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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hard Hearted by Viola Grace

Hard Hearted by Viola Grace
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (94 Pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Holly

Saving her fiancé showed Gralial’s people what a freak she was and they punished her accordingly by removing her soul. Left with only intelligence and her talent, Gray must start a new life in the Alliance as the Sector Guardsman Hard Hearted.

She is assigned to Teklan base as their healer and physician and partnered with a being that she never even heard of.

As a Nilshan Animorph, Mist has spent his time as an enforcer for the Alliance. When he was offered this position, and Gralial as a partner, he jumped at the chance to protect the woman whose lack of a soul keeps her from caution, fear, or passion.

The ever-expanding universe of Viola Grace’s Sector Guard series keeps getting more interesting all the time.

For using her talent to save her fiancé’s life, Gralial’s people ‘rewarded’ her by removing her soul and banishing her from her family. Recruited by the Sector Guard, Gralial becomes Hard Hearted, and uses her talent as the new healer and physician for Teklan Base. Canil Warks, code name Mist, is a Nishan animorph and the latest recruit to Sector Guard at Teklan Base. He is to be Gray’s partner. As Sector guard pairs are generally matched to be mated pairs, Gray is surprised to learn that Mist has agreed to the situation. Can a man who turns to mist, and a woman with no emotions make a good couple? When Gray’s ex fiancé takes over her family’s ship and demands her death, can the Sector Guard couple beat them at the game? Will Mist and Hard Hearted find happiness together?

The world building is, as with all the Sector Guard books, detailed and consistent. The characters are all well crafted and intriguing to meet. I am always amazed by the new species that Ms. Grace comes up with, and I enjoyed watching the interaction between the new characters and some old familiar folks from earlier books.

Gralial Neeri has a talent for healing, but in the Kozue race, females with talent are considered contaminated. Gray is intelligent as well as talented, and she has no choice at her fate once the talent becomes known. I found her courage and strength to be useful as her saving grace. I enjoyed watching as she attempted to ‘pretend’ feelings in order to put those around her at ease.

Canil Warks is quite handsome, and his talent is quite unusual-he becomes mist at a thought, and is able to infiltrate places others cannot. He appreciates that although Gray has no emotions, he is very attracted to her. It is a compliment to his attractiveness that, in spite of her condition, Mist still causes a tingle in her body. I enjoyed watching him convince Gray that they would be good as partners.

When Hard Hearted and Mist are called to help on a Kozue enclave ship, Gray finds it is her grandfather’s ship, and a mutiny has occurred. The distress call was a decoy to bring her there so her former fiancé could reverse the decision and have her killed. There are several twists in this book, and some were completely unexpected and very delightful. This is a fantastic addition to the Sector Guard series, and I’d say Ms. Grace has another winner with this one.