Imperial Haven by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (46 pages)
Other: M/F, Forced Seduction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Verbena
Caitlin is a high-class data thief. She knows how to get in and out of a mark's house without detection, but this time something went wrong. Kyran not only caught her red-handed, tapping into his computer system, he also seems to think they have some kind of bond-mate thing going.
What's a girl to do when the bounty hunter you were stealing from turns out to be an Imperial Were-Panther with the hots for you?
Caitlin's caught with her hand in the cookie jar…so to speak. Her punishment, however, is not what she expects. In fact, Kyran is definitely not what she envisioned as a bounty hunter.
Caitlin has taken on a new contract that seems too good to be true. A sweet deal with a nice payoff, she’s eager to get aboard Kyran’s ship, steal the data, and be gone before he realizes what’s happened. Unfortunately for her, it’s a job gone wrong from the get go. One minute she’s connected to the ship’s data port, siphoning the information she needs, the next she’s bound and helpless by one pissed-off bounty hunter who intends on getting more than a simple explanation of what she’s doing on his craft. She quickly realizes he intends on putting the shackles on her wrists to good use. Nevertheless, when he starts spouting things about bond-mates, commitment and kids she begins to wonder if he isn’t just a bit insane as well. Words like obligation and love didn’t fit in her plans. A gorgeous were-panther who seems hell-bent on holding her captive, punishing her with mind-blowing sex until she consents isn’t about to change her mind. Or can he?
Kyran de Salazar made his livelihood on bounty contracts. He had no idea what Caitlin had done to piss off Diegala, but fifty-thousand pounds was too sweet of a deal to pass up. He would set a trap, lure her in and capture her, then hand her over and collect pay dirt. It all sounded like a good plan, until he stood face-to-face with the would-be data thief and realized she was his bond-mate. That certainly changed things.
While he would never give up his mate for any amount of money, the contract on her head would be tempting to any bounty hunter. His uncomplicated life just got a lot more complex. Even if he can persuade Diegala to release the contract on her head, how would he convince the sassy-mouthed vixen to succumb to his intentions without having to tie her to his bed?
Imperial Haven is a very fast-paced story. The initial contact between the main characters is purely predatory and sexual. Despite the short length, the characters quickly develop an attachment to each other. While Kyran has no problem accepting Caitlin as his mate, Caitlin isn’t so easily convinced. A brief glance into her history gives a minimal but reasonable explanation to her hesitance to accept Kyran’s claim.
The main driving force behind this story is sex, which makes up roughly a quarter of the story—with a decent plot carried along for the ride. While you don’t have much time or character development to really cultivate a lasting attachment to Kyran and Caitlin, the steamy love scenes and sexual tension between them makes it a gratifying enough read when you’re looking for a good quickie.
Caitlin’s sassiness and Kyran’s determination come together in humorous dialog sure to give you a few chuckles. Ms. Kane’s does a fine job with grammar, punctuation, and point-of-view changes with little to no noticeable editing errors. Overall, I found the book enjoyable and entertaining.