Review: Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve been on the hunt for a good sci-fi romance and this 10 year-old stand-alone from Linnea Sinclair absolutely hit the spot. Not every element was perfect, but it was sexy and angsty and hit all my happy buttons with a virgin cyborg hero that falls in love despite the restrictions of his programming.

Tasha “Sass” Sebastian is a hotshot pilot with a unsavory past she is trying to leave behind. Her latest assignment puts her under the command of Admiral Branden Kel-Paten, her long-time¬† sparring partner and not-quite nemesis. The buttoned-up, icy commander is mechanically enhanced, and she enjoys matching wits with him. She has no idea that he’s secretly been in love with her for years.

The mission aboard Kel-Paten’s ship sends the crew in search of space pirate, Jace Serafino. When they encounter a mysterious vortex, they find their quarry, but he’s ill. Sebastian’s friend, Eden, the medical officer takes over his care and the secondary romance is born. She is an empath and Jace is a telepath; they forge a connection before he ever even wakes up from unconsciousness and develop a basic insta-love while Sebastian and Kel-Paten work the slow burn.

Kel-Paten was so sweet and guarded and unsure about how to deal with his feelings for Sebastian. Not only is he clueless about courtship but his kind isn’t supposed to experience emotions and if they’re exposed, it could lead to a recalibration that could change his very nature. So the book follows the careful dance he enters with Sebastian as she learns of his affection and examines her own feelings in return.

All the romance is set against the backdrop of great space lingo, political machinations, and cute little furry telepathic animals with special powers and adorable syntax. The pacing is fast, the space-talk is awesome, and the author does a fantastic job keeping Jace’s motives unclear.

The book isn’t perfect: the fuzzy animals were a little twee and I wasn’t 100% sure what it was that made Kel-Paten fall in love with Sebastian so completely against his design. But I DIDN’T CARE.¬† My little niggles were just that… little. I was so immersed in the main romance and the fragility of the hero’s emotions, I couldn’t put it down. And though there was a little blip before the HEA, the ending totally satisfied.

This might not score 100 for everyone, but I loved it, especially the payoff on Kel-Paten’s long unrequited love. Total swoon.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Games of Command
by Linnea Sinclair
Release Date: February 27, 2007
Publisher: Bantam


  1. I also heard good things about Finders Keepers by the same author, another space romance. I’ll have to put this in my TBR pile!

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