Kicking Ashe by Pauline Baird Jones
Publisher: L an L Dreamspell
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (214 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Orchid
With hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for...
Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse.
Vidor Shan might help—since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too—if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn’t have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn’t mind if he kissed her on the mouth.
Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he’s got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one?
Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when...
Ashe is a time traveler, an agent of the Time Service. To help her is Lurch, a nanite who lives in her head. Their actions start a time tsunami which dumps them on a planet in another time stream. Cut off from their support they must figure out what's wrong with this time, and why a man they know is also in the same time zone - but he believes he belongs there.
I enjoyed reading this book although I would have liked to see more romantic interaction between the two main characters a little earlier. Ashe is a quirky young woman who has a continuous dialogue going on inside her head; when Lurch is silent, she talks to herself. The man she knows from before is Shan, but he doesn't remember her - maybe because their meeting is still in his future. Ashe is instantly attracted to him which confuses her. In the other time she believes he has had a fling with "great, great - not so great" grandma who is also a previous host of Lurch.
Aggressive robots, a traitor in Shan's family, and Ashe's inability to access her full resources: all these things make for a fast moving book with mystery and adventure. I liked the mixture of science fiction and time travel, along with the adventure and underlying mystery of who was out to get Shan and what had happened to his brother.
Ms Jones has created strong characters who interact well with each other with the added internal conversation between Lurch and Ashe. For most of the book Shan is not aware of Lurch, but he does wonder why Ashe occasionally gets a faraway look in her eyes. The minor characters add richness to the story while unexpected mechanical beings make their presence felt.
Whether you prefer straight science fiction or like yours with a dash of romance, this is a very enjoyable read.