Title: Soul of a Predator
Author: Angela Verdenius
Published in December 2007 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 • (14) Love's Winsome Warrior • (15) Heart of a Smuggler • (16) Soul of a Guardian • (17) Shattered Soul •
The life of a hunter was always on the line. Not many people liked the bounty hunters, and so they ran in packs, almost like family, and Shaque’s pack was not much different. Hunter’s Hole was a place of safety, a neutral ground where the Bounty Hunters could relax, enjoy the time off, get news, bulletins, and exchange stories of their exploits. It was protected in that an attack on the packs stopping there would soon bring all the other packs down on the heads of those who dared interrupt this one haven. It was also a place where a few outlaws, spies, and informers even ventured, and others on the edge of the law. It is here that they came to relax, and there were not often disturbed, but this time, something hung in the air. There was an expectation, and Shaque’s senses were firing. There was only one woman in the universe who could send his senses flying like that and sure enough, there she was. Elyse. Part pirate, part mutant, ex-prisoner, and totally desirable, and as she came toward him, the storm that had been gathering outside seemed to move inside and into Shaque himself. She always had that effect on him. Only one woman who could come into Hunter’s Hole, dump an unpleasant memory mixed with hope on his table, then disappear as fast as she did and still be alive, and she was his..
His? Elyse was…is his? Too possessive, but still true. The problem with those feelings is they unsettle him, always had, always will. It is true, there is unfinished business between them, and it is not business that can be settled easily, at least not at the moment. They both bear the scars for former clashes, the most recent, twin slashes from the vicious knife fight over a year earlier. They are evenly matched, yet Elyse is just as dangerous as he, and Shaque knows it better than most. She is mutant, the eerie red light in her eyes give lie to the “cure” she supposedly received while being held prisoner of the Galactic Council. Shaque had no illusions about Elyse. She was a predator, but then so was he. Finely honed killing machines, one on each side of the law, or so it used to be, but now, he was uncertain. It was a fine attraction, he didn’t bother to deny it, and this set of circumstances might just lead them into battle together, but not if he couldn’t find her, or the girl in the picture again. He knew Elyse could lead him on a merry chase if she wanted, but just maybe there were things she needed to know too, and the sooner he found her again, and cornered her again, he would get, and maybe give some answers
Only survival. It is the prime directive for Elyse, genetically enforced survival any way, any time, and by any means, but survival matters. Elyse knows that is no longer true, but the additional training is too deep, the changes too drastic, the conditioning permanent and deadly. She hates knowing she puts everyone and everything around her in danger of the monster she becomes, and no cure developed on the InterGalactic Peace Ship or anywhere else in the Lawful Sector can help her. They think she is cured, but she knows she is not, and she thinks Shaque knows too, that he has seen the red flare in her eyes, has seen the worst she can be. Hunter or not, there is something there. It attracts, something beyond their deadly rivalry, something kindred that speaks to the predator in both of them, and she thinks he feels it too. Elyse is not sure she wants to find out, she is not sure she wants to be so close to a hunter, even if it means a home, possibly family. That actually scares her, the very fact she can think in those terms, makes her quiver. The idea and the hope is a useless, futile, and stupid exercise, not for someone like her, and Elyse knows it well..
Her mind, however, refuses to put it aside. Elyse knows the packages of an unknown origin are drawing them together. She feels like a pawn in someone’s game, and she is not happy about it at all, but then neither is Shaque. There are too many unknowns for her to be certain of anything. She knows at this point she has only one thing to do, get to the bottom of the plot, and the only clues seem to be hidden deep within Shaque’s childhood, and yet there is the fact someone seems to want her alive as well, and is using clandestine means to try to capture her. Why? There are too many questions, and although it leads her to team with Shaque, it is an uneasy alliance. She has discovered one thing. In a fight, there is no one she would rather have at her back, and to her dismay, she finds there is no one she would as readily trust to cover her back either. Not even Brina’s pirate crew with her twin sister Donika, or her best friend Sonja, who used to captain the Saucy Rose, which Brina now commands does she trust as she trusts Shaque, and on some elemental level, that disturbs her greatly...
Angela, has done it again with Soul of a Predator, and again she has taken us deep into the cruelties perpetrated from the warped minds of the evil ones mankind occasionally produces, and brought, from the ashes of what went before, a love for all time. A Hunter in love can be quite the fool when it comes to protecting the one he claims, especially when she thinks she doesn’t need protection. Even Elyse, predator that she is, cannot fight the furious protective instincts aroused in the male claiming her. When she is a mutant, and has the superior strength genetically instilled to increase along with her rage, Shaque knows she is not invulnerable and can prove it. When Elyse is brought down by an unexplained illness, and even though Shaque believes she is hiding things, he is still by her side, refusing to leave, and driven by more than just the bargain they struck.
From the Heart and Soul Series, Soul of a Predator is the 13th book in the series, and will not disappoint you. This most exciting tale takes you back to the depredations of the mad scientist, named Shari, from the Inka Empire, and the string of gruesome experiments that led to the mutant threat, and the creation of Elyse and Sonja. You really need to read Angela’s books to get the full and complete scope of the writing, the brilliant worlds, the darkness of the characters plights, and the brightness of the love and friendship that helps them through. Angela Verdenius brings all this and more to her writing, and Soul of a Predator is no different. It is rich with all the things that make her books exciting, driven, and completely satisfying. In the end, you can’t wait for the next, and I always end up going back to read the previous ones again. Definitely one for the Keeper Shelf, Soul of a Predator is available from Wings, so drop in and get a copy today.
Yours in good reading,