Brant was Teeka's first Contract as a Keeper. When Brandt is found dead, Teeka's future is unclear. He wishes to stay but must have a new Contract as Keeper to a Hunter. The scarred and mysterious Quill offers him an opportunity. But Brant's death may not have been an accident and the danger could be stalking both Quill and Teeka as they work Brant's Stake. And Teeka must also deal with the strong feelings that being with Quill elicits. It's become more than a Contract to him.
There were a lot of things I really liked about this story and a few that were a bit distracting. I love sci/fi and the world building in this one is very detailed and vivid. Sometimes it does see a bit too much. The story starts off slow and took me while to figure out what was going on. The characters are interesting but some of the dialogue seemed stilted. Even so, the relationship between Quill and Teeka is touching. Both men are at times shy and vulnerable. The authors' writing is very descriptive and it's easy to imagine being in this hostile, dangerous world. I do hope there will be more books set there and would love to find more about some of the other Hunters. I would recommend this one to mostly to sci/fi fans but it is also very sweet m/m romance with a few mildly explicit sex scenes.
The harsh desert world of Persis has developed its own customs far from Old Earth. Keepers are cherished as caregivers and helpmeets to Hunters. During Emerald Keeper Teeka’s first Contract with Senior Hunter Brant, disaster strikes. Brant is killed and Teeka is stranded, surrounded by strangers, and unsure of who to trust. A dark and moody Hunter steps forward with an offer of partnership and protection. Teeka wonders what motivates the scarred and solitary Senior Hunter Quill.
Both have hidden motives for agreeing, and both are suspicious of each other. But the Great Valley will force them to work together and build a trust born out of necessity and survival. Between the dangers of the harsh desert and the malice of a hidden enemy, Teeka and Quill must learn to believe in each other to find the truth. 261 pages/61500 words