Mandrake Company Series

Short Story in Embrace the Passion:

Pets in Space 3 Anthology

By Ruby Lionsdrake

October 2018

Science Fiction Romance

Chanda Malhotra knew she wasn't the woman that had been offered a job. In fact, she had personally engineered the mistake so that she was the woman given the opportunity, and not her mother, with whom she shared a name. She needed this chance not only for learning how to make her business a success, but also the money. The job was on a mercenary ship with crewmembers who were obnoxious, rude, and the antithesis of a man she would ever be interested in.

Dr. Hickory "Kor" Blackthorn wasn't the typical crew member. His background included time in both the military and a monastery. His nighttime activities tended to lean towards spending time playing a network game, which was why he was intrigued when he saw Chanda wearing a shirt with the logo of the game he played. But she stated that she didn't play much.

When it is discovered that the crates of research rats were instead an unknown, yet cuddly, species of animal, and some were now roaming the ship, Chanda and Kor work together identifying the animal and searching for the missing. As they spend time together, Chanda realizes Kor is sweet and someone she enjoys being with. She regrets not telling him the truth of her gaming. But the fun interlude becomes dangerous when one mischievous quashi apparently was destroying parts of the ship and putting all of their lives in danger.

Quashi was a sweet enjoyable romance with two charismatic main characters and the cutest little alien creatures. I loved the romance between Chanda and Kor. I could understand her hesitation to share that she was the creator of the game Kor loved. Kor, however, simply accepted her as she was. Their hunt for the missing quashi was entertaining, and I simply adored them. Although part of a series, this book does stand on its own.

Kathy Andrico - KathysReviewCorner.com