Shalira’s father, the dying emperor, has just revealed to her some new facts about the marriage he’s arranged for her, with Bandarlok, chief of the tribes threatening the borders of his empire. Shalira is speaking:
“I don’t understand, are you telling me he’s already married?”
“Surely you didn’t think a powerful man like him was going to take a blind woman past her prime as his chief wife? Not even with the lavish dowry I sent,” Kajastahn said with an acidic laugh that turned into a hacking cough.
It never entered my mind that I’d be one among many wives. He makes it sound as if Bandarlok had to be paid to take me off his hands. She’d been so proud to have the marriage arranged for her, to be serving a critical diplomatic purpose for her father – how little she’d understood. Forcing herself to remain seated, Shalira waited for the next blow to fall.
Here’s the book’s blurb:
Blind since childhood due to an attempted assassination plot, Princess Shalira is more or less resigned to an arranged marriage with a warrior chieftain… until she meets Sectors Special Forces Major Mike Varone, sent to the planet Majumdar to investigate a crashed spaceship, lost in the planet’s mountains. After Mike saves her from another assassination attempt, she persuades her father the Emperor to order the offworlder to join her caravan, going to meet her bridegroom.
Mike resists his growing attraction to her but the pair bond further as they work to retrieve sacred artifacts from her mother’s tomb, narrowly escaping another ambush. Mike offers Shalira the opportunity to escape with him, but she insists on carrying out her father’s wishes. Heartsore, Mike promises to deliver her safely to her bridegroom and walk away.
But when they reach the mountain camp, the chieftain is revealed to be a brutish thug, with no intention of honorably marrying Shalira (even as a secondary wife). Can Mike rescue her, will they win the race against time to accomplish his mission, escape the hostile warriors hunting them and make it off the planet?
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