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Saved by the sexy farmhand. #1stChFriday from ACCIDENTAL ROMANCE #romance #NewAdult

It’s time for another First Chapter Friday where I share the first chapter or up to 1,500 words from a different story each week. Sometimes, the selection will have a sale attached to it, and other times a new release, or just because it’s a story I love. Happy reading!


The fifth book featured in First Chapter Friday is ACCIDENTAL ROMANCE. (Not the entire first chapter, but over 2,000 words from the first chapter.) This story is available now on its own, but will also be available in my LOVE IN A NEW WORLD New Adult Romance box set which releases July 31, 2017. Enjoy!

ACCIDENTAL ROMANCE

by Jessica E. Subject

Chapter One

Leanne ducked, trying to avoid the apple flying toward her. With its speed, it stirred her hair, but she avoided contact. Instead, the fruit smashed against the wall then fell to the floor, a mess of brown pulp and skin. She stood and glared at the source of the flying object. “Jake, you’re such an ass.”

He grinned at her from across the milking parlor, tossing into the air another rotten apple he must have grabbed when he put the cows out to pasture. “You’d better be nice to me, LA, if you want me to do your chores tonight.”

With a huff, she rolled her eyes. “Whatever. I wasn’t the one who threw fruit at your head.” She cursed him several times a day for such pranks. Often he’d tossed her in the manure pile or turned the pressure hoses on her. He lived with his family down the road, and if their parents weren’t such good friends, she would have told her father to fire Jake years ago.

“What do you have planned for tonight anyway?” He sauntered toward her, gripping the other apple so hard, she expected pulp to squeeze between his fingers. “Going out with your boyfriend?”

She cringed, hating how he mocked her with the word. “Jealous, much?”

Taking a step back, he scowled. “You wish. Why should I care who you date? You’re a grown woman.”

“I’m glad you noticed.” She reached down for a piece of straw and poked him in the chest with it. “So, why is it such a problem?”

He shrugged his shoulders, his expression suddenly indifferent. “I think you can do better.”

She poked him again. “What, like you?”

He leaned closer, his face only an inch from hers. His musky scent overpowered the sweet stench of the barn and filled her senses. If he hadn’t been a constant pain in her ass, she might have thought he was going to kiss her.

“In your dreams.”

Should have known. She chuckled and tapped his cheek a couple times with her palm. “I can honestly say you have never been in any of my dreams. Not even my nightmares. And if you must know, I’m going out with my friends from college.” She spun around and called over her shoulder. “Tomorrow I’ll be with Scott.” She headed out of the barn. A field of wheat waited for her, and she had to harvest it before she went out.

***

Leanne slammed the door of the bright green tractor then slid to the ground. Stupid auger. Yet another delay in her chores. She hadn’t seen her friends since she’d graduated from the business administration program and moved back home three months before. But if her day kept going to shit, she wouldn’t see them at all.

All she had to do was get the damn grain in the corrugated bin. She hoped things would run smoother when she officially took over the farm than they had today. First, the cows had gotten loose after Jake had put them out to pasture. Some punk kid had cut the chain on the gate, and the herd of course found the opening and made a run for it. Thank God, Jake and his four-wheeler had been there to round them up. And then the freakin’ auger had a bearing seize, making it impossible to get the wheat up into the grain bin. She’d had to head to the farm a mile and a quarter over to borrow an ancient version, and now the piece of shit was jammed. Fuck!

She didn’t bother to turn the tractor off. She could probably shake the clump of grain loose and be back to filling the bin in minutes. As she stormed over, she rolled up her sleeves and grabbed a stick in case the blockage needed some extra oomph to break it down.

Her phone vibrated against her leg. She plucked it from her pocket and stared at her boyfriend’s smiling face. Scott. At least he could brighten her day.

She stuck the cell to her ear. “Hey, babes. What’s up?”

“Are we still on for tomorrow?”

“Of course. I’ll be there around noon after I finish morning chores.” She hadn’t seen him all week, having been too tired to drive into the city every night after taking care of the farm.

“Good, ’cause I miss you.”

“I miss you, too, but I’ve gotta go. Stupid machine here is jammed.”

