This book was published in 1989, under the name Amanda Glass. As I didn’t have it, I am very pleased it is been re-issued recently.
Sariana is a cool, confident business woman, an outcast from the East, determined to regain her rightful status. Gryph is an intense mercenary respected and feared throughout the opulent cities and savage frontiers of the West. Brought together by fate and bound by a powerful force that both captivates and frightens them, Sariana and Gryph must join forces on a deadly journey that will test their love to its limits – and could save their world from a danger only they can stop.
It took me a while to get into this story, but later on I got captivated by the world Jayne Ann Krentz made. Two spaceships full of colonist leave Earth, but get separated on their planet of destiny. One full of artists and such, the other full of higher management kind of people. So instead of one society with all kinds of people, they evolve very differently from each other. But still very much divided in Clans and Classes. The East is about practicality, success in business, finance, where money is power. The West is much looser, with more inventions and art, where everything has to look good, with elaborate mansions and dress and such.
Then there is the Shield class, something different altogether. They were not among the colonists, but appeared out of space to safe them. They were made a long time before, on a previous colonisation project from old Earth. So they are human, and somehow more. They have their own laws and customs, but they are a dying race. They can mate with only a few woman and have sons, never daughters, they live on the frontiers, fighting bandits and such. Which will bred woman wants her daughter to leave society for a live like that?
The West knows nothing about those Shields. They believe it is only one of the many legends the easterners have invented, and not much truth to it. Sariana was not businesslike enough for the Academy in her home town, and was denied entry. Which cancelled her wedding plans and her status in her family and clan. So she escaped to the East to make a name for herself there, and convince her family that she was a good business woman after all.
She gets hired as the business manager of the Avylyn Clan, a clan of jewellers. There are on the brink of ruin, and Sariana has to get them solvent again, without the rest of society learning of it. Then a certain prisma cutter is stolen, and they suspect a rivalling jeweller clan. The only course of action open is to hire a Shield to find the cutter and bring it back.
Sariana is attracted to the Shield, and thinks she will have a short affair with Gryph, but she is tricked into marriage. Something she just cannot and will not believe or accept without a fight. But then some people are after Sariana and Gryph takes her with him on his quest to keep her safe.
Yes, I liked the story. I loved Sariana, but I though Gryph too high handed in the beginning. It did not matter what Sariana thought or wanted, he had found his Shield Mate, and she had to obey him. Luckily, in the end, he came to his senses.
Of course, there is a lot more to this book than I have written here, but I don’t want to spoil the whole story. I wouldn’t mind reading more about this world and the people and creatures that live there.