Date read: April 12, 2016
The Mandrake Company
1. Mercenary Instinct
2. Trial and Temptation
3. The Assassin's Salvation
4. The Ruins of Karzelek
5. Mercenary Courage
5.5. The Pirate Captain's Daughter
6. The Tracker's Dilemma - Kindle
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Sergeant Heath “Tick” Hawthorn, the best tracker in Mandrake Company and the captain’s right-hand man, has been admiring microbiologist Lauren Keys from afar for months. Unfortunately, she’s dedicated to her science and doesn’t seem to have any interest in relationships. He’s not even sure she knows his name.Thoughts on The Tracker's Dilemma: Tick couldn't have picked a more uninterested woman than Lauren. Which could have been a recipe for disaster for the poor guy since she doesn't pick up on social cues and he's too much a gentleman to push once she declines him. BUT... it works. Lauren doesn't go for loud and uncouth (*cough*Striker*cough*) and Heath's steady, undemanding presence settles into her brain until she's forced to notice him.
Determined to change that, Heath develops a surefire plan: he signs up to be a specimen in her latest study. Once she gets to know him better, he’s positive she’ll find his charms appealing.
But when he starts overhearing other people's thoughts and receiving eerie premonitions, he questions the wisdom of turning himself into a lab rat. On a mission planet-side with Lauren, they finally have some time alone together, but he’s too worried he’s turning into a freak to be charming. Further, the outing soon turns dangerous, as predators and bounty hunters show an interest in the party. If he and Lauren aren’t careful, they’ll end up dead instead of dating. Maybe Heath's plan wasn’t as surefire as he thought.
That massage he gave her might have helped a little, too.
Lauren is Lauren and she's as focused on her work as ever. I didn't really care for her sister (those two have an interesting relationship, to say the least), but it seems the single-mindedness when it comes to work runs strong in their family because Hailey will do anything to succeed in the goals she set for herself.
Some interesting theories about the Grenavinians surface and I am CURIOUS how that will play out. The inhabitants of that now-dead planet have a few secrets they might not even know about. Which makes sense since most of their secrets would have gone down with their planet. Still, secrets and bubbling backstory. I like them.