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Publisher's Summary

After 10 years of flying freighter ships from planet to planet, Val Calendula never thought she would apply for a job as a combat pilot in a mercenary outfit. But her brother has gotten himself into financial trouble, and he's heading to a mining prison if Val can't pay off his debts. Mercenaries don't always live long...but they make good money while they're alive. A few combat bonuses, and Val could earn what she needs. The problem? She might have graduated from the military flight academy, but she hasn't fought anything more dangerous than dust bunnies on the bridge lately.

To make matters worse, the man in charge of hiring pilots was her instructor back at the academy. Commander Thatcher was almost as brilliant as he was arrogant and condescending, and he never seemed to think Val was smart enough to be there. She has no idea if she'll be able to convince him otherwise now...or if she'll be able to stand working with him.

When Gregor Thatcher left the military, he never expected to run into any of his former acquaintances, much less the one he admired and mooned over during his two years teaching at the academy. Back then he never told Val Calendula he cared for her, partially because officers weren't supposed to have relations with cadets, but mostly because he didn't know how to speak of his feelings. He might not have any trouble grasping navigational mathematics and astrodynamics, but people are more problematic.

Gregor is elated that Val has entered his life again, but he's fairly certain she hates him. Worse, he's responsible for deciding whether she's qualified to be a combat pilot. How can he judge fairly when his tongue tangles and idiotic words come out of his mouth whenever she's around?

When the captain sends Val and Gregor on a mission to pick up a military advisor and deliver him to a planet at war, Val hopes she'll have an opportunity to prove herself capable of the piloting position. Gregor hopes he'll have the opportunity to improve Val's opinion of him. But when the military advisor goes missing, and they're forced to divert to a dangerous moon base, the mission turns into a fight for survival. Val may learn too late that there's more to Gregor than that aloof exterior...and that inside is a man she could love.

Trial and Temptation is a full-length science-fiction romance novel. It is recommended for listeners who enjoy space-based adventure (such as Firefly) and steamy love stories (in the style of Linnea Sinclair).

©2014 Ruby Lionsdrake (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Trial and Temptation

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay Scifi romance book but might not be for me.

gave this author a second try. same idea as the first book. Warning:. a constant threat of sexual assualt. not a fan of that form of writing. If you don't mind that, then this is a fun SciFi Romance and I recommend. it's not for me though.

2 people found this helpful

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Great!


I really enjoyed this one. Perhaps because this book reminded me a bit of one of my favorite HRs: *The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie.*

Here, the hero, Thatcher, also has a blunted affect and difficulty with social interaction and intimacy. Because he is unable to easily recognize the emotions of others, he comes across as humorless robot, and earns the ire of the woman he loves.

But Thatcher has layers, and unplumbed depths, and WE get a very sexy story!

This one has a lovely slow burn romance that feels real, and I especially appreciated that the author managed to negotiate a tightly executed, action-packed plot, while keeping the hero character *in character* throughout. Nice job!

The romance is believable and the bad guys are bad. There are lots of actions scenes at which the author excels. Love those air battles!

All in all, exactly what I've come to expect and love about a Lindsey Buroker/Ruby Lionsdrake book!


Highly Recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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A little more left to the imagination would have been better.

Although, I could skip over the sex chapters the stories are to short. I really do like the characters and I intend to read and listen to all Ruby's books. However, I am a 62 year old man who spends most of my time in bed, thanks to having a bad heart and paralyzed diaphragm. Thanks for all the hard work you have done to help people like me to get through the night. Your choice of narrator was excellent,

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

There isn't anything I didn't like about Trial and Temptation: Mandrake Company, Book 2. It is packed full of action, adventure, romance, and humor with excellent characters. The performance by Jill Redfield is first rate, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I recommend this book very highly.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

I love this series. The cute quirky build of if emotions between the characters in all the books are really well done but this book is my favorite. The only downside is not being able to repurchase book three yet. ( I own the whole set in regular book form. Yah, that's how good they are. I bought them twice.)

