Denali, a Felisian, had his first command. It was suppose to be an easy mission. Pick up Mala Avonee, a Bonwee, and her Grimari bodyguard, Tarana and deliver them to an outpost for further transportation. What no one expected was for a Malchovist fighter to try to intercept them. In the process of defending themselves while trying to evade them, their shuttle craft makes a crash landing on an unpopulated planet. The only survivors are Denali and Mala. Besides needing to find food, water and shelter, they also have to find a way to fill the space that their connections with either their species or their companion gave them.
Felisians, Bonwees and Grimari are all species in the Unified Sentient Planets or USP. Felisians are thought to be from Grimari but are known to have feline DNA. They have several traits from this feline DNA including going into heat. When in heat, Felisians must mate or go insane. They also become very aggressive and agitated. Bonwees are pacifists. They learn languages easily and are known for their meditation skills. Grimari are known fighters. Bonwees and Grimari are known to compliment each other and prior to going out on a mission a Bonwee and a Grimari will form a life long bond that can not be broken except by death. Felisians form a similar bond with their entire species. Without this bond, Felisians and Bonwee feel lost and incomplete.
Mala is at a loss when the shuttle crashes. Tarana had been part of her for several years and now nothing. Denali or Deni can’t seem to stop touching her which is something she is not use to as Bonwees are not a physical species. While Mala knows that Felisians have a different outlook on many things than she does, she expects to be rescued quickly. When this doesn’t happen, can she keep Deni at arms length or will he be able to worm his way into her heart and life? Can they make the compromises needed to get along? When Deni goes into heat, Mala is the only female around but she doesn’t believe in sex until marriage! Can Deni get her to change her mind or will he have to take her by force ruining what looks to be a permanent relationship?
I started this book and found I couldn’t put it down. The scenes were so well written that you could almost imagine being there. The characters displayed emotions so that you were drug into their lives. The situations caused heightened drama with me only wanting to know, how are they going to get out of this! Nothing in this story was boring or slow. You start with a routine mission going bad quickly and end with medical mystery that causes personality changes. Through out the entire story, you laughed, wept and cheered as Deni and Mala tried to figure out their relationship while both are working within their species ethics and morals.
The world that this story takes place is well developed and well described. Felisians populate two worlds. On one you can have 2 children on the other 3. Felisians do not do well separated from their own kind. The world where Mala and Deni crash land is rocky with forests. Not only are the trees and rocks described but so are the animals and fish! Even the heavy atmosphere is made a part of the story.
Deni and Mala are well-developed and wonderful characters. They both want to do the right thing but what each considers to be the right thing isn’t necessarily what they other thinks. Mala is use to long engagements followed by marriage. Sex is never before marriage, nor is kissing. Deni believes that you need to form a bond with your mate prior to getting married and that bond is formed through sex. Obviously getting to know each other is going to prove interesting even if they both agree that the goal is marriage!
Just because this is a love story doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action. The story starts with a fight and a crash. Within it is a riot, fights and frights. While Felisians are part feline, that doesn’t mean that they are tame pussycats. During heat or when left on the planet Deni and Mala crashed on, Felisians become more like a wild big cat defending its territory.
While pure fantasy, this world, characters and story become real. I couldn’t wait to see how this tale would unfold and was never disappointed. While sensual and sexual, it was never crass or cheap. Emotions ran high and evolved into a deep bond. Excellent story.
Denali is the most gorgeous man Mala has ever seen, one of the feline Felisians. His every sensuous movement stirs passion prohibited to unmarried women from her planet. Stranded alone with him, she knows she should resist. But with every touch, every glance, every word, he's seducing her, awakening the need, building the urge. Does he only want her because none of his kind survived the shuttle crash, though? When they’re rescued, and Denali is reunited with his kind once more, will he abandon her and seek another, a Felisian mate?