Date read: January 7, 2016
The Mandrake Company
1. Mercenary Instinct - Kindle
2. Trial and Temptation
3. The Assassin's Salvation
4. The Ruins of Karzelek
5. Mercenary Courage
5.5. The Pirate Captain's Daughter
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Skulking around in the ruins on a planet swarming with treasure hunters, slavers, and bounty hunters isn’t good for one’s health. But Ankari Markovich needs a few archaeological samples for her latest business venture, a venture that might prove lucrative enough to move her family off the impoverished planet where she grew up. Unfortunately, she has no sooner collected her samples than she’s captured by a band of brawny mercenaries. The captain might be handsome, but he’s intent on turning her over to some finance lord who has, for reasons unknown, put a bounty on her head, a ridiculously large one at that. If she can’t figure out a way to escape before she’s delivered to the lord’s home world, she could be forced into a life of indentured servitude—or worse.Thoughts on Mercenary Instinct: Mercs in space are my current obsession. Well, only if they have some integrity. Little bit. Like, they're hanging onto that last bit of integrity by their fingernails despite their outward devil may care facade.
Captain Viktor Mandrake doesn’t usually take on piddling bounty hunting gigs, but when his intelligence officer informs him of a criminal on a nearby planet, he decides it wouldn’t hurt to take a shuttle down to collect the woman. But Ankari Markovich is trouble from the start, nearly eluding his elite forces, then fighting and tricking his people left and right. He finds himself admiring her spirit, but according to her warrant, she’s a criminal. The safest thing is to keep her in the brig and ignore her until she can be handed off to the man who wants her.
But the situation grows more complicated when other bounty hunters show up, wanting to claim Ankari for themselves. Thanks to this woman, Viktor’s ship is in danger, his crew members are going missing, and he’s fighting enemies he never asked for in a jungle in the middle of a hurricane. He’s either going to strangle Ankari… or fall in love. Either scenario could get him killed.
Oh, hey! Viktor has that! YESSSSSS! But seriously, I get a kick out of men and women who might make some questionable choices at times, but who still try to do the right thing upon occasion. Like when Viktor comes to the realization that Ankari and her crew might not be the hardened criminals they'd been made out as. His quick, fierce attraction to her MIGHT have helped sway him toward their side. Or at least made him listen to their protestations of innocence until it finally sank in. BUT STILL. I like complicated characters and Viktor fits that bill.
Might I just add that entrepreneurial ladies who see potential in everything that crosses their path make me smile. Ankari, you rock!
I have the next few books in this series lined up to read. I can't wait to see what shenanigans the Mandrake company gets into (and who falls hard for a special lady)!