Wayfarer by Eileen Troemel


 At ten, Adara Stone is abandoned by her seven older siblings and left in a group home. As half Wayfarer, she has a talent for flying and escapes into training as the youngest pilot. By nineteen, Adara is aboard the Aegis as a pilot, clashing with the captain but set for seven years of exploration. Under one of the other pilots’ shifts, the Aegis flies into an asteroid storm and is destroyed. Adara survives and saves fifty seven people. The only command crew member to survive, the scrutiny from the investigation lays waste to her confidence. Physically and emotionally scarred, Adara tries to move on.Captain Decker Flannery gets to choose his own crew for the first time. He is hard on those he interviews. When Adara Stone interviews for the pilot position, he finds her mousy, young and unacceptable. Against his second in command, he passes over Adara Stone and selects other pilots. One of those pilots takes another position at the last minute, leaving Flannery a pilot short. His only choice – take the too young Lieutenant Stone.

Leaving her in no doubt of his opinion, Adara is overjoyed at being able to fly the Pritchard, a Manu investigatory ship in the Interstellar Planets Union. The ship is a dream. Her fellow pilots become her best friends. Commander Hal Beltzon builds her confidence. Captain Flannery undermines her confidence at every step. Rising to every emergency, Adara grows as a pilot, makes friends with more crew members.

Decker finds himself attracted and protective of his pilot. While not forbidden, Decker has never indulged within his crew. He fights his attraction but her sexy gentle nature draws him. As her connection with her fellow pilots grows, a bar fight puts them all at risk. Adara suffers through stitches with no pain meds. Decker finds himself even more drawn to her.

While flying shuttle for an investigation, a man from Adara’s past interferes with the investigation. His daughter has been kidnapped and he is hunting her and her kidnappers. A brother from the time she was in training, Adara and Patr are old friends but Decker doesn’t like Patr touching his pilot. Decker confront Adara about her relationship with Patr. He doesn’t believe they aren’t lovers. Adara tells him to mind his own business. Decker’s jealousy erupts into some hot, rough sex. Adara realizes he is meant to be her life mate.

Guilty over his loss of control, Decker informs Adara she should report his behavior and he will take the consequences. Adara reminds him it was consensual and refuses to report the encounter. Eventually Decker realizes he loves her. They become lovers with Decker visiting her quarters daily. As they grow closer, Adara’s life is threatened by the Barion people who blame her for the deaths of their people on the Aegis. The threat could cost Adara her life, love and everything she has gained being pilot on the Pritchard.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23172359-wayfarer?ac=1
I could not put this book down it was SO good.  I was just so enraptured with the main character Adara.  She is the
half-breed daughter of a human and Wayfarer.  The closest thing I can compare it to would be to Gypsies.  They have the same type of stigma in that they are not understood, keep very much to themselves, and have many cultural differences.  When you add her heritage, to her very young age you will understand why she has a hard time finding and keeping a position even with her immense talent.
The other main character, Decker, is also fascinating.  He is also very young to be in his position and yet he tends to hold Adara’s age against her.  It was so interesting to watch him fight his attraction to Adara and try to reason with himself why their relationship would be a bad idea.  It is always wonderful to watch the alpha male types fall hard and fast for their women.
I loved the world Ms. Troemel creates and all of the alien species we are introduced to. I am hoping we will get the chance to read more about this world in either another story featuring this crew or another story concentrating on the adventures of Adara and Decker.  I will be anxiously awaiting either!