No one combines space opera and erotica quite like Dane. If you thought the only thing missing from Joss Whedon’s Firefly series was a little explicit sex, you have to check out Mesmerized. Although it’s the second chapter in the Phantom Corps arc (and the fourth book of Dane’s Federation Chronicles), the book works well on its own — the futuristic politics take a backseat to the straightforward plot and steamy romance.
It’s up to Andrei Solace, a reformed bad boy who now works for the Federation Military’s Phantom Corps, and his ex-flame Piper Roundtree to prevent Imperium forces from constructing a device that collapses portals, an event that would halt space travel and cause untold economic disaster throughout the galaxy. Piper, as the leader of a mercenary group, is an independent woman who knows exactly what she wants: to keep her family and her group safe, and to bed the mesmerizing Andrei. (HEAT, Apr., 304 pp., $15.00)