I'm a total fan of this author's work. One hundred percent gaga. And yet, I did not really expect that she could further surpass my expectations and blast them completely out of the galaxy. Moonstruck embodies for me everything that is necessary when it comes to reading romance. I was in fact moonstruck in the sense it has in this book: totally in love with everything about it.
Admiral Britasha Bandar (Brit for short) isn't thrilled with the turn of events. She's not ready to give up the ghosts and despair that drove her to become one of the most successful women in the Coalition. However, the Coaltion is no more, but rather the Triad, a conglomerate of Coalition, Earthling and Drakken soldiers. Brit's been chosen to command the symbolic accord amongst all of them aboard the new ship, Unity. For a woman that believes the only good Drakken is a dead one, it'll be a challenge to say the least. And when she meets her new second-in-command, her emotional barriers will be stretched to the limit.
Warleader Finnar Rorkken of the former Drakken Horde is grateful in the extreme for the opportunity that comes his way. To serve aboard the Unity, even if under one of his biggest rivals, means a better life for him and his ragtag crew. But can the former Scourge of the Borderlands assimilate successfully into such a foreign culture? Brit certainly has her doubts, but Finn is determined to prove his and his crew's worth, indeed the worth of the Drakken people as a whole. The beautiful woman is an incentive too like no other. As they tumble into a raging attraction, they'll have to deal with terrorists that threaten the new Triad efforts, Brit's past horrors that cripple her emotionally and Finn's struggle to find himself in the face of a new culture.
This first in Grant's Borderlands series is a spin off of her Otherworldly Men series (Your Planet or Mine, My Favorite Earthling, How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days). This book was amazing -- I could not put it down. It was a fast read due to pure unfiltered enjoyment. Brit and Finn were a scorching couple. Their attraction isn't sweet and simple; rather it's heated, raw and conflicted due to a horrible tragedy Brit suffered. In other words, they have wonderful conflict to draw from and have to work at slowly building up and exposing their feelings for one another. Brit is as hardened a warrior as they come. She's known for her ruthlessness in destroying enemies, yet she works through the trials given her and earned a new respect, one on a different and deeper level than war hero. Finn was a true romance hero, strong and loyal, even in the face of a one-time enemy. He's the perfect person to command alongside Brit, who was laid bare and vulnerable by the new Triad circumstances at times. And he has his own set of conflicts, that of how to become Triad instead of Drakken and bind the two. The progression of their relationship was absolutely beautiful to read and it engaged me on a very emotional level. A pleasant surprise was the amount of face time given to secondary characters, most notably Brit's assistant, Hadley and one of Finn's crew, Bolivarr. The secondary plot involving them was almost as equally interesting and I couldn't wait to see what became of them too.
As usual, Grant writes a tight story that doesn't falter from the moment it starts. I do believe she's stepped up quite a few notches though and seriously improved in character development with this one, and I never even thought she needed to before. There's a very pleasing progression for Brit and Finn, and I was kind of sad to come to the end of their book -- I just wanted it to keep going! The series will continue with another release in spring of '09, The Warlord's Daughter. Till then, I think I'll be rereading Moonstruck and placing alongside other keepers.