You might think that an obstetrician on a planet forbidden to women would be underemployed...
Not so; Dr. Ethan Urquhart, Chief of Biology at the Severin District Reproduction Center, is one of the busiest men on the planet Athos. That is, until a mysterious genetic crisis threatens Athos with extinction.
Drafted to brave the wider universe for his cloistered fellows in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures, Ethan braces himself for his first encourter with those most alien of aliens... females of his own species. But braced or not, his wildest imaginings could never have stiffened him sufficiently for alliance with Dendarii Mercenary Commander Elli Quinn, an utterly gorgeous mercenary intelligence officer who has her own secret interest in Athos's problems... and Ethan as well.
Lois McMaster Bujold (born 1949) is an American speculative fiction writer. She is one of the most acclaimed writers in her field, having won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, matching Robert A. Heinlein's record, not counting his Retro Hugo. Her novella "The Mountains of Mourning" won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. In the fantasy genre, The Curse of Chalion won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature and was nominated for the 2002 World Fantasy Award for best novel, and both her fourth Hugo Award and second Nebula Award were for Paladin of Souls. In 2011 she was awarded the Skylark Award. In 2013 she was awarded the Forry Award. In 2017 she won a Hugo Award for Best Series, for the Vorkosigan Saga.
The bulk of Bujold's works comprises three separate book series: the Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion Series, and the Sharing Knife series.