Plot Summary: After a millennia of war, peace has been declared between the Coalition and the Drakken. Admiral Brit "Stone-heart" Bandar was the Coalition's most feared and respected commander. Her new mission is to command the starship "Unity," which will have a mixed crew of Coalition, Earthling, and Drakken. Her second in command is Finn Rorkken, a Drakken pirate who slipped through her grasp many times during the war, and his very smell brings back horrible memories from Brit's past. Despite Brit's hatred for the Drakken, her body wants the man that her mind cannot accept.
This story has a nice blend of romance, space adventure, and three cultures colliding during an uneasy peace. The Coalition officers have to overcome their prejudice against their vanquished foe, and the Drakken have to assimilate themselves into the advanced, civilized Coalition culture. The Earthlings are happy to stick out like a sore thumb, and Grant gets a lot of mileage out their conflicts.
Brit is a hot, sensual lady hiding under her cold outer façade. I appreciate that she's no wilting pansy, and it's not surprising that she's the one who initiates the affair with Finn. Since Brit clearly wears the pants in their relationship, Finn comes across as the sensitive one, and it's an interesting role reversal. I was hoping for more from the pirate, but in the end I just think of him as a good guy. He's rather ineffectual during the climax when Brit's in trouble, and that didn't bolster my mental image of Finn as a tough guy.
This is my second Grant novel, and I enjoy her practice of having more than one romance story-line within a single book. There's a nice subplot involving a love triangle with Brit's green lieutenant, Hadley Keyren, who is trying to lose her virginity. Everything is blended together nicely, and while I found this book enjoyable, I have to admit that I probably won't remember it a couple of months down the road. It was a fun read, but this story didn't touch me deeply, and it has to tap one of my emotions more forcefully in order to get my higher ratings.