Claire has lived her entire life surrounded by war. She was forced into military service at 14; her psychic gifts, powerful enough to kill. But now, the war is over and those very same abilities have turned her into a target. Such a powerful Kinsman could never be kept alive. So Claire must hide her skills and appear as a normal person in order survive.
She is forced from the bleak, war-torn world and becomes a refugee on a new planet. There, she goes to work for Venturo Escana, a Kinsman whose power rivals her own. He doesn’t know who she really is, but… like calls to like. There is an undeniable connection between the two of them. The feelings are as alien to Claire as the beauty of her new home. But despite the happiness she finds in Ven’s company, she lives in constant fear of discovery. If anyone figures out her secret, she’ll lose everything she has worked so hard to build.
I really, really enjoyed this novella. Ilona Andrews is pretty awesome at world-building. Part of what makes it so good is the seamless way it’s incorporated into story. The characters are three-dimensional and engaging. And I never feel compelled to skim over the narrative. (That’s a mighty big compliment too, because it’s an urge I am forever having to fight. Too many authors fill up chunks of space describing every detail from the wallpaper to the shape of the sconces on the wall. Andrews sticks to describing only what truly adds to experience of the story.)
The tension Claire feels is palpable; the danger is real. The pull between her and Ven is fantastic. And omigod, the payoff is so hot.
So why am I not giving it 5 stars? I felt like there should have been more, especially toward the end. As hot as the sex was, I would have liked to have seen a little more of the relationship work out on-page after the truth came out. And I felt cheated out of the action referenced in the Epilogue. I wanted a full length book, dammit. The potential is there. I hope Andrews revisits this world again in the future. 4 1/2 stars.
*ARC provided by author for review