Space Gypsy Chronicles #1
Narrated by: Chandra Skyye
Release Date: May 24, 2016 (audio)
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Source: Tantor Audio sent me a complimentary copy
Rating: 3 Bookworms
Earth: a space pirate's dream when it comes to booty, but not a good place to hide when bounty hunters come looking. Pulling up stakes means Rafe must leave his vintage trailer behind, but in the process he acquires a passenger, a mouthy female who seems to think she's calling the shots. She'll soon learn who's the captain. And it isn't Annabelle, his sassy ship.
A true red-blooded male, Rage does his best to teach Emma her place in the universe, but her human attitude gets in the way. So why doesn't he sell her when he gets the chance? Damned if he knows, but despite his motto of "the universe revolves around me", he finds himself putting his life in peril to save hers. But that doesn't mean he's letting her in on all his secrets. Some things a man has to carry alone, and some revelations a pirate will kill to keep.
The universe might be out to get him, but he's not giving in without a fight.
Pirate isn't my first read from Langlais, but it is my first listen. It's also the first in a new sci-fi series and while the characters and the world building were interesting, it didn't always hold my attention.
Emma, or "Wench", as Rafe lovingly? refers to her, is a delivery truck driver. She's been delivering to Rage for awhile and he's also apparently been trying to score with her. Despite the fact Emma is rather charmed by him, she's continually refused him. This would actually turn out in her favor when she's essentially kidnapped by Rage and removed from Earth.
See, Rafe is a space pirate and as such he often angers powerful people, meaning he's a wanted man. He's also an alien, um, Romani. They're travelers and Rafe gained a traveling companion in Emma when she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As Langlais developed these characters, the spaceship, and world they now inhabit, we learn that the Romani are quite chauvinistic in their treatment of women. There are also hints at Rafe's and Emma's feelings towards on another - especially Rafe's - as being "special". There was some sarcasm and sexually-charged banter - I particularly liked Rafe's AI, who runs his spaceship, being so snarky with him. But honestly, I was bored for a lot of the book. At about 75% in, more hints were dropped about where this story might be going, the romance amp'd up, and the suspense tightened. From there, I was eager to put my earbuds in and listen to what happened next.
Is it the narrator, the story, or just me? I don't know. I felt Skyye did a fairly good job with narrating but her delivery in places was slow and that didn't help keep me engaged. I really think this is a case of me having certain expectations of Langlais and those not being met. Not as much humor and not as many sexy times. She did hook me in the end though and I will continue the series.