ebook, 97 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Loose Id
Sayana Nakamura is of one of the great houses of planet Kanasum and she has the silver eyes and indigo hair to prove it. But when her family name is tainted by bad luck, she is shunned by the superstitious people of her home world. Because of her genteel breeding, Sayana is expected to accept her fate and die with dignity. She refuses, and goes looking for a new destiny aboard the casino ship orbiting her home planet. There she must do the unthinkable--sell herself to the highest bidder in the sex auction in order to earn the credits to survive even though she knows this will brand her forever as an outcast when she returns to Kanasum.
Caleb Joiner is an ex-smuggler with time to kill and money to burn which is how he ended up on the casino ship in the first place. He is drawn to Sayana's delicate beauty but it is her fierce courage in the face of adversity that wins his heart. He tries to talk Sayana out of auctioning herself off but she is determined to follow her destiny. What can Caleb do but follow her...all the way to the auction and beyond.
Publisher's Note: Outcast is a re-edited, revised book previously released by another publisher, and it contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Dubious consent, exhibitionism, voyeurism.
I love Publisher's Notes that serve as a warning, especially when it lists all the good stuff! UNFORTUNATELY, this book contained not a one of the things we were warned about!! Whatever...
I thoroughly enjoyed this read, which is why I am appalled that someone would shelve it as "utter-shit" on Goodreads. Along with "no-just-no" and "never-again". Of course, the woman did mention paying $4.49 for a 97 page book--(I can't recall what I paid although it's currently listed at $5.49 on Amazon)--and that's just way too much to pay for this short story. $2.99 tops!
To take a Kanasumi woman's virginity will result in the changing the color of their eyes. I *know* I've read that somewhere before because I love the sound of it so much. I just can't put my finger on where...
When Sayana's father dies and her uncle gambles away all of her family's money and most treasured heirloom, the Nakamura family is considered tainted by bad Jo, or bad fortune. Once the good of her name is gone, a Kanasumi woman is to prick herself with a poisoned needle and go honorably into death. Sayana has every intention of following through with her duty but only after she sees to the wellbeing of her two younger sisters before she dies. To do that, she intends to sell her virginity for the credit necessary to pay for their boarding at a local convent.
Aboard an orbiting ship of her planet, Sayana's path crosses with Caleb Joiner, an ex-smuggler who is "independently wealthy and indescribably bored". Despite his inner voice telling him Sayana is not his problem, he rises to occasion of serving as her white knight when two thugs attempt to rape her and, later, attempt to buy her.
Caleb offers to give her the money, even lend her the money. Anything to keep her from doing the unthinkable but her honor will not allow her to take charity. She must earn her pay or the bad Jo will only increase.
Obviously this book is reminscent of the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, and for one, even Cowboy Bebop. Okay, maybe it's been too long since I've watched CB but space and smuggling were the only two links I could make to that.
The plot of the story was entirely believable. Some cultures still have very strong, unbreakable, ways of belief. The romance, although pleasant to read, was not nearly as convincing. He shares one decent conversation with the girl and Caleb already thinks he's falling for her. Pickin's must be slim up in space.
3 out of 5 stars.