Space Fever - Kate Donovan
I have been on a Sci Fi Romance kick lately and this novella - along with a few others - caught my eye a few months ago, but I didn’t get the chance to read Space Fever until now. However, I am sorry to say I did not enjoy it. I really wanted to. The blurb, setting and even the cover promised it was going to be a sexy and enjoyable read, but instead it was a convoluted mess with annoying characters.Cabbie is an officer for the Cortierrans and is highly skilled in shooting bats that live in a canyon close to where she lives. Her stepfather is the General of the Cortierran army, and is currently battling rebels who want to overthrow the government due to their exile on the moons surrounding their planet. To help him gain the upper hand, her stepfather requests help from a Zentarin pilot, Commander Denn Torr, who can help train his troops to defeat the rebels who have recently developed new cloaking technology.I really did not enjoy this book and I really wanted to, but this novella ticked all the boxes that makes me frustrated with romance tropes that have gone wrong, and the characters added to that. Cabbie is suppose to be an officer in a well run army, but comes across really naive and immature at times. Instead of this brash sharpshooter and experienced soldier she was suppose to be, I felt like she was a very young girl playing dress-up.Cabbie is asked to help Torr through his lust fever phase, which he reached ahead of schedule, and Torr urgently needs a sexual partner to help him through this phase. I knew this was a plot point in the book, and I had no issues because I knew it was going to be a sexy read, but my initial impressions were wrong. How Cabbie was asked, and how she reacted towards it made my head hit the desk figuratively. Her stepfather is the chief of the army and requested her help. And although the reason why why he asks her makes sense later in the novella, I found it didn’t really work.For example:Vee surprised her by changing the subject. “Didn’t you wonder why Commander Denn-Torr was in my office today?”“Oh! I completely forgot.” She laughed. “You know things are grim when a gorgeous hunk of offworld flesh—with silver eyes, no less—slips your mind.”Vee grimaced. “You find him attractive?”“Are you kidding? Did you see those muscles?” When her stepfather didn’t laugh, she licked her lips, subdued. “Did I embarrass you in front of him? I swear I didn’t know he was there. I thought he confined his activities to his quarters and the top-secret training facility.”Vee is her General and even though he is her stepfather, he has asked Cabbie to basically sleep with a stranger so he could help with their training. And although she tried to make light of the situation, for a military officer, her response for me was way way off. Even though she was trying to comfort him, he was the one that was asked her in the first place. I just found her response to her stepfather to be very awkward and embarrassing. And it showed how out of her depth she was. But I knew the premise had this romantic trope with the mating bond, so it did not become a huge issue. Nonetheless, later on when she does sleep with him, she finds that due to his customs, she is married to him. Although she had stated that she researched the Lust Fever and his people in great detail, she was shocked that she missed out this very important fact? I really was not impressed on how this trope was portrayed, but the real problem was the second half of the novella. It was so convoluted with twists and turns and double-crosses and betrayals in the last 30 pages. And the novella was only around 100 pages in my ereader. I really felt like I was reading a Soap Opera instead of a Space Opera.I wont spoil the reason about the main basis of this really complicated plot, but I will state it did not make any sense because characters who previously behaved in a certain way acted the opposite later on. I think if the book was fleshed out and there was more time for developing the characters - as well the plot - it would have been much better, but I found the romance really lacking and there wasn’t much heat between Cabbie and Torr. Although I really liked the premise of the world-building, there was not much of a reason why the rebels fought the government - especially for reasons that were stated in the book it, and it was glossed over.