Partnership of Equals - Book Three by Mary Ann Steele

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Signe and Arlen found the Interworld Corps: a body of spacer-fighters, half Gaean and half Columbian, dedicated to keeping the peace newly forged between Gaea and Columbia. The former archenemies marry, having fallen in love after achieving the accord described in the second book, Master of Intrigue. They lift the Flagship into its last flight, and land Johann's mobile stronghold on Wheeler, intending to found a new colony: a third world.

Immediately, the Co-Commanders begin conducting a rigorous training program for their twelve captains. That intensive course, intended to defuse lingering feelings of enmity, stresses all the participants. When a major conflict arises owing to a violent clash between two men having far different cultural mores, Arlen handles the situation brilliantly. The resolution of the clash serves as a bonding experience for all the men.

Twelve captains who now think of their peers as brothers prepare to patrol a vast volume of space with crews of six, rather than the usual twelve spacers. Each of the six Columbian captains now finds that the crew assigned to him includes a Gaean female veteran. Striving to conceal reactions that include shock, dismay, anger, and outrage, the captains set out on their first mission.

Having persuaded Arlen at the start to accept seven female Gaean spacer-fighters, Signe now discovers, to her intense dismay, that Arlen jumps the gun. Instead of waiting until the seven women prove their worth, he demands that he and Signe immediately settle the question of how they will employ the sixty-odd women they intend to recruit, so that the men can all marry. Signe manages to score a huge victory over Arlen's culturally programmed gender-bias.

A dire situation arises. A vicious Columbian renegade takes Amin hostage along with nineteen civilians on a remote Gaean station. Signe and Arlen, and captains operating with integrated crews, take part in the operation designed to rescue the hostages and prevent the escape of the miscreants: escapees from a Columbian penal work force. The ensuing exceedingly dangerous mission, which produces radical changes in Danner's life, also results in Signe's achieving a disquieting accession of new self-knowledge, and in Arlen's facing and accepting the consequences to his emotional balance of risking the fall in battle of a warrior-wife who fights in the forefront of any action.

This action-filled narrative forms the third novel in a series of nine works portraying an ongoing saga of futuristic action, adventure and romance.

About Mary Ann Steele

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Published March 5, 2007 by Double Dragon eBooks. 391 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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