|This is the fifty-eighth book in the Terran Times series. Yes, I've read them all. They do not need to be read in order. However, I recommend reading Determine (which is the fifty-seventh book in the series) first. The reason I suggest this is for those of you who have read the rest of the series or Ms. Grace's Sector Guard and Tales of the Citadel series, she introduces Guardians who are the Nyal Imperium equivalent to the Sector Guard. While the Guardians we meet in Determine are cool, they are not the same as the ones we meet in this story.
Rhoda is an artist from Terra (Earth) who works on the planet Yacaro. Basically, her gift is painting people to answer whatever questions they may have. You know, like who is the love of my life kind of questions. I'd like to point out Rhoda left the planet Earth just to be a starving artist somewhere in space. Isn't it ironic? Yes, I can hear that song in my head. Her friend on the planet is Jemyalli, or Jem, who basically helps her get commissions, tries to get her dates and usually handles letting her know how much the latest bribe is from the government. Basically she lives hand to mouth because government officials keep expecting her to pay them so she can stay on the planet. Jem also convinces her to do sketches at a charity event which is where she meets Prince Drehl Yaghin who also happens to be Charm (his designation as a Guardian). He sits for her to draw his destiny but when she sees it she basically ruins it before handing it to him.
At least our girl Rhoda has common sense and is smarter than people think. The sketch was of Drehl as his Guardian persona and his destiny looked like her! She was basically trying to ignore that last part and was too intelligent to say anything about the first. The Yacaro Guardian team consists of Hawk, Under and Charm and they handle the planet's emergencies with their paranormal abilities. Drehl is determined to court her, and manages to show up at her home for a portrait and some kissing. There was some drama which occurred after he left for a mission that landed her in a terrible place after she was beaten and her home destroyed. Prince Kebril, Drehl's brother, comes and gets her to the planet equivalent of a hospital. Believe it or not, there is no intense smexy time until towards the end of the story, he did do his courting!
Alright, in the big scheme of things I liked this story. What I didn't like about the story are little stupid things, like if everyone on the planet including the Guardians knew she was being bribed all the time why didn't anyone try to step in to stop it? Or, maybe it's because I have read all of Ms. Grace's stories from this universe, I was thinking why haven't any one of the 'Champions' or the Terran reps keep in touch with her? Sigh. Like I said, stupid little stuff and it probably doesn't matter at all to the story line. What I do like about the story is how strong Rhoda is and how she really isn't going to let anyone just push her around. I do like the Nyal Guardians and I'm pretty sure Ms. Grace won't leave us hanging, she'll give us at least a few more stories with them. Yes, I am totally going to be reading more!
Reviewer: Teresa T.