Gideon's Riders, Book One
Lieutenant Ashwin Malhotra is a Makhai soldier--genetically engineered to be cold, ruthless. Unfeeling. His commanding officers consider him the perfect operative, and they're right. Now, he has a simple mission: to infiltrate Gideon's Riders, the infamous sect of holy warriors that protects the people of Sector One.
He's never failed to execute an objective, but there's one thing he didn't anticipate--running into Dr. Kora Bellamy, the only woman to ever break through his icy exterior.
When Kora fled her life as a military doctor for the Makhai Project, all she wanted was peace--a quiet life where she could heal the sick and injured. The royal Rios family welcomed her like a sister, but she could never forget Ashwin. His sudden reappearance is a second chance--if she can manage to touch his heart.
When the simmering tension between them finally ignites, Kora doesn't realize she's playing with fire. Because she's not just falling in love with a man who may not be able to love her back. Ashwin has too many secrets--and one of them could destroy her.
So, Gideon might not rule through brutality but his is most definitely an iron fist in a velvet glove! He has taken in Kora, the talented doctor, whose empathy could be her undoing. So when her past walks through the door, it's clear life is about to get more complicated or is it?
Ashwin is one seriously scary super soldier with his genetically modified body but he's starting to unravel around sweet Kora. His mission is to infiltrate Gideon’s Riders but as his cracks widen, its Kora who holds his sanity in her capable hands. Problem is though, too many secrets surround Kora and mission or no all Ashwin wants to do is protect the woman who has filled his heart and soul. Kora knows what she wants but sometimes it's possible to go a step too far!
So, a terrifying super soldier and the most humane doctor ever come together to introduce Gideon's Riders series and it's everything I'd hoped for and more. Sometimes life in Sector Four with the O'Kanes was too much about obtaining freedom through sexuality and if honest, the exhibitionism and sharing felt gratuitous. Don't get me wrong as I loved those books and yes, I believed in the emotional pull but I wanted something that felt less intense and more focused on what a relationship truly is. This story felt intrinsically about the couple coming to terms with their feelings in a realistic manner and although, trust me, there's plenty of heat, it's not a story that revolves around their passionate encounters.
There is some referencing to previous events that fans who've read the Beyond books might find irritating, but it does give background so that's relevant to new readers. Hurrah for this new series and I'm so looking forward to learning much more about the Riders and of course catching up with the O'Kanes!
This voluntary take is of an advance reader copy and my thoughts are my honest opinion.