Title: Heart of a Smuggler
Author: Angela Verdenius
Published in December 2008 by Wings ePress
Genre: Futuristic/Sci-Fi Romance
Cover Artist: Richard Stroud
Related Books: (1) Heart of an Outlaw (2) Soul of a Mercenary (3) Heart of the Betrayed (4) Love's Sweet Assassin (5) Soul of a Hunter (6) Love's Bewitching Thief (7) Heart of the Forsaken (8) Soul of a Witch (9) Heart of a Traitor (10) Soul of the Forgotten (11) Love's Beguiling Healer (12) Heart of a Peacekeeper (13) Soul of a Predator (14) Love's Winsome Warrior (16) Soul of a Guardian (17) Shattered Soul
She is tough, strong, and canny, and the crew her small ship named "The Larceny has been dealing with threats the Daamen Traders would and could quickly shrug off. She is a smuggler by trade, and for Gabie, this is part of their allure, and now a source of envy. The ease at which she has plied her smuggling route has suddenly become complicated by a shady acquaintance named Link. Gabie doesnt like pressure, and definitely not the kind Link is putting on her shoulders. She has recently started feel somewhat like a thirsting man in a desert, being shown a flask of cool water, when she sees the Daamens in the various ports. They have what she wants and somewhere deep inside she envies them their smooth sailing, their wealth and their family ties. Gabie, however, would never give up her own small "family" for the safely of "going legal" and possibly failing to be able support her crew. She is loyal, determined, caring, and protective, and her rag tag crew knows it well. They stand behind her, and have done so even when odds appeared to be against them.
Daamen have always plied the vastness of space as traders, and Gabie has stayed on good terms with them, but kept them at arms length, never really wanting friendship. To conventional thinking, they should be competition to her, but it is not the way she looks at them at all. Due to their easy going natures, Daamen Traders, especially one named Shamon, give her a nodding acquaintance. Even if they don't approve of her business, she always feels protected when they are around. To her, they're not so much competition as an intriguing blend of masculinity and dominance, and gentleness and caring belying their true characters. That simple deception in temperament often throws enemies off. The duality of Daamen character is a fascination to her, always has been and probably always will be. They can be rowdy and break up a bar with a good fight if they have to, but overall, they prefer tussling amongst themselves, and when in port, wenching and eating suffice. Knowing this, Gabie usually stays civil, and yet shares an acquaintance with a few. Generally prefers to give them a wide berth, that is until Shamon decided she needed him and his protection...
Shamon is not a happy man at the moment. A recent run-in with a delightful and merry little smuggler has him out of sorts, and the object of his shipmates barbs, jests, and speculations. They are all aware of how mating works, and the oddities that began with some of them destined apparently to mate with the Reeka Warriors. Apparently Daamen mates are not restricted to their kind as thought, and to the crew of the Daamen Trader, Shamon has met his future in the feisty but beautiful smuggler named Gabie. Unaccountably, she has raised in him all of his protective instincts, and even though he doesn't want to admit it to anyone right now, his captain Simon and the rest of the crew might just be right. Like all the Daamens, he doesn't approve of smuggling, and not just because it is illegal. There is nothing more a Daamen Trader likes more than profit, but long ago they realized there was a lot more profit in a good and solid reputation than in a shady fly-by-night existence. There is nowhere the Daamen are not welcomed, well, maybe a few taverns where they were goaded into fights. Even so, they have always been welcomed back, or begged to return because they readily, and generously spend their dinos wherever they trade. Merchants are willing to forgive what sins they appear to commit to gain access to the goods the Daamen provide, and the money they spend.
Shamon is not any different from any other Daamen, but he is on alert where the spicy and tart little smuggler is conserned. There is a puzzle there, and he feels he has to solve it on order for Gabie to remain safe. Just why her safety is so important escapes him, and Shamon has promised to help her in any way he can. There are times when he wants to wring her neck, and his frustrations are a source of many of his crewmate's jabs. Simon has been a great assist, especially when "The Larceny" came crashing into dock where the Daamen Trader was sitting. Offering Amun and Kel's services was met at first with skepticism, but when the proper "trade" was made, the spunly little captain accepted their help. Now Shamon has made his intentions known, and now, faced with growing scrutiny into Gabie's affairs, Shamon calls upon the knowledge and skills of his friends. Two new players appear, ones with definite ties to the Daamens, and to the Intergalactic Council. Now Shamon turns to Sabra to seek help for Gabie and her troubled crew. Sabra is involved with the Intergalactic Peace Ship, and the official governing body that has jurisdiction over the Lawful Sector. If anyone can help Gabie, Sabra can...but when it comes right down to it, can Shamon really trust her when it comes to Gabies safety??
Angela Verdenius has once again set her readers up for yet another E-Ticket ride. Fasten seatbelts and remember, once you take off, you will not want to go back to Earth. Shamon, one of her tall, handsome men, and Gabie, one of her spunky, independent women, get their chance at love in this new and exciting tale. Those who populate her well written and imaginative stories, assure her readers this time of humor, fun, adventure, and love. The Heart of a Smuggler is the story of a smuggler and how she snares the Daamen of her choice, and all without really realizing she even wanted one! Simon teaches Gabie that trust and love can conquer many problems, including the threat she has been under from a pair of true criminals. Following Shamon and Gabie across the sectors is an excercize in humor, and Simon's crew loose not opportunity to tease Shamon for his obsession with the little Smuggler. The adventure leads them to some surprising findings, but the big question remains, can and will Gabie and her crew be safe once this adventure ends?
The Heart of a Smuggler is a book written a little differently from the others in the series. Before, there was some humor, some lighter than others, yet the darkness inundated them till the end. This time, Angela has used a decidedly lighter touch, and it serves her well. Simon and Gabie are not a pair you can really take seriously, they are both inherently lighthearted, and that is not lost in the telling. Once again, I found The Heart of a Smuggler to be an exceptional read, and one that I know I will go back to again and again. Angela has eased the tension here, but the people and the situations will still rivet the attention. So come along with Shamon and Gabie and they will sweep you along with the action. The Heart of a Smuggler is the book for you if you enjoy good humor with your danger, and a light touch with your futuristic romances. Releasing in December by Wings ePress, it is must buy, and a story you will not forget. It is definitely another in Angela's line of fine romances that Wings has to offer.
Yours in good reading,