Category: Romance – SciFi
Series: Yes – Book 4 of the Dock Five Universe
Availability: March 2010
OUT OF OPTIONS…Devin Guthrie can’t forget Captain Makaiden Griggs even though it’s been two years since she was in his family’s employ. A Guthrie does not fall in love with a mere shuttle pilot. Going against his wealthy family’s wishes isn’t an option—not with the Empire in political upheaval, much of it caused by Devin’s renegade older brother, Admiral Philip Guthrie. The Guthries must solidify their standing—financially, politically and socially—or risk losing it all. But when a Guthrie heir—Devin’s nineteen-year old nephew—goes missing, Devin’s loyalty to his family’s values is put to the test. And suddenly the unthinkable becomes the only option available: Devin must break the rules and risk allying himself with the one woman he could never forget—and was forbidden to love.
I want to start this review with a word of “Thanks” to Linnea Sinclair for, once again, allowing Kat, Mel and I read her latest story ahead of its release date.
These are some of the pertinent details of this story:
1. Although it is the 4th instalment in the Dock Five Universe, it can be read on its own. However, I strongly recommend that you also read Gabriel’s Ghost (Book 1), Shades Of Dark (Book 2) and Hope’s Folly (Book 3) simply because they are tremendously good reads.
2. We get to know the Guthries – one of the oldest, wealthiest and most established families in the Empire – like we’ve never done before. It is this "family" aspect of the story that makes it somewhat different from the previous three instalments.
My discussion with Kat and Mel is as follows.
Kat: I liked the plot - it was action-packed and good. I also liked the characters very much.
Jace: I liked the action-adventure-mystery aspect of this story first and foremost, followed by the characters. The action-adventure was very well done – thrilling and fast-paced - yet it flowed naturally and seamlessly from one segment to the next. The whole story came together very well.
Mel: I very much enjoyed the non-stop heart pounding action that is Linnea's trademark.
Kat: I didn't see it coming as to the identity of the bad guy! The accomplice was also a surprise. This twist saved the story, but the end felt a little bit too rushed, in my opinion.
Jace: I suspected the traitor from the beginning so this part of the plot wasn’t too much of a surprise for me. However, I never expected who the accomplice turned out to be! And I agree – the end bits felt a little rushed.
Mel: I began to suspect the traitor early on too. I was floored, though, by the accomplice!
Kat: I have to say that Devin and Kaidee's love story was much better than Philip and Rya's. :)
Jace: I liked this love story more too. Devin had loved Kaidee for 7 years – this simply melted my heart. :)
Mel: I, too, thought Devin and Kaidee's love story was more romantic. I'm a sucker for unrequited love and it makes me melt when it's the man who loves first. :)
The Main Characters
Kat: Devin was a great sexy hero, but he was also a typical Linnea hero. Kaidee was great - I liked her right from the beginning - but I already saw heroines like her in Linnea's other books.
Jace: I agree – Devin was very sexy in his honour, decency and ordinariness.
However, I felt that Devin was quite a departure from the typical Linnea hero because (mainly) he wasn’t an “action” hero like Philip and Sully. He was a “passive” guy whose forte was number-crunching, data analysis, strategy, gadgetry – that kind of thing – rather than running around with guns blazing (although he certainly was no slouch in this area).
Mel: I adored Devin, but then I've loved all of Linnea's heroes. I loved that he was an accountant and not a star ship captain. :)
Jace: As for Kaidee, I do agree with you, K, as she reminded me of the heroine in Finders Keepers. Like the other Linnea heroines, she was a good and loyal person who would do what needed to be done to protect those she cared about.
Kat: I thought of Finders Keepers too when I read this book. Some parts somewhat reminded me of it.
Mel: I liked Kaidee as well and I agree with both of you about her being like the heroine in Finders Keepers.
The Lead Secondary Characters
Kat: Barty (the Guthrie steward) was great, but I couldn't see him as a man that old. There was always a picture of him of about 60 years old maximum in my head. Every time it was mentioned that he was older just didn't feel right to me.
Jace: I liked Barty very much. I also didn’t get the feeling he was very old. When he fell so sick after running around Dock Five, I was rather surprised to be reminded of his age. His range of skills was impressive and he was certainly an invaluable character.
Mel: I, too, liked Barty. For some reason, he reminded of the butler from Batman. :) He did come across as being a much younger man than he was.
Kat: The only character who felt fresh and not familiar was Trip (Devin's nephew). Oh my, I fell head over heels for that guy. :) I loved his attitude and courage, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him.
Jace: I thought Trip was well portrayed. I was quite tickled that he idolized Philip so much and wanted to fight with the
Mel: I totally hope Trip will get his own story. He needs a little growing but wow … what a great hero he'll make.
Characters From Previous Instalments
Jace: I was so pleased when Philip appeared towards the end. I love the guy! Having known him in the previous 3 books, this wonderful character felt like an old friend. I was very pleased to see him doing well.
Mel: I was thrilled to see Philip and crew. Captain Folly was still in charge of things onboard the ship! :)
Jace: The very brief mentions of Chaz and Sully comforted me. I know it’s silly to miss them so much.
(For those who are new to this series, Chaz and Sully are the lead characters of Books 1 & 2 – Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades Of Dark.)
Kat: I loved Sully, Chaz and Ren - I crave for at least a cameo appearance of them!
Mel: I missed seeing Chaz, Sully and Ren (oh, how I love Ren). I would so love to see one more Chaz-Sully story, if only to know how things turned out for them.
Jace: Shades closed with an open ending – there ought to be at least one more of them!!! I feel like we’re left hanging; there’s no closure. I know Linnea can’t write a direct Chaz-Sully sequel right now. *sigh*
What We Liked and What We Didn’t
Kat: I thought hard about why it took me so long to finish the book because I basically liked it very much. There were some things that bothered me.
I have to admit that I have high expectations where Linnea is concerned. For me, this story felt "been there, done that". The characters were new faces, but nothing else felt fresh.
Jace: I have to agree with you, K.
Mel: While I do agree that it wasn't a fresh story, I still liked it very much (as I do all of her books). I always know when I read a new Linnea story that I'm going to have a great time.
Jace: Oh, totally, M. I always look forward to reading something from Linnea. Heck, I even enjoy re-reading her books so much.
Kat: The writing was very good (as always), the characterizations too, but I missed the extra sparkle. It just didn't keep me and put me on a mad roller-coaster ride like GG or Shades. It was just very good.
Jace: This story bears the classic “Linnea touch” – fantastic characters, great dialogue and fast-paced action. She can move a story along so well. I have to say, though, it would be tough to match the brilliance of GG and Shades because they were exceptional.
Mel: It would be a very hard task to top GG or Shades. In my mind, those are her very best.
Kat: I know this is unfair, but I loved her winners so much that I'm desperately wishing there'll be another one! Bottom line - I liked this one and I didn’t. I'd rate it a 4 out of 5. Sensuality: warm.
Jace: Linnea is the standard by which I measure other SFRs (as both of you know well). I’ve enjoyed every one of her stories – some much more than others – and I’m looking forward to more from her in the tradition of GG, Shades, Games Of Command and An Accidental Goddess. My rating for this story is 4.5/Warm.
Mel: My rating is 4.5/Warm as well.
View the Rebels And Lovers video, brought to you by Linnea Sinclair.