Damage Control by Jess Anastasi

Posted in Action/Adventure/ Advanced Reader Copy/ Military/Paramilitary/ Netgalley/ Reviews/ Speculative Fiction/ Syfy/ Syfy Romance 29th September 2015
Damage Control by Jess AnastasiDamage Control (Valiant Knox #2) by Jess Anastasi
Series: Valiant Knox #2
Published by Entangled: Select Otherworld on October 26th 2015
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five-stars

In space, you can't hide from temptation...
Nick-named Hardass by the new recruits, Leigh Alphin is captain of the Fighter Force of the battleship Valiant Knox. He’s honorable, straightforward, and hard as nails – except for the soft spot he has for a young woman he rescued off a transport under attack. Now that she’s one of his new recruits, it’s imperative he stop thinking about her in that way.
Especially now that the Knox has been secretly infiltrated by the enemy.
Mia Wolf’s new commanding officer is icy, no-BS, and completely gorgeous. His glances send heat searing through her. Neither of them can afford to make this mistake, yet desire takes hold, consuming them. For the first time, Leigh’s iron sense of honor falters as his heart fights for love… and against an enemy trying to destroy everything they hold dear.


Torn between duty and desire, Captain Leigh “Alpha” or “Hardass” Alphin of the Fighter Force is horrified to find himself drawn to a recruit that his team is supposed to train…and vice versa. A relationship is forbidden on so many levels; he has fifteen years on her and fraternising with a recruit could probably get them thrown into military prison. But Mia Wolfe isn’t like any other recruit that Leigh has known; it isn’t long before he asks for her help in unearthing the traitor in their midst. Their growing connection however, cannot continue without some form of sacrifice and with an unseen enemy closing in, a baptism by fire is their only route out of this – even if the villain orchestrating it is little too predictable. The struggle that Leigh and Mia face in maintaining a professional boundary finally cracks and I found a thoroughly guilty pleasure in reading about their deliciously and dangerously illicit relationship, a reason I can safely attribute to both the likeability of both characters and their undeniable chemistry together.


And this is the bigger picture in this universe that I’ve particularly enjoyed: the breadth of the interstellar conflict that gradually unfurls and takes root in this book – there is no dizzying info dump that tends to make a classic space opera read like an incomprehensible plumbing manual – just as characters of the Valiant Knox start to find their own personal HEAs. If ‘Escape Velocity’ was a gentle introduction to the politics of the conflict between the United Earth Force and Christ’s Sunday Soldiers, ‘Damage Control’ is full-fledged novel and a wonderfully immersive experience that cements the series in the syfy-romance category, rather than a romance set far in the future in a galaxy far away.

The cost I paid for this book? A few much-needed hours of sacrificed sleep and a book-drunkenness that will leave me thinking about Leigh and Mia for days to come.

I can live with that.

five-stars

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