Stowaway by Becky Black
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I consider this book to be sure reading fantasy, in that nothing is very realistic about the plot, characters, actions, and dialogue but that’s not really the point. The story is trying to be entertaining and not necessarily concerned about things like world building, logic, and realistic behavior. If you’re a reader that doesn’t need a realistic take then this is probably entertaining enough to read and enjoy. I found it to be so but if you’re the type that harps on realistic actions in books then this one will likely drive you nuts and I’d suggest you avoid it.
The story starts with stowaway Kit getting caught by security chief Raine. The attraction is instant on both sides and they immediately kiss – despite Raine having just caught Kit as a stowaway – Kit almost gets away but is eventually caught and put to work cleaning the kitchen. From there Raine and Kit dance around their attraction for each other as Kit plans various escapes that always go badly. Eventually the two get together but Kit’s fugitive status hangs over their heads as they struggle to find footing together and glimpse a future.
The plot requires huge amounts of suspension of disbelief because well it’s quite silly in several ways and there is simply no way any of this would happen that way nor would people act that way. I’ll touch on this briefly but since I do know that’s not really the point of story I don’t want to belabor the point. For starters the plot is dependent on characters going against their natural instincts and Kit being too cute for anyone to ever dislike. It’s a stretch just like the characterizations themselves are a stretch. Raine as the security chief is frankly incompetent and acts like a yo-yo. He flips from ridiculously turned on to the extent he lets Kit run their private security briefings because he’s so flustered he can’t really talk to being so cold and supposedly “in control” that he makes equally ridiculous decisions. Raine is a difficult character to really appreciate and like because he’s inconsistent and beyond silly. No security chief with an iron-will and control issues would behave like he does.
Likewise Kit is simply too cute to be real. He’s adorable, cunning, and willing to sleep his way to whatever he wants. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but contradicts with the background of being framed for being in love with a rich boy. It doesn’t really fit together that Kit would be sleeping with various executives to move up in the corporate world while keeping this lover in his back pocket. Additionally Kit doesn’t really do much except clean the kitchen and have sex while telling himself he has to escape. He never actively makes any kind of plans and relies on his charm to get out of everything. Of course it always works too.
While the characterization is problematic and the plot very predictable, these issues could be dismissed for some readers due to the fantasy nature of books. It’s meant to entertain, not necessarily be a reproduction of reality. So take that however it works for you; if you don’t mind suspending disbelief, then don’t worry. If you hate this kind of over the top, unrealistic plot, then don’t bother. Moving on from that, the lack of world building is really unfortunate. Regardless of the purpose of the story (realistic vs. fantasy) if a story is set in the future in space, there should be some detailed world building. Again there is very little to nothing and this feels more contemporary than anything. It’s not a space opera, the entire story could be set in current time with almost no changes. So that’s pretty disappointing.
On the other hand the writing is decent and the story is easy to read. There’s not a lot of complicated issues to work through and I was definitely glad to see less internal questions the characters asked and instead actually talked to each other. Sometimes their actions made no sense, such as Raine’s later issue with his job vs. Kit and Kit’s use of Parker, but at this point either you’re into the story or you’re not. I think the story is decent to fun to read though it’s not one I’d read again or really remember. It passed the time very pleasantly and Black is an author I’ll likely keep reading. I just wish she’d stick to a contemporary setting since the stories are clearly that.