Demetri messed up in the military and now must serve as a miner on Earth's ally planet Secren. This is the last place he wants to be. Earth men are considered small and cute to the violent Secren men. Demetri already ran a mine on the ice world Donovan. This gives him enough notoriety for mine overlord Malstrum to take an interest in him.
It seems cut and dry that he's going to rebuff Malstrum and make it on his own, but Secren is a brutal world. The male population are all slave miners desperate to reach their quotas. As an Earthling Demetri is an easy mark to get robbed or killed.
Giving in to Malstrum is the only way Demetri can survive. The charismatic mine overlord decides to make it easy for him. From the author of The Demon and the Emperor!