Earth linguist Marley accepts a job deciphering scrolls on a space station orbiting Zaidor. She’s furious when the station commander orders her planetside. Zaidoreans unsettle her, especially Xander, an infuriating, handsome alien pilot assigned to fly her to the surface.
Earth linguist Marley Mathews accepts a job deciphering ancient scrolls on a space station orbiting the planet Zaidor. She’s furious when the station commander orders her to go planetside. The Zaidoreans unsettle her, especially Xander, an infuriating and overly handsome alien pilot assigned to take her to the surface. How can she get through the next few weeks in his company…especially when one of the Zaidorean leaders insists Marley reside in Xander’s home for the duration of her assignment?
When she’s escorted through the wintry landscape by horse and coach, Marley suspects the Zaidoreans have an agenda quite beyond the translating of ancient scrolls–if only she can thwart their plots before she’s seduced by their scheming.
How refreshing to read a MF romance. It has been ages since I just did that. But to be perfectly honest, I was still looking the opportunity to have a third in the relationship! lol
I enjoyed very much the writing. It was easy and fluid and from first pages I was right into the story.
Yes the heroine was a bit too whinny and her man wayyyyy to patient but that made the dynamic between the two characters interesting. On top of it, it was totally credible: who would not complain to run away if someone removed you the choice to decide on your behalf.
I think this world has many possibilities. It is a world where men overload the women numbers so in my head I think: MM. I think ménage.
The sex scenes were nice but not enough visually developed. It was a bit too general for me although very sweet.
If Karly Maddison decides to give a sequel to this story, I am hoping to see more about her future step father. I was a bit confused that she accepted to leave for this planet although she mentioned that her future step father could not boss her.
This is definitely a nice story to read and I am looking forward to see if this author will decide to jump the menage fence 🙂
Sex Heat: 3
Equality Level: NA
Overall Rating: 4
You can buy Signs of Devotion HERE.
“Go pack your things. You’re going to the planet Zaidor with Xander. The Zaidorean leaders have informed me they don’t want their scrolls leaving the planet, so an independent expert will have to examine them on surface. That’s you Marley. I understand you’re leaving quite soon.”
Marley Mathews bit her tongue. Damn Commander Ulrich to hell. She hadn’t prepared for a surface visit. Like most Earth woman, she felt hesitant to visit a world with such serious gender imbalance and mingle with the notoriously amorous males residing there. She checked herself suddenly, realizing some love starved ladies would in fact jump at such a chance–she didn’t happen to be one of them.
Her passion for her job, her love of languages, and her mother’s impending marriage to Ulrich had led her to take a four year journey to this outpost, and socializing with locals didn’t factor into her plans. During her initial acceptance of the assignment based on the space station, she hadn’t read in her work contract about any requirement to visit the planet. In fact, she had been verbally promised the freedom to examine the scrolls from the comfort and security of the space station orbiting Zaidor until the time came to return home.
She sped up slightly, trying to keep pace with Ulrich as he rocketed down the corridor toward his own office. What did her mother see in the man and his two sniveling adult sons? She shuddered to think her mother would be marrying Ulrich in a few weeks’ time, and how she would then have to call these autocratic, annoying people, her family. Step-family, she corrected. But the tenuous link made it all the more difficult to argue with Ulrich.
“I don’t want to go down there,” she replied cautiously, knowing he would take little notice of her protest. She’d met off-world Zaidorians before. They moved with the softness of falling snow and at times regarded one with an unsettling intensity. It reminded her of a predator, stalking and assessing prey.
“I don’t like them! They’re creepy!”
Startled, she glanced over at the annoying alien Xander as she tried to keep up with the Commander’s brisk pace. He had materialized from nowhere. She hated the way his kind seemed to vaporize in and out of spaces like ghosts! She didn’t try to politely mask her hostility either. Resentment boiled through her when she met the offender’s silvery green eyes.
“Ah, Xander, there you are.” Ulrich smiled and came to a stop.
Marley cannoned into Ulrich squishing her nose. She caught her breath and Xander’s warm fingers captured her around the upper arm, gently rebalancing her next to the commander.
