Odyssey: A first-contact colony ship space opera. (Galactic Neighborhood Book 2) by Alexander Elliott
Colonization of an inhabited planet is forbidden. Someone broke the rules.
Under mysterious circumstances, the colony ship, Odyssey, settled on the strangely barren world of Sahara. Eighty years later, and with no help in sight, their long-term survival is in question. When help finally arrives, long-buried secrets of the past, and the machinations of a scheming politician, threaten to upset carefully laid plans for prosperity.
Caught in the middle are the Rxyl—an elusive, telepathic species already inhabiting the planet. Unaware of the human intrigue, a fortuitous accident forges a bond between the races which will alter the destiny of both peoples forever.