Title: Trouble in Mind (Book #2, The Interstellar Rescue series)
Author: Donna S. Frelick
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Publisher: Ink’d Press
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
She couldn’t get him out of her mind—
and that’s when the trouble started.
FBI Special Agent Alana Matheson is good at her job, despite a past that would make even a seasoned agent cringe. She has no time for the outside help the victim’s family has brought in on a kidnapping case, no matter how good-looking he is.
But galactic tracker Gabriel Cruz is no ordinary private investigator, and the skills he brings to the job will save both their lives. Because Lana and Gabriel are not the only ones seeking an unusual little boy and his mother. Their rivals in the chase are not of this world, and only an alliance built on the bonds of love can ensure that Lana and Gabriel beat the alien hunters to their prey.
Praise for The Interstellar Rescue series:
“Part political thriller, part sci-fi, part romance, Unchained Memory is an exciting read full of unexpected twists and turns highlighted by Donna Frelick's excellent prose."
- Linnea Sinclair, author, The Dock Five Series
5 out of 5 stars!
First of all, I have to say how incredibly impressed I was from page 1 of this book, because I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, BUT, at the time I accepted it, I had no idea it was the second book in a series. Due to time constraints, and not wanting to let the author down, I decided to see if it was a book I could read without reading the first in the series, and maybe piecing together what had happened previously. As it turned out, I did not need the first book at ALL. In fact, I had to work really hard at guessing what may have happened in the first book. Even without reading the first one, this was truly the easiest book to jump right into. And as you read the rest of my review, you’ll see even more just how impressive that is.
This book – in every possible good way – was complicated. There wasn’t a single storyline; there wasn’t even a single storyline with tiny little side story lines added into it. This was a book PACKED with several very important storylines that literally crossed all of outer space. Of course, there was a ‘main’ storyline for this particular book, based here on Earth, with your everyday human FBI agent searching for a woman and her child that were kidnapped by other humans, but she had NO idea what she had really gotten herself into. This was not a normal woman, and especially not a normal child. And the person that she thought was a human PI, forcing himself into her investigation…she had no idea how much he would turn her world (and other worlds, ships, intergalactic politics, etc.) completely upside down.
Lana quickly learns her biggest problem isn’t the ‘men in black’ that did the kidnapping. There are others MUCH more dangerous that are looking for the kidnapped victims as well. And the man she can’t seem to avoid (or want to avoid) is more involved, and knows much more than she could even imagine.
Oh…did you think that was all? No, no, no! Those on Earth (and those currently hunting on Earth) aren’t the only story at all. Turns out, Earth isn’t the only place with politics, political espionage, and all the norms that tend to go with politics on any planet. There’s SO much of that going on too. And all of it – both on Earth and other planets – gets a bunch more complicated when it’s not just how people can read your emotions on your face or through your body movements. If you’re not careful, your own mind can very easily give up your deepest secrets, no matter how hard you try to hide them.
I absolutely cannot say enough about how impressed I am with this book (except for maybe the excessive, excited rant I just gave my poor husband)…the MASSIVE amount of details, several different things happening at once, the amount of things created solely by the imagination of one author (ships, weapons, planets, languages – the list goes on), and to top it all off, how EASY it is to follow all of this information. And let me repeat – WITHOUT even reading the first book, where I’m assuming much of these details were initially created. I felt like I was reading so many of my favorite sci-fi books, watching my fave sci-fi movies, and reading some of my favorite mystery novels all at the same time. And for the author to put this much into one book without confusing anything, or my NEVER once saying “that couldn’t have happened” – impressive!
Did I say ‘impressive’ enough in this review? Because clearly I’m impressed! And obviously, I’m going back and reading book 1 ASAP, because I can’t wait to find out more about the origins of this world created by this author. And I DEFINITLEY can’t wait to see what comes next from this incredible author!
Along the way to her science fiction suspense career she’s been married to a wonderful guy since just out of college, been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, raised a family (two girls, two grandkids), tried organic farming, worked as a freelance journalist and editor, been a community activist, and earned black belts in two different styles of martial arts.
