By Cathy Pegau
May 27, 2013
Sci-fi, f/f, (lesbian), romantic suspense
Publisher: Carina Press
Colonial Mining Authority agent Natalia Hallowell doesn’t always play by the rules, but she wouldn’t compromise a case either. Put on administrative leave under a cloud of accusation, with no support from her boss, Natalia seeks a little anonymous companionship at her favorite bar. But she’s surprised when the woman who catches her fancy starts buying her drinks.
Desperate, Genevieve “Gennie” Caine had no choice but to seduce, drug and tie Natalia to the bed to get her attention. With the Reyes Corporation after something she has, Gennie needs Natalia to open an investigation and distract them long enough for her to get off Nevarro.
Natalia doesn’t trust Gennie—despite the growing attraction between them—but the corporation’s suspiciously high profits convince her that they must be hiding something. But she has no idea just how deep the deceptions run….
I read Cathy Pegau’s first book, Rulebreaker, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Loved the author’s voice and that it was an action packed, thriller-ish sci-fi story as well as an f/f romance. So I was excited when she came out with a new f/f book set in the same world, Nevarro, an Earth like planet existing sometime in the future.
In this third book of the series, right out of the gate the action starts. Natalia, a Gov employee, is sexually seduced (they both totally went for it), drugged, and tied up by Gennie, a known criminal conspirator. Gennie feels it’s the only way to get the Gov to look at info she has on the Reyes Corporation, which she thinks is corrupt and operating nefarious and illegal businesses. She also has a personal stake in them being caught, which she keeps secret from Natalia.
This sets the tone for most of the interaction between Gennie and Natalia throughout the book; lots and lots of sexual tension mixed with major distrust. Gennie’s tactic, while pissing Natalia off, did make a huge impression and Natalia decides to help Gennie after looking over the info Gennie left behind. During the course of having to get more information by going undercover together, they are forced to work out both the constant sexual heat that keeps drawing them together as well as learning to trust that each has the other’s back.
As far as both characters go, Natalia and Gennie are equally strong, independent, willing to fight for what’s important to them, and are not averse to bending the rules to do so. Having similar characteristics is what keeps them on track with each other even though they get wary at times, especially Natalia who is never sure about what Gennie is hiding from her.
This is one of the characteristics of Cathy Pegau’s books that I like. Her main characters usually have a strong, inner moral code even if they step out of the bounds and or if that moral code is not in step with the rest of society. This makes them very interesting and not the usual.
What’s good about this story is that there isn’t too much focus on their issues something that gets annoying in other books. They’re constantly testing the physical boundaries of their attraction with touches, glances, innuendos, but at the same time, the constant threat and suspense that comes with working undercover and the fact that they are investigating a potentially dangerous group interjects some somberness into their interactions.
On the romance itself, I felt the author kept that on track at an even pace, slowly building up their love for one another. It starts as lust but as the story progresses it grows to something deeper in a realistic way.
Even though this is a sci-fi romance, the author does a great job at writing what I consider to be suspense. The action is fairly fast-paced and exciting. Besides the tension of being undercover, Gennie is dealing with the stress of constantly being on the run to protect, at all costs, what’s most precious to her. And Natalia is dealing with unknown enemies trying to take her down at work with convincing lies and false evidence. Neither can relax or settle into a routine life until these things are settled.
As in Rulebreaker, I love that this futuristic world is fairly generic and doesn’t have social taboos on sexuality. Maybe sci-fi fans will not like that there is not too much world building on the sci-fi level, however, I like that the author leaves enough room for readers to use their imaginations to add to what is not described in detail. Plus it makes it easier to follow if you step into this book without having read the first two.
Deep Deception is ultimately an entertaining read and I will be reading the next installment, if there is one, of Cathy Pegau’s f/f books set in this future world. Or even any other f/f she writes.
Heat Level- 2-3- Several fairly spelled out sex scenes but not too graphically written.
Grade: Really liked