3.5 StarsRiding the Odds
by Lynda K. Scott is a sci-fi-esque romance between an uptight and narrow-minded Holy Knight and a strong-willed and independent Trader. They come from two different worlds and seem to stand on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to their beliefs. As they work together for a common cause, will their strong connection over-ride their logic? After all, how can two individuals who have been taught to hate all the other stands for ever succumb to feelings of love?
Trace Munroe was unofficially adopted by His Majesty King Anthony Sinclair when both of his parents died in the Risien Plague. Trace’s father was the King’s best friend and therefore the King took it upon himself to accept Trace into his family. Trace becomes a Holy Knight, a group of highly trained men who enforce the law. When Princess Katerina goes missing, Trace resigns from being a Holy Knight to go and find her. He is desperate to find his adopted sister and therefore resorts to taking “String”, an illegal drug that enhances his ability connect dissimilar facts and make sense of them as a whole. The only problem with taking this drug is the fact that every time Trace goes to sleep he has complete memory loss. His memory can be restored once he wakes but it takes some time and effort.
Trace believes that pirates, particularly one named Jack Brown, are responsible for the Princess’ disappearance. His investigation leads him to Tara Rowan, a spaceship captain and independent Trader who is linked to Jack Brown. One way or another Trace is going to get Tara to help him find his sister. He is willing to do whatever it takes, including stowing away on her ship as an unwelcome passenger.
As Trace and Tara come to know one another and form a fragile alliance in hopes of rescuing Princess Katerina, both fight the unwelcome connection they seem to be developing. After all, there is no way Trace could fall for someone who is not only linked to pirates but was also present on Eradani Prime when the plague devastated most of the population. Some of the small group of surviving children were believed to have eaten the flesh of the smaller children in order to survive. No one knows if this is true but Trace believes it is and cannot abide by the fact that Tara would so something so deplorable. Tara attempts to keep her distance from Trace as well for her own reasons.
The relationship between Tara and Trace is a sweet one. Both present a “complication” for the other and it was humorous to watch the back and forth banter between the pair as they try to find the Princess. Both also have secrets that they want to keep hidden. I think the author did a great job interweaving a romance in the overall suspense-filled story arc. While I did find the pace a little slow-going at times, I did become engrossed wanting to discover exactly what would happen between our hero and heroine as well as finding out what happened to Princess Katerina.
I would have to say my favorite part about this book was the relationship between Tara and her Rider, Zie. A Rider is a skiff of organic cells and Tara’s formed the image of a dragon on her back. Riders were born to navigate the stars but once they bond with a human they enhance that particular human’s abilities. Zie was this innocent and pure creature that I could not help but love. Everything was so simple for Zie and I adored the exchanges between Tara and Zie.
All in all, Riding the Odds
was an entertaining read. I did find the ending rather anti-climatic and would have liked to see more. I don’t want to say any more than this as I do not want to give away any spoilers. I simply was left wanting a little more at the end. If you are a fan of romantic sci-fi books, I would say that you need to give this one a go.****An advance reading copy of Riding the Odds by Lynda K. Scott was generously provided to me by Entangled: Select Otherworld Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.