"Sultry and Intriguing Space Adventure"

When we first meet Dora in THE CHALLENGE we learn that she is more than a just a computer, she is a sentient being with emotions and a curiosity about human relationships, particularly love making. One human in particular, Zical who is rather liberated for a Rystani male, she finds extremely attractive.

Zical enjoys verbal sparring with Dora and considers the computer a friend, but lately he finds her more exasperating than anything else. Four years after fleeing his home planet to settle on the new world, Mystique, the job of recolonizing his people has been completed and Zical must now decide what to do with his future. Being a physical being Zical decides on a mountain climb rather than meditation to relax him, and help him to make the decision. Not an easy task when a sexy voiced computer keeps upsetting his balance with her personal questions about his love life.

Dora has been dying to know what it's like to be human, and when her friend Tessa challenges her to do something about it, she takes the challenge seriously. Borrowing stock DNA, Dora decides to grow a body for herself. All she needs to know now is what a man like Zical finds attractive in a woman.

This whole line of questioning is off putting to the man who had been subjected to an arranged marriage with a child bride. His wife had been afraid of her own shadow and unable to cope to cope with her new role, or to make the smallest decision for herself. That inability had resulted in her death at the hands of the Endekians while Zical was off hunting for food. Zical suffered great guilt over her loss and the loss of their unborn child. The last thing he wanted was to get involved with another woman.

During the climb, Zical discovers a hidden cavern complete with machinery left behind by the "Perceptive Ones" the same technologically advanced race that had created the body regulating, life extending suits all citizens of the Federation wore from birth. The discovery trips a recall of a Sentinel, which had been placed at the far reaches of the Milky Way galaxy to alert its inhabitants of attacks by the hostile Zin of the Andromeda galaxy.

Zical realizes that his life decision has been made for him. He must find a way to send the Sentinel back to its post, even if it takes a lifetime. To add to the chaos, Dora had found another way to discern exactly what Zical's dream lover would look like and had incorporated these features into her new body. Dora is eager to experience new sensations, but is not prepared for the limitations of her new body. The adjustment was somewhat overwhelming, but Dora had devised a way to link up to the new sentience in the computer enabling her to experience more than her new human eyes and brain would normally allow. It is through this link up that she discovers the Sentinel's recall.

Zical is stunned by Dora's appearance. Her intelligence is still far above that of most humans, and her body is the stuff of dreams, but she is new to being human and her lack of control has made her afraid. Another immature female in his life is not something Zical needs. Dora, however is not about to be left behind, never to know what it would be like to mate with the man of her dreams. Imagine Zical's consternation when Tessa insists that Dora is essential to the success of his mission! He accepts this as logical although his feelings regarding the new Dora have absolutely nothing to do with logic.

As they journey into the unknown with the prospect of danger all around them, events occur which force the pair into a meeting of the minds.... and then some! With two strong willed and sensual protagonists steamy love scenes are given, however the overall plot is so intriguing at times it's almost tempting to rush through them to find out what happens next...Almost. Susan Kearney is a consummate story teller. I can't wait to get started on THE ULTIMATUM which is the next book in this enthralling series.

Posted March 30, 2006
Copyright 2006

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted November 2, 2006



Specifically, Dora wants to make love with the handsome Rystani warrior-pilot Zical. But since Dora is a computer-albeit a sentient computer-she cannot experience touch, taste and true desire. Dora's logic functions refuse to accept this, so she uses the advanced technology of the 24th century to build herself a body specifically crafted to appeal to Zical, and downloads her computer brain into it.

But Dora's sassy attitude makes her too different from the women of Zical's culture. He's attracted to Dora, but he won't make love to her. And while it would be easy for Dora to adapt to his desires, she likes being smart and funny; she's becoming good at being human.

When Zical accidentally summons the ancient machines that protect the galaxy from invasion, Dora's mission is to intercept them and bring them back to the galaxy's rim. Fortunately for Dora, this puts her and Zical into very close quarters for a very long time. But much has changed, and as Dora learns more about human emotions and what they mean, she realizes that she doesn't just want to make love with Zical--she wants to love him. And be loved in return.

Read an Excerpt


The Dare
(Quest: Book 2)
by Susan Kearney

Tor Books
July 1, 2005
Available: July 28, 2005
ISBN #0765351927
EAN #9780765351920
368 pages
Add to Shopping List
Order from Amazon

Other Books by
Susan Kearney

Beyond Magic
Dancing with Fire
Solar Heat
Kiss Me Deadly
Island Heat
The Quest
Midnight Magic
The Ultimatum
Beyond the Edge
On The Edge
The Hope Chest
The Challenge
Hijacked Honeymoon
Essence of Midnight
A Burning Obsession
Out for Justice
Five Times Trouble
Under Wraps
Bordering on Obsession
Saving the Girl Next Door
Defending The Heiress
Daddy To The Rescue
Royal Pursuit
Royal Ransom
Royal Target
Double The Thrill
The Battle of Betazed
Lovers In Hiding
Hidden Hearts
The Hidden Years

EBook Isle Bookstore hosted by Fresh Fiction