Savan is a ruthless negotiator who will stop at nothing to get the fusion crystals his planet Rendar needs to survive but this is going to be his toughest negotiation yet. To make a deal he is going to have to convince Brinn, Perma's top negotiator, to talk to him and he knows how much Brinn hates him and Rendar for preventing them from joining the Trade Guild sooner. Savan had his reasons for delaying Perma's membership but all Brinn knows is that it meant they were unable to trade for desperately needed medicines and it cost thousands of lives - including her father's. When Brinn and Savan come under attack on their way to visit the ice mines they must work together to survive in a hostile environment - especially when they have a trained assassin on their tale just waiting for the chance to finish the job he started.
I really enjoyed the Winter Fusion novella, Anna Hackett has created a detailed and interesting future and I'd love to re-visit these worlds and find out more about them. As a planet Rendar was so focused on getting access to more and more technology that they have destroyed their environment, the people there more interested in financial success and becoming the best of the best than they are in the idea of family and home. It sounded like a miserable place to live and it was a nice reminder to be thankful for the smaller things in life. Perma on the other hand couldn't be more different, the planet is a brutal place to live with incredibly low temperatures and a lot of snow and ice but the people there are much more relaxed and take time out to enjoy life with their loved ones. They are also much more careful to protect their environment which I think added an important message to the story. This isn't something that is pushed down your throat though, the author hasn't used the story to stand up on a soapbox, it was just a nice extra layer. I really enjoyed watching the romance that develops between Savan and Brinn, on the surface they are complete opposites but really they are both looking for the same things from life and are very well matched. If you like a good enemies to lovers story then you're sure to enjoy this one!
I read this novella as part of the A Galactic Holiday anthology.