Trade (Deridia Book 2) by Catherine Miller 4 Stars!!
She had always done as she was told. She dug in the sands until her fingers bled so that her people could have something to barter. She packed up her sparse belongings without complaint when it was time to flee the Wastes, leaving behind the only home she’d ever known, and the site of the bittersweet memories she carried of her lost family. It was easier that way, to obey and not to question, knowing her own judgement to be faulty.
But when her people learn that the exchange for living on alien land and securing their safety is the price of one of their unclaimed women, the limits of her compliance are tested, as she is given in marriage to a man she does not want from a species and clan she does not know.
Only to discover that he feels precisely the same about their ill-begotten trade.
She was a Marzon now.
And she had no idea what that meant, other than giving up her clothes, her home, her people, all for a man who like to scowl and grunt and sigh.
“By what name shall she be called?” Sladec asked, and she eyed him with confusion.
She opened her mouth to answer, to finally inform them both that she most certainly had a name and it was important, no matter what Machrus had said, but the voice that gave answer was not her own.
But came from her husband instead.
“Renna. Now wife of Machrus of Krahl.”
I love Catherine Miller’s character driven Science Fiction with a long slow burn.
The world building is very good and the ache of grief and loss is this book is compelling.
The hero and heroine are both so wounded it hard to like them at first because they hold so much of themselves as private but as they heal and come to love each other, we come to love and know them too.
If you liked Mercy, the first book in this series, you should like this one as well. It has similar themes of an arranged marriage and culture adjustment,. It also has some of the same drawbacks of not getting the hero’s point of view and some information held back too long to enjoy a full rich HEA. I would have loved a lush epilogue.
I would be very happy to read another romance in this world.