Amanda Bryant is an American spy. Her planet has recently been made aware of alien life. A group of aliens have come, claiming to be their friends. These aliens also claim that Earth is in danger from a race of people known as the Hive. The aliens made contact with Earth in order to help protect the planet from the Hive. All they ask Earth for in return are platoons of trained soldiers and one thousand women a year to become brides for their race and coalition of related planets.
At the behest of her government, Amanda agrees to become the first Earth woman to volunteer as a bride for the program. She is to be mated to a warrior and send back information about both his race and their technology back to earth.
After undergoing a quite invasive bride matching protocol, Amanda is matched with Grigg. Grigg is a high-ranking warrior from the planet Prillon Prime. Warriors of his race have their wives accompany them onto their battleships, meaning that Amanda is soon on an alien battleship many thousands of light years from her home planet.
When Amanda wakes up from her transport, she finds that that she is on her mate’s battleship. She also finds that Prillon customs are much, much different from those of Earth. One of these customs is that each Prillon commander asks a second man to be part of his mating partnership with his new bride. Pillon life is difficult and a warrior could die in any battle, so these warriors do not want to leave their mates unprotected. This means that Amanda has been mating to two big, strong Prillon men–Grigg and his second, Conrav.
How is Amanda supposed to send information back to Earth is her mates both insist on her submission in every way? Will Amanda be able to discover if Earth is really in danger? And why does she feel an increasing pull towards these two men?
I noticed . . .
I noticed that the backstory and storyline to this book is quite interesting. I’m really becoming as interested int the ongoing story of the Hive and the warriors that fight the Hive as I am any of the individual romances.
I noted that I liked getting the story of the “first” interstellar bride. I’m glad I decided to read these books in chronological order instead of in publication order. Goodwin changes and grows as a writer so much that, if I had chosen publication order, I would have given up on the series because the early Goodwin books are more sex than story.
I noticed the deep and respectful relationship between Grigg and Conrav. I would have liked them as cousins and shipmates, even if there wasn’t a romance involved. I also really liked that everyone really had a role in this relationship.
I wondered . . .
I wondered what the Earth soldiers thought about what was going on. I wondered how they received the evidence of the Hive and how they received the actions and words of the Prillon warriors.
I wondered what duties Amanda had on the ship. She still hadn’t found her place yet when the book ended, and I would have liked to see what that place was.
I also wondered about several of the side characters and about Warden Egara on Earth. I’m invested enough to want to see stories featuring some of the other characters at this point.
It reminded me of . . .
This book reminded me of Dr. Who. Earth is always in danger from space aliens, and the Doctor is always having to come in and save things. Sometimes, the Earth leaders even plot to steal and use alien technology in devious ways. This is especially clear during the section of Dr. Who during the tenth doctor’s incarnation.
This book also reminded me of the Laurell K. Hamilton books that I used to read. She manages manage groups, and many of the relationships in the books are deep and loving. The relationships in this book are also deep and loving.
I was reminded of the last book I read that had a little bit of menage, Breath on Embers. This wasn’t an actual relationship but I liked the dynamics of the man asking his best friend to be a part of that grouping.
This whole series reminds me a little of Futurama. There are ongoing stories, but they often run in the background and are secondary to the interpersonal relationships. I’ve been watching Futurama lately, so I think that’s why that springs to mind.