Author: Nina Croft
Publication: Entangled Publishing, LLC (July 1, 2011)
Description: The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!
My Thoughts: I went into this story not quite knowing what to expect. At first the banter between Rico and Tannis and the set up of a crew filled with misfits of one kind or another reminded me of Firefly. Then the womanizing by Rico reminded me of Captain Kirk in Star Trek. But soon these characters became themselves and nicely too. Rico is a vampire who has lived over 2000 years. He remembers Old Earth. But he hasn't lost his curiosity and love of life.
Skylar comes to them with some sort of scheme. She wants to rescue someone from a very secure Collective prison. We know that she has some sort of ulterior motive but we wait for most of the book to find out what it is. Rico is immediately attracted to her looks, her strength, and her competence. He knows she is keeping secrets but he is willing to go along with the plan in hopes of gaining her trust. Tannis is especially interested in the proposed fee that is being offered.
Rico is a vampire who is as hungry for sex as he is for blood. The story takes a quick turn to the erotic and is definitely for the older (read adult) reader. Skylar is interested too but she fears what Rico will learn if he tastes her blood. This leads to lots of erotic episodes.
The story was well-written. The characters were engaging and interesting. I want to know more of their back stories and more about the world. There seem to be a number of factions of interest. The Collective are the rich ones who have taken the drug Meridian and who are essentially immortal. There is the Church which has brought a new inquisition into being this time targeting those who have had genetic modifications. And there are also the Rebels. We just get a taste of each of these groups. I am eager to find out more.
I am especially interested in knowing more about the teaser at the end of the story about one of the crew of El Cazador who is a young girl masquerading as a boy. I recommend this stories for those people interested in science fiction and like their romances very spicy. I know I'm putting the author on my "must buy" list.
"Hello," he murmured, his voice like warm honey. He held out his hand. I'm Ricardo Sanchez--Rico to my friends. And I'm sure the two of us are going to be very good friends."I received the eARC from NetGalley but Amazon has it here.
Beside him, the Captain snorted, but Rico's gaze never left Skylar.