Ever since she escaped from the brutal slavery into which she was born, Calista York has roamed the universe, burying the secret of her past deeper and deeper even as she builds her reputation as a crafty, ferociously independent trader unafraid of taking on the toughest deals or the most dangerous opponents. Only one man, trader Rhys Fairdane, has ever managed to put a dent in her seemingly impenetrable emotional armor, but their profitable—and passionate—relationship came to an abrupt end five years ago, and they’ve been careful to keep half a universe between them ever since.
When Calista is offered the coveted and highly lucrative position of trade representative to the reclusive Kartenese, she accepts without a moment’s hesitation...until she discovers she’ll have a partner whether she likes it or not. Working with Rhys Fairdane again would be bad enough. Having to admit, if only to herself, that she’s as powerfully attracted to him as ever is much, much worse.
Rhys isn’t any happier about the deal than Calista, but there are forces driving him—forces Calista knows nothing about—that make it imperative he accept the job even if she’s part of the package. When they’re in too deep to back out, Rhys and Calista discover that they’re not the only ones with secrets, and that the secrets behind their agreement with the Kartanese are the kind that could get them both killed.