In the Black by Sheryl Nantus
Series: Tales from the Edge #1
Book one of Tales from the Edge
When Sam Keller left the military, she ran to the far end of the galaxy. Now she captains the Bonnie Belle, a spaceship full of courtesans who bring a little pleasure to hard-up men on mining colonies. When one of her girls turns up dead, it’s Sam’s job to find out who killed her, fast.
Marshal Daniel LeClair is as tough as steel and quick on the draw. But when his vacation gets replaced by an assignment to help find the killer, he can’t help angling for a little action with the saucy, hard-charging Sam. She’s got brains, attitude and a body he wouldn’t mind investigating.
Sam, six months lonely, might just indulge him. But the Guild that owns the Belle wants the case closed yesterday. With pressure coming from all quadrants, Sam and her marshal clash over false leads and who’s on top. But when the killer threatens the Belle again, romance will have to wait. It’s a captain’s job to save her crew, no matter the cost.
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I really like Sheryl Nantus. I think she’s a very talented author (though I have been quite slack about getting reviews up, which I am trying to fix). In IN THE BLACK, she moves away from urban fantasy and superheroes to give us space opera goodness. There’s sex, there’s mystery, and there’s cool technology. What more could you want?
There’s lots of good stuff in this book but I’m quite busy at work so here are the highlights:
Nantus has created a very cool world for IN THE BLACK. It reminded me a bit of Firefly. Prostitution is legal and our heroine Sam Keller is the captain of a courtesan ship. These courtesans aren’t just there for sex: they provide all sorts of services to their clients, from different flavours of sexual intercourse to financial advise to medical care. The Belle flies from mining colony to mining colony and it should be an easy job for Sam, who’s recently out of the military, but one of the courtesans ends up murdered. It’s not only bad for the courtesan but it’s also bad for business, which means that the Guild wants it cleaned up as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for the Guild, Sam and Marshal Daniel LeClair are determined to find the culprit, not sweep the problem under the proverbial rug. And this is just one of the reasons that Sam and Daniel make a good pair.
Another reason IN THE BLACK really works is the fact that Sam and Daniel have insane chemistry. It’s absolutely off the charts. They smoulder from the instant they meet and it makes their romance really fun. But they also work really well as individual characters. Both Sam and Daniel are strong, well developed characters and I liked them as soon as they came onto the page. Sam has a particularly memorable first scene, thanks to her occupation. 🙂
If you’re looking for a sexy space story, IN THE BLACK is definitely for you. Sheryl Nantus has created a truly gripping mystery with some very sexy moments. I think you’ll really enjoy it!