The Degan Paradox by Rob Colton
The adventure continues in this action-packed follow up to The Degan Incident and The Cassini Mission!
Peri McSmith is aboard the U.S.C. Cassini, en route to the Degan Homeworld. A routine medical examination reveals a startling yet impossible link between Peri and the Cassini's last mission.
Beshel Drago, Chief Investigator for the Degan Federation, searches for leads on the rogue scientists conducting illegal genetic experiments using Degan citizens. He hits yet another dead end--until the human parent is identified.
When the Degan Science Institute is attacked, and the embryo stolen, it's up to Beshel and Peri to not only recover the child, but to prevent all-out war between the Degans and the Galactic Planetary Union.
The third book in Colton's Galactic Conspiracies series was a blast from start to finish--and what a wild ride it was. This is one action packed adventure...Peri is moving to Dega to be with his friend Devin. Upon arrival he is delighted with how beautiful his new home is, but he is rather envious of what Devin has: love, a beautiful child, another on the way, a big family...Peri feels ashamed of his envy but a life growing up in an orphanage dreaming of the day he would have a family makes it painful to see his best friend living Peri's dream.
Beshel is a workaholic with OCD. He is drawn to Peri but tries to ignore his desire for the small human. He uses work to avoid Peri and he stuffs his emotions down deep so that he doesn't have to acknowledge them. But when Peri gets wrapped up in Besh's work investigating data that shows Degan and human DNA being manipulated for biological weapons, Besh is hard pressed to keep his personal emotions from rising up and taking precedence.
When Peri realizes that he is the father of an embryo found in a research facility, he has an idea of who the sire might be. He knows he and Besh had never had a physical relationship, but he has very realistic dreams that he starts to think might be flashbacks involving Besh. While Peri is trying to deal with becoming a father and working to form some type of relationship with Besh (which isn't easy with Besh so deeply in denial about his feelings), there's an upswing in anti-human sentiments on the part of some xenophobic Degans. As if that weren't complicated enough, Peri and Besh's embryo is stolen and they must go after it to rescue and recover their child, much easier said than done as the researchers and scientists experimenting with cyborgs have been busy since the last book and have new bots that are more dangerous than ever.
My only complaint about this book is that Peri and Besh spend way too much of it apart, but once they team up, boy howdy does the pacing take off like a shot! While I loved all of it, the last third absolutely flew by as I flipped pages as fast as possible...I was hoping for a HEA but I wasn't sure how Rob Colton was going to tie everything up in time to give me one as the book got closer and closer to the end and the problems enmeshing Peri and Besh seemed bigger and more complicated than ever. However, somehow he managed to untangle everything to give me a very satisfying conclusion that leaves me wanting more of this amazing world! I can't wait until book 4 is released and my fingers are crossed that it will be Martan and Kenji's book!!