Queen of Dust

Carina. Jan. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781335621924. pap. $8.99. SF
Mara Leanor is the last Balti Temptress: a woman who has taken the art of pleasure to its highest form. As she returns to her home planet under the power and companionship of one of the richest men in the galaxy, Mara soon discovers that the Balti she remembers from almost two decades before is being crushed under the weight of its occupation by the Dern Empire. Her bodyguard, Calvy D’Aldiern, is not only one of the Dern but a prince of the Empire. Demoted and contracted to serve, Cal knows that Mara’s life goes against everything he was raised to believe, but he will protect her if it gets him back into the Forces. As Mara spends time trying to discover her past, she is pulled into a local rebellion and an attraction to her princely bodyguard that neither want, nor want to deny.
VERDICT Dare, who also writes contemporary romance as Hanna Earnest, here pens a science-fiction romance that leans heavily into its tropes and brings forth a successful story. Fans of enemies-to-lovers will be thrilled with this book.
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