Review: Steel Coyote by Beth Williamson

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Author: Beth Williamson
Pages: 273

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The universe can be a tough place to make it as a cargo ship captain and Remington Hawthorne fights every day to scrape together enough to get by. Hanging on by her fingernails, she has to find something to keep herself and her quirky crew alive.

When a sketchy deal goes south, she doesn’t want to accept help from the stranger who calls himself Max Fletcher. Life however, doesn’t give her a choice. Hurtling through space with illegal cargo, extra passengers she doesn’t want, and a growing attraction to Max she can’t resist, Remy knows she’s in trouble.

When worlds collide, Remy and Max have to find a way to trust each other, save the crew, and not get themselves killed in the process. It’s gonna be a helluva ride.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love Space Opera. I know sometimes it is frown upon amog the hardcore Sci-Fi fans, but the genre is usually full of fun and craziness with heroes beating impossible odds and spaceships breaking all the laws of physics. And if you add to the mix a bit of romance with a charismatic character… you get a bomb!! The explosion of this book doesn’t have a big radius, but it is still a nice summer reading.

We jump into the ship of Remy, the captain of a rugged and very small crew of smugglers. They are down on their luck, so the job that is being offered by Cooper is sorely needed, even though it looks a bit seedy. But Remy is having trouble to close the deal, so Max inserts himself into the situation and uses his charm to convince the guy to give them the job. Remy is not very happy about a stranger getting in the middle of her business, but beggers… Now she has to share the ship with her new pilot. The very handsome, very muscular new pilot… What a rotten job!!

I had a good feeling about this book and it was utterly confirmed when I started reading it. I am very glad that the focus is on the story and not on the romance, so the reader can really enjoy the Universe the author creates as the board where the characters dwell. There are plenty of elements, but it is not overwhelming. Just enough details to explain everything that is needed to understand the characters and the situation. That makes the pace pretty light and fast, which is something I’m grateful for. It is not a long book, but it has plenty of room to make the story rather complex and with several twists. I know there are too many coincidences that make the whole deal a bit unbelievable, but in my opinion everything is compensated with the enjoyable characters and action packed adventure.

Both main characters are great, but Max wins by far the podium of the most awesome one. He is very sure of himself, but not in an annoying way. I would say his soft cockiness make him very charismatic and, why deny it, downrigth cute. And the author doesn’t miss a chance to tell us the guy is packing serious muscle. Sometimes the constant description of his chest and biceps gets a bit ridiculous, but that could be my jelousy talking. I like that Remy is capable of resisting Max’s charm (barely), which gifts us with many fun exchanges among them. It was obvious that the Captain was going to be able to resist a limited amount of tight T-Shirts and cocky grins, so when they end together is not that big of a surprise. When they delcare themselves a serious couple, the book loses some of its appealing. Remy goes from yelling at the poor guy to patting sweetly his head in just a matter of days, which I found a bit simple.

As I said before, the romance is not the most important part of the book, but it has its own good moments that will satiate most of the readers. There are several love/sex scenes during the ride to Haverty, but do not expect fireworks or something convulated. They are pretty simple, with a heavy factor of copy/paste that makes them less interesting. Don’t get me wrog. They are correct (Max naked… enough said), but I would tag them as unremarkable and just filling. Even though they are not great, that fact shouldn’t stop you from enjoying Remy and Max as a couple.

The hidden star of the book and one of the most amazing elements in the story is not other than Saint. The Moral Compass of Max. I love the idea of having an holographic companion in your shoulder acting as your speaking conscience, keeping you in the track of good morals and ethics and giving proper advice in moments of need. The bond of the pilot with Saint is spectacular and I am sad it wasn’t explored more thoroughly. I wanted the Moral Compass to have a much bigger role, because the idea of it is awesome and it fits in the story smoothly. Big kudos for it!!

I wouldn’t mind more adventures with this crew! Too bad it seems this is a standalone. There are still some threads that could be explored (Katie’s past, for example), so I wouldn’t be that surprsied if in the future is published another book following the Steel Coyote’s adventures.

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