“You know, if you moved into the city with me—”

“Scott, we’re not having this conversation again.” Living there for two years to attend college had been stressful enough; she was a country girl through and through. While she doubted he would ever join her on the farm, she planned to enjoy their time together while they lasted. “I said I’ll see you tomorrow. We’ll have fun.” Sweaty fun.

“No, Leanne, we are having this conversation. You can’t keep darting around it.”

She groaned. She didn’t have time for this shit. “Can’t we do this tomorrow?”

“No. What’s the point of me setting a whole day aside for you if we have no future?”

Clutching the phone, she sighed. Not this argument again. “Well, I’m sorry if I’m such an inconvenience, interrupting all your precious plans, but I wasn’t the one begging you to come over all week, was I? And it’s not as if you ever come to visit me.”

“You know I hate the country.”

“Well, I hate the city. And so you know, I’m never going to live there. Ever.” She’d had enough of catering to him, and he’d caught her on a really bad day. If their relationship wasn’t going to work both ways, she didn’t want to continue. Might as well set him straight now.

“Then I guess we’re through. You were a nice fuck while you lasted.”

She vibrated with anger. Mother fucker! Should have known he’d be an ass. All those wasted months. She could have been focused on something else—like sleep—rather than making him happy. Jake was right. She could do better. At least tonight, she could enjoy the time with her friends without worrying about what her boyfriend thought. If she ever got the auger working.

“Scott, you’re an asshole. Good riddance.” She flipped the phone closed and shoved it in her pants pocket, setting her sights on the clogged equipment. Something else giving her shit tonight.

The grain in the hopper piled up. She banged on the side of the auger in an attempt to shake the blockage loose. No such luck. Time for the stick. Leaning over the hopper, she rammed the piece of wood into the spinning blades. With a snap, the twig broke and managed to dislodge the clump of grain. The hopper began to empty again. She pushed off the edge of the plastic tub, but couldn’t get any traction. Her feet slipped on spilled-over grain. She fell forward, thrusting her hands out in front of her. She caught the edge of the hopper. Her upper body continued forward, twisting around. Oh God. She tried to stop herself, pull her body over to the edge, but couldn’t halt the inertia.

Her hand slid past the rusted old guard and into the spinning blade. The steel sliced her fingers apart, spraying blood across the grain and up into her face. She couldn’t fathom the sight. Pain sang along every nerve, firing from her mangled fingers to her brain. Darkness flooded her vision. A cold sweat washed over her. She cried out, tears filling her eyes. As hard as she fought, she couldn’t pull free.

Molten agony continued through her body. With one final effort, she threw all her weight back, ripping her shredded limb from the auger.

On her back, she stared at the mutilated hand, her vision wavering. Strips of torn flesh with bone poking out. So much blood, and it kept pumping out. Her stomach churned, bile burning her throat. She couldn’t turn her head in time and puked all over herself. Then everything went silent except the high-pitched ringing in her ears. Her body grew numb to the pain. Bright lights danced behind her eyes.

A warbling sound broke through. It kept repeating until she heard it clearly. “Leanne, are you okay?”

She tried to answer, but her body wouldn’t cooperate.

Something touched her face. “Stay with me, sweetheart. The ambulance is on its way.”

Daddy?

A calming weight pressed down on her until she felt nothing, and she disappeared into the void.

***

A million needles pierced her wrist. She had to get away from the fire. Leanne flicked open her eyes, screaming, longing for the agony to stop.

White walls surrounded her. Machines beeped. Taking in the new scenery, she closed her mouth, the pain forgotten. Bags filled with clear liquids as well as blood hung from a metal pole. She followed the tubes from the bags into her left hand. Was that where the burn came from? She glanced at the other arm, the end of which was wrapped in thick bandages. The image of spinning blades and her mangled flesh flashed before her eyes. She screamed again, tears falling down her cheeks. This can’t be happening.

Bodies rushed into the room, many in scrubs. With her vision blurred, she didn’t recognize anyone. All strangers. She was in the foreign place by herself. A nightmare. Had to be.

“Shh, calm down, sweetie. You’ll be okay.”

