Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review: Sureblood

Susan Grant
Science Fiction Romance
Borderlands/Book 3
Harlequin/August 2010
Received from Harlequin/NetGalley

From the author's website ~

Five years ago rival space pirate captains Val Blue and Dake Sureblood stole one incredible night together. But their brief, passionate history ended with the assassination of Val's father and the condemnation of Dake's clan. Now Val struggles to prove her mettle—to herself and to the dissenters amid her own people. Every successful raid is a boot heel ground into the burning memory of Dake Sureblood—and their secret son is a constant reminder of their shared past….

Ambushed and captured before he can clear his name, Dake Sureblood returns from a hell like no other to expose the true killer of Val's father. But as the identity of their enemy becomes chillingly clear, the former lovers must put aside their mistrust and join forces to protect their clans and their precious son.

Susan Grant is one of a handful of authors who write science fiction romances. I enjoy the sub-genre so I wish there were more writing it. Thankfully, Grant looks to be continuing her Borderlands series, giving readers more sci-fi romances to look forward to.

Valeeya Blue is about to get what she's been wanting - command of a skiff. It's a small craft, built for boarding freighters. Val, along with the crew of the Varagon, are about to conduct a raid - boarding a freighter believe to be carrying stolen ore. Pirating is a hard life for Val but it's one she's always wanted and has worked hard to get where she is. Right off, I liked Val. We meet her when she's still working her way up the ranks. Val's the daughter of the clan-leader and some think she should be seeking to create an alliance through marriage, not as a raider on a pirate ship. She certainly had some obstacles to overcome!

The raid doesn't go as planned, instead Val runs into Dake Sureblood, leader of a rival clan. They do eventually form a tentative truce and must work together. Val and Dake even come to like each other, spending some quality time together. It doesn't last long. Val's father is murdered and the Surebloods are blamed. Fast forward five years and there is still bad blood between the clans. There are also secrets that are about to be revealed that could change everything Val and Dake believe. Val has matured a lot, much of which was due to necessity. She has been leading her clan during the difficult times since her father's death.

I didn't mind that Val and Dake are apart for some of the story. It wasn't a lot and it built the storyline of why Val is so distrustful of the Surebloods as well as giving their rivals opportunities to escalate that distrust. The hostility between the two clans is still there but they also have other things to worry about. Keeping the clans feed and taken care of has become challenging and pirating has become even more dangerous.

When Dake comes back into Val's life he's not greeted with open arms. Instead, his greeting is more of a greeting for a hated enemy. It's good that Dake is very stubborn and is determined to get Val on his side. I liked the way these two related to each other. They had much in common, both raiders, both born to clan-leaders. They came from different places, different climates with different societies but ultimately it's their loyalty and love of their clans and love for each other that brings them back together. While they were separated they both went through terrible times, Dake's circumstances were horrendous. The way Dake had to not only overcome the nightmares of his imprisonment but also trust Val and her clan - it was certainly hero worthy!

The secondary characters round out the story nicely with a sweet romance between Val's friend and the woman he helps rescue. And Val and Dake's son is adorable with flashes of his parents stubbornness and intelligence. There's also Lord Viro Nezerihm who is a vicious nemesis that has no problem using people and enjoying punishing those that displease him. He hates Val and Dake and will do anything to destroy them.

This is book three in the series but I don't think you would have any problem understanding what is happening in the world building. Grant does a good job explaining the political and social aspects of the world of the Borderlands. Sureblood delivered the science fiction setting with romance and action to create a captivating tale.

Rating: B+


  1. Nice review, Les. I know Hils really enjoyed this book as well. I'm not much into sci-fi, so I'm not sure whether this book is for me or not. I'm going to dig up her books in my TBR pile and give those a try first :)

    Seems like I always have to dig up my TBR pile... wonder why ^_^;

  2. I've always wanted to read Susan Grant's sci fi romances but just don't know if it's wise for me to take on another series! The same goes for Linnea Sinclair. NEED MORE HOURS IN THE DAY!!

    Right now the only sci fi romance I read is Ann Aguirre's Sirantha Jax series.

  3. Nath ~ Good idea to give her other books a try since you've already got them. :)

    Digging? Sounds like you need more book cases. LOL

    Christine ~ Both Grant & Sinclair are wonderful. I totally understand not starting another series but if you're craving scifi romance both are good choices.

    The next Jax is out soon right? Great series!

  4. Great review, Leslie. I'm so glad you enjoyed Sureblood too.

    I didn't mind that Val and Deke were apart either. I thought it gave Val time to mature & toughen up... and I loved that she became the most feared space pirate around. Some excellent scenes in this book. :)

  5. Hils ~ oops - sorry I missed your comment. I remember reading it and thought I reply. ^_^

    Wasn't Val great? Yeah, she definitely matured and I loved how she didn't back down and just hand over control to the Alliance or Dake.