Book Review – ‘Nightchaser’ by Amanda Bouchet

Title: Nightchaser
Author: Amanda Bouchet
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction
Published by: Hachette Australia on 2nd January, 2019
Word/Page Count: 416 pages (paperback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)

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Tess Bailey: the galaxy’s Most Wanted.
Captain Tess Bailey is in deep trouble. She and her crew are on the run, pursued by a tyrant who’ll take them dead or alive. Tess’s best hope is a tall, dark, and much-too-appealing stranger, Shade Ganavan, who says he can help her. But his motivations are far from clear…

Shade Ganavan: arrogance, charm…and that special something that makes you want to kick him.
With the dreaded Dark Watch closing in, what Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get them killed…unless they can set aside their differences and learn to trust each other before it’s too late.

This was a delightful easy read that I breezed through over a few nights – as a sci-fi romance, it thrilled me with the world-building and made me invest in the relationship between Tess and Shade! It is definitely important to note that there is a heavy romantic element to the storyline, so if that doesn’t sound appealing, then this may not be for you. But if you like some sexual tension and flirty banter mixed in with space battles and intergalactic banditry, I’m happy to recommend this! 🙂

I warmed to Tess from the first page, finding her funny, resourceful and irrepressible. A bit too reckless, but most heroes tend to be, especially when they’re pseudo-Robin Hoods stealing from the rich to help the poor. In Tess’s case, her traumatic background is part of the reason why she’s so driven to help others, so her selflessness made sense from a character perspective (I don’t doubt that altruistic people exist, but most people would rather eke out a safe existence than live in fear for their lives). There is some mystery surrounding the childhood experiments on Tess for her blood, which is explained by the end of the book, which I liked as mysteries that get dragged on forever start to irritate me, and it also set up the conflict for the next book very neatly.

Personally, I really liked that Nightchaser was a comfortable read that didn’t try to reinvent the wheel – I felt safe and cozy while turning the pages, and wasn’t looking for any crazy plot twists or blindsides. The characters felt instantly familiar and jumped from the page fully-formed, and the relationships between Tess and her crew were believable and endearing. In particular, I LOVED her platonic friendship with Jax, the bond forged between them from being paired up in captivity was palpable and I actually enjoyed this more than the romance because it’s so rare to have an author devote this much page-time to a platonic relationship without skewing into a love triangle or unrequited attraction.

That said, Shade was great love interest material – he may have been struggling with a moral dilemma over whether or not to turn Tess in for the substantial bounty on her head, but actions speak louder than words and everything he did was to protect her. I thought it was a good decision to have two character POVs and it was an interesting choice to write Tess from the first-person but Shade in the third-person. This appealed to me because sometimes I can’t tell the difference from one narrator to the next and this easily distinguished between them, but others may find it a bit jarring. It helped to flesh out Shade’s character and why he blew hot-and-cold with Tess, as he otherwise would have come across as a jerk for toying with her – it STILL was a bit rude how he’d give in to his desire to flirt with her, then back off and give her the cold shoulder, but it helped having his perspective and knowing his inner turmoil.

While the main pair are both white, I appreciate the casual diversity with two secondary Asian crew-members (I’d assume Japanese from the names Miko and Shiori), a recurring black character and a minor f/f relationship. I would’ve liked for more development of the crew-members in their own right instead of just in relation to the heroine, especially Miko who had such unexplored potential, but as this wasn’t meant to be an ensemble story, I was satisfied with what was included.

A couple of negatives include some cheesiness in the romance department. :/ I know it’s practically a requirement of the genre, but cutesy pet names like ‘sugar’ and ‘baby’ right off the bat make me grit my teeth. I also wish that Tess had been a little less ‘blushing ingenue’ around Shade when she’s otherwise portrayed as the competent captain of a rebel ship and hardened beyond her years after a stint in prison. Plus a few red herrings were thrown in and then never developed, for instance, continually mentioning Gabe when nothing ever happens with this unseen character.

But the introduction of Bonk, who became the absolutely adorable feline mascot of the Endeavor, made up for some unevenness – I really REALLY love cats, and Bonk captured my heart, so I was willing to overlook a few flaws! 😉

Overall, I found this to be a fun light-hearted read that was humorous, heart-warming and actually made me tear up at a couple points!

Side-note: how BEAUTIFUL is that cover? ❤

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 kitties recommend this book.

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Disclaimer: Physical copy provided by publisher free for an unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “Book Review – ‘Nightchaser’ by Amanda Bouchet

  1. I don’t tend to read a lot of books with romance – sometimes by accident – although sometimes I do enjoy them and they’re just the thing I need. I was liking the sound of this one right up to you mentioning the ‘pet’ names which actually would make me want to throw the kindle. So probably not – lol.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha, if it helps any, the heroine isn’t a fan of the pet names and snarks back at the hero! I know that fictional romances are ‘larger than life’, but I never see guys in real life that would talk like that, so it throws me off, lol. it’s hard enough to get them to use endearments, even if it is in a joking way that I’m like REALLY??? this was a nice fluffy read for me so I looked past that, but if it’s a ‘pet’ hate of yours, then buh-bow!

      Like

    • oh, definitely, knowing what to expect is a huge benefit, so if you’re fine with romance, you will hopefully enjoy this! I read a couple other reviews on this book and some folks were like ‘wait, what, this is a kissing book!’ because they thought it was hardcore sci-fi going in, lolwhoops. and thank you! ❤

      Like

    • it really is the most swoonworthy cover! there’s an alternate one with a model on the front instead, and I’m SO happy this is the edition that I got! ❤ I hope you enjoy it if you pick this one up! I haven't come across a lot of sci-fi romance in recent years, so this really made me all warm and fuzzy. thanks for commenting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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