The last thing that synth and former pleasure slave Reyna wants on her asteroid belt prospecting claim is a partner, even one as sexy as Steel. She figures the man will quit, but the claim is Steel’s means to freedom and he’s not about leave, particularly when he has a hot woman who doesn’t know he’s a synth sharing the work…and his bed.
The pair has everything in common except the truth, so when all is revealed it could be the end of their partnership — or the beginning.
Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Sci-Fi romance fiction, and I must say that from the first page, Cricket Starr entranced me with her descriptive prose and believable narrative.
Reyna is a synth, an engineered body designed to emulate humans. With a stronger bone-structure, longer life spans, and a healthy sex-drive, synths were essentially created to be slaves to their human counterparts: the men to do physical and sometimes sexual labor and the women to be pleasure slaves. Reyna purchased her freedom, buying out of a contract as a pleasure slave, but as a synth, can do nothing else but mining or return to the brothel since they are discriminated against. For obvious reasons, she chooses mining. This will be her big break. Find hyperore, the equivalence of gold in this world, and she will be a rich, satisfied synth who can live a normal, human life.
Her plan is shattered by the arrival of Steel, her new mining partner, and every woman’s wet dream. Steel is handsome, beautifully built, and compassionate, but he has a secret. Like Reyna, he is also a synth. Steel comes into space to search for hyperore, hoping to buy his freedom from his mistress with the money he earns as a finder’s fee. He hasn’t been ‘pleasing’ her of late because his sexual attraction to her has fizzled, so he strikes a bargain: instead of her selling him, he’ll go mining to make her rich.
From the moment they see each other, Reyna and Steel have a mutual attraction that literally jumps off the page. Once these two consummate their desire, it becomes positively explosive. Not only are the erotic scenes incredibly hot, the banter between the characters as well as their individual drives is very realistic. At the heart of a Sci-Fi story is the aspect of world-building, and the author creates a believable world with empathetic characters. Cricket Starr manages to pen a tale that is as much about romance as it is about humanity, and our need to feel accepted, wanted, and loved.
I would highly recommend this book for Sci-Fi lovers, as well as anyone looking for an introduction to the genre.