A familiar voice. She glanced to her other side to see her mom standing beside her, her eyes glassy. She held her hand, but Leanne couldn’t feel it, only the throbbing which had returned to her other one, the one that was…gone? She groaned, turning on her side, and pulled her knees up to her chest.

“Mom, is it really…?”

She brushed her fingers over her forehead. “Don’t worry about it right now. You need to rest.”

“It hurts so bad.”

“I know.” Her mom stroked her face again. “But the nurses will help it go away.”

“Leanne,” one of the nurses hovering around her said. “I want you to take deep breaths and count backward from ten.”

“Ten.” She sucked in air and cried out in agony. Fuck!

Between clenched teeth, she continued. Anything to stop the pain. “Nine.”

Ice traveled through her veins. “Eight.”

The throbbing slowly ebbed away. Seven.

Darkness swept over her and pulled her down with it.

***

“Sweetheart, are you okay?”

Daddy?

She’d had the worst nightmare, losing her hand in an auger. She wiggled her fingers, needing assurance it wasn’t real. They all responded. All of her fingers worked. Just a horrendous dream.

Opening her eyes, she lifted her arm and stared at the end, all wrapped in bandages. “No, tell me it’s not true.”

“Honey, I’m so sorry.”

She glanced over at her father.

Dressed in a clean pair of farm coveralls, he ran his fingers through his already disheveled hair. “But everything will be okay. You’ll be fine.”

“Daddy, my hand is gone.” Her chest heaved and she struggled to breathe. “It’s gone. Nothing there. How am I supposed to take over the farm?”

“We’ll worry about that when you get out of here. Right now, you need to calm down. Relax.” He squeezed her shoulder, but his touch brought no comfort.

Her hand was gone. The hand she used to write. To eat and brush her hair. To do everything. And she could never get it back.

Tears of loss trickled down her face. She stared at the bandages. What did it look like under there? Just a nub? What was she supposed to do with that? “Daddy, where’s my hand? What did they do with it?”

“It’s gone, sweetheart. They couldn’t save it.” He moved a chair closer to her bed and sat in it, stroking her hair. “I’m so thankful your hand was all you lost. It could have been much worse.”

“My hand is gone. How could it be any worse?”

“People have lost their lives in auger accidents. If Jake hadn’t been there….”

“Jake?” She tried to recall the night of the accident, what had happened, but everything blurred together. She remembered the spinning blade, her feet slipping…. Oh God. And a voice. Someone there beside her. “You were there. I heard you.”

“No.” He glanced away. “I wish I had been. I might have prevented it. But your mother and I didn’t see you until after you’d already arrived here. Jake found you. He turned off the tractor and called 9-1-1. He stayed with you the whole time. I owe him for saving your life.”

Saved by the sexy farmhand. Read the 1st chapter from ACCIDENTAL ROMANCE. #1stChFriday #romance Click To Tweet

About Accidental Romance:

Her plans changed in an instant…

Once finished college, Leanne intended to take over her family dairy farm, let her father retire and finally take a vacation. After one tragic night, her dreams go up in smoke. She loses the ability to do the most basic of things.

And brought him closer…

Jake, the farm hand who lives down the road, refuses to let Leanne give up on her goals. He remains by her side throughout her healing. But, when he confesses his true intentions, their friendship takes a drastic turn.

If only she’d known before she lost her arm.

Available from:

Buy from Amazon / Kindle    

AMAZON US | UK | Canada | Germany | Australia | Japan

Available as part of LOVE IN A NEW WORLD July 31, 2017.
Pre-order from:

Buy from Amazon / Kindle    

AMAZON US | UK | CanadaGermany | Australia

A plan in action. #1stChFriday from BEYOND REACH #scifirom #romance #NewAdult

It’s time for another First Chapter Friday where I share the first chapter or up to 1,500 words from a different story each week. Sometimes, the selection will have a sale attached to it, and other times a new release, or just because it’s a story I love. Happy reading!


The fourth book featured in First Chapter Friday is BEYOND REACH. This story is available now on its own, but will also be available in my LOVE IN A NEW WORLD New Adult Romance box set which releases July 31, 2017. Enjoy!

BEYOND REACH

by Jessica E. Subject

Chapter One

Benignus eyed him, as if confident he would change his mind. “Mekai, are you certain you want to go through with this?”

