Tarl Grisaan, reluctant heir to the Controllorship of the planet Diloran, is already dealing with a murderous uncle, a rebel faction that wants him as its leader, and a strong desire to escape to his old life as a Galactic Marine where he at least knows who his enemies are. Tarl can cope with the uncle and the rebels and the precarious political balancing act that is all that’s keeping him alive. What he can’t cope with is the beautiful Marna of Jiandu, whose father, the leader of Diloran’s desert people, the Zeyn, has publicly offered her as Tarl’s Bound Companion, which makes it an offer Tarl can’t refuse.
Raised in the rigid traditions of the Zeyn, Marna can’t refuse her father’s command that she become Bound Companion to a man she loathes at first sight. A man she has sworn to kill for the sake of her people. Yet after a dangerous stranger bursts into her rooms one night, she finds herself starting to question everything she’s been taught to believe…everything, that is, except the promptings of her own heart.