Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Reasons for Inclusion: F/F relationship
Publisher’s Summary: Devi has about had it with mages. All she wants to do is her job, which is slaying the dragons that plague the country. She doesn’t have time or energy to spare for coddling or pandering to the fussy mages she keeps getting stuck with as partners. Unfortunately, her last mage was also a noble with clout, and Devi has the feeling her days as a Combatant are numbered.
Instead of reprimand or termination however, she winds up with a new assignment and a new partner: Noeme, who is competent, friendly, distractingly attractive—and far too good to be true.
As a Combatant, Devi is expecting to be paired up with a Mage to fight off dragons and other monsters that prey on villages. But her previous partners have been useless, so she doesn’t have high hopes for her new one. But Noeme turns out to be something different: skilled, competent, and attractive.
I liked the slow-build and the fact that the relationship didn’t just fall into place right away. Their jobs made it difficult to go into a relationship knowing that one of them could be reassigned elsewhere at any time, or die in the line of duty.
But I didn’t find the characters wholly likable. Devi’s attitude was understandable at first: she’s tired of dealing with people who aren’t up to her level. But it quickly became annoying, especially when both women turned out to have this opinion of the other type of fighter. Both women, especially Devi, acted like all the fighters on the other side were incompetent whiny idiots.
But Devi and Noeme worked well together, and were well-written characters, even if I personally didn’t love them.
The ending was very satisfying. Everything the characters worked for finally paid off, and their story wraps up happily, with the promise of more adventure ahead of them.
(ARC received through Netgalley)