Restless and embittered by an abusive past, Arton the Heretic finds himself in a battle of wills with Lily, a gorgeous geneticist. She holds the key to the future of his people, but she was brought to this savage world against her will and that's an insult she'll not soon forget. Their attraction is instantaneous and intense, yet each has valid reasons for mistrusting the other. He wants her, is consumed with the need to claim her, but he can't focus on the future until he deals with the past.
thought provoking, engaging and fascinating
HERETIC is the first instalment in Cyndi Friberg’s adult OUTCASTS , sci-fi, fantasy romance series. This is Rodyte / Harbinger Arton Lux the Heretic, and human geneticist Lily Fontenot’s story line. The OUTCASTS is a spin-off from the author’s Battle Born series.
SOME BACKGROUND: The humanoid aliens known as Rodytes needed a home and settled on two uninhabited planets they would name Scarlett and Rhett. Without any available mates, the male only Rodytes sent teams of Outcasts to kidnap any and all human females in an attempt to repopulate and find mates for their struggling males but procreation came at a price including the need for genetically matched DNA, a mutual metamorphosis, and magical intervention. A test for compatibility is filed and there may be as many as five males matched to a single female DNA. Outcasts were battle born-their mothers were Bilarrian prisoners forced to breed, with their Rodyte captors, in the hopes of restoring magic to the Rodyte people.
Told from dual third person perspectives (Arton and Lily) HERETIC follows the building but contemptuous relationship between Rodyte Arton Lux (the Heretic), and human geneticist Lily Fontenot. Lily Fontenot knows she has no genetic match amongst the Rodyte males but her services are required in an effort to aid in the mutual metamorphosis of genetically compatible couples, services Lily refuses to offer believing she and the other women are virtual prisoners of an alien Overlord. Struggling to remain positive Lily must help the Rodyte’s in their attempts to mate, ensuring a compatible match and mutual metamorphosis in opposition to her beliefs and understanding. Tethered to Overlord Kage Razel’s right hand man Arton, Lily soon finds herself enmeshed in a battle between head and heart as she slowly begins to wind her way into the other man’s mind and soul. What ensues is the slow building relationship between Arton and Lily, and the potential fall-out as Arton is unwilling to accept that Lily is his mate in the face of his horrendous upbringing as a child prisoner of the Harbinger Academy.
We are introduced to a large ensemble cast of colorful secondary and supporting characters including Arton’s mentor and Overlord Kage Razel; Lily’s friend Thea Cline, and Sara; human female Jillian and her potential mate Stront; interstellar businessman Rex Draven; Arton’s parents Kryton and Skyla; and Arton’s half-brother Sedrik and his mate Rebecca. Rex and Thea’s story line is next in Marauder.
The world building focuses on the Rodyte’s struggle to procreate and thrive. The paranormal and fantasy aspects of the characterizations include psychic abilities, dream walking, visions, ‘elf witches’ and more. For fans of Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalkers series, the premise is familiar (even the names are recognizable) in an intergalactic, sort of way !
HERETIC is an entertaining and intriguing story line. I have not read the BATTLE BORN series so there is some overload of info-dumping that is slightly overwhelming but captivated my attention. A thought-provoking series HERETIC and the OUTCASTS is engaging and fascinating; the characters are charismatic and energetic; the romance is passionate and intense.
It was a enjoyable read.