Nice when a romance starts off knocking the Bechdel test on the head. Two women are on a desert planet, hunted by some pretty nasty aliens. They aren't as alone as they thought on the planet when they discover another alien injured and on the verge of death, that is unless they help him.
First off this is a much darker romance than I'm used to. There is some extreme violence which is tempered with friendly conversations between the women. I could have done without all the swearing but I can see why the author put it in. Just not my cup of tea. It isn't like they have gratuitous vulgarity. Instead each word is carefully picked and thoughtfully used. The only other thing that I could complain about is the length. I like a shorter story but there is certainly a lot happening on all the pages. It isn't like the author skimped on action.
This is a very rich world that is well developed and thought out. I think I would have appreciated it more if there was a book before that explained a little more about how the women got into space. This story is only a fraction of the world that is created. The blurb calls it 'Epic' it is certainly accurate.
I also liked how the love interest Sulas turns. Usually when you start off with your overbearing and arrogant it is hard to make them likeable. Sulas isn't nearly as overbearing the rest of the story as you would expect from a race that is known for its arrogance. Though there are times this does shine out. But he is no match for our spine of steel protagonist. Even from the start we see how she is the glue that keeps everyone together. Moira is a little flaky but this is a good counterpoint to Leah.
There are so many people in this story, worthy of an Epic but I got lost a few times. Thankfully the author was really good with avoiding names that sound too much the same. She certainly has given each of them a unique voice as well but there really seemed to be new people popping up in each chapter.
Without giving any spoilers I'm glad things work out for people. He really was 'Sleeping Beauty'.
So if you like your romances a little more gritty and darker then this is the book for you. Despite the parts I personally didn't like I really loved the story, the world and the writing. Or the characters and the style. That is why I'm going to give it 4.5 stars. The half star off because it was too long and dark for me. Though I could take another half star off for the typography on the cover. Too much embossing etc to make it stand out when another font or colour could have done the same.