3.5 stars. The story was ok, but the romance came literally from left field. It felt as though the author decided that the backstory provided was enough and moved on to the romance from one page to the next. Just like that. I would have liked a lot more interaction between the characters. The fact that it is the first of three books is somewhat redeeming, so I guess the story will need a lot more exploration. I am not sure I will go for the other 2 books though. I liked the writing and that's what made the 3.5 stars.