Saturday, September 13, 2008

Moonstruck by Susan Grant

Category: Romance – SciFi
Series: Yes - Book 1 of The Borderlands series

Peace was for little girls.
And Coalition starship admiral Brit Bandar was one tough woman. A mere intergalactic treaty could never get her to trust the Drakken Horde. There was too much bad blood between the Coalition and the Horde and, for intensely personal reasons, Brit wasn’t sure that she was through spilling it! But now a peaceful accord had made Finn Rorkken, a notorious Drakken rogue, second in command on her starship, and – through some grand cosmic irony – front and center in her thoughts … and her heart.

Warleader. Pirate.
Either title sat easily on Finn’s battle-hardened shoulders. Though second in command to “Stone-Heart” Bandar? That one would take some getting used to. Peace required as much sacrifice as war, so he’d comply even if his reaction to the gorgeous admiral fell decidedly outside protocol. But would he end up kissing or killing her if the galaxy’s tentative truce turned into all-out war?

Some spoilers ahead!

Jace: I think this is my favourite story by Susan Grant. It has a nice balance of great characters and action-adventure.

Mel: I second that. I really liked this story.

Kat: J, M ... first of all, I really liked the book, although it took me so long to finish it. I really don't know what happened.

I agree … this book was more balanced than her other books. She did a fine job with the romance part AND the action part.

This is also my favorite Grant book and I hope she continues the storyline of the series like that.

Jace: I thought Finn was a classic Grant hero. Vivid and multi-layered, he was strong and street-wise, yet kind and vulnerable. The first physical description of him in his braids, trinkets and Hordish clothes (reminded me of Captain Jack Sparrow) was so vivid. The scene where he first ate on The Unity (he was so hungry) and he knew Brit was watching him - he tried so hard to eat in a civilized manner … that just broke my heart. He just fell for Brit, didn’t he? And he tried so hard to change himself but kept thinking he was never ever going to be good enough for her. He also tried to change his crew to fit in, only, in the end, he realized he had asked them to forsake what they were (their identities).

Mel: Now that you mention Capt Jack Sparrow, I can totally picture that in my mind. I felt so bad for him during that dinner scene. I think he and Brit were perfect together.

Jace: Brit had me grinning with her super-tough exterior, but she was just a warm and compassionate, albeit strong, woman inside. I liked that she was unashamed of her sexuality; she would just “use” Finn until she’s tired of him. Yeah, as if she ever would. LOL

Mel: I got a good laugh at how she had always bought man whores in the past. That's sure a change wasn't it? Usually it's the hero who had whores.

Jace: Despite her cool and tough exterior, she was kind and vulnerable inside. Her past (as revealed in her keepsake box) just made me feel for her so much. Her hatred for the Drakken was totally believable and justifiable. Wasn’t it ironic that she should fall in love with a Drakken, the Scourge of the Borderlands?

Mel: I could feel her conflict as she was falling in love with Finn.

Kat: I second all your comments. Brit, as a heroine, felt fresh and unique and I simply adored Finn. He was perfect, vulnerable and I felt so much for him as he struggled to find his place in this "new" situation.

Jace: The action-adventure was great … just what I wanted. It formed the backdrop for the human relationship that went on.

Mel: Yes, this was more action based and a fine space tale.

Jace: I loved Bolivarr. He felt very much like a gothic hero to me. So quiet and dangerous, yet gorgeous in his depth.

Mel: I loved Bolivarr too. I sooo wanted to know more about him. I wonder if Grant would do a full length story with Hadley and Bolivarrr. I know probably not, but a girl can hope, right?

Kat: Yeah, I loved Bolivarr too and I also look forward to reading his and Hadley's story. I was interested in Rothberg too – will we ever get to read his story?

Jace: Rothberg … hmmmm. Perhaps? He didn’t play a huge role in this one, but then you’ll never know.

I just remembered something. Hadley’s ring had me grinning. She couldn’t believe it when it turned purple whenever Bolivarr was around. Her and Bolivarr’s story was so sweet.

Mel: Yes, that was cute how seriously she took her mood ring.

Jace: The only thing I felt a little dissatisfied about was the part where Brit was kidnapped and they let her go so easily. This aspect was quickly done and too neatly tied up.

Mel: I didn't get that part much. Why go through all the trouble of kidnapping her just to turn around and let her go? It didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Jace: Conclusion – I really liked it. It grabbed me right from the beginning and kept me reading and finishing it almost in one sitting. It was well-plotted, it had fantastic characters, the intrigues were well-crafted … just fantastic story-telling all round.

Mel: J, I really enjoyed this one too. I was getting worried that Grant's writing just wasn't for me (after reading the last couple of her books) and was glad that this one worked out so well.

Kat: I think I'm going to buy the next installment in the series.

Jace: My rating is 4.5 out of 5. I really liked it. It’s fantastic, a keeper. Sensuality rating: Warm.

Mel: My rating 4 to 4.5/Warm.

Kat: I rate it 4 to 4.5/Warm too.

*** Shout out to KristieJ: Thanks for the recommendation and you can breathe a sigh of relief now. *grin*


Kristie (J) said...

Oh most excellent review!! I'm glad this one worked out so well for you all specially since Stargazer wasn't a total agreement. Wasn't it just delicious? This one was the best Susan Grant book I've read in a while and now the wait for the next one seems extra long. And I agree with you on the visual for Fin, although not quite so sloppy like as Captain Jack - and no gold teeth *g*. I loved the scene you mentioned - where he's eating a good solid meal for the first time in a very long time. I really felt the pull he did for wanting to become a valuable member of the coalition and loyalty to his crew. And I think I mentioned that Brit reminded me of a younger, sexier version of Captain Jane Hathaway.
And *smiling* I am heaving a sigh of relief that you liked this one so well.
I don't know if you've read Contact or not - but it's another Very Good one by Susan Grant.

Jace said...

Kat, Mel and I thank you for your kind comments, Kristie. :-)

You're right - Finn was the cleaner and tidier version of Captain Jack, minus the gold teeth and eyeliner. LOL

Yes, all of us read Contact a while back. We also rated it 4 to 4.5. :-)

Christine said...

Awesome review, girls! I almost picked this up a few times, and finally put it on my wish list after reading so many positive reviews on it. It sounds great .... I want to read it now!

Jace said...

Christine, if you like feel-good (not angsty) SFR, with great characters and decent action-adventure, I think you'll like this one. :-)

Brie said...

This one is going on my wish list. Thanks for the review, ladies!!

Jace said...

Brie, I hope you'll enjoy this one and I'll be looking out for your review. :-D