Title: Games of Command
Author: Linnea Sinclair
Published: 2007, Bantam
Category: SciFi Romance
I picked this book up in the store on a whim because all of a sudden love set in space sounded appealing to me. I have no idea where that whim came from--I don't think I've ever read any SciFi Romance (there's not too much of it out there, is there?). It might have languished in the TBR, but then Rosario reviewed it last week and I was convinced. And hot damn, this book is one great big good time.
Tasha Sebastian is a captain for the U-Cees of the United Coalition. Her people have recently entered into a peace treaty with their former enemy, the Triad. (I never really understood what these groups were--maybe clusters of planets? Some sort of cultural entity.) As part of the new alliance, the two militaries are supposed to start working together, so Tasha is assigned to serve aboard the Triad ship Vax under the command of Admiral Branden Kel-Paten. Tasha isn't particularly excited about this, as she and Kel-Paten have been long-time adversaries. But it turns out that Kel-Paten has been secretly in love with her the whole time. He wants to have her on his ship so that he can finally show her how he feels.
But the problem is that Kel-Paten is a biocybe. Yes, that's right, he's half-robot. Woot! I think I'm with everyone else when I say that Kel-Paten made this book for me. There's lots of action that is very exciting and a secondary romance that is quite nice, but I lurved Kel-Paten. Because of his robot parts, he's not even supposed to really have feelings. Obviously his social skills are seriously lacking, and he has no idea how to engage Tasha in any kind of human interaction--he can't flirt or tease, or anything. It is soooo endearing to see him struggle to get her to see him as something other than a cold machine. And Tasha is a great heroine for him--she's tough and independent. But she also serves as a great foil for him because she is very warm and people person-y. She really doesn't know what to make of it when Kel-Paten's feelings are revealed, and I loved seeing her slowly discover him as a person.
Here I've been talking about the romance, and haven't said a word about the whole SciFi plot, which is a lot of fun. This is a big book and there's a ton going on. The action moves really fast. Maybe too fast--as much as I loved the book, I have to say that some of the action was a little confusing. Especially when they were on HV-One. Maybe I am a bear of very little brain, but when they started talking alternate dimensions, I got lost. And at times there was a lot of backstory that maybe could have been explained a little better.
But that did little to lessen my enjoyment. I went to the bookstore right after and was trolling the romance section and was disappointed to find nothing else by Sinclair. Then I looked in SciFi and did an ooh-ooh-lunge for the two that were there--Finders Keepers and An Accidental Goddess. Yippee!