Hi everyone! Jessica was nice enough to let me take over her blog for a day. I have a science fiction romance of my own out in the world—one that I am incredibly excited about—and wanted to share an exclusive excerpt with you!
Plus, one lucky commenter will also win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Being one of the Embassy’s glorified treasure-seekers has its perks…
Komandan Uriah Jacobs recovers ancient artifacts in exchange for more than just decent pay; he also receives guaranteed protection from his former owners, the nyx…until an emergency landing on a too-familiar colony brings him face-to-face with his past life and something more—a surprisingly priceless treasure in the form of a human woman.
A slave to the nyx since childhood…
Shadi spends her waking hours in the forge, dreaming of rescuing her brother with the help of a man she once worshipped like a father. A crashed ship on the colony becomes her only hope to escape. But before she can steal the ship, the pilot abducts her. They may be the same species, but will he help her find her Shilah?
Their attraction is undeniable…
Fighting it seems inconsequential as they evade the nyx’s bounty hunter and uncover a conspiracy that shines unwanted light on Shadi’s past and reveals the corruption in Uri’s beloved Embassy, placing their fledgling love in danger.
As the universe systematically falls apart, will Shadi and Uri’s newfound passion be enough to keep them alive?
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She stepped out of his touch, regardless of how much she enjoyed it. All of this was too overwhelming, too much at once. “Why did you take me?” she asked.
A steely mask settled over his face, and the hard glint in his eyes unsettled her. “I’ll tell you over dinner.” He paused. “Which will be here any moment.”
Sure enough, a ding came from the front. Admittedly, she couldn’t wait to try actual human food. At this point, the gloop had to be the only thing keeping her going; she’d given up on the hard biscuits years ago.
Uri disappeared and reappeared just as quickly with two containers and bottles of clear liquid. Not gloop. “Chicken noodle,” he said with a sheepish grin. “Does the body and soul good.”
Whatever that meant.
They found a secluded spot with a small table and sat down. “You owe me a story,” she said.
“I do, indeed.” He opened the lid on one of the containers. “Here.”
The soup smelled like salt. She looked at the bits and pieces floating around in the…stuff.
“Try it,” he urged.
She watched him use a small scoop-like utensil to dip into the container and tried to mimic him. For her troubles, she got a bit of liquid and a green thing. Then she took a small sip and her eyes widened at the taste. So much better than rocks.
“What do you think?”
“It’s good.” Not a strong enough word, but the right one escaped her. Or maybe she didn’t know it yet.
He smiled, and she marveled at how bright it was, how perfect his teeth and…well…him. Suddenly, the gray hair seemed out of place.
Mouth full of soup, she nodded. The green things were delicious.
“When I was fourteen, raiders attacked my colony, searching for a mineral deposit rumored to be hidden in our mountains. Once they discovered we had no such mineral deposit, they chose to take what we had an abundance of—humans, which may have been just as profitable, if not more so. A long and bloody standoff ensued, and enough people died to orphan most of the children. These raiders turned out to be human, too.”
A lump formed in her throat. Suddenly without an appetite, she pushed the bowl to the center of the table and waited for him to either confirm or dispel her fears.
The wait seemed endless while her companion mulled over his words. Indecision dulled his eyes. “Tell me it wasn’t him,” she whispered, unable to bear the silence.
He snapped out of his memory. “I can’t. One of our own suggested selling humans, and Ezra Welles agreed. They turned to the slave trade that day. I hoped they’d find the egregiousness of selling their own kind intolerable, but,” he said with a weary sigh, “I see they haven’t.”
“Ezra wanted to stop,” she blurted. “I know he did.” She wiped tears from her cheeks. “He cried for me and Shilah. He loved us. Swore he’d come back.”
“Even so, he proved he loved money more.”
Enough. Shadi pushed back from the table, unapologetic when a bottle spilled. “You didn’t know him.” Then she stood and headed for the door. Maybe it’d be best if he left her behind after all.
His conscience pushed him to pursue her. Danger lurked in every part of Dalara, and anyone who found her wandering the streets may do worse than tell her the truth about a man she adored.
In a flash, he caught up with her. He placed a hand on her shoulder, and she stopped but didn’t turn around. “I shouldn’t have—”
She whirled around, fire lighting her eyes. Another heartbeat had her raising her fist. In one fluid movement, he pinned her wrists to her sides and pushed her against the wall. And he decided that, yes, even broken, she was beautiful.
“I hate you,” she whispered.
“I don’t blame you.” Whatever he’d gotten himself into, he needed to get himself out—quick—but this girl had already pulled him into her orbit. “Listen to me, Shadi, carefully.” She struggled; he answered by pressing his body flush to hers and she stilled. Mouth next to her ear, he said, “People here will try to hurt you. Hate me all you like, but stay with me until you’re safe.”
Catherine Peace has been telling stories for as long as she could remember. She often blames two things for her forays into speculative fiction—Syfy (when it was SciFi) channel Sundays with her dad and The Island of Dr. Moreau by HG Wells. She graduated in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University with a degree in English and is still chasing the dream of being super rich and famous, mostly so she can sit around in her PJs all day and write stories. When not being a slave to the people in her head, she’s a slave to two adorable dogs.
Founder of Scream for the Cure
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