Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Nightchaser (Endeavor #1) by Amanda Bouchet

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A delicious new heart-pounding romantic adventure from USA Today bestseller Amanda Bouchet!

Captain Tess Bailey and her crew of Robin Hood-like thieves are desperate and on the run. Pursued by a vicious military general who wants them dead or alive, Tess has to decide if she can trust Shade Ganavan, a tall, dark and arrogant stranger with ambiguous motivations.

Shade Ganavan had oodles of arrogance, oodles of charm, and oodles of something that made me want to kick him in the nuts.

What Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other—while ignoring their off-the-charts chemistry.

Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amanda Bouchet is at the top of the list when it comes to imagination and world-building. It's what made me a fan after reading her Kingmaker Chronicles Series. Naturally I was eager to read Nightchaser and more than a little curious to see how she'd switch from Greek mythology to space and the great beyond. 

The blurb describes Tess and her ragtag crew as Robin Hood-like and it's an accurate description. Tess is a threatening figure to the Black Watch because she steals their valuable resources to give to the less fortunate. You know, your average space-roving pirate. She's fearless against them which only makes her more dangerous to them. Her capture and subsequent removal is their top priority. This time she might have taken on more than she can chew and after a harrowing and death-defying chase, winds up on another planet, Albion 5 to refuel and assess the damage done to their spacecraft. Thinking she's undetected, she also conducts some sketchy business on the side but her presence raises questions for one Shade Ganavan who has priorities of his own. Tess could be his ticket to freedom so he'd better not muck it up. And of course, he mucks it up. That's half the fun!

I ate up each and every page of Nightchaser. I couldn't get enough of it and I even felt crushed once it was over. It's adventurous, suspenseful, funny. If you're familiar with the show, Firefly then that gives you an idea of the space crew assembled on Endeavor and the loyalty and affection that binds them together. I loved Tess immediately because she is grit personified. No matter what she's been through she has this "bring it on" attitude that lets you know nothing is over until she's tried everything she can. The moral fiber at her core prevents her from simply giving up and looking the other way. She is a warrior. I also loved her and Shade together. Any couple that can banter well together gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. 

I did notice some similarities between this and the Kingmaker Chronicles, namely strained familial relations and an emphasis on the family you choose as opposed to the one you're born in to. Tess feels the weight of the world on her and sacrifices a lot without uttering a word about it to everyone. Shade, who's conflicted about what his role should be embodies the moral dilemma of the story. Either he can go with the status quo looking out for himself only or he can become part of the resistance. But don't think of him as the handsome hero swooping in to rescue the damsel in distress because Tessa is more than capable of taking care of herself. For Tessa, it's about learning to trust someone outside of her tight crew and you know how dysfunctional families lead to trust issues.

Nightchaser was a blast and I can't wait to read more in the Endeavor series!

~ Bel

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