Tess MacKenzie is trying her hardest to make it to the big time. She put her singing/songwriting on hold for years to help her parents run their business, but now it is her time to succeed. So when Cohl Travers, a sexy alien and his robot, Pitz, kidnap her, Tess is less than pleased. She can't believe that Cohl needs her voice to find some amulet on a long deserted planet to save the life of his father. Things like this just don't happen to her!
Cohl Travers is the best treasure hunter in the galaxy, but he refused to find the amulet for the Trakas, knowing that the warring brothers would use the amulet's power to destroy their people. However, when the Traka-Sou kidnap his father, they have made Cohl an offer he cannot refuse. When he finally found the perfect voice match to sing the amulet, he let nothing stand in his way to bring Tess up to his spaceship. Cohl was determined not to like the beautiful Tess, after all, she may die trying to get the amulet, and, if she lives, she will be returning to Earth, but he is irresistibly drawn to her. Too bad every other person in the vicinity feels the same way!
Tess has no idea what she is getting herself in for, but she refuses to help Cohl, until they stop for repairs on Cohl's planet and finds out that Cohl is the prince and heir to the throne. She is persuaded by the love that all of the citizens feel for Cohl and his family to try and retrieve the amulet to save this beautiful world. Still, she cannot understand why Cohl denies his birthright and wanders around space getting into all kinds of dangerous situtations. Doesn't he realize how much the people love him and he loves them? As time goes by and Tess spends more and more time with Cohl as they escape from enemies, ferret out spies and hunt down the amulet, she begins to dread the time when Cohl will return her to Earth - but how can she stay if he refuses to admit he has feelings for her?
This is a great science fiction story with plenty of romance thrown in. I loved the characters and felt that they struck a good balance between being stubborn, but not stupid and willing to compromise. There was a great relationship that developed between Tess and Cohl and there are some hot and steamy scenes between the two of them. C.J. Barry's descriptions of the worlds in outer space were great and all of the alien worlds were unique. The plot was fast paced, the book was well written, the romance was hot - this is definitely an author to keep an eye out for!
This report prepared by Debbie
Lovespell, May 2003, 5.99, 302 pp.
Songwriter and wannabe singer Tess MacKenzie is heading home having just been paid when some street punk accosts her demanding she give him her money. Refusing, she sprays her mugger with hair spray before running for her life. In her haste to escape Tess barrels into another person Cohl Travers.
Talk about jumping from the pan into the fire, Cohl abducts Tess. However, this is not your simple kidnapping as this is a real alien abduction. Cohl believes that Tess contains the voice that will save his world Speculator. Though she cannot accept that she is no longer on earth and that she has the singing talent to save a world, Tess aggress to perform, but of course there are a few preliminary steps like risking one's life to find the amulet that her song will activate. However, kidnapping is becoming away of life for her, as thugs on Speculator abduct her. For the good of his world as much as for his heart, Cohl follows in hot pursuit.
Living up to her homonymic last name, C.J. Barry provides an exhilarating science fiction romance that readers from both genres will enjoy. The story line is loaded with action, plenty of humor and romance, and makes Speculator seem like an unearthly but genuine orb. The lead couple is the ultimate star-crossed lovers and Tess is an intrepid Pauline, as peril seems to be her middle name. Though at times the tale turns cartoonish, fans will savor this delightful novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner