One who is willing to suffer for them. In Fortune’s Hero by Jenna Bennett , we meet Quinn Conlan. He was caught smuggling weapons to the Marican resistance and he and his crew were sent to the prison colony on Marica-3 where he has died, many times, rather than reveal what he knows about the rebels. Each time the torture ends his life, the medical team drags him back, so they can begin again. After months of hell, he’s no longer afraid of dying. If he thought it would stick, he’d probably be longing for it.
Quinn Conlan was bleeding to death.
Slowly, steadily, one drop at a time. One big-ass drop. He could feel the mechanism at his wrist working, opening and closing the artery to let the blood ebb and flow. At this rate, he calculated, it would take him about an hour to bleed out.
Down on the floor, a few of the drops turned into a trickle, and he watched as it made its slow way to the big drain in the middle of the room. And down it went, soon to be followed by others. Many others.
He put his head back and closed his eyes.
It wasn’t a bad way to go. It wouldn’t be quick, but it was mostly painless.
These are the opening lines of the book and they provided an opening to the novel and the character that I couldn’t resist. He has no skin in the resistance or their war and has no reason to be loyal to them…, except he gave them his word when he took the job. As Quinn predicts, this torture session ends in near death and another revival, but after his recovery he finally sees an opening, an opportunity to escape. Unfortunately, there is no where really to go on the desolate moon and his escape relies on the cooperation of the woman who has stood by and watched his torture with cold, emotionless eyes.
It is a new twist on the reluctant hostage romance trope and one that is, for the most part, done exceedingly well. The author provides many trials, dire circumstances, and a slow, believable journey to bringing these two opposing characters together. I say ‘for the most part’ because there is a point where the heroine, Elsa, declares a night of passionate lovemaking has changed her. I winced a little at the over-the-top sentiment. Fortunately, the author had taken me on the journey and I well understood where Quinn and Elsa were emotionally. I was already rooting for them and a couple of lines in the middle of the book weren’t likely to spoil it for me. From there the story only got better, keeping me on the edge of my seat right to the end. Luckily, this is the first book in a series of related books. I’ll be looking forward to more Soldier of Fortune novels from this talented author.
What I loved about the heroine: Elsa doesn’t easily ally herself with Quinn, a man aiding her people’s enemy for money, but when she does she transfers all of her loyalty to him. She is a woman who doesn’t do things by half measures.
What I loved about the hero: Quinn is not only a man of principle, he’s a man committed to his crew. He refuses to escape the planet without them. He has an iron will and an honorable nature.
Fortune’s Hero is available is both ebook and print from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. A lengthy sample of the beginning of the book is available on the publisher’s website so you can try a sample to see if the book works for you.
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Primary format: Mass Market Print
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Select
My copy of Fortune’s Hero was kindly provided by the publisher.