In Scarlett’s futuristic tale, mankind is fighting to survive a plague unleashed by terrorists. The author’s worldbuilding and scientific knowledge blend together well, but it is the romance that is most memorable, with a heroine who is guided by her moral compass and a hero worth dying for.

Dr. Elyse Morgan has either been rescued or kidnapped by the United Nations, but she’s willing to overlook the confusing semantics and accept an offer to work on a cure for the HTN4 virus, which killed her parents and much of the world’s population. Held in witness protection, Elyse doesn’t exactly blend in as a cadet aboard a U.N. underwater war vessel, but the super-sub’s lab and the availability of chocolate is worth the inconvenience. Except for Elyse, everyone aboard is aware that Captain Nicoli Marek comes from a politically important family and that his engagement is strictly for political purposes. From his first awkward meeting with Elyse, Nicoli is interested but, because he’s engaged, Elyse is determined not to act on her feelings — a position Nicoli views as a personal challenge. Despite security measures and secrecy, Elyse ends up treating the terrorist responsible for her parents’ death and an assassination attempt on Nicoli’s father. With time running out, emotions running high and a spy aboard the Bellator, Elyse takes extreme measures and gambles that her research has paid off. (SAMHAINPUBLISHING.COM, dl $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Karen Sweeny-Justice