At the end of his obligated commitment to the Space Service, Frey Berger decides to stay on Earth to further experience human emotions rather than return to Ginnun where his intended has already mated with another. Looking for real love and someone to accept him for what he is, Frey enlists in Madame Evangeline’s popular dating service. Although he does not understand the concept of a one-night stand, he hopes to find his perfect mate.
Carrie Cooper’s husband divorced her for someone who could provide him with children, leaving her with little self-confidence and no desire to let a man hurt her again. Her best friend convinces her to join a dating service, claiming Carrie needs to get laid, while not winding up with a broken heart since her date requires no commitment after the night is over.
Although several misunderstandings nearly derail them before the date has even begun, Carrie and Frey end up becoming closer than they ever believed possible. Still, Frey will need to convince Carrie that her perfect mate isn’t human at all, and that one night can lead to a forever love.
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“What do you mean, you want to stay?”
Frey balled his fists and watched the Mission Commander’s face turn from blue to purple to red. But he refused to step onto the ship. “Exactly that. I don’t want to return to Ginnun. I’ve spent one rotation around the sun here, established myself in their culture, and lived like one of them. And I’ll continue to do so. This is my home now.”
“One rotation is hardly long enough to call this place home. Besides, you’ve sworn your life to the Space Service.” As his MC’s eyes hardened further, Frey noticed all the wrinkles in the man’s once again blue face. His white hair stood up straight on an oversized head. If he remained with the Space Service, the stress of the job would age him exactly the same way.
“This is my last mission. I’ll be discharged when I return.” Frey wouldn’t receive any compensation for this mission, but Space Service credits were of no use on Earth.
“The only way to get out of the Service is to apply for mating. Won’t Tandee be waiting for your return?”
His stomach clenched upon hearing her name. “On the day we left, she confessed to already mating with Brand, my supposed best friend.”
The Commander only raised his eyebrow. Frey didn’t expect any compassion from him. “Ouch! So that’s why you failed to keep your emotions in check on the trip to Earth.”
He looked away. Even after his time on this planet, the memory of that day still stung. She’d flaunted her admission without a hint of regret.
“There are many other females on Ginnun who would take you as a mate.”
Frey looked back to the Mission Commander and shook his head. “I don’t want an emotionless relationship. When I choose a mate, I need to want to be with her. I want a mate for more than just procreation. I want to love.”
“Emotions just get in the way of your life.” His MC slammed his fist against the ship. “You’re our best field informant! If you’re leaving the Service, you could easily find yourself on the High Council. You don’t want to throw away your future for the overly sensitive women here on Earth.”
“It’s not just the women. I have friends here, not just acquaintances, as everyone is to me on Ginnun.” Many people he’d trusted on Ginnun wound up stabbing him in the back, as in his best friend who slept with his intended without any guilt. Returning to a planet of long-dead emotions held no appeal after living on Earth. He refused to hide his feelings again, and there were so many more he wanted to experience.
The Mission Commander signaled to the pilot to start the engines. “Stop this nonsense and get on the ship.”
“No.” He grabbed his sack and without remorse, turned his back on his Ginnunian heritage.