Mara Duport has always dreamed of home, a place where she belongs. She knows that she has one, but ever since she was a kid, her dad’s been keeping the secret of her origin locked away, refusing to give her any information.
Dad’s been keeping more than one secret. He’s in debt — a lot of debt — and the ruthless pirates he borrowed the money from are coming to collect.
The pirate captain is renowned the galaxy over for his brutishness and cruelty — but when Mara sees his stoic face, her heart races, her mouth goes dry… and she offers herself as payment.
Torak of Basniel has a fierce, uncaring, ruthless reputation to live up to. So when a beautiful, innocent woman offers herself up to him on a platter, Torak doesn’t think twice. What does he care about stealing away this man’s precious daughter?
But Torak gets a more than he’s bargained for. Mara’s more than just innocent — she’s also intelligent, skilled, beautiful — and she can see right through him, past the thorny exterior, down to the heart he thought died long ago.
Being vulnerable was never part of the plan. Love was never part of the plan.
Torak knows he’s an irredeemable monster, but with Mara he feels different. He sees the opportunity to be more than what’s always been expected.
Mara knows that there’s something beautiful and redeemable inside Torak, and she won’t leave him until he finds it.
Not until she can tame the beast.
Torak is descended from an alien race known for the excessive use of its brute force, rampaging and callous and heatless views on weakness and humanity. And as a captain of “pirates” he’s developed a reputation close to his parentage. But that’s not him at all, or at least that’s now how he wants to be. When the worlds look at Torak and see nothing but his lineage, it’s hard to change others’ perceptions of him. But when the fates bring Mara into his path, Torak experiences something foreign: hope.
Mara has been sheltered all her life. Living on a cold asteroid alone with her father, Mara dreams of seeing far off places and experiencing things she’s never experienced before. Her father keeps her close while also keeping many secrets from her. One of them being the explanation of what happened to Mara’s mother.
When a ship shows up suddenly and her father becomes pale and panicky, she refuses to be kept out of yet another secret. Her father can’t protect her from what’s to come and Mara doesn’t want to be, especially when she comes face-to-face with the striking captain. Little does Mara know, all her dreams are about to come true, just not in the way that she’d hoped.
I am absolutely smitten with this story! I loved Torak and Mara together. Their courtship was bumpy and heart wrenching to read about but their ending couldn’t have been more welcome! The story flowed well and I couldn’t put the book down.
This is my first read by J.M. Page and I’ll definitely have to check out the rest of her sci-fi fairy tales! I highly recommend this new take on an old favorite!