Grinning at his fair-haired friend, Mekai had no doubt. He’d made his decision long ago. “Yes, go in there and enjoy the woman you have craved for more than two star cycles. I have no use for her.”

“And when the king comes in?” Benignus scanned the tapestry-rich corridors of the castle’s west wing. “I know he’s going to send me to Tenebrae.”

“He’s not going to send you to the prison colony.” No one had been sent there from Carbae, ever. The planet was simply used as an idle threat to misbehaving children. Mekai placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders. “I give you permission to deflower my betrothed. She will be yours, as it should have always been. Just be sure she is on top when we come into the room.”

He slid open the door to his grand suite, a place he would not return to any time soon, not before experiencing what the universe had to offer. “She waits for you. Now, go in there and take her.”

His friend and gentleman of the bedchamber patted him on the back. “Thank you, Mekai, and star’s speed.”

After shoving Benignus through the door, Mekai waited in the hollow silence—usual for this part of the castle—for some indication his plan had worked before leaving to search for his father. Through the darkness engulfing his room, he couldn’t see a thing, but the sounds of wet lips in action caught his attention.

His cock stirred. Almost there.

Rubbing his hands down his arms, he tried to escape the chill common to the kingdom. The sun didn’t shine underground and fires only burned in the kitchen and the north wing, where his parents slept.

“Oh, Mekai, I’m so glad you decided to deflower me before our wedding night. Take me this instant.”

Don’t fail me now, Ben.

“No, Madelia. It’s me, Ben. Don’t worry. No one will know.”

“Oh, even better. Will Mekai be joining us?”

A threesome? Oh, gods. Could he get any harder? He and Ben often discussed sex, what their first time would be like, and whom they wanted to lose their virginity to. He’d had plenty of offers from fair maidens, those he could never have any affection for. Not with the strange woman invading his dreams every night. A woman he cherished and had made love to in the fantasia world for as long as he knew the definition of sex. Though, he had yet to meet her, and never would if he didn’t leave Carbae.

Ben, though, had always been fond of Madelia. She had never shown any interest in him before tonight, but Mekai, betrothed or not, refused to betray his best friend.

He’d plotted this night ever since his wedding date had been set, for no matter how hard he tried, he could never care for Madelia. Watching his parents pretend to love each other over the years had been enough for him. No way in Tenebrae did he want the same kind of relationship for himself. And then, he’d heard rumors from the bajulus who brought supplies to the kingdom about a planet in the Wopavian system where visitors paid to receive sexual pleasure from the revered Suavitas. That was where he planned to travel. He wanted to experience every sensation before he settled down with anyone. And maybe, if he proved lucky, he could forget about the fantasy woman. Once his marriage was called off, he planned to sneak away from Carbae and get busy living.

A whimper broke the silence. “Oh, Benignus, how you fill me so.”

His cock jumped, demanding attention. He’d love no more than to watch them fuck, stroking himself while thinking of the woman of his dreams. But then he’d never get a chance to leave.

Rushing down the corridor, he ignored the lavish silks of purple and gold hanging on the walls, for the extravagance did not suit him. He wanted to rule his father’s kingdom on Carbae, the moon of Ubetron, no more than he wanted Madelia as his queen. Not until he was ready to settle down. The excessiveness of this lifestyle had never held any appeal to him anyway. Even as a child, he’d preferred to explore the caves of Carbae with the common children, or stow away on a supply ship to visit other planets, only to be dragged back home by his guard.

Reaching his father’s study, he burst through the door. The warmth hit him like a brick wall. He drew in a quick breath. “Father, I need your help. Benignus is very ill. He’s been in the lavatory with the sickness. I believe he ate some tainted food.”

The king peered up, examining him. “No one else has shown any signs of the sickness. Seriously, at twenty-one star cycles, I would expect the two of you to have outgrown your antics. What kind of trouble have you gotten into this time?”

“No trouble at all, sir. Please help him. I have him resting in my bed now, but he is too ill to move to his own quarters.”

“Thornton!”

The stout man—and the only Terran friendly with his father—entered the room as soon as the king beckoned. “Yes, Your Majesty?”

