COLLISION COURSE (8th Wing #1)
Sci Fi Romance
Received from author for review
Not only is Mara Skiren a smuggler being blackmailed into a rescue mission for the prestigious 8th wing, a group of gifted pilots, she's also being given a partner. A partner in the form of gorgeous, confident Commander Kell Frayne.
As if the mission weren't dangerous enough–roaming unfriendly skies and worlds in search of a missing pilot and aircraft–she finds herself increasingly distracted by the new male addition to her small but resilient ship.
Mara doesn't do relationships. One night stands, yes. Committed relationships, no. But there's something about Kell that's making its way under her carefully maintained armor, and she's not sure she even wants to put up much of a fight to keep him at a distance. However, despite the fact that she's falling for him, the likelihood that he'll want a smuggler in his perfect 8th Wing life seems entirely too much to hope for.
Collision Course wastes little time introducing us to a world of space travel and fantastical environments, thrusting us right into the action and the tangible romantic tension between our two protagonists. Ms. Archer does a beautiful job of crafting a story lighter on the science fiction element, one that gives us just enough detail to jump start our imaginations into creating images of people and places without burdening us with so much information that we begin to lose interest. This world and its characters are perfect for those readers who are curious about Sci Fi but perhaps hesitant to give it a try. The flush-inducing sparks crackling between Kell and Mara instantly catch our full attention and hold it throughout, anchoring us in familiar emotion while we travel at unbelievable speeds, meet and hear about unusual creatures, and wander streets in worlds we can hardly fathom.
Kell and Mara are characters who feel fully developed and complex despite the short amount of page time we get to spend with them, brief flashes of their histories giving us just enough understanding to help us relate to the people they've become. Both are incredibly strong and independent, their difficult pasts making it clear to us why they've chosen the separate paths along which they tread, but in them we see enough similarities to be content with watching as their respective bumpy, winding roads begin to smooth and curve in a new direction where a blissful merge of flesh, emotion, and future awaits. Ms. Archer has created two dominant, strong-willed personalities who find themselves unexpectedly vulnerable in the hands of another person, and we as readers just flip the pages smiling as defenses are dropped and trust is given.
Overall, Collision Course is a very quick, easy, and entertaining read with strong leading characters and an intriguing intergalactic storyline. The romance flares bright and hot, the combustible pair of Kell and Mara heating the pages (or e-reader in this case) beneath our fingers, but also fully satisfying our need for an emotional connection to make the physical attraction all the more powerful. Ms. Archer has me positively hooked on this series and I'm counting the days until Chain Reaction is released in November.