Mercenary Instinct : Mandrake Company

  • by Ruby Lionsdrake
  • Narrated by Jill Redfield
  • Series: Mandrake Company
  • 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Skulking around in the ruins on a planet swarming with treasure hunters, slavers, and bounty hunters isn't good for one's health. But Ankari Markovich needs a few archaeological samples for her latest business venture, a venture that might prove lucrative enough to move her family off the impoverished planet where she grew up. Unfortunately, she has no sooner collected her samples than she's captured by a band of brawny mercenaries. The captain might be handsome, but he's intent on turning her over to some finance lord who has, for reasons unknown, put a bounty on her head, a ridiculously large one at that. If she can't figure out a way to escape before she's delivered to the lord's home world, she could be forced into a life of indentured servitude - or worse.
Captain Viktor Mandrake doesn't usually take on piddling bounty hunting gigs, but when his intelligence officer informs him of a criminal on a nearby planet, he decides it wouldn't hurt to take a shuttle down to collect the woman. But Ankari Markovich is trouble from the start, nearly eluding his elite forces, then fighting and tricking his people left and right. He finds himself admiring her spirit, but according to her warrant, she's a criminal. The safest thing is to keep her in the brig and ignore her until she can be handed off to the man who wants her.
But the situation grows more complicated when other bounty hunters show up, wanting to claim Ankari for themselves. Thanks to this woman, Viktor's ship is in danger, his crew members are going missing, and he's fighting enemies he never asked for in a jungle in the middle of a hurricane. He's going to either strangle Ankari or fall in love. Either scenario could get him killed.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pleasantly Surprised!

Love a really good space opera that mixes action, romance, humor and great characters, and Ruby Lionsdrake delivered them all!

The lead female character, Ankari, is strong, spunky, confident but finds herself in one sticky situation right after the other. She loathes being captured by the exasperating, good looking, always in control Captain Victor Mandrake and his crew. While she tries to convince him she's innocent, she's using her pickpocketing skills and marital art moves to try to escape. The captain can't help but to admire her tenacity; however, he's also determine to cash in on his bounty. After all, she and her associates have a high price on their heads, but the more time he spends around her, the more he questions the truth of the accusations.

The story was well written, creative, and had a great pace. The main characters as well as the secondary characters were developed and had distinct personalities. I loved how the H/h relationship evolved naturally and wasn't forced. There are a few sex scenes in the second half of the story but are more on the sweet side.

Jill Redfield delivered a stellar performance, and does an amazing job with both the female and male characters. Not all female narrators can pull off male characters like Jill, and make them sound not only believable but give them a sexy bedroom voice. She's one talented narrator who really brought this story to life!

All in all, Mercenary Instinct was fun to listen too, kept me engaged, and was another great KU/whispersync find. I will definitely be looking out for more stories in this series to be released in audio. (I really hope Jill narrates the rest of the series ;-) !)
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- Cheri

A Sexy Adventure in Space!


This is my first Ruby Lionsdrake listen, and Mandrake Company is her long and very popular e-book sci fi romance series. I'm excited to finally have it on audio, and as read by Jill Redfield, this is a very good first in the series.

Ankari Markovich has landed on a restricted planet known for it's ancient alien ruins. In fact, she's dangling from a rope down an old latrine, chiseling old alien poo into specimen bags. She and her partners are looking for DNA for their new bio company, and they think they've isolated the genes that could heal humans, and make them stronger and faster.

Her crew/partners are Jaimie, the pilot, and Lauren the bio scientist. Lauren is up top, waiting for the, eh . . . samples, when all of a sudden, all hell breaks loose.

A group of heavily armed mercenaries have arrived on the planet specifically to capture them, and deliver them to one of the wealthy Lords of Finance. (Think of them as the 1% of the 1%, on steroids -- above the law and all that.)

The Lord's demanding that the women be brought to him immediately, claiming they're criminals who have broken into one of his businesses, and stole from him. And he's offering a VERY big fee, and won't take no for an answer.

But it isn't long before the Lord's story starts to stink, and the captain of the mercenaries begins to question his accusation. The women don't appear to be criminals, and this sets up a bit of a moral dilemma for the captain. What to do? Especially when the crew is really, REALLY looking forward to the big payday.


Highly Recommended: For sci fi romance readers. (Note: There is no depiction of sexual assault in this novel.)

Note: Ruby Lionsdrake is aka Lindsey Buroker, and it shows. I've always liked the way Buroker writes relationships, and she does a great job in this sub-genre, too. Nothing cheesy here folks, although I think she used the 'butt' in one of the sex scenes. Made me snort water up my nose!
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- bluestategirl

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2016
  • Publisher: Podium Publishing