REVIEW: The Space Captain’s Courtesan by K.C. Klein
Mya is having a crap day.
Princess Mya Centauri is stranded and alone on the shady Bates Space Station. With rumors of her father’s dethronement escalating, she needs more than her wits and entitlement to protect her—she needs a hero. So when she unexpectedly finds herself mistaken for some whore by Centauri’s most notorious assassin, and at one time her father’s most trusted man, she decides things can only get worse.
Jax is having a crap decade.
Framed for a crime he didn’t commit, Captain Jax Rouss, an ex-Royal Guard, is now an escaped prisoner with a price on his head. Embittered after years of trying to clear his name, Jax wants nothing whatsoever to do with the family he once swore to protect. So when he wakes up to find that the sweet smelling patron-pleaser he’s purchased is not only lovely, but already in his bed, he decides things can only get better.
But with lives at stake and kingdoms in jeopardy, Mya will do anything to convince the one man who hates the Royal family above all else to become her hero, even if it means being the one thing he can’t resist…The Space Captain’s Courtesan.
Dear Ms. Klein,
I bought this book a few years ago. Possibly after a post here about books which had won a Sci-Fi contest? Anyway, it took me a while (obviously) to get to it but I finally did. I can see why I bought it as the opening (no doubt used as the excerpted) part is fun and catchy. Jax is clearly an anti-hero while Mya is managing to survive in a situation she was never trained for. I was all set for a great book.
Mya is keeping to the shadows to make it on her own in a run-down space port incongruously called the Bates Space Station (I kept expecting Norman to appear with a knife in hand). Meanwhile Jax is a man long on the run and used to living by his wits. He’s kind of Han Solo to Mya’s Princess Leia. Mya really is a princess and she soon recognizes the former Captain of the Royal Guard as Her Captain (and this italicized identification of him continues for far too long). Ten years earlier when she was only thirteen a scandal occurred which involved Jax and an attempted assassination (mistakenly called assignation in the text) of her father the King. Jax was railroaded, imprisoned, tortured and only survived by escaping against all odds.
Mya knows Jax didn’t try to kill her father but for some reason (never explained) daddy told Mya to keep quiet. But she still has a crush on Her Captain and now she needs his help. A little verbal sparring, plus lots of appealing to his former honor and the tease of being a witness who could clear his reputation and Her Captain reluctantly agrees to help her. First stop – a slave planet to gather intel. Yeah, so this is a reason to get Princess Mya into something skimpy but the scene isn’t played for laughs or titillation. Instead, Mya is horrified that this planet in her father’s kingdom is as appalling as she’s heard and given that daddy’s reign is one of enlightenment and happiness, it’s a black smirch on the royal house. Okay so maybe the Centauri world isn’t as wonderful as Mya thinks.
The escape from it is exciting and our duo then head off to another planet for more assistance. It’s here that Jax’s reputation slips a little IMO as he and the current female Commander have A Past that isn’t great. Jax basically was a shit to this Commander but – mainly for Mya – of course she ends up helping them. Next stop (finally), the home planet to try and find out what’s going on there and why Mya’s father hasn’t contacted her.
For me, things are still going well even though by now Mya’s had to resort to some custom of their people to get Jax to agree to help her further and of course that ends up in Sexy Times. Fine, okay. It had to happen sometime and some way.
After arriving home, Mya and Jax have to venture down into the city sewers to hide their arrival and move through the city and it’s then that this book stabs me in the eye. Mya’s been slowly revealing her closely held secrets along the way but now comes a whopper. All of a sudden, I’m as gobsmacked as Jax and about as happy (not). It also seems like a scene or two to set all this up is missing. Mya makes a decision which lands Jax right back in the torture cells, right where he almost died and actually begged to die because he was treated so badly. All our princess can do for Her Captain is cry and stutter how sorry she is, that if she’d ever thought this would happen she would never, ever – sob, sob … but she didn’t and without even giving Jax the option to choose his worst nightmare in order to help her she lands him right in the shit. Boo-hoo, sob, sob, sob.
Our princess – who up until now has had some agency, intelligence and courage – becomes a weak, useless, spineless ninny. From this point on, every time something doesn’t go her way – which is often – I was accusing my ereader “Is she going to cry again? Huh? Yeah, there she goes.” Then comes the grande finale – scene is Kirk vs Any Alien in a sand covered arena – where Jax finally overcomes Mya’s enemy. Does that clear his name? You’d think so but NO! The book now pisses on my Post Toasties with a lame ending that – had this been a paper book – would have earned it a sling against the wall. As it is, it’s one of those that I almost break a leg sprinting to get off my ereader. I wish the last quarter of this story could be unread but as it is my grade is split. B/F