by Linnea Sinclair
“Gabriel’s Ghost” series Book #3
Admiral Philip Guthrie is in an unprecedented position: on the wrong end of the law, leading a ragtag band of rebels against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or would be if he could get his command ship – the derelict cruiser called Hope’s Folly – functioning. Not much can rattle Philip’s legendary cool – but the woman who helps him foil an assassination attempt on Kirro Station will. She’s the daughter of his best friend and first commander – a man who died while under Philip’s command and whose death is on Philip’s conscience.
Rya Bennton has been in love with Philip Guthrie since she was a girl. But can her childhood fantasies survive an encounter with the hardened man, and newly minted rebel leader, once she learns the truth about her father’s death? Or will her pasion for revenge put not only their hearts but their lives at risk? It’s an impossible mission: A man who feels he can’t love. A woman who believes she’s unlovable. And an enemy who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
Review: A great read, even if a little predictable.
(Bookaholic’s Review Note: Make sure to read Gabriel’s Ghost and Shades of Dark before reading this one. That’s a must!)
Admiral Philip Guthrie finds himself now aboard Hope’s Folly, what was once part of the Imperial fleet. Converted to a fruit carrier, the ship was sold to the Alliance under a few conditions: that the ship retain its name, and the cat, Captain Folly, is to remain onboard. Now Philip is in command of the ship, and they are trying desperately to get it in working order to fight against the Imperial fleet. Philip, still recuperating from a shattered hip and leg (Shades of Dark), was attacked before getting onboard. It seems the ‘law’ wants him alive. Philip can well imagine why, but he’ll do whatever it takes not to end up in the enemies’ hands.
Rya Bennton had been an Imperial Assassin before her father had been killed. Seeing what is happening to the Empire, she is now on the other side of the law, wanting revenge. Now aboard the Folly, she wants in on the action to bring the Empire down. Philip asks her, if she was ever in the same room with the man who took her father’s life and handed a gun, would she kill him? She answers she would, without a doubt or hesitation. But when Philip hands her his gun, Rya the Rebel is confused. While Philip didn’t actually kill her father, he puts the responsibility on his own shoulders, and Rya won’t shoot him, for she’s been in love with the man since she was a kid, when her father brought Philip home to meet the family.
After the attack on Kirro Station, Rya has put herself in the position of guarding Admiral Guthrie against any more attacks. It seems that, at every turn, their efforts to get the Folly functioning, something happens to set them back. The more Rya looks into it, the more she’s convinced their have a saboteur on their ship. And now she’s determined, not only to keep the man she loves alive, but to find the person who doesn’t want the ship to fly.
**While I liked the book, I sort of found it predictable. Philip believes himself a man who can’t love, and yet, even though he refuses to, his feelings for Rya grow. A strong man, he’s determined to thwart the enemy. It’s his knowledge and determination, his personality and inner struggles that readers will love.
Rya – I loved her. She’s just as strong and determined as Philip. I liked her ‘action first, think later’ attitude, and how she’ll do whatever is necessary.
What bugged me a little was how predictable the romance part of the story was. Woman is in love with the man – man falls in love with the woman – believes it’s his responsability to protect her and is determined to put her out of harms way. Once, just once, I’d love to read the romance part of any book where the male keeps the female with him, no matter what. For once, I want the man to hold her there without the female having to fight to stay there. Just once, I want the male’s chauvinistic pride and arrogant attitude to either take a backseat or not appear at all in a love story. Will I ever get my wish? *eyeroll* I’ll let you know if and when it happens. But then again, I guess most lead male characters have to have a little alpha male attitude. *shrug*
However, besides my romance rant, I loved the action and mystery in the story. The author writes it all so well that it’s as if you’re aboard the ship, watching it all unfold in front of you. Her descriptions put you in the thick of it. I loved the characters’ inner battles. I loved the tension you feel between characters, primary and secondary. Way to go, Ms. Sinclair! Can’t wait for the next installment in the Gabriel’s Ghost universe.