Author: Susan Kearney
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Date of Publication: November 26, 2013
Azsla, a member of the ruling elite, has powers that can save Derrek’s planet from an approaching asteroid, but if she reveals those powers, he’ll learn that she’s not only a spy, but also a slave mistress capable of controlling him and destroying everything he holds dear.
Mastering the hot-blooded miner seems impossible as sexual conquest becomes a battle neither of them can win.
If they and the planet are to survive, they’ll have to rely on one another, trust one another, because love may not be enough.
Once again, I’ve got the distinct feeling I’ve read this before. The sequence when they’re evacuating the planet (or trying to) came through most clearly. I’m 99% sure I read this in its prior release – not a bad thing at all, as I certainly enjoyed the ride the second time!
In Lunar Heat, we got to see the evil side of the Firsts from Rama. In Solar Heat, we learned that (of course) not all is black and white, and there are different Firsts. Oh sure, Azsla believes she has every right to retake the slave world, but she’s been scarred by the slave uprising (slaves slaughtered her parents as they escaped Rama), so I can’t really blame her for resenting them. She’s also willing to admit when she might have been wrong/that the Firsts have it wrong about the underfirsts’ ability to take care of themselves. I think she legitimately believed they weren’t able to function without Firsts to take care of them until she visited the new world the escaped slaves built.
Derrek is Cade’s brother (the hero of Solar Heat). He’s built a really good life for him even though he has no memory of his earlier life because it was wiped from him as punishment for some misdeed against the Firsts. He understandably has issues with the Firsts and really wants to keep his people free of them. He’s a strong man who’s utterly focused on making sure the escaped Raman slaves have the best chance of making something of the new world they’ve inhabited. He’s also filthy rich, having started a salt mining operation shortly after escaping. Heh.
Azsla and Derrek are a very interesting couple. I was fascinated as I watched Azsla strugged to control her Quait. The mental powers of the Firsts became almost a living thing as embodied in her, and the potrayal of her constant struggle not to give in to the need to use it, what was as natural to her as breathing, was well done.
The mission Azsla and Derrek go on after Derreck discovers Azsla’s true identity was fraught with an additional layer of tension because he was so worried she might betray him/his people. And the ultimate quest to destroy/deflect the asteroid revealed a very interesting tie-in to Ms. Kearney’s Rystani Warriors series as well.
This was a fantastic book and I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Kearney! 5 stars!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.