Her first two SFR novels finaled in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest.
She lives on 44 beautiful mountain acres in Marshall, NC, with her husband and two talkative cats.
Gabriel Cruz had spent time dirtside on most of the planets clustered around the galaxy’s busier jump nodes. He’d pulled a few tours on some of the worlds of the distant Outer Reaches. His job required plenty of travel and a familiarity with many of the galaxy’s exotic locales and bustling centers of commerce, the slums and the luxury resorts, the slave markets and the sex trade. Gabriel hadn’t seen it all, but he’d seen a lot of it. And he could still find much to admire in a summer morning in a temperate climate zone on the planet its inhabitants called Earth.
The yellow sun was shining out of a flawless blue sky as he got out of the car and followed Rayna up the sidewalk toward Ethan’s house. It would be hot soon, but Gabriel didn’t mind the heat. He hated the cold of ships and space stations and dank colonial outposts, always balancing the scarcity of resources against the needs of many. Here he could smell the rich earth, the vegetation growing in it, the asphalt and the car exhaust. He could hear the birds singing, the neighbors mowing lawns and taking out the garbage. For one minute, he could pretend his life was like anyone else’s. Gabriel took that minute. Then he took a deep breath and went up the steps into Ethan’s house.
A young man in the white uniform shirt of a Metro Nashville PD officer stopped them at the front door with the usual bluff and bluster. Gabriel could see Ethan start toward them from the office inside on the right, but FBI Special Agent Alana Matheson was quicker.
She waved them in from a desk in the smaller office to the left, dismissing the uniform. “It’s all right, Officer. They’re friends of the family.” She nodded as she came to join them. “Morning, folks.”
“Agent Matheson.” Gabriel was intrigued by the way her grass-green eyes locked on to his. They studied him, as if they’d never quite encountered anything like him before. He didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted by the thought, but he recognized he had that much in common with the FBI agent. He’d never seen local law enforcement like her before either.
Slightly unnerved, he said the first thing that came to mind. “Have you been here all night?”
She smiled, her fatigue showing. “No, I did get a little sleep. Don’t think your friend got any at all, though. He’s looking pretty slammed.” She indicated the office where the doctor was talking with Rayna.
Gabriel noted the signs of weariness in Ethan’s body that went beyond the obvious need for sleep and healing, his bone-cracking tension and heart-rending pain, his desperation. He felt his own chest tighten in sympathy. He turned back to Alana to see her watching him.
“How long have you known Ethan Roberts, Mr. Cruz?”
He held her gaze to see what her reaction would be and was delighted to see the color rise in her face in the seconds before he answered her question. “Not long. Sam and Rayna are mutual friends. They asked me to see if I could be of help.”
“In what way?”
“You might say I specialize in recovering what is lost.”
“As in missing persons.” She gave him that thorough once-over again. “I’m aware you’re a private investigator. Has Roberts hired you to find his wife and son?”
Gabriel smiled. It hadn’t taken her long to find his data plant.
“As I said, Sam and Rayna asked me to help. I’m not being paid.”
“Mr. Cruz, I hope I don’t have to tell you that interfering with a Federal investigation is against the law.”
Somehow he found her warning intensely sexy. “I have no intention of interfering. I’m simply here helping a friend recover something he’s lost. In this case, starting with his memory of what happened yesterday at the river.”
Alana’s gaze narrowed. “Are you also a psychiatrist of some sort, sir?”
“Then how do you expect to be able to help?”
He shrugged. “I have my ways. Some people would consider them somewhat . . . unconventional.”
Her lips curved. His breath stopped.
“Really. Okay. Maybe I should sit in on your meeting today, see for myself.”
He almost laughed. He hadn’t planned on this, but he could see no real harm in it. He would leave her behind long before he got to the point where the chase got dangerous.
Her smile widened, revealing white, even teeth, and she waved a hand toward the office. “After you, Mr. Cruz.”
“Thank you, Agent Matheson. And, please, call me Gabriel.”
“Might as well call me Lana,” she murmured as he passed her. “We’re going to be very close friends from now on.”