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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Sureblood

Sureblood (Hqn)Title: Sureblood
Author: Susan Grant
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN
Genre: sci-fi, romance
Copy for review provided by netgalley.com in anticipation of an honest review

50 words or less: Val Blue and Dake Sureblood are leaders of rival pirate clans who scrape together an existence by stealing back precious minerals that were stolen from their lands in the first place.  Val and Dake are both victims of circumstance and their blossoming love is crushed; when new information arises, can they overcome the past to build a future together?

I have a secret love for space operas and science fiction romance- when I saw this one available on Netgalley I gobbled it up.  While I did enjoy the book well enough, I have to admit, I'd recommend this one to others as a library or Paperback Swap book.

Val Blue cannot catch a break to save her life, whether it be as a squad leader for pirates, a daughter, a clan leader, or a lover.  It seems like any time she tries to make a decision or act independently, something crops up that renders that decision either irrelevant or emotionally painful for her.  She's also got the unfortunate task of leading the densest, most easily swayed group of pirates in the history of the universe- someone could tell these folks the sky was purple and they'd believe that person regardless of any evidence that may or may not be present.  Val is boxed in at every turn, seemingly forced to do things that she doesn't want to do but can't seem to avoid.  It was frustrating to read about since we know as readers what's going on since the story is told from Dake's perspective as well as Val's.

Dake as a hero was...okay.  I feel like, at the close of the book, that we don't really know a whole lot about him except that he's a hottie, a decent person, and the father of a child with Val that he knows nothing about.  The conflict in this book was a little too soap opera-esque for me.  While I appreciated the happily ever after and the resolution to the Big Conflict, they were very clearly laid out of from the beginning of the book and I feel like that took some of the excitement out of the story.  The problem with knowing who the villains are from the get go is that nothing they do is surprising, and that was definitely an issue in this book.

The pseudo-conflict with Ayl, the womanizing creep who seems to think he and Val have a future together, was easily my least favorite part of the story.  While they had some history together, he cheated on her (not a spoiler, that's in the excerpt on the Harlequin website,) was an arrogant ass, and did everything in his power to undermine her at every turn! And yet she STILL continued to consider an alliance with him, in and out of the bedroom! I understand that Val was feeling beaten down and defeated and was looking for support anywhere she could get it but I felt like for a smart lady, she did a lot of stupid things.  I attribute this feeling as much to the lack of character development for Dake as anything else- I feel like it was unfair for Val to have to do all the bungling in this book.  So often I feel like the female characters are shortchanged when it comes to knowledge of the bigger picture- why did Dake get all the info about the big scheme to exterminate the pirates and Val had to muddle through with half-truths and deception? 

Meh. This wasn't a terrible book- I did finish it and like parts of it, and hey, space romance is a good thing in my opinion.  The level of frustration I experienced while reading was what led to my sort of lackluster final review.

Overall Grade: C

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