1 person found this helpful

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Heady stuff!

The narration was rock solid. She used the same accents and tones assigned to the different characters.
The storyline is well written. The dialog is snappy.
I highly recommend this series.

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Robo-love, mostly meh

The summary compares this to Firefly, but what makes Firefly cook is the interaction between the motley crew and clever dialogue. Here, book 2 of the Mandrake Company is short on both counts. The characters introduced in book 1 are largely absent from this story as the focus stays on Val and Gregor. Further, although Val has hutzpa, Gregor is a Spock-like man who rarely displays emotion, and the dialogue isn’t nearly funny or smart enough to make up for his lack of personality, making for a clunky and dull romance. Like book 1, the real action and adventure happens in the last 2 hours of the book. But, by then I’d largely zoned out. This was okay as a free Audible Plus listen. Books 6 and 7 are also free and give better listens, with more action and romance. Finally, several of the Firefly books are free in Audible Plus and I’d recommend them for better space western action.

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Excellent series

This is just book two of the mandrake company series but so far it has been excellent. In this episode, the main male character (Gregor) is not so alpha when it comes to the romance. His confusion, uncertainty is adorable. I always enjoy that as a change.

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  • AB
  • 02-07-21

Fresh story, sweet characters

I LOVE that the male MC has obvious autistic and OCD traits, but is portrayed a good, strong character and a decent man. I think it says a lot about the author that the female MC is strong and independent, yet compassionate and honest and clearly, observant. Val is attracted to Gregor, but initially put off by his perceived assholery.Val observes him and begins to realize that he's not intentionally that way, but is truly oblivious to social interactions. This is an action/ adventure and a love story and it's set in interplanetary space, but that part isn't overwhelming or boring. GIVE IT A LISTEN, you won't be sorry!❤

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Good read

Kept my attention, good story . Narration was good . Going back to read first book in series. Glad I didn’t let the reviews stop me from reading this book

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  • C M Silver
  • 06-11-20

Rip Roaring Relationship

"Pilots do it at Mach 2" the car sticker says. These MCs cavort in a war zone. A rip roaring adventure, well written, and beautifully narrated by Jill Redfield. If you are into this series, you know this writer's style well, so no need to heap praise.

Gregor is clearly on the Aspi spectrum at the high functioning level, a trait not fully acknowledged by Val, but clearly she will come to comprehend it if their HFN is to continue as they work side by side. Val is very precocious, totally opposite to his total control. The close combat engaged in on the mission, becomes close personal contact between the MCs just before the epilogue.

Enjoyable military romp.

Heading for Book 3 ........

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  • Annikki Hankvist
  • 10-14-19

Amazing

This series keeps getting better! I loved that the hero wasn't a run-of-the-mill alpha male without any flaws other than his possessiveness. My own very unprofessional interpretation was that he was on the autism spectrum, which was very refreshing seeing that it is something that does exist in our society. Love diversity!

The narrator did an excellent job, and I can't wait to start the third book.

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  • connie gore
  • 10-31-21

Entertaining and a good love story

A good story line and characters with no descriptive junk or repetitiveness which I can't stand. Worth the time to listen to, recommended.

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  • karen grave
  • 08-16-19

great writing

what an amazing piece of writing. Gregor is hilarious and I loved this book.
Jill Redfield is as always a legend and is fantastic at voice change and inflection.
I only found ruby because of looking for jill....

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  • Imee-B
  • 07-28-17

****Mercenary clueless hunk****

This book made me laugh, Gregor reminds me of Sheldon in the big bang theory in his cluelessness but of course thats the end of the comparisson (grins) Gregor is hot and sexy and kick ass and can flatten a few baddies by himself hardly breaking a sweat. i love this next installment of the mandrake company series, omg the action is non-stop and the chemistry sizzles between Val and Gregor after the kiss in the freezer that is. And Jill i am absolutely sure now you are one of my favourite female narrator, you remind me of Tavia Gilbert wow the eased of you switching from a female to a male voice is amazing and believable.