"Inspirational! A Timeless Futuristic Romance"
A battle of the sexes in a brand new environment. The title
symbolizes both a way of life and a relationship. I can't
recall an arranged marriage which began on worse footing.
Ms. Waddell's writing inspires a myriad of emotion,
stirring instant empathy with the heroine. At first the
hero's attitudes made me want to scream, but as the story
unfolded I came to admire him for the courage, wisdom, and
heart he sheltered beneath his rigid, dutiful exterior. (
BTW, I used the German pronunciation of his name ,
Royal, it fit!) Reuel, Lord Shatar, Cadish of the Seventh
House of the Alliance Empire, Governor of the Planet
Pyrali, is highly respected by his people. As eldest son,
he'd been born and bred to duty. It comes first, last, and
always. It is ironic that his most sacred duty has been
derailed by something as insignificant as an insect bite.
He had not been rendered sterile, but no Adrian womb would
accept his seed. He'd accepted the fact that he would have
to mate with an alien species. He believes he can steel
himself for that, but marriage as well? He must have an
heir. His son will be most important. The position of the
High Cadish, ruler of the entire Alliance will fall to his
son. The seventh house is next in the rotation from which
such men are chosen. He is anxious to know the results of
the search for the woman who will bear his child.
Reuel is stunned by the results. An Earthling! The species
is the antithesis of everything he believes in, their woman
impetuous, and unruly. One of those termagants was even now
being held in the Penal colony for having the audacity to
request representation for their inferior race. Adarian
women are content with the role of hostess and mother,
deferring all else to the more capable males. Reuel had
been expected to offer for Lady Katala, a family friend,
who epitomized the Adarian feminine ideal. His family would
think he'd gone mad.
Just when he'd succumbed to relief that a heir would be
possible, his composure is shaken yet again after learning
that the only viable mate is none other than the treasonous
prisoner. Said mate is not any happier with her fate. She
views the Alliance governors to be little more than petty
dictators. They wouldn't listen to an Earthling opinion,
even if it would avert a major disaster such as the one her
friend Daran had predicted. Given a choice between wedding
Reuel or being deported to a uninhabited asteroid she
reluctantly capitulates. After all the next high Cadish
would be her son as well.
They agree that what goes on behind the closed doors of the
mating chamber is indescribable, but on very little else.
But down inside Christa realizes that she could never give
her body to a man without giving away her heart. Stubborn
as he is, Reuel is not unaffected by his impetuous,
temperamental wife either. It would suit him fine if she
never learned the reasons behind their marriage or that the
threat of exile had been merely a bluff. Both truly believe
that everything would be perfect if they could just bring
the other around to their point of view.
But when disaster occurs and they are separated, they both
realize how much they need each other. Dealing with the
crisis brings out the best qualities in both, burying their
differences forever as they recognize their mates greatest
flaws to be, in truth, their greatest strengths. I loved
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 22, 2001
Reuel Shatar, the handsome Governor of Pyrali and its three moons, is noble to his galactic core and duty bound to produce the next ruler of the Alliance. His choice is to blackmail a beautiful dissident into his mating chamber or have the House of Shatar fall into disgrace.
Christa Kirklan is as stubborn as her Earthling heritage and as unpredictable as a cosmic storm. Faced with exile to a frigid asteroid for her treasonous dialogue, or marriage to the man who represents everything she hates, Christa reluctantly chooses marriage.
What better arena to voice her discontentment with the empires prejudice and archaic social culture than the Alliance's own dais? What better way to raise her people from outcasts to noble citizens than to put an Earthling on the future throne of the galaxy?
Pyrali watches as Lord Shatar pledges his allegiance to an alien, while Christa vows to find the real reason behind Reuel's seductive scheme. United in a political union, forged by a man's hidden shame and a woman's quest for freedom, the Alliance trembles under the final test of their love.