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Er Thom is being forced into a contract marriage to produce an heir for his Clan. But before he can do that, he goes to see the Terran woman, Anne Davies, one last time to confess his love and then to leave it all behind him and proceed with duty. However, things don't go quite as planned, as he finds out that Anne has had his child from their last encounter.
The Liaden books have been as full of romance and clan politics as they have been of action. And it works out great, it really does.
This book is based on the cross cultural miscommunication about what is right and proper for Er Thom and Anne's child, Shan. Er Thom assumes Liaden things about the outcome and makes several blunders in his interpretation of Anne's words and actions. While Anne is forced to make assumptions about Liad without nearly enough knowledge.
What drove me batty, while being awesome, was that the main characters DID communicate with each other. So many stories I've read have been driven by the characters refusing to talk to each other and things going bad because of it. So the MC's talked to each other, but it wasn't enough because their cultures were so different. And they didn't realize those differences until the very end.
Then you've got some political stuff with Anne's work about linguistics and how the Terrans, Liadens and Extrangans? might all have a common ancestor.
Overall, this was just a great addition to my reading of the Liaden Universe. Just enough action, intrigue, romance and politics [family and otherwise] to keep me reading.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Author: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller