Time Raiders: The Slayer
Silhouette Nocturne, Sep 2009, $5.25
Professor Athena Carswell heads up Project Anasazi (with DOD oversight) whose goal is to recover the twelve pieces of the Karanovo Stamp before the Centurion Federation or other nefarious humans obtain the valuable potentially dangerous artifacts. She is ready to launch the second recovery mission jump (see THE SEEKER by Lindsay McKenna for the first quest) with psychic Tessa Marconi as the time traveling raider going to leap back to 480 BC at the time of Emperor Xerxes of Persia and the biblical Esther.
While back at the lab, there is a fire and Tessa crash lands into Rustam the slave in what she assumes is 480 BC. She quickly learns Rustam is a shapeshifter and his owner Queen Artemesia calls him Halicarnassus. He keeps her safe when the sons of the Mirror’s brother General Masistes and General Markonoius (of whom she knows will soon lose the Greek invasion) seek her out. As Tessa falls in love with her protector, she begins to wonder if he might be an ET alien. Her theory proves correct, but what she learns about her beloved is he is an uncover agent Lord Commander Rustam Fisoli d'Antonus of the Fifth Merchant Fleet of the Centaurian Federation.
This is a terrific Time Raiders entry with the twist of beloved enemies needing to trust one another to make their “auras” complete. The story line is fast-paced from the onset when the heroine goes back in time while the lab she left is filling with smoke. Fans will enjoy Cindy Dees' delightful tale as Rustam and Tessa must find a way to conquer the animosity of their planets as much as the time space continuum.