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Mercenary Instinct

(The Mandrake Company #1)

by
3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,535 ratings  ·  284 reviews
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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 248 pages
Published October 10th 2014
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3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,535 ratings  ·  284 reviews


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Mei
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Captain Grumpy... LOL



A really, really fun and action packed story!

Ankari, an enterprising girl, with her two friends/business associates, is captured by mercenaries after a bounty issued by a Finance Lord.

The leader of mercenaries is the hot grumpy captain, Victor.

As we came to expect from SF romance stories, Victor is attracted to Ankari. He’s a honorable man trying to remain honorable even in his new profession and he “rules” his crew with the same attitude.

Ankari is a very determinate to mak
...more
Melanie A.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
3.5 STARS!
"Letting you go when there's such a sizable bounty on your head would be . . . problematic."
Lots of fun! If you like sci-fi adventure, you should check this one out. It made for some entertaining, easy reading - and best of all, Ruby Lionsdrake is a very decent writer.

It was maybe a little too long in parts, and with all the 'adventuring', the romance took a bit of a backseat, but overall a very decent read.
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, sci-fi, steamy
If you take Romance as the main genre and Sci-fi as a qualifier, you'll do okay with your expectations of this story. I had a bit of a cheat going in, as I already know I liked the author from a separate penname and thus had my expectations set more or less squarely. And I wasn't disappointed.

I liked Ankari pretty much immediately. She's determined, courageous, and capable and a good leader for her mismatched team. She's trying to turn an idea into a business and willing to take some risks along
...more
Mara
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, futuristic
Definitely a meh experience. A very thin plot, cardboard characters, evil mustache-twirling cartoonish villain, instalove.
Skimmed a few paragraphs.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura (Kyahgirl) by: Mei
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

This was a fun kind of space adventure with humour, romance and action. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

Thanks to my GR friend Mei for the recommendation!
Beth
Dec 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
New series for a favorite author under a new name...Lindsay Buroker is now writing adult alien scifi fantasy under the name Ruby Lionsdrake. Come to find out I had already owned 2 of the books, so I decided to check them out and am loving this new series.

The Mandrake Company is a mercenary ship for hirer. In Mercenary Instinct, Captain Viktor Mandrake collects the bounty on Ankari Markovich and her fellow crewmates. But Viktor quickly discovers that the women in his care can't be wanted for the
...more
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Fun space opera romp. But some of the early half of the book was a little uncomfortable on the whole how to treat female prisoners front.
Sunny
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is sci-first light. No deep emotions, no deep mystery, no deep explanations, simplistic world-building. It is superficial which makes it difficult to care very much for these characters.
Marlene
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

Some of the reviews compare Mercenary Instinct to Firefly, and it's a pretty fair starting point. Possibly an alternate universe Firefly. It's not that Mal Reynolds couldn't end up as cynical and universe-weary as Victor Mandrake (he pretty much did) but that I can't imagine Mal creating or leading a successful mercenary company with 200+ people on its payroll. He wasn't that organized, nor did he want to be in charge of quite that much. (Zoe, on the other
...more
Laz the Sailor
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, smut
This was a fun adventure where a group of feisty woman intersect with some guns-for-hire with unexpected results. There was a good amount of snark, and a fair bit of smexy scenes too (could have been hotter). The intrigue and fighting scenes were above average, and no one did anything stupid - except the bad guy, he was a bit lame.

This is the first in a series from an author I enjoy, so I'll be reading the next one.
Hannah
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This is actually a fun, frothy sci-fi romance, but I would have enjoyed it far more if I hadn't read just about every single thing Ruby Lionsdrake had written under her other name, Lindsay Buroker. I'm not sure whether it's fair to the book or not, since the bulk of my criticisms have to do with its similarities to the author's other works under a different name, but I simply can't avoid the comparisons.

The fact that I've loved almost everything Lindsay Buroker had written is why I tried this d
...more
Gwynn White
This was a fun read and I did enjoy it, but I found a few too many similarities between Akarai and Mandrake and some of the author's other characters written under her other pen name. Also, some of the settings and the action seemed familiar. I guess when one has devoured every other book an author has ever written that it is inevitable that there will be some crossover of plots. I will read the rest of the series.
LAB☺
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, freebie, a2z-2015
This was probably the best free book I've ever downloaded. I don't read a lot of scifi but not for any real reason other than I don't hear of too many. I loved the H in this book. Viktor was a complete badass. The h, Ankari, was full of surprises and definitely wasn't a weakling waiting to be rescued. I plan on continuing with this series.
Summer
I'd seen quite a few good reviews of this and I'm a big fan of sci-fi with a strong romance angle. This however did not work for me. I didn't really like the characters and I found myself putting it down and not really interested in picking it up again.
Lyndi W.
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star
A fun read, but a whole lot of build up for a kinda meh ending.
Leigh Kramer
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was the inaugural pick for the Smart Podcast Trashy Books book club. Let's hope the next selection is a better fit for me. Lots of plot holes, poor character development, and the world-building needed more development. Power dynamics desperately needed to be addressed and never were. And I could have done without the sexism and gender stereotypes. I ended up doing a lot of skimming because it either didn't make sense or it wasn't holding my attention. If you're able to completely suspend di ...more
Shanna Matheo
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Mehh... Didn't really dig it. Although the characters al seemed to have complicated back stories, they themselves seemed one dimensional.
Spuffed
Wow! This book is action packed! I actually had to put it down at about the 70% mark because it was getting too intense for me and I needed a mindless historical romance for a bit. Two weeks later, I remembered that I needed to finish it and I was on the edge of my seat for the remainder of the book. I was afraid of a cliffhanger but they did wrap things up pretty quickly after another big, intense action scene.

