Mace Simms never thought she would see her brother Gar again. Separated as children, Gar thought Mace was dead until he discovered her serving aboard the pirate ship Belle Kurve. And with Gar now married to the ship’s captain, Faolan, they should have finally had the chance to be a family. But Faolan is close to the death. Despite a temporary reprieve from the slow acting poison that riddles his body, Faolan is running out of time. Mace strikes out to find a cure, desperate to save her captain and her brother, who she knows will not survive Faolan’s death.
Posing as a scientist, Mace ends up working aside the intensely driven Alec Roiten. She’s definitely attracted to the man, but needs his brain more than his body if she’s to unlock the key to saving Faolan. When a bounty hunter turns up on their doorstep, Mace suddenly finds herself on the run with a guilt ridden, sick Alec and the commanding Byron, his ex-lover. With an ocean of secrets between them, Mace, Byron, and Alec must work together to in order to find a cure for Faolan and to tame the growing desire between the three of them.
No Remedy is the direct sequel to No Quarter and the second in the Bounty series. While I suppose you could read No Remedy as a stand alone, it works much better when read along side No Quarter. No Remedy is a strong follow up and actually a shade stronger than its predecessor. The story, saving one teeth gnashing plot device, works nicely and paces itself well, possessing a nice blend of action, angst, and passion. Alec is definitely the character that spoke to me the most. He’s brilliant and dedicated and inflicting upon himself a perpetual penance for a series of unwitting actions that led to the deaths of thousands. He is a good man whose guilt is always on the verge of destroying him. Only Byron has prevented that destruction, but since the two were separated, it’s obvious that Alec has taken a path that can only end badly. His reunion with Byron is both intense and romantic and the author does an excellent job of demonstrating their complex history together without getting bogged down in useless details.
Unfortunately the romantic elements between Byron and Alec and Mace tended to leave a bit more to be desired. I love Mace’s character. She’s a more down to earth, but no less tough version of her brother Gar and her no nonsense demeanor never overpowers her feminine side. But within the context of the ménage, she starts to feel awkward and very much like the third wheel. I’m not sure if this is because of Bryon and Alec’s extensive history together or if she just lacks the same spark that they possess together, but the trio’s scenes together never quite worked for me.
So the aforementioned teeth gnashing plot device? It’s the ole I-have-a-condition-that-can-only-be-handled-with-copious-amounts-of-sex. Sigh. This particular trope always seems silly and I’ve yet to read a scenario where it works successfully. Alec’s condition, ahem, forces a ménage upon Byron and Mace and their initial scenes together feel uncomfortable rather than sexy. Thankfully this does not dominate the entirety of the novel and No Remedy is able to rebound from the frankly ridiculous concept.
No Remedy is a strong entry into the Bounty series and one that I enjoyed even more than its predecessor. The characters are all well defined and easy to connect with and while they don’t necessarily work as a ménage, there is enough believable romance to make their relationship enjoyable one. If you enjoy science fiction with captivating characters and a fast paced plot, then No Remedy might be a great read for your summer.