This was my first book by Angela Castle and I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed. Especially considering how many five star reviews it has.
The basic storyline is VERY interesting, and that's why I bought it, especially because the sample seemed promising, but unfortunately after the sample it goes downhill from there. Everything is way too rushed, the bad guys are way too bad, and the good guys way too good at what they do. There's a serious lack of conflict. Even the emotional journey between the two main characters, which should have been a HUGE conflict considering that K'marr wants to take Ash across the universe and make her Queen, when two days ago she didn't even know aliens existed. Oh, and if she doesn't make her decision in the next couple of days, he'll go insane or have to kill himself. Fortunately for him, it takes her less than 5 seconds to make what should have been an agonizing, life-altering, emotional decision.
SPOILERS BELOW - although honestly, there's such a lack of involved plot that I can't even say it's spoiling anything, all this stuff literally comes up at the end of the book, with very little foreshadowing, and it's pretty much completely unnecessary to the story line.
The bad guys are Ash's step-family... who... okay seriously, the evil step-sister's groom is sleeping with the evil step-sister AND the evil step-mom, who are SO evil that even the Dad knows they're terrible and makes them go through Ash for any financial stuff for the wedding. Yet he's dumb enough not to divorce the evil step-mom and he continues paying for all their stuff? Then when Ash gives evil step-mom access to the money, SM takes it and she and groom get it on while they talk about their great plan to hire a hit-man to get rid of Ash so that the step-mom can then get rid of her husband and take the entire fortune. We know all of this because K'marr's men apparently followed the step-family and recorded all their doings after they found Ash (no real explanation as to why they would do that)... and if that wasn't enough, they also got recordings of both the groom and the bride sleeping with strippers, just in case you weren't sure they're totally evil, bad people. SO how does this tie into the actual plot arch of the book?
Well it doesn't. Unless you count the fact that the step-family is truly awful to Ash in the beginning of the book and so you want to see them get some kind of comeuppance. But seriously? It was so ludicrous and stupid that it wasn't even enjoyable. I would have much preferred to see Ash come in with her super sexy new hubby, have step-family's jaws drop and be super jealous, etc. and then maybe have step-mom finally say something where Dad can overhear and then he can divorce you... you know, something within the bounds of reality.
When I read a sci-fi book, I expect some things to be unrealistic. However, that means that the regular interactions between people have to be MORE realistic, to make the overall fabric of the story believable and enjoyable. This book basically jumped the shark on all fronts.