Quick Rundown: In a future where other planets are now inhabited and Earth no longer
...more
Andre Dias
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was a fun surprise, how much I have enjoyed this book. It was fun, packed with real-life like characters, well defined from the get-go coupled with an interesting plot.
Ankari and the rest of the group are truly interesting characters and the addition of the Mandrake Company crew just make it all more remarkable.

But it does come with some caveats:
- I felt like the way they dealt with the antagonist, albeit spectacular and with a bit of a twist, was slightly rushed. I admit that this is due t
...more
Mary B. Grove
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise, problems too easily resolved

I liked the setup - three women from a microbiology startup falsely accused and grabbed by bounty hunter, and the fact that the hero and main heroine were both from doomed planets. Most everything after that was too easy - her attraction to him, the constant escapes by the three women, the mercenaries agreeing to go after the evil overlord type who offered their bounty, and the destruction of said overlord. No big problems, no real cost, only two
...more
Tami
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This had everything. It was well written, had a likable heroine, an absolutely great hero, a solid story, atmosphere, interesting and funny side characters, romance, action and humor.
 
What I especially loved: the development of the romance part. This was so well done!
It had some attraction, but the progress of this was shown in increments - no stupid misunderstandings, no insta-something. 
 
And it made me smile - it had that kind of dry sense of humor that I love most.
 
I am very happy right now,
...more
Mandapanda
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-romance
Light scifi romance. Enjoyable but not much depth. I skimmed a little.
kels
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Again, I can't help but wish that Goodreads allowed for 1/2 *s. This wasn't quite a 3 for me, but it didn't quite make a 4 either.

I thought the balance between sci-fi action and romance was decent, and I enjoyed how realistically the majority of the characters behaved. I liked that it didn't *entirely* feel like instalove. For the most part, the action plot was intriguing, and I was pretty curious about what was up. Towards the end though, it felt like it switched gears from mostly-serious with
...more
Mimi
2.5 stars

Meh. Not bad, just mostly boring and not as fun as advertised. I was told by friends this was a space-opera adventure with a side of romance. What I got was a romance with some space and adventure stuff thrown in for effects.
Trish R.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Seemed like a lot more than 248 pages.

This was almost a good story. There’s just wasn’t enough dialogue. Someone would say something then it would go on and on with the descriptions of the ship they were on or the forest they were trudging through or the mountain that was in front of them or the temple they were heading for. So many descriptions of everything except the characters in the story. I couldn’t tell you what anyone looked like, really.

I know Ankari, Jamie and Lauren were almost indes
...more
˚✧₊⁎ѕαи∂у⁎⁺˳✧༚
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
Most fun action packed space adventure romance!

Book synopsis says it all.

This is one of those science fiction romance novels that keep you entertained from the first page to the last; and are hard to come across. It was such a fun read, I had not realized I had the audible. The story has continuous action, romance, space ships, descriptions that would place you in the land, bad guys that aren't so bad but ain't good either. I really had a smile throughout the book. It had some laughs, some exa
...more
J.C. Cauthon
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I thought at first that I was not going to enjoy this book. The first three or so chapters were really hard for me to sink my teeth into. I'm not sure if it was the book or me, but I am so glad that I finished it.

First off, I loved the characters. Each one was uniquely different. The Captain was standoffish and aloof from everyone in the crew, but he could not stay away from Ankari. Ankari was sneaky and street-tough, and she was determined to save herself and her friends. Even Lauren and Jamie
...more
Cheesecake
Viktor and Ankari. This is more than a space romance. There is actually some interesting science in it, although not the usual Sci-Fi style science. Viktor is kind of like the futuristic version of retired-turned-merc black ops soldier. He acts on a new bounty to catch 3 women. It's a large bounty so he doesn't really question it. The women in question lead by Ankari are scouring an Alien Archaeological site for Alien poop. Ankari's character is awesome. She's tough, but not hard, resourceful an ...more
Tiki
Apr 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This is more of an overall review for this Sci-Fi Series which I've enjoyed more & more with each book. Book 1 was pretty good, but now that I've read all 5 books in this series, I will definitely continue. Book 5 is another adventure that's based around the 2 main characters of this book 1, and was much better. Advise reading in order- characters & stories are linked and continue to build, getting better & better.

Not a surprise since this is actually author Lindsay Buroker and she
...more
Ann
Jan 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks, romance, scifi
For a science fiction romance, this book was difficult to rate for sure. The plot was fast paced, action-filled, with believable technology, a world building that was both - believable and done without info-dumping, and acceptably described sex scenes. In addition that characters were funny, quirky, and with good chemistry. However, two things cost the fifth star (and even removed the fourth):
First, the characterization in the sex scenes felt different than in the rest of the plot, to the point
...more
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Other books in the series

The Mandrake Company (7 books)
  • Trial and Temptation (Mandrake Company, #2)
  • The Assassin's Salvation (Mandrake Company, #3)
  • The Ruins of Karzelek (Mandrake Company, #4)
  • Mercenary Courage (Mandrake Company, #5)
  • The Pirate Captain's Daughter (Mandrake Company, #5.5)
  • The Tracker's Dilemma (Mandrake Company #6)
“Viktor tried a smile. He wasn’t very good at them—he had been told they looked more like bear snarls than signs of friendliness or pleasure.” 1 likes
“Whoever wanted to kiss me on a sofa.” 0 likes
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