As a mercenary, Kat Darah doesn't have to pass for a normal human. On the edge of the solar system, she's just another biped. Most of the time.
Nearing the end of his military tour, Lt. Christopher Rygard debates the idea of hanging up his uniform for good. Looking for answers at the bottom of a glass of scotch, he meets Kat. One shared night of mutual desire seems harmless. But when their tryst is interrupted by attackers hunting Rygard, Kat must reveal her other form, the predator beneath the human façade.
Together they embark on a dangerous mission—a race against time to meet the enemy's demands, while trying to deny the passion between them. Rygard is faced with a terrible choice in the face of duty: Report the existence of a human turned shape-shifter. Or forget he ever met her.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this ebook in a random drawing on Twitter.
My rating: 4.5 stars
I'm going to take a page from PJ Schnyder's book (so to speak) and keep this review short and sweet.
In a word: Masterful. Okay, a second word: AH-MAZING.
In a little over a hundred pages, Schnyder has managed to:
- Create a spacefaring, genetic-enhancing society I believe in
- Give enough background info to keep me oriented and a little extra to give me a sense of the bigger world without boring the crap out of me
- Create complex main characters with contradictory traits whom I love and who have pasts that influence their presents
- Create minor characters who are quirky and charming and whom I love to read about almost as much as the main characters
- Make me smile
- Turn me on
- Make me cry real tears
- Turn me on again
- Give a satisfying ending that leads naturally into a sequel
If there was anything about this book I didn't like, it was that I wasn't sold on Kat, having only ever kissed a boy before (aside from her past trauma), was ready to go all the way after only a few drinks with Rygard. At the bar she's all shy and blushing, and I get that she's super attracted to him, but why does she immediately invite him up to her room? Why is she practically ripping his clothes off with very little acknowledgement of her inexperience? I do think Schnyder handled the trauma bit extremely well, though.
It also bothers me that Rygard was Kat's first consensual sexual experience and I got the impression it was almost like he was deflowering her. What is it I don't like about that? I dunno. Maybe because it plays into the convention and reinforces the idea that a woman should be a virgin (or as much a virgin as possible) for the man she's going to eventually end up with.
But seriously, when all's said and done, my little hang-ups about the first sex scene are minuscule in proportion to how much I loved this book. Hunting Kat is a tightly woven narrative that kept me turning the pages til the very end, and I highly recommend it to lovers of science fiction romance. Or just science fiction. Or just romance.
Point being: Go read it now. Totally worth the $1.99. (Or $1.79 direct from the publisher, Carina Press.) That is all.