I'm glad I didn't know this was a sci/fi space opera romance novel, for those are stories I'd normally avoid. The beginning hook worked quite well -- a team of survey scientists from a peaceful/liberal world are exploring native lifeforms on a new planet when they are attacked by foes from a military/dictator society. During a brief Survivor-like episode, the two main characters fall in love in a slow, back-burner simmering way with a thankful lack of bodice ripping and pec flexing. Flying vampire jelly fish and armed mutineers keep the story hopping and reveal the principled maturity of the main characters. Through witty dialogue, courage, and intelligent action, I grew to like the idea of Cordelia Naismith of the Betan Expeditionary Force and Lord Vorkosigan of Barrayar as star-crossed lovers from worlds at war. Enter political intrigue, space battles, betrayals, and villains getting their just desserts, and well, you have a page turner.
Only 3.4 stars though, due to the fizzling out, although realistic, ending and a confusing, disjointed epilogue. I was tempted to read the next in the series, but honestly, by the end, things felt a bit Hallmark-ish and my interest cooled. That's the problem with romance stories - once we see a happily ever after with a fat and happy couple, it is difficult to generate enough promise of future conflict to keep up momentum--not impossible, just difficult.