“Fetch the doctor and bring him up to the prince’s quarters.” The king stood up, his purple robe billowing behind him. “Let’s go.”

Mekai hurried to follow his father, hoping Benignus had stuck to the plan and would last long enough to get caught.

“Were you in those caves again? You know the black magic there causes the sickness.”

He sighed. The humid caves were filled with bacteria, occasionally causing visitors to become sick if they didn’t wash after returning from them. His father, though, preferred to live in his own fantasy world. “No, Father, we went directly to my quarters after dinner.”

“Honestly, you two cause more trouble than any common child.”

His father reached his suite first. The lights flashed on and in an instant, they were treated to a view of Madelia, who sat on top of Benignus, speared by his cock.

“What is the meaning of this?” The king’s face turned from its usual shade of blue to bright red, heat radiating from his body even in the cooler part of the castle.

Benignus scrambled out from under Madelia. He held his stomach. “I was there lying on the bed and she climbed on top of me. I was too weak to push her off.”

Smirking behind his father, Mekai winked at his friend.

Madelia chose that moment to turn around and glare at him.

“And you, woman?” the king asked.

She cowered under his father’s glare. “I thought he was…. Oh, fuck. I was set up.”

“No one talks like that to me or anyone while on my land.”

Everyone cringed. His father hadn’t been born into a kingdom, but had given himself the title after settling on Carbae. He’d been the president of Ubetron, and when he and his followers left for the moon, he’d changed his title to king, and declared the state a monarchy. Though Mekai had never understood why his father left in the first place. Every picture he’d seen of his birth planet, the luscious forests and open sky, had left him with an ache to flee from Carbae.

But oh gods, his childhood had been hell, growing up in the cold-climate underworld. He’d been a toddler when his father moved him there. He grew up speaking in the “proper manner,” yet his schoolmates spoke in the old world way. He’d learned the rough dialect and every curse word, yet he took care to revert back to the royal tongue when at home in the castle. He couldn’t wait to leave.

“Mekai.” His father pulled him forward. “Since she is your betrothed, you must decide her fate.”

Just as he’d hoped.

He stuck out his chest, attempting to appear noble while his insides jumped for joy. “Since Madelia deflowered herself with my gentleman of the bedchamber, she shall be bound to him for the rest of her life.”

“Then let it be so,” the king proclaimed.

Benignus grinned. He finally had the woman he’d always wanted. Mekai yearned to find an ounce of his friend’s happiness.

“Gentleman of the bedchamber, my ass. More like jack-off partner,” Madelia muttered. “At least he knows how to fuck,” she said, tossing her comment in Mekai’s direction.

Thornton and the doctor appeared at the door, panting like Terran dogs. “Is everything all right, Your Majesty?”

Time to go. Mekai refused to stick around for Ben’s betrothal ceremony, for surely they would have another woman for him by then, too.

“Prince Mekai, where are you going?”

Shit! He refused to turn around and acknowledge his father’s question, for the king would never chase after him. And the two men who would still had to catch their breath.

Mekai rushed to the south wing and down a flight of stairs, toward his waiting Personal Space Transport Vehicle. He’d already packed clothing appropriate for Schedar’s warmer climate and enough nourishment to last his entire journey inside the PSTV.

He climbed in. After starting the engines, Mekai steered the ship up the narrow rock tunnel and out into space. The fold that would take him to the Wopavian system lay straight ahead.

So long, Carbae. I’m off to live my life.

A plan put into action. Read the 1st chapter from BEYOND REACH. #1stChFriday #scifirom Click To Tweet

About Beyond Reach:

Erotic dreams fill her with need…

Night after night, Rachel fantasizes about her sexy, playboy neighbor. But in her small town, no one changes, least of all the bad boy next door. But when Luke rescues her not once but twice from disastrous dates, she dares to believe her knight in black leather armor may be the right man for her after all.

Until she learns the truth…

Life on Earth has never been easy for Luke. Stranded as a little boy, he struggled to craft an existence for himself, but he never forgot the first human he met–and he never stopped wanting to see her again. Returning to Hanton, Luke longs for Rachel. Yet nothing goes as he plans, and Rachel barely notices him. Convincing her he isn’t like all the jerks she’s dated means telling her the truth, but can she handle it?

