Shadow and Beauty are, in their own words, damaged. But they can still love. Beauty has to overcome the bias her own people hold against her and Shadow has to learn to trust himself again when it comes to being intimate. This has got to be one of my favorites of the series since it shows the feelings of a female species, a first in the series. While classified a Gift, which means she was made smaller and less aggressive, Beauty still has strength and pride and when confronted has no problems expressing herself. Why didn’t she do it when a captive? Why bother; she had no means of escape.
Shadow and Beauty meet by accident but it changes both their lives. As they are encouraged to explore a relationship Beauty is more open than Shadow. But the Species genetics take over and soon Shadow is falling victim to Beauty’s charm and appeal. As he battles all who would take her from him, real and imagined, he learns how to forgive and live. While I was starting to think the series had run its course, I read this in one sitting and am really anxious to read about the other Species women.
Beauty resents being labeled Gift Species. Everyone is way too overprotective, males aren’t even allowed to speak to her and so far true freedom eludes her. Then a big, sexy Species officer mistakes her for the enemy and takes her to the ground.
Shadow is dumbfounded. He has a Gift pinned under him—a big no-no. But Beauty is fascinated and wants to know Shadow a lot better. She is full of newly discovered, unrequited passion and he’s just what she needs to satisfy her curiosity.
For Shadow, sex means pain and revulsion. For Beauty, it was enslavement and ridicule. Two lonely souls who have never known a lover’s touch, together in a cabin in the woods. Each touch, every discovery brings them closer to a life they never thought possible…beyond even their dreams.