Embarrassed and annoyed by her inelegance, her eyes darted to Xander’s face. “I’m perfectly fine without your help.” She shrugged away from his touch.
“I’ll come with you to pack. We leave in forty minutes,” Xander said, amused.
Commander Ulrich beamed, opened his office up, walked inside, and without another word to her, slammed his door in their faces.
“Such a definitive man,” Xander said.
Marley turned on her heel and headed up the corridor with an angry huff of frustration. Xander kept pace with her until they reached her room–an office really, with a small bathroom attached. She’d taken up residence there after her arrival on the space station for her scroll deciphering assignment. Her hackles rose. How dare Commander Ulrich send her to surface? She didn’t like the Zaidoreans and he knew it. He had no business ordering her around like she belonged to his military brigade. She was a civilian here on a work contract that had nothing to do with him. He might be in charge of the space station, but the only real link she had to Ulrich was the fact he was about to marry her mother. Her eyes narrowed with suspicion as she contemplated his manipulations to keep her away from the wedding preparations.
Xander followed her into the office and looked around the area.
Wanting some space, she snapped, “I need a shower.”
“We have those on Zaidor,” he said, pushing his hair out of his eyes. “We have been… out of our stone age for some while now.” His eyes held amusement and her irritation rose.
She pointed at the small couch. “Wait.” She entered the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
She didn’t really need a shower. She’d taken one earlier that day. She merely desired to delay her fate a bit longer–while trying to think of a way out of it.
She stripped quickly and turned the water on, jumping under the warm stream and grabbing a bar of floral-scented soap. Since it was suitable for hair, too, she lathered her short inky strands quickly, wondering what Xander might be up to outside.
“That’s a nice scent,” he said.
Marley screamed and fumbled for the shower curtain. “What are you doing in here?” She tried to wrap the cold, wet plastic around herself, hoping to preserve modesty, but from the heated look in his silvery green eyes, she didn’t succeed.
“I’m merely watching you. It’s flattering, no?”
And his sincere expression suggested he really believed what he said.
“It’s totally not done where I come from, you moron. Now get out!” She glared, her breathing ragged, her temper spiking when she pointed a shaky hand toward the door.
She’d only met Xander briefly once before and to find herself naked in the same room with him overwhelmed and disconcerted her. Ulrich warned her that the Zaidoreans were highly sensual and flirtatious, but Xander’s antics took those sentiments a bit too far.
Xander bowed slightly. “As you wish.”
He exited through the door with patent obviousness, although she suspected he had deliberately been as silent and sneaky as smoke when he came through the first time. Cheeky damned alien. Just because they were short on females down on Zaidor did not mean he could throw himself at her. She hurried through the rest of her shower, worried he might come back again.
He sat on the couch, looking at one of her antique photo cubes when she came back into the office she used as her personal living room.
“Nice.” He looked up and grinned, carefully putting the cube back down.
She snatched it up and shoved it in her large duffel bag, avoiding his eyes, still embarrassed he’d seen her in the shower. What had he thought of her naked human body?
The Zaidoreans were a long established colony of bio-engineered humans. However, the different planet’s eco-system, gravity, and atmosphere had changed them slightly over the past centuries. They weren’t quite pure human anymore. They were… alien. She couldn’t pin down exactly what separated them from those on Earth, but certainly they had an exotic quality about them. They resembled humans the same way wolves did dogs, yet weren’t dogs, or the way domesticated cats shared some traits with tigers, yet weren’t tigers.
Like wolves and tigers, the Zaidoreans were stronger, faster and better physically adapted for a harsher environment than the one their ancestors left behind on Earth. Genetic engineers had meant for them to be hardy, otherwise the first colonists leaving Earth for new worlds would have simply died out.
Info: E.J. says: I’m from New Zealand and also write under the name Karly Maddison. I just realized over half the books I’ve written have a dragon in them, or at least the mention of one. I can’t help it, I just love them so much that they keep popping up in my work. Don’t expect to find one in Wicked Whispers however… it stays true to its Regency era…though I like to think there was a Chinese vase in the house somewhere with at least a painted dragon on it.
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