Science Fiction Romance
Love and War #1
She’d somehow managed to stumble into the hands of The Rook – the most feared and hated criminal in the whole of the Seven Systems.
Skye Chantrell is shocked to learn her scientist father has been forced by the alien Vithii Regime to make a deadly poison that will kill the humans in the Capital. But he also secretly made an antidote and he needs Skye to smuggle the formula out and find a way to stop the massacre. Hunter Tarthasian is a fugitive, a Vithii determined to stop the corrupt Regime but their propaganda has made him into the most feared criminal in the Seven Systems. So when Skye’s shuttle crashes on Hunter’s planet she’s sure he’ll kill her. But Hunter isn’t who he seems and now these unlikely allies are working together to stop a government that has taken everything from them.
Antidote was an absolutely fantastic read and a great series debut! This was everything I love about science fiction romance. The world that R.A. Steffan has created is really interesting and I loved that there were two different races living together but not totally in harmony. I do wish there was a bit more background on how the humans and the Vithii came to be on Illarius but hopefully, we’ll get more of that in future books.
Hunter and Skye were a great couple and I appreciated their somewhat quick but well-written romance. Both had their own missions and their own goals but once those goals crossed they found themselves working together in an unexpected pairing. Though they fall in love pretty quickly, I still felt like it was well developed. Because of the circumstances, emotions are running high and the time for pretenses is over. There’s also a bit of “destined-to-be-together” thing going on since Hunter experiences a mating draw toward Skye. Of course, their love is considered taboo and Hunter also doesn’t want to be distracted in his mission so there’s some token resistance. In the beginning, Skye is genuinely afraid of Hunter because she believes all the lies the Regime has been spreading about him. I really appreciated that Steffan accurately portrayed this experience and didn’t have Skye secretly attracted to Hunter even though she believed he was pure evil. Her attraction doesn’t start to build until she comes to trust Hunter and feel safe around him. I would be remiss without mentioning the interesting Vithii mating practices *cough* prehensile penis tip *cough*; though I do appreciate the idea that an alien race wouldn’t be biologically the same as the human race.
One thing that really impressed me was Skye’s grief and shock, which was written really well. It was hard to read but her disconnect and grief over her escape from the Regime were so real and heartfelt. I loved that R.A. Steffan included it because too often characters have something happen to them and they quickly move on. The power of those emotions really connected me to her personally. The side characters were also fantastic and I CANNOT wait until more in this series comes out. The set up for each person was done really well. I also about died while reading the epilogue and now I’m anxiously awaiting more stories.
5 out of 5 stars
Aliens • Criminals/Fugitives • On the Run • Space Travel
Skye Chantrell has just escaped a war zone. She’s carrying the stolen antidote to a deadly bioweapon. When her damaged shuttle crashes on a remote lunar outpost, she’s captured by the leader of a rogue group of barbaric aliens. Now her people’s survival-not to mention her own-rests in the hands of the Seven Systems’ most feared and hated criminal.
A man with the face of a brutal thug, and the eyes of an angel.
Hunter Tarthasian has every reason to hate the Regime. He and his comrades have gone rogue, vowing to use every means at their disposal to bring down the evil Premiere. Now, they’re hunted and on the run, holed up in an abandoned outpost while they plan their next move. The last thing Hunter needs is a female human civvy with a terrible secret crash-landing on his doorstep. Especially when she starts to awaken feelings in him that he has no place for.
Feelings that could very easily get all of them killed.