For Gar Sitt, running down the infamous pirate captain Faolan Wolf is just another job. As one of the best bounty hunters in the guild, Sitt has been given the task of catching Wolf before he manages to slip away. But Wolf surprises him by coming willingly and brings with him the promise of a stone that allows the wearer to hear the thoughts of others. Sitt’s boss, Krieg, decides the stone is more important than taking the bounty on Wolf. Gar finds himself forced into the company of the obnoxious rake as they journey towards a rendezvous with Wolf’s crew.
Wolf is running out of time. The stone and the obscene amount of money it will bring are the only thing standing between Wolf and a hard death. At first he’s willing to use Gar in order to broker a deal with Krieg, but he quickly discovers a bond with Gar that is far more important than money. The men are natural opposites, but both have suffered terrible loss and together they find an unexpected kind of healing, one that may just be worth risking their lives to keep.
No Quarter was a delightful mixture of meaningful romance blended with good ole fashioned space smut. And the author did a good job balancing both, which prevented No Quarter from becoming a bit of silly erotica. The story moves quickly for the most part and, while the plot is somewhat contrived, it didn’t completely abandon originality. The writing is generally crisp and while I would have enjoyed a bit more world building, the author gave us enough creation for plausibility. There’s a lot of fun to be found in No Quarter, but a fair bit of angst too, which made for a really enjoyable read. I give kudos to the author because it’s no easy task to find a perfect blend that keeps a book from becoming too inane or too smarmy.
Both Gar and Wolf are intriguing, relatively well developed characters and it is truly their shared grief that brings them together. Sometimes this is through sex, but at other times its couched in conversations that carry a nice measure of humor and depth. They work well as a couple primarily because neither overshadows the other. Wolf understands his time is running out, but he’s intent on seeing his crew taken care of. His affected selfishness is so ingrained he doesn’t even seem to know when he’s doing the right thing, which makes his character all the more complex and endearing. Gar is a little harder to connect with, but his standoffishness and bristled countenance seem believable given the context of his background and as readers it’s easy to enjoy his new found embrace of life with Wolf.
I mentioned earlier that the plot was a tad contrived and there were a few too many obvious coincidences. I’d give specifics, but doing so may give away spoilers so I’ll just say these were the biggest downfall of the book. And while they didn’t completely ruin the evolving relationship between Wolf and Gar, then did tend to distract and pull me from the moment as a reader.
Overall No Quarter was a well-balanced space adventure with two strong protagonists and enough action to keep the plot moving evenly. There were some weakness to the story as a whole, but they didn’t cripple the entire novel and they didn’t prevent me from enjoying Gar and Wolf’s romance. If you enjoy a bit of light science fiction and an engaging romance, then check out No Quarter.