I'm looking for a silly book, or story, I guess. There's a spaceship crash on a foreign planet, with a linguist who ends up marrying the alien rescuer and becomes ambassador between the alien world and her own world (or galaxy or group of planets). I think there's something about how she has to choose between honor and duty or whatever.

There is a crew of mostly men that she ends up needing protection from and is treated very poorly by, all except for one younger, more innocent man-child. I do remember the young man offered to become her temporary lover to keep her safe from the rest of the crew. She ended up twisting her ankle and having to rest, none of the crew members offered to help. She had to relieve herself and was afraid to do so because she was afraid the crew would rape her or otherwise abuse her. The alien leader of the mission has to rescue the crew and provide protection for the woman. It ends up that her rescue means that she has to marry one of the aliens (specifically her primary rescuer). Since she's a linguist, she's asked to act in the capacity of ambassador or something. But she has to choose to either betray her husband and his planet or her own - duty over honor or duty over love? Anyway, she is kidnapped, sent off somewhere or almost killed, and returns to him.

I don't remember when it was written but I know I read it sometime during 2013. Unfortunately, I'd had surgery and was on pain meds at the time, so I honestly don't remember the title or cover art. I only read it because it seemed better than most smut and had a more "off-the-wall" title. It didn't seem to focus on "love" so much as actually integrating into an alien culture and having to learn to make her way. But then again, I was on pain meds and only remember bits & pieces of the story. I don't remember any of the characters' names.

Sorry, it's just been bugging me for the last several months, since I'm on bedrest due to degenerative stuff going on in my back. I'm trying to find the books I seemed to enjoy or want to read again now that I'm limiting my pain meds intake.

  • Do you remember the format of the story? Do you remember anything about the cover or author? When you read it (year), and maybe even how old it is?
    – The Fallen
    Apr 1, 2015 at 3:13
  • Very vague match--Jaran by Kate Elliott. The linguist is Tess Soerenson. She ends up marrying Bakhtian, leader of horse nomads.
    – mkennedy
    Apr 16, 2015 at 12:32
  • No, that's not it, but thank you.
    – Momof2
    Apr 18, 2015 at 0:16
  • Could it be the same story as the one asked about here?
    – user14111
    Aug 12, 2015 at 6:37

3 Answers 3


If you were on pain meds, and possibly mixing up a few stories, the short story 'A Rose for Ecclesiastes' might fit the bill.

No crash, but the main character is a rather tormented artist type linguist. There is a Martian woman he works with, learning the language, who has a role to play with him, but can't get herself to fully complete it in all ways. (Honor & duty v.s. desire/willingness)

She is supposed to fall in love with him, and bear a child, helping restore her race that was dying off. She gets pregnant (even tho her species' women are barren, and the men impotent) but doesn't fall in love with him.

In the end, he has a fit, and goes to their temple and rants about the foolishness of what they are doing, mocking them, but paradoxically

inspiring them with his words, and causing them to go ahead and let things continue so their species will be restored.

He tries to kill himself, but wakes up in the ship infirmity as they take off.

Anything sound familiar? I kind of doubt this is it, but several stories plus pain meds could merge them together, and you would not be the first to read this one out of curiosity about the odd name.

  • 1
    Not it but will look it up! :)
    – Momof2
    May 19, 2021 at 16:35

Maybe it’s "No Words Alone" by Autumn Dawn, book 2 of 3 of her "Sparks" series.

Stranded on a hostile alien planet, a beautiful young translator is forced to choose between trusting her own crewmates or the noble commander of the very alien race that shot down her spacecraft.

  • That was it, thank you! It took me years to track it down and remember it! :)
    – Momof2
    May 19, 2021 at 16:35

Alien as in extraterrestrial or alien as in foreigner?

For the latter, Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor. Scientist/captain meets warrior/captain, falls in love, gets rescued, marries, sequels ensue.

  • 2
    Was this intended as a comment? Besides which, Cordelia doesn't crash, isn't a linguist, and never really becomes an ambassador so much as an agent of change.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 1, 2015 at 10:27
  • Well, I proposed an answer with some qualifiers. Cordelia's decision to return to Aral was a choice of honor over duty. Her fellow Betans saw it as desertion (or mental illness).
    – o.m.
    Apr 1, 2015 at 17:15
  • That's fair. I started out just commenting that it looked like a comment, asking a question of the querent, then found myself adding the other bit. :)
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 1, 2015 at 17:30
  • No, that's not it, but thank you.
    – Momof2
    Apr 18, 2015 at 0:16

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