Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Discretionary Thanson Nez is in trouble. He is just ended his contract with his Guild’s client and the secret he is carrying is so huge, so explosive that he needs to hand it over to his Guild immediately. But there are obstacles blocking his way, including being attacked by the son of his last client who felt he had as much right to Thanson as his father did, another reason Thanson ended that contract. Now he is stranded at some space station on the outskirts of the Empire with no way back to the Guild while carrying the most dangerous secret of his career, a secret he can tell to no one outside his Guild. The last person Thanson expected to run into on the space station was the boy he loved and left on his home world.
Kazra Ferdow, Station 43’s communications officer, is stunned to see Thanson Nez in his office asking for a secure channel to his Guild. It’s been years since he last saw Thanson and now his ex lover stands in his office asking for a secure direct line to his Guild. It all spells trouble to Ferdow but just how much trouble will shock him.
The space station is rocked by an explosion, and suddenly its inhabitants start to go crazy, killing all around them. With all communication lines down, failing life support, Thanson and Kaz are just trying to survive. And on top of everything, they are being stalked with Thanson as the target. Kaz wants answers, Thanson can’t supply them upon pain of death. Amidst bitterness, injury, and a space station in shambles, love still finds a way back to the men who thought they had left it behind them. But can they survive long enough to see if they still have a future together?
I love it when I get a new author and a new series to explore and with In Discretion by Reesa Herberth, I get both. Science fiction is a favorite genre and when paired with romance, it’s certainly doubles the reading pleasure for myself and many others. Reesa Herberth has done a remarkable job in combining both elements within a taut, highly suspenseful story that pulled me into a new exciting universe full of characters that enthralled me.
Discretionaries are highly regulated, highly paid prostitutes/spies, think Mata Hari in a way. They gather information, secrets from the people who employ them and turn that information over to their Guild for its own use. They are bound to secrecy not just by their word but by a far more lethal instrument that insures their silence and loyalty. They are highly trained, intelligent and of course, attractive beings. What a great idea for a character, what imaginative possibilities exist for plots for such a creation. I think I enjoyed speculating over Thanson’s job requirements as much as I did the world building that includes such a Guild in it.
In Discretion’s plot includes a deadly virus gone wild, killers on the loose, a space station breaking apart, and two ex lovers reuniting under the worse possible circumstances, and somehow it not only works but is a such a compelling piece of fiction that I couldn’t put it down. I am unfamiliar with the Ylendrian Empire novels, so I am not sure where this fits into that series, but this story will certainly send me running to read the other novels. Reesa Herberth’s characters were intriguing, entertaining, and so nicely layered that I had not trouble at all in believing in them both.
As Thanson and Kaz proceed through the rapidly failing space station, fighting off infected virus produced killers at every turn, their intertwined past histories and old love is revealed. With bitterness, humor and a pain neither man has been able to discard no matter how many years have passed, Kaz and Thanson relive their first love and the events that separated them. Between their memories and the heart pulsing excitement of being hunted through the station wreckage, Herberth builds a portrait of two complicated men still in love but faced with the reality that neither might make it out alive. It’s thrilling, it’s action packed and so rewarding at every level. Had I been reading an actual book instead of my Kindle, you could have felt a breeze as the pages flew by.
Herberth ends her story as it realistically should, with the men deciding to try again for a future together. With this ending, she leaves open the possibility that this couple can be revisited in another adventure just as action packed as this one. I certainly hope that such a novel is in our future.
As I said before, I have not read any of the other books by this author or stories in the Ylendrian Empire series. I intend to remedy that as soon as possible. But this story can stand on its own legs, without the others to support it. I highly recommend this story to all readers, lovers of science fiction and romance alike. It has something for everyone. Grab it up now and begin your adventure.
Cover Art by Simoné, http://www.dreamarian.com. Just a gorgeous cover. It will be on my Best of Covers for 2014.