My last post mentioned Julie Czerneda, and as I was also talking to Emily yesterday about enjoying Czerneda's books, I thought I'd post here where you might want to start if you were interested in reading some of her stories.
The first one I read was Survival: Species Imperative #1. I think this series might still be my favorite. The heroine is a salmon biologist, and gets roped into the bigger story because the alien species in danger has a taboo against studying biology and so has to look further afield for help when they are threatened with biological terrorism.
It takes a little bit for the story to get started, but that first little bit is spent in the gorgeous (and well-described) Pacific Northwest, on the most interesting research station I've ever read about, so it's not painful to wait for the story to find its feet. And once it does, it's gripping. (And scary. At least I thought so. You are warned.) After Survival, the series continues for two more books (Czerneda tends to write trilogies). Btw, romance is not a huge, key part of the plot, but there is a romance in there, and it's one of my favorites in sci-fi.
The second series I can recommend starts with A Thousand Words for Stranger. I enjoyed this one too, but it's a little more space opera and a bit less science-y sci-fi. It's still lots of fun. Telepaths, and romance, and amnesia, and, of course, Czerneda's awesome aliens. She's so good at aliens. This one also is a trilogy.
peace of Christ to you,