On an earthlike planet ruled by the Elite, a rite called “the Gleaning” is used to select suitable spouses for those of merit. Nico Stamford is a member of the Geisha class. Though he has been trained for marriage all his life, becoming a healer and a priest in the process, all he wants is to cook and open a restaurant. Instead he becomes a candidate for the ritual. He hopes the Goddess will look kindly on him and eliminate him before the final choices are made. Alex DeVrie is a member of the Warrior class who has recently returned triumphant from a clash with an alien enemy. Made a duke of the Sixth Land as a reward, all Alex needs now is a husband. As soon as Alex sets eyes on Nico, he refuses to settle for anyone else.
Tradition says they can part ways after a year and a day. But love begins to grow as they unravel the mystery behind tragic events in the Sixth Land, and they uncover a conspiracy that could change their society.
Lots of information packed in these 216 pages (my ereader count) One thing I didn’t realize, I may have just over looked this. It’s the start of a series, no idea how long, but I can tell you this one ends in a cliffy. You’re reading and then you’re not. I actually went back and re read the last couple of pages just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Nope, pretty sure I got it.
We start with Nico, coming to end of his schooling, which he’s very happy about. While he’s enjoyed the schooling itself (expect certain classes) He’s not enjoyed some of his classmates. But his plans for the future are so bright, he just doesn’t care.
In comes Alex, his life has changed and so has his social standing, now he decided he’s to the point he needs a husband to help him with oversee his new lands. So he’s here to watch and pick a husband. Once he spots Nico, he’s charmed and knows that it’s him, the one.
Nico, on the other hand had no plans to become a husband but soon realizes that it’s fated and only lasts one year and one day, then after he can continue with his plans. But after touring the lands and learning more about each other we hear less about Nico’s plans and more about the plight of the region and what needs to be done. As well as the growing fondness and then love. Then we stop.
I did enjoy all the charaters, Nico and his big heart, Alex and his take charge, I will fix this, they both work well together in and out of the bedroom. The secondaries also play a huge role and are well written. I did find the extra details, a bit bogged down with a lot of drama about sick people, political issues, back stabbing, tainted food, land owners and land lords, etc. Also I found it less fantasy then I expected, couple of key phrases repeated themselves, but really I wasn’t rushed away to a different world. Have to be honest I probably won’t read the next, just wasn’t that invested.