By Delores Diamond
June 1, 2016
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
My personal fairy tale had almost come true. I was a powerful merchant princess with my own Mercantile House. I had a title, servants, and unimaginable wealth. I was missing just one thing… a fated mate. A Prince Charming, if you will.
But life on Kartak is hardly like a storybook.
Betrayed on a mission to unearth an ancient technology, I fell into the clutches of Kartak’s barbaric skinner forces.
Now, my only hope for survival is a Tulani mercenary, a savage alien with a short temper and a lusty fire in his eyes. One touch, and I’m worried we’ll both burn alive.
Could this brutal alien be my fated mate? Or will he betray me to my worst enemy?
My life is in the hands of my own personal Renegade.
This book was my first read in the sci-fi alien shifter genre and the first book I’ve read written by this author. I must say the storyline itself drew me in straightaway and I easily became interested in the evolution of the main characters, Rhea and Orion, both individually and as a couple. There was a realistic element to the vulnerability Orion experienced as he contemplated whether or not there was really a chance he could be Rhea’s fated mate. Even though he could just feel the connection between the two of them, she deserved someone much better than him, didn’t she? And Rhea would have to hate him considering the things he had to end up doing to her on behalf of Kole, wouldn’t she?
I particularly appreciated the author’s commitment to moving the story along steadily and logically, with minimal unnecessary angst and dilly dally. The chemistry and genuine romantic affection expressed between Rhea and Orion was almost palpable, and their passion for one another sizzled once they admitted and acted upon their true feelings for one another. Even when Orion followed through on his assignment to capture Rhea, he didn’t betray his primal devotion to Rhea, even going so far as to arrange a clandestine meeting to counsel her before her trial. Fortunately the trial scene concludes about midway between the book, which rewards the reader with the chance to forge deeper into the couple’s evolving relationship, which includes a visit with the Blind Witch to learn their fates (something Orion has been avoiding for a very long time) and Rhea’s emersion in the Aoptheosis Chamber. Will Orion and Rhea have a chance at happiness? And what comes next for the Merchant Princess and her fated mate? Do they have a chance at true happiness? The reader will definitely be rewarded with a satisfying HEA.
The “huh?” part?
It’s not necessary to read the first book of the series, but it may help provide some insight into other characters and the history of the Merchant Princess before she crash-landed.
It was definitely the romance that built and evolved between Orion and Rhea.
I enjoyed reading it, and typically I have very little interest (or understanding) of sci-fi-type stories. For me, the main couple made the story.