4 stars for a good story. The way it ended almost disgusted me bad enough to leave the rest of the series alone. Without spoilers, this is one of the most underhanded ways I've ever seen an author on smashwords encourage the purchase of the sequel from a free series opener. When you have a good story, you don't need to use trickery like this to keep the reader going. If this wasn't such an epic solid story line, you can bet I never would have paid you for the next one.