That last line of the synopsis is perfect.
House of the 12th Planet (Scion: Book III) by Miriam Newman released in March in the Science fiction romance genre.
Running for his life from a despotic ruler, Caius has left his ancestral home on the planet Thelona, arriving at Earth’s Colony Twelve in the company of his human former slave, Lela. She is no longer a slave on any earth colony, but it’s immaterial to Caius.
For Lela, on the other hand, the fact that she is free is everything. To whom does she owe her loyalty—the humans like herself on Colony Twelve, or the Thelonian Lord who loves her?
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Her last memory was of sleeping in Caius’s arms. Her first was of his face.
There were other faces, too—human faces unlike her Thelonian Lord’s. More like her own. Shrill beeping noises. Nearly unbearable lights and a cold, sharp smell.
“Just be patient a moment,” one of the human faces said. “We will have you out shortly.”
Out of where, Lela thought, but she could see hands and feel them on her, too. Strange sensations, not unpleasant, but…invading. Removing things from her skin. Through it all, Caius’s steady, calm voice kept her from utter panic.
“You are awakening from a long sleep,” he told her, and she could well believe it. How long could you sleep, to forget where you were and why?
“You are on board a space transport,” he told her. “I have been with you the whole time. Just let the crew help you.”
She lay still, hardly daring to blink.
“There,” a woman’s voice said cheerily. “All finished now. How do you feel?”
Lela’s stare fixed on her. A medico. Fully human, understandable, not a threat. Dimly, she remembered. This woman had given her a substance that made her sleep, with Caius in their tiny cabin accommodation. His heartbeat was the last thing she had felt before she slept. Now she was inside one of the sleeping pods she had seen the crew members use. They had gone into the long sleep, and so had she. There were others, around her, stirring and stepping out of their pods.
“Strange,” she told the medico, then looked past her to Caius. “How long have I slept?”
“Twelve years by our suns. But now we are coming into the orbit of Colony Twelve, where I believe the days and years are somewhat longer.”
She shook her head. She was a simple nonni-girl from Danaali, a farmer, not a learned person who would know such things. It was all very well for Caius to tell her. He had a law-giver’s degree. She was confused except for one thing: on Colony 12 she was no longer a slave.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18-year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at www.miriamnewman.com.
I asked Miriam to talk a bit about this series, and here’s what she told me.
Sure! I love to talk about this series, which is completely unlike anything else I have ever written.
Basically, it’s a play in three acts. Book I is written from the point of view of Lela, sold into slavery by her father to equip her brothers for war. This is customary on her primitive planet, which is exploited by its neighboring planet, Thelona, that has an unquenchable appetite for slaves—especially sex slaves. Lela, uncommonly beautiful, is immediately destined for that market, which she discovers in the most brutal of ways. Book I traces her descent through the hell of sex trafficking, from which she is finally rescued by Caius. Caius, the son of nobles, has his own problems with the society on Thelona and, in Lela, finds a kindred spirit. But she is damaged, both physically and emotionally. It will be a hard task healing her.
By Book II, Caius has finally gained her trust. However, she does not have many choices in that regard. He does not free her because he is using her as a bulwark against a political marriage he doesn’t want. He assumes correctly that no woman of noble birth is going to tolerate Lela in his bed, but he has perhaps underestimated the danger to her.
By Book III, it is clear that the danger has materialized. Caius’s mother—a rigidly patrician lady who has not evidenced much emotional warmth towards him—nonetheless risks her life and fortune to warn him to run for his life. The only place he can do this is off-planet, but Caius has been there before. In a previous act of rebellion, he joined the space-going Mercenary Corps for an adventurous eight years. He still has contacts in the Mercs and they smuggle Caius and Lela to Earth’s Colony 12—too far for the long arm of Thelona to reclaim them. But there are no slaves on 12. Lela is now free. She is human; Caius is not. She is now free to leave him, but will she?
- a $20 Amazon/BN GC