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Fourth in the "Dock Five" series of SF romances,
This review is from: Rebels and Lovers (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the fourth book in the "Dock Five" series of science fiction romances which currently consists of
1) Gabriel's Ghost
2) Shades of Dark
3) Hope's Folly
4) This book, Rebels and Lovers
At the start of the series Imperial navy captain Captain Chasidah Bergren, court-martialled and convicted of a crime of which she was innocent, had been sentenced to a hellish prison planet as a result of the corruption at the heart of the imperial regime. In the first two books of the series, Gabriel Sullivan, a smuggler she had frequently crossed swords with, but believed to be dead, showed up and offers to rescue her - if she would help him deal with a dangerous conspiracy.
Before she knows it, Chasidah has helped him steal the ship she used to command, persuaded her ex-husband Captain Philip Guthrie not to blow it out of space, and is haring off through the galaxy with Sullivan and a blind telepathic alien, trying to defeat a devilish plot. Before long the corrupt Empire which she served is breaking up ...
The hero of the third book of the series was none other than the ex-husband of the heroine of the first two books, Philip Guthrie, who had become an Admiral but then joined the rebels. (I think this is the first time I've ever known a romance author to take the risk of making the ex for a sympathetic character in one book into the hero or heroine of another book in the same series, but Linnea Sinclair did get away with it.)
The hero of this fourth book is Philip Guthrie's younger brother Devin. The Guthrie family are immensely rich and powerful through their family business, Guthrie Global Systems. But Philip's defection to the Alliance of Independent Systems has made the head of the family nervous of their position within the Empire. As the rest of the Guthrie family are trying to force Devin to make a dynastic marriage to a girl from another powerful corporate family, his teenage nephew Trip disappears, possibly having been kidnapped, and Trip's bodyguard is found murdered.
Have imperial security targetted the Guthrie family - or is something else going on?
Devin finds himself in a desperate race against dangerous opponents to find and rescue his nephew in a dangerous area of space, including the infamous Dock Five. And mixed up in his rescue attempt is an old friend and former Guthrie employee, Captan Makaiden (Kaidee) Griggs.
Devin has held a torch for Kaidee for a long time, but when last he knew her she seemed to be happily married, and anyway, an independent freighter pilot is hardly the kind of woman his wealthy family of dynasts would want him to marry. But the more time he spends with her the less this seems to matter ...
A light-hearted romance set in space, this book won't appear on many lists of the most brilliant works of science fiction ever written. I have a sense that, in returning to this universe, Linnea Sinclair has to some extent gone back to her comfort zone of witty and entertaining but bog-standard space opera romances after a couple of really imaginative and unusual works, Games of Command (Bantam Spectra Book) and The Down Home Zombie Blues.
None of the "Dock Five" series are quite up to the standard of those two books, but I did enjoy them.
Other books by Linnea Sinclair which I can recommend include
An Accidental Goddess (Bantam Spectra)