My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/the-starlight-rite-by-cherise-sinclair
After escaping an assassination attempt ordered by her husband, singer Armelina Archer finds herself stranded on the planet Nexus. Starving, penniless, and terrified of going to the authorities for fear of her husband finding out she’s still alive, Mella is forced to steal to survive. One night, however, she picks the wrong target: Dain, head of planetary security.
Dain has no choice but to turn Mella over to the Nexan justice system where she is sentenced to serve time as an indentured sex slave. Dain takes pity on the lovely thief, however, and buys her contract. He’s quickly captivated by the little Earther and relishes unwrapping the sensuality the repressed Mella hides. But his instincts tell Dain that the woman who is fast claiming his heart is keeping secrets from him. Secrets that could cost her everything…even her life.
Cherise Sinclair boldly takes this reader where she’s never gone before: to a fascinating, unique planet filled with intriguing characters and explosive passion. The Starlight Rite is all about sensuality and discovery (and sometimes the two combined). It’s engaging and wholly entertaining, chiefly because its protagonists are so endearing. Mella is a genuinely kind, warm woman who has not only suffered great loss, fallen victim to betrayal, but has also been raised on a puritanical version of futuristic Earth. I loved watching her break out of her shell, move past the pain she’s suffered, and open her heart and mind to Dain, his loved ones, and the Nexan way of life. She makes mistakes, out of fear and because of the lessons life has taught her, but those mistakes only serve to humanize her. Dain, in turn, is both dominant and caring, warrior and lover, perfect match for Mella and…perfect hero to make a reader wish she could toss Mella aside to claim him.
The Starlight Rite is different from any of Ms. Sinclair’s books I’ve read before, yet one factor remains the same: I loved it. The Starlight Rite is fast-paced, original, and wholly delightful. I’m crossing my fingers Ms. Sinclair will take readers back to Nexus one day; Dain happens to have a cousin that is just begging for a story – or perhaps it’s me that Ms. Sinclair has left begging for his story.