Can she overcome her fears, or will she deny her alien adoration and leave him stranded once more?

Available from:

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AMAZON US | UK | CanadaGermany | Australia | Japan

Available as part of LOVE IN A NEW WORLD July 31, 2017.
Pre-order from:

Buy from Amazon / Kindle    

AMAZON US | UK | CanadaGermany | Australia

 

 

Rescued by an alien on his motorbike. #1stChFriday from ALIEN ADORATION #scifirom #romance

It’s time for another First Chapter Friday where I share the first chapter or up to 1,500 words from a different story each week. Sometimes, the selection will have a sale attached to it, and other times a new release, or just because it’s a story I love. Happy reading!


The third book featured in First Chapter Friday is ALIEN ADORATION. This story is part of the my Alien Next Door series. The box set containing the entire Alien Next Door series plus two bonus stories is on sale for 99¢ through July 15, 2017. Enjoy!

ALIEN ADORATION

by Jessica E. Subject

Chapter One

A car door slammed. Rachel flicked her eyes open, a flush of adrenaline racing through her body. Not again.

Even though common sense told her to go back to sleep, she slid off the bed and peered out the window. The driver of the red Camaro squealed the tires, tearing off down the street.

Rachel cursed the woman with long, bleached-blonde hair, tiny waist, and the biggest breasts she’d ever seen. Why did her neighbor go for women like that?

Stilettos and sports cars? They were all the same, reminding her she didn’t stand a chance with her neighbor.

Luke Jones.

Whether he wore his work clothes of jeans and a T-shirt that clung tight against his muscular body, or leather pants and a jacket when riding his motorcycle, he defined sexy, making every other guy seem drab. She licked her lips, thinking of him, the hero in every single one of her fantasies since moving in two years earlier, and obviously as the leading man for so many other women, bringing home several each month. Though not one of them ever returned for a second visit. They all left with a commotion, waking her in the middle of the night.

What she wouldn’t give to experience an evening with him. She rolled her eyes. No, never going to happen. Putting out on the first date led to one night stands. And sex on the second night didn’t hold much promise for a long-term relationship, based on her past experiences. One month of seeing Dirk Chambers, the grocery store manager, and she still hadn’t slept with him. Maybe if he didn’t wind up drunk on every single date, she might consider it. Though his suggestions of making out in the bathroom of the local pub, and in the back seat of his car did not appeal to her. So not how she wanted their first time together to be. Those places were fine for the second round of sex and beyond. But, for the first time, she wanted romance, to be swept off her feet.

She studied the water stain on her ceiling, visible by the light of the street lamp. Yet another thing she couldn’t afford to fix. If a man offered to fix her roof for her, she’d find that romantic, and break her first date rule. But did any guy know the meaning of romance anymore? Surely no one from Hanton. The small town boasted the highest rate of divorce in the province due to extramarital affairs. No one in town got married anymore, expecting all vows to be broken within the first year. Those of her classmates who’d been lucky enough to move away bragged of their success in both their marriages and their careers.

Rachel hadn’t had the chance to move away. Thankfully, the view next door didn’t hurt. Though he would never be more than a fantasy. She wanted a relationship, not a one-night stand.

Ready to return to her bed, she squinted at the glow of moonlight reflecting off her neighbor’s front screen door. She sucked in a breath, hoping to catch a glimpse of him to use as a happy thought before going to sleep.

He walked out to his LJ Construction truck in only flannel pants hanging low on his hips. Opening the door, he ducked inside, grabbing…something. Then he slammed the door behind him. The view provided plenty of inspiration for her fantasies, his back muscles just as appealing as his washboard abs. Her pussy clenched, and she craved the toy she hid in her nightstand drawer.

Luke reached for the handle, but turned around before he opened it. Something above her house caught his attention. An airplane? The moon? No, his focus was on her. Shit.

He lifted his hand and waved and without so much as a smile, he returned inside.

Her cheeks burned. God, he’d caught her gawking. Did he think she was spying on him? It’s not as if she gaped into his home. No one could with every window covered in heavy drapery at all times. It only added to his mysterious appeal.

