Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Liv Braxton's Felon Rule #1: Don't get emotionally involved.
Smash-and-grab thieving doesn't lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn't met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it's easy to follow her Rules.
Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.
Until Zia Talbot, the woman she's supposed to deceive, turns Liv's expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.
Until corporate secrets turn deadly.
But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart...
I thoroughly enjoyed this SFR espionage novel. The worldbuilding is very good, the main characters are vivid and vivacious. The build-up was a *little* slow for me--mainly because I didn't much care for the mother--but once Liv (our gutsy heroine and narrator) starts her new undercover job as PA to corporate hotshot Zia, the tension, both dramatic and sexual, really begins to crackle. It never lets up.
This is the sort of story that doesn't really need a villain as such. They are there, but the real enemy here is circumstance. At its heart, Rulebreaker is a tender and poignant love story between two people who absolutely can't end up together, but absolutely MUST. Recommended to all SFR readers, and for those curious about the genre but have yet to give it a whirl. You'll find Ms. Pegau's future world easy to relate to.
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