Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hearts Akilter --by Catherine McLean

Now available from your favorite bookseller

Fiction / Fantasy / Romance 

75 pages / 235 KB
5 Stars

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

I have read several of Ms. McLean's books, all of which are fantasy and romance. I do not read romance, and yet, I jumped at the opportunity to read Hearts Akilter. She does not write the usual romance (think Harlequin), hers are fun, light hearted, and just a little, well, off kilter.

This story takes place on Kifel Space Station, and the main characters are Henry, a medical robot having a heart attack (I know, robots don't have hearts, but still…), Marlee, his human friend and confidante who is a maintenance tech, and Deacon Black an expert bomb builder and defuser.

Henry can do things he shouldn't be able to do, like remove his chest plates. He does this so Marlee can see what's wrong since he doesn't have a heart, or nerves, so why is he sure he's having a heart attack? As Spock would say, "it isn't logical." Imagine her surprise when she discovers he's not having a heart attack but a bomb has been placed in him, where his heart would be if he had one, and one of the wires isn't properly connected, and it's shorting out now and then. She knows nothing about bombs, but puts in a temporary fix while trying to figure out who put the bomb there, and why, and how to get rid of it before Henry explodes.

Enter Deacon Black, on Kifel to teach a class to the bomb squad—and avoid an assassin. Marlee hijacks him to help with Henry, and they neutralize the bomb, and tell Henry to go about his business until they can figure out who put it there—and why. Both suspects are high ranking individuals with impeccable records.

Is it possible to have a romance with a man, a woman, and a robot? Well, yes. Yes it is, and Ms. McLean carries it off beautifully, with the right amount of suspense, and a lot of humor. A most enjoyable read.

No robots were damaged in the writing of this review.

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