She yanked her curtains closed and slipped back into bed, pulling the blankets over her head. The first time he noticed her, and she wore battered pajamas, her hair likely looking like a rat’s nest. Groaning, she turned onto her side, trying to ignore the queasiness in her stomach. In a couple hours for work, she had to get up for work. And the late night interruption meant an extra large black coffee in the morning, just to stay awake. Closing her eyes, she locked away the images of her neighbor’s bare chest for another night.

***

Luke rubbed the back of his neck. Rachel had seen him, glaring wide-eyed like she expected him to attack. Why did she keep her distance, never say hello? Did she remember him from years ago, or had she woken, disgusted with him because of the loud departure of another of the women he used to try and forget about her?

But he never could get her out of his head. From the moment he’d first met her, she’d implanted herself in his heart. She’d been so kind, so accepting. Now she stared at him from her bedroom, wouldn’t even talk to him. Over the years, she must have become afraid of him, of what he was. An alien.

He trudged up the stairs to his room where the red glow from the orb—his only connection to the world he came from—had finally faded. After dinner, he and Marnie had moved to the couch to get more comfortable. Then the light had appeared. And it grew brighter while she tried to seduce him. Even though he imagined his neighbor in her place, he could never give any woman what she wanted. A brick wall always stood between him and his dates. His neighbor. The unattainable woman. And he refused to stop his female companions as they stormed from his house, calling him a tease, among other names.

He flopped onto his bed. They were right. No one could ever replace Rachel in his heart, and he refused to try anymore. Until she told him outright she didn’t want him, he would never invite another woman over. But if she decided to accept an invitation to dinner, spend some time with him….

Smiling, he closed his eyes and visualized the possibilities.

***

Rachel covered her mouth, trying to hide her umpteenth yawn since arriving at work.

“I heard that,” her best friend, Christine Shaw, called from the cubicle next to hers. She appeared in front of her desk only seconds later. “Late night?” Her smile seemed to hold some hope. She probably waited for some juicy details to spread around the bank.

“No, the usual twilight awakening.” Though she wouldn’t tell her friend about the recurring dream that followed. No one needed to know about her delusions of extraterrestrials.

Christine’s smile faded. “Oh, another conquest leaving the home of your sexy neighbor. I don’t know why you don’t grab a piece of that action. I would if I had the chance.”

Her cheeks warmed. “I have a boyfriend.” But he didn’t compare to the man next door. No one could.

“Dirk?” Christine raised her eyebrows. “Yeah, like that’s going anywhere. I saw him talking to skanky Jenny Marshall, at the coffee shop this morning.”

Rachel clenched her jaw. As if he didn’t wait for her. “Jenny works there.”

“No.” Christine shook her head. “She had today off, and she went up to your boyfriend in her oh-so-flirty way, giggling, and running her hands all over him.”

Her stomach clenched and the green-eyed monster took hold. “What did he do?”

“Besides grinning like a friggin’ teenager and walking out with a hard-on? Nothing. But it’s only a matter of time. This is Hanton. I say dump him before he dumps you, or you find out he’s cheating.”

She shook with anger, her blood boiling. How could he do this to her? And with Jenny Marshall?

Sure, the relationship wouldn’t last forever, but being single again would lead to the entire town trying to set her up with someone else. Far worse than having a boyfriend with a wandering eye.

***

Luke fumbled with his collar then ran a hand through his damp hair. He felt naked without a ball cap or his helmet. But he remained determined. Tonight was the night he asked Rachel to dinner. And hopefully in a few hours, he would have her in his bed. Waltzing out the door, he caught a flash of red across the ceiling. Shit. He was a grown man. Why couldn’t he think about sex without the orb freaking out?

He shook it off, anxious to find out how his neighbor felt about him. Stepping off his porch, he glanced over at her house. A little run down, but nothing he couldn’t fix. If only she’d talk to him.

Out the door she flew, wearing a white frilly blouse and a super short black skirt. Into the arms of another man. Dirk Chambers, of all people.

Fuck! His resolve deflated. He hadn’t seen Dirk at her place in weeks. He thought they’d broken up afte seeing Jenny Marshall go down on him in the grocery store parking lot the other day.

