When Carole Ann Lee wrote Solar Wind (also
reviewed on Myshelf), the sequel
to Banner's Bonus, her first spacefaring romance, she fleshed out Zeke Slater, who was then
only a very minor character, giving him center stage in that sequel. Since the release of Solar
Wind, Ms. Lee has returned to Banner's Bonus and given that novel a thorough rewrite to
set up Zeke Slater as a more important character in that first book. Ms. Lee wrote of Zeke's new
appearance in Banner's Bonus: "I needed to give him more of a stronger personality so that
he wouldn't seem out of character in Solar Wind." That she indeed did with the new ebook
version of Banner's Bonus.
This tale follows freelance cargo ship captain Nick Banner as he takes on a very special consignment,
Tressa Loring, the daughter of one of his various shipping clients. He is to take Tressa to Acacia,
his home planet, where she will be kept safe by his family. Sparks soon fly between Banner, who has a
reputation for being a womanizer, and the young, innocent, strong-willed Tressa—and not all of
those sparks are romantic. But Banner and Tresser soon discover a lot of about each other as they
battle space pirates, kidnappers, slave auction buyers, and a ghost from the past. And, Tressa soon
discovers that Banner has triggered some new abilities from her Creohen / human heritage that she
didn't know she had.
As with Solar Wind, I found Banner's family to be one of the most interesting parts of the
story. Here, Zeke Slater enters the picture as trusted friend and pseudo-brother. This is great space
opera adventure with enough romance to have readers fanning themselves.
Carole Ann Lee is working on another book in the Nick Banner / Zeke Slater world called Banner's
Renegade that should be out soon.