Leah is a successful executive who’s devoted everything to her career, only to find that success feels empty without someone to share it. When she gets a message advertising a sophisticated artificial human companion designed for intimate situations, she’s intrigued. Not that she thinks it’s a long-term solution, but loneliness drives her curiosity. After all, satisfaction is guaranteed.
When he arrives he’s so much more than she anticipated. She could never have never imagined that an artificial man would be the one to show her what is important in life.
Unfortunately, the world won’t tolerate perfection.
“Love is like a wormhole. You stumble on to it blindly, it sucks you in and takes you somewhere completely unexpected. You can’t fight it, because that would tear your ship apart. You can’t control it, either. All you can do is set your thrusters on glide and let it take you where it’s going to take you.”
Going against the rules of her Vesparian Sisterhood, which seeks to keep its entire existence a secret, Orynn is thrown into the open by a request for help that she could not refuse. Seeking to reconcile past mistakes and gain a forgiveness she feels she does not deserve, the control over her empathic abilities is put to the test when the darkness that lives within her spirit threatens to once again destroy any piece of happiness that she allows herself to find.
As a Mechatronic Automaton, Ethan defines his world through a set of logically defined values and understandings. Encountering Orynn throws his system out of balance as he tries to decide if he should trust the feelings he is developing, or if he should follow the logic telling him that she is trying to control him for some unknown purpose. Should he keep her at a distance despite his want to bring her near, or should he follow the heart he swears he does not have? As his understanding of her develops, he begins to question all of his preconceived notions about both himself and the universe around him.
In his attempts to capture the Vesparian prey he has been hunting after for two decades, the First Commander of the Xen’dari fleet will stop at nothing and track Orynn to the ends of the universe. On a path of vengeance for a past he can’t let go of, he will do everything in his power to burn her world down around her feet until nothing is left but ash and the bitter taste of regret.
Ghosts of the past clash with hopes for the future in this first book of the series, set in a universe where nothing is as it seems at first glance and trust is a highly priced commodity.