Book Review: Break Out (Dark Desires #1) by Nina Croft

Break Out
Break Out by Nina Croft

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:   The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they've discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they're called, rule the universe. 

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can't resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective's maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!

I found out about this book by reading an article about women who write scifi romance. There was a bit of an interview with the author & mention of the second book in the series debut. Scifi with some romance & I was already interested. Vampires in space? What the hell, I'm game. So off I went to get the first book.

I have to say that it was far less scifi serious than I expected but as soon as I just went with the story, I had a good time with it. The hints given about the Collective, the Church & the bio-engineering company along with the rest of the general society snippets left me wanting more. I wanted to know more about this world the characters move around in (hopefully that's expanded in book 2) & how these huge players came to be just that. There were mentions of a lot of cool things but as there wasn't much delving in, it all remains fairly surface. The escape & fight/battle scenes were very well done. I loved the showdown on the space station orbiting Trakis Five near the end. It was fairly brutal.

Now to the characters. The supporting characters were interesting but much like the big organizations I mentioned above, there is no deep getting to know them. They had good banter & definitely displayed some interesting characteristics but there's no getting to know them here. I still have no idea why Janey killed her husband. No idea what Trog's story is. Why Al is posing as a boy a-la-Jack-in-Pitch-Black. And how does being overtly GM affect Tannis & Daisy? They're all likable enough but there's not much to connect to with them.

Skylar & Rico had good lust. I bought the lust. The turn to everlasting one true love? No. I never bought into it because the whole premise is based on her lying to the entire crew for her mission. For all her angsting & whinging about keeping her mind on her mission but being attracted to Rico, all I could think was that she was terribly suited to this job & the Collective had made an error sending her in the first place. It kind of got on my nerves. I wanted her to just get on with both things & shut up about it. Also, in the end, she has absolutely no consequences to her having lied to everyone & in the end betraying the Collective. Rico forgives her & says he knew she'd been lying all along but he felt she was redeemed because she helped rescue Janey & she didn't have to. That's not entirely true though, according to the story & her internal dialogue, she needed to help rescue Janey because she knew Janey was the only one who could get information needed for her mission. That's not redemptive or altruistic. Tannis, is given some toothless threat moment & the rest of the crew says absolutely nothing. It's all good & there's the happy ever after. Even all the Collective are rendered inert as threats now that she's gone against the group. The Collective angle seemed really convenient & only to serve to prop Skylar's absolution. Everything is just fine. She gets a big ring from Rico & they're both going to give it an eternal go. M'mkay.

But as I said, Skylar & Rico had good lust. I really wanted to know more about them both. This is partly why I suppose I didn't buy into the whole love thing between them. I didn't know enough about them & couldn't see how either of them knew enough about each other to have anything deeper yet. The mentions & remembrances of Daniel seemed genuine but never amounted to much revelation about Skylar. I was a little peeved that Rico conveniently had the dearly departed wife he grew to "care for" but had not, in his over 1000 years of life experienced true love until Skylar ambled in on her high heels. And everyone in the crew notices that he's so changed since Skylar's arrival after mere days. That she was peeved when he mentioned that he'd had a wife once, peeved me. I don't like insecurity in my immortals about things that happened lifetimes before even they were born & more to the point, didn't know the current paramour. And to the same point, Rico wanting to sex her into forgetting every man before him was equally sad.

I'll definitely read the next in the series because I truly want to know what will happen next. It was a fun read & while I have listed my problems with the story, it all circles around the fact that in the end, I wanted to know more about everything & everyone. As series beginnings go, it's a good set up for things to come. And by the way, in case I haven't mentioned it before, Skylar & Rico... they had really good angsty lust.

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