Written by: Ruby Lionsdrake
Series: Mandrake Company
Sequence in Series: 2
Print Length: 203 pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Scifi | Fantasy
Find this book on: Amazon
After ten years of flying freighter ships from planet to planet, Val Calendula never thought she would apply for a job as a combat pilot in a mercenary outfit. But her brother has gotten himself into financial trouble, and he’s heading to a mining prison if Val can’t pay off his debts. Mercenaries don’t always live long... but they make good money while they’re alive. A few combat bonuses, and Val could earn what she needs. The problem? She might have graduated from the military flight academy, but she hasn’t fought anything more dangerous than dust bunnies on the bridge lately. To make matters worse, the man in charge of hiring pilots was her instructor back at the academy. Commander Thatcher was almost as brilliant as he was arrogant and condescending, and he never seemed to think Val was smart enough to be there. She has no idea if she’ll be able to convince him otherwise now... or if she’ll be able to stand working with him.
When Gregor Thatcher left the military, he never expected to run into any of his former acquaintances, much less the one he admired and mooned over during his two years teaching at the academy. Back then, he never told Val Calendula he cared for her, partially because officers weren’t supposed to have relations with cadets, but mostly because he didn’t know how to speak of his feelings. He might not have any trouble grasping navigational mathematics and astrodynamics, but people are more problematic. Gregor is elated that Val has entered his life again, but he’s fairly certain she hates him. Worse, he’s responsible for deciding whether she’s qualified to be a combat pilot. How can he judge fairly when his tongue tangles and idiotic words come out of his mouth whenever she’s around?
When the captain sends Val and Gregor on a mission to pick up a military advisor and deliver him to a planet at war, Val hopes she’ll have an opportunity to prove herself capable of the piloting position. Gregor hopes he’ll have the opportunity to improve Val’s opinion of him. But when the military advisor goes missing, and they’re forced to divert to a dangerous moon base, the mission turns into a fight for survival. Val may learn too late that there’s more to Gregor than that aloof exterior… and that inside is a man she could love.
Trial and Temptation is a full-length science fiction romance novel of 73,000 words. It is part of the “Mandrake Company” series and is recommended for readers who enjoy space-based adventure (such as Firefly) and steamy love stories (in the style of Linnea Sinclair).
Trial and Temptation by Ruby Lionsdrake
Trial and Temptations is an action packed, science fiction story that includes space travel, planetary war and an endearing romance between a socially awkward genius pilot and a hotty pilot recruit.
Geogor Thatcher had a huge crush on his training Val Calendula. He never thought he'd see her again once he left the military. Val Calendula needs money to save her brother. She joins the mercenary crew of the Mandrake Company only to discover the man that tormented her military career, Georgor Thatcher, is now in charge of her fate in the Mandrake Company.
Sent on a desperate mission to transport a general to a war riddled planet, Geogor and Val discover appreciation for each other flight skills while the attraction between them blooms. Geogor seems to be suffering from Asperger, which makes his pursuit and attraction to Val and Val's ability to see beyond his botched attempts very endearing.
I found Trial and Temptations a highly entertaining and a very enjoyable read.