympathetic to the horrors occurring everywhere, bringing us deeper into the storyline — I would have had to read more of her crappy writing! Eeek!
“…leaving the honey of his desire”
“His tongue roved through her mouth,”
“hated him in secret or in public”
Was there a word count Dane had to meet?
Dane’s bit about Leal and her torture and death is poorly done. The timing of the insert had me reading it over and over trying to figure it out. Just another example of how Dane could have enriched this story.
Carina going off and off and off about how she’s not a simpleton could’a fooled me. She can know her own emotions. Yeah, well she has no sense in her timing. Although she is at least consistent with the author.
Ignorant twat. She wants to get all friendly when they’re heading into a dangerous situation. SHE wants to teach him how to get along. Admittedly, she does stave off possible violence, but her whole approach is so STUPID!
I take it back about the dictionary. Dane knows the difference between vice and vise. So few authors seem to.
Dane has Carina wanting to talk opening of her past and future. Well, I haven’t seen any reticence about the future and the past is simply one of Dane’s loose ends.
“…your Daniel owns and runs” when Dane already said it’s Ellis’ baby and later she states that Vincenz is surprised to find that Daniel is their leader.
In her desperate need to protect her daughter, Esta steals data chips and sends them with her daughter to the enemy. An enemy who will love her daughter all night long.
It’s a race between the greedy, cunning Imperium simply seeking power for its own sake, a ‘Verse where people disappear without warning and hope has left the building (in more ways than one!) against a ‘Verse where color exists in everything and everyone.
Daniel Haws is a nobody who worked his way up in the service. Where he now leads the Phantom Corps and is Wilhelm’s right hand man. He’s one of their best, an assassin working for good. Hating those who betray their own people. Daniel’s parents are Mai who owns a bakery and is only alive today because Daniel forced their father to move them out of the desert. His dad’s a jerk. He used to love their mother but fools around all the time and ignores them. Georges, his brother, is finding his place in politics. Nyna is his sister, married to Marcus, and running a café. Andrei is Daniel’s partner, a fellow operative.
Ciro Fardelle is the bad guy, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Universe, leads (if you can call it that) the Imperium. Esta is Ciro Fardelle’s first wife. She was set aside when her sons didn’t pan out as Ciro expected. His second wife has presented him with a son, but I suspect she hates him. He’s using his daughter, Carina, as a bargaining chip. Hartley Alem is one of Ciro’s ministers and a nasty pervert. Vincenz is Carina’s older brother and he ran away. Petrus is her younger brother who died quickly after a terrible disease. YaYa was their paternal grandmother. The one who disappeared shortly after she helped Vincenz escape.
House Lyons is the reigning House in the Federation and is headed up by Roman Lyons. A man who himself “betrayed” the tenets of his class to marry Daniel’s sister, the newly pregnant Abbie. A barrister who terrifies all the men in her life. Alexander Lyons is Roman’s very flirtatious brother. Deimos is Roman’s oldest son and heir.
Commandant Wilhelm Ellis is Roman’s top military man (I think he’s actually the spymaster, but, hey, I’m just the reader). Mercy is Roman’s house manager. She raised his sons when his wife died and has been with him forever.
The Cover and Title
The cover is soft browns and grays with Daniel’s well-muscled torso on display as he leans against that concrete wall. I’d’ve thought this was a contemporary romance and not a sci-fi piece based on this cover…
The title is all about Daniel’s Insatiable need for Corina.