Andera Rowe and her husband Farren moved from Berreca to Ralaath five years ago, and Andera loves everything about Ralaath: the climate, the food, and especially the customs surrounding marriage and relationships. In Ralaath, it’s common for a married couple to take a secondary wife, and Andera has her eye on the beautiful, charming Paathi Rais.
But once Andera convinces Farren and Paathi to agree to a trial marriage, she’s in for a surprise—Paathi has had the documents drawn up so that she will be the primary wife in the marriage, with Andera reduced to a secondary role.
Andera could refuse, but this is her chance to be married to Paathi, and to learn firsthand about the management of secondary wives for the day she has one of her own, and it’s only a month’s trial. But Andera isn’t prepared to be constantly on display, her status made humiliatingly clear to her friends, acquaintances, and servants, while Paathi takes Andera’s jewelry, her place in bed next to Farren, and takes over the management of her estate.
In Ralaath, Andera learns, a secondary wife receives everything—food and drink, clothing and jewelry, permission to stand or speak—only from the hand of the primary wife, and at her discretion. She also learns, to her surprise, how quickly she’s become comfortable in her new role, how far she’s willing to go to win Paathi’s love and approval, and how their new roles have re-ignited her and Farren’s delight in each others’ company.
And after all, it’s only for a month. Isn’t it?