Queenie's Brigade

Heather Massey
Queenie's Brigade
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Red Sage Publishing
Release Date
July 2011
Erotic Romance, Romantic Science Fiction/Futuristic

Captain Michael Drake desperately needs an army to save Earth after a crushing defeat by alien invaders. When his damaged star ship docks at a remote prison colony, he discovers Earth's last best hope—an army to replace the one he lost.

But, Queenie, the feral goddess ruling the prison, has other plans for the rugged star ship captain. After imprisoning Drake and seizing his ship, she prepares to lead her blood-thirsty band to freedom before the invaders track them down.

Despite her intentions, Queenie secretly falls for the sexy, hotshot captain. Drake makes it plain he wants to win back Earth with her by his side. But is following her heart worth betraying her people?

Reader Alert!: Captain Michael Drake burns with desire upon seeing Queenie's endless parade of tight-fitting outfits, even while he knows that claiming her will have to wait until he can convince her to join him in the fight against alien invaders.

Book Review by Renee Rearden (author,reviewer)
Dec 07, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
200 people found the following review helpful
Facing insurmountable odds can bring out the best and the worst in people. At the end of the day though, it's the decisions made when push comes to shove that define a person's character.

In QUEENIE'S BRIGADE, Captain Michael Drake is a man shaped by his past. Witnessing a traumatic event as a child and the split-second decision made to deal with the event create in him an internal need to protect others (bring on the alpha) and a lifetime's worth of guilt and insecurity over any perceived failure. (I just love tortured heroes.)

When Captain Drake makes the necessary decision to retreat from a losing battle against the Calithian Empire's subjugation of Earth, he struggles mightily with the idea of leaving humans at the mercy of a brutal alien force. His decision to retreat has farther-reaching consequences than even he could imagine.

His ship Relentless malfunctions during a hyperjump (never rely on foreign technology) and emerges in our universe's "bad" part of town. By that I mean next to a penal institution—one that houses the worst convicts Earth has ever spawned. With no other choice, Drake is forced to dock on the penal colony to repair his ship.

This is where things get interesting. Drake and his crew are overrun by the convicts and locked in prison cells. When he meets the leader of this group of brutal convicts, he's stunned. She's a gorgeous, hard-as-nails, ruthless woman that rules her people with a calculating determination even Drake can respect.

Unfortunately for him, Queenie wants Drake's ship. Fortunately for him, she needs his help to make the necessary repairs. The weeks and months pass, allowing each of them to see the progress made on the ship and in both their people's attitudes. Through Drake's persistent belief that everyone deserves a second chance, Queenie starts to wonder if there's a way to protect her people and do something selfless and important.

I loved the plot for QUEENIE'S BRIGADE. The idea of Earth's inhabitants having to fight to regain not just their planet but their freedom engenders a powerful sense of patriotic enthusiasm. Characters that face difficult decisions and ultimately choose to step outside their personal interests and help others always works for me.

Now, there were a few of things that didn't work for me. The first seems trivial, but it really affected my connection to Queenie—her name seemed sarcastic and patronizing. It didn't fit the tough, determined character of a heroine. The second issue was the "oops, my breast popped out" wardrobe malfunction. It just felt like a silly, cheap, peep-show effect that left me a little disappointed at its inclusion.

The final thing that bothered me was the hero-meets-heroine moment. Drake had been beaten to a bloody pulp, is in severe pain, but notices a woman's pair of thighs with sensuous lines. It just seemed like a forced moment. These issues sometimes occur in shorter novels. There's just less time for character development.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed QUEENIE'S BRIGADE. It's just not my favorite of the author's stories. Am I being picky? You bet. And I'll tell you why. I love Heather Massey's voice. I'll read the next book she publishes and the next because I've come to expect amazing character development, fast-paced action, and sizzling romance from her work—and I know she'll deliver a bang-up story.
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