Damaged Cargo

Sandra Sookoo
Damaged Cargo
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Purple Sword Publications
Release Date
September 2010
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic, Steampunk Romance

When survival is of the utmost importance, it's best to shoot first and ask questions later, especially if you won't like the answers.

The 22nd century is heinous. Finding a comfortable life in the Levinese Galaxy grows increasingly difficult.

Emma Gardine, one of a handful of female pirate captains in this throwback Victorian society, begs, borrows, steals and cheats her way through the planetary system on the hunt of a profit. An expert of guarding her heart and keeping people out, she never shows remorse and uses people until she gets what she wants, yet the hope for a normal life glimmers just beyond her reach. Then she meets Tarik Vartouth and her world splinters with new emotions and possibilities.

Tarik survived the murder of his sisters and the collapse of his laid-back existence. He's sick of the mandatory breeding programs for genetic supremacy on Nazulara that sends innocent people to death and desires to campaign for democracy for his species. When the opportunity to befriend Emma is presented, he takes it and makes a play for her ship in order to carry out his own plot for revenge against his father—the Premier and ruler of the planet. Stakes are raised when sparks between him and Emma fly. Now their future and Nazulara's, hangs in the balance.

Book Review by Zenith (reviewer)
Nov 12, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
204 people found the following review helpful
Those who enjoy a strong, independent, cold-as-ice female lead, an equally arrogant and sexy male lead, and plenty of science fiction space adventure will love this novel.

While at port in Nazurlara, Space Pirate and Captain of the Wraith Orchid Emma runs smack dab into Tarik Vartouth who has troublemaker written all over him. Tarik is the Premier's son and is sick of the oppression that the Premier has bestowed upon the people with genetic testing programs that include death as a consequence if you can't turn out a "perfect" child. Tarik is a part of the Underground Resistance bent on killing the Premier and taking back the planet. All they need is a ship and since Tarik has met Emma, he has decided to commandeer the Wraith Orchid. Once on board, he gets to know icy Emma and her crew and realizes they run as a family, even though some may not know it, and it twinges in his guts that he has to take over the ship. But what lies ahead of him when he decides the time has come to take command of the ship?

The romance in this story was very tense and took a while to bloom, though I did like being up-to-date with some of the minor characters' love lives and their pasts. I really liked that Emma has a really hard time trusting anyone, not just because she has been betrayed before, but for the simple fact that if she lets anyone in, they may not be there forever; loosely translated, she has lost so many important people in life that she just doesn't want to go through it again. Though Tarik almost forces his way in, you can see Emma slowly trust him and use him to let some of her past go. It's a beautiful budding romance, even though, at times, they seem to hate each other. What's really awesome is that Tarik seems like the perfect rebuttal for all that is Emma and Emma intrigues the hell out of Tarik.

I loved loved loved the setting of this novel. Space is so fun and I love when authors create their own worlds, with their own political system and everything. It's so fun to escape into the world that Sandra Sookoo has created, because not only is it futuristic and unlike anything we could imagine living in, it's full of adventure and danger and the whole galaxy has decided to go back to the customs of the Victorian era. How cool is that? I really loved reading about the Wraith Orchid also, because it is very hard to picture a spaceship, but the author did an excellent job in presenting it so that the reader would be able to picture it in their mind.

I would definitely recommend this book to those that love science fiction, as I am an avid science fiction reader and writer in my spare time. There's just something about reading a science fiction novel that butters my bread! A word of warning though to those who have issues with violence as there is plenty of that in this novel. This reader will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.
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