His captive has issued a most unusual ultimatum . . .
He must make love to her . . .
Little does he know that giving her what she needs may bind him to her forever . . .
Rystani star pilot Xander is willing to use unusual methods, no matter how unorthodox, to save the galaxy from a deadly virus. He's already resorted to kidnapping bio-geneticist Alara Calladar in the hopes that her psi-talent of identifying DNA will help find a cure to save both their worlds.
But now his sworn enemy has revealed that her biology requires her to periodically regenerate her cells by making love or she'll die. Really die.
Xander is stunned, yet fascinated, by her admission and wonders what other secrets she's keeping. While he has little choice but to agree to trade his life-saving love making for her psi powers, he's determined to keep an emotional distance. No way is he falling for her, a woman from a race who invaded and occupies his home world.
Soon their desperate bargain becomes a turbulent but all-consuming passion. Her body isn’t just rejuvenating each time they make love, it’s adapting to his on a genetic level. Before long she will be unable to make love to any man but Xander.
Xander resists becoming her conquest, but not even the dangerous mission can distract him from Alara's appeal. She's just the kind of woman he admires. Intelligent, resourceful, and passionate. If only he trusted her. If only she wasn't the enemy. If only his heart didn't have a mind of its own.
When together they must merge their talents to fight the most powerful forces in the galaxy, will trust win out, or will they lose each other forever?
The much-awaited sequel to The Challenge and The Dare.
The irregular behavior of the two protagonists in bestseller Kearney's third SF romance (after The Challenge and The Dare), a mix of original science fiction ideas with romantic clich s, poses a credibility challenge. Xander, a spaceship captain, is ruled in turn by honor, tradition, shame and libido, while biogeneticist Alara devotes her life to freeing alien women from genetically induced sexual bondage until she falls for Xander and decides sexual bondage isn't so bad. Hot sex, including interesting applications of null gravity and telepathy, and lovely scenic descriptions are undercut by unconvincing science, including a virus that affects both plants and animals. From the first reluctant coupling to the final lovers' tiff, romance readers will feel right at home; SF fans, however, may have trouble with the deus ex astra: super-beings who won't divulge the cure for the virus until our heroes learn to perform mental tricks.