Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.
The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.
Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.
The entire group stilled, staring at him as he continued to regard the female.
She glanced up sharply, her brow furrowed and her gaze cautious. As right it should be.
“I will take you for a mate.”
This is a lovely slow paced, character driven science fiction romance.
The hero is a healer and an outcast. He is beta to his bones and exactly what the heroine needs to trust and heal. Hard choices are carefully explored making the internal conflicts engaging.
The heroine is resilient, practical, and brave. They are both a product of how they have been treated and the romance is sweet and real.
The hero keeps secrets a bit too long but that is my only complaint.
Good world building and they save each other in so many ways.