His stomach twisted. He hated living in Hanton, needed to take her away from the town with no morals. Dirk traded groceries for sexual favors. How could Rachel have any interest in a skuzzy guy like him?

The image of her staring at him last night when Marnie left flashed through his mind. Did she think the same of him? How would she know he thought only of her during his dates? His actions were no better. Why had he waited so long? He should have dropped by the first day he moved in, instead of waiting two long years.

He stormed back inside to find the red light flashing around like an angry disco ball. The reaction of the orb fueled his frustration. Like he needed a reminder of his failure. The light grew even brighter. He cracked his knuckles. He had to get out of there. He shucked the button-down shirt and dropped it at the top of the stairs on the way to his room. Grabbing a sleeveless shirt and his reinforced riding jeans, he changed and bounded back down the stairs. He shrugged on his leather jacket and stumbled out the door.

Time to ride. Grasping a key from his pocket, he shoved it into the ignition of his Harley and started the engine. The rumbling underneath him that usually brought him peace only stirred his anger at himself and Dirk. He’d let the slimeball walk into Rachel’s life by not acting sooner.

Helmet on, he shuffled the bike backward to turn it around. With one last look next door, he tore out of his driveway and down the street. He had no destination, only the need to vanquish the image of his neighbor with another man from his mind.

He rode on, unable to stop wondering what she was up to with her date. Would he ever have a chance with her? When the first raindrops hit his visor, he checked his watch.

Fuck. Two hours had passed, and he’d failed to rid himself of his frustration. He turned into the nearest parking lot to double back when his head burst with pain. He braked then closed his eyes, willing an end to the agony. With such pressure pounding on his skull, he couldn’t drive any farther. But he had to return. Something was wrong with Rachel.

***

Rachel stepped out of the pub, one hand on Dirk’s waist and the other holding his arm around her shoulders. Weaving right then left, he dragged her with him across the rain-slicked parking lot. Why did she think the night would end any different than any other date?

He’d phoned her at the bank earlier in the day to ask her to dinner, helping to rein in her jealousy and get Christine off her back. Seeing him dressed in slacks and a button-down shirt, she hoped she might finally experience the romantic night she longed for. But by the time they’d finished eating, he slurred his words and couldn’t focus on anything. And she’d been left with the bill. Just like every other night. Now, she had to drive him home.

As they neared his car, he wobbled away from her, toward the back door. He grasped her hand and yanked her in behind him.

I don’t think so. Twisting and jerking away, she slipped on the pavement, falling in the vehicle with him.

“C’mon, baby. It’s about time we got down to business.”

About time she ditched him was more like it. Hands on his chest, she propped herself up. “Dirk, it’s not going to happen tonight. You’re drunk. I’ll drive you home and walk from your place.”

“I don’t think so.” He grabbed her wrists, spinning over top of her, holding her arms behind her back.

He ran his mouth along her neck, drooling more than kissing.

A shudder ran down her spine. Her dinner threatened to come up, but she swallowed it back down.

“You owe me, Rach. What’s it been? Like two weeks?”

Over a month, but who was counting?

“It’s about time you put out. I’ve been patient long enough.”

She struggled in his grasp, aiming to free at least an arm to punch him in the face. “I don’t owe you anything.” And when he sobered up, she would dump his sorry ass. “Now, let me go.”

He tightened his grip. How did he have so much strength after knocking back three pitchers of beer?

“I’m going to fuck you tonight whether you agree to it or not.”

Um, no. She wiggled even harder, managing to move her knee up enough to slam it into his balls.

“You bitch.” He shoved her back, tearing her blouse and yanking it off. “I’m so glad I’ve been fucking Jenny on the side. I was going to give her up once you put out, but now I don’t have to. We’re through.”

His admission stung like a slap to the face, but not enough to bring tears. Thank goodness all he got off was her shirt. She shimmied out of the back seat, anxious to get away. Far away. So what if she walked home topless in the rain. At least she was free of the leech.

Then she heard the giggles and turned to find an audience at the entrance to the pub, staring and pointing fingers. Yay. Now she would be the talk of the town for a day. Everyone could see her bra, and it happened to be white. She rushed across the parking lot. Her house only a few blocks away, she would rather walk home naked than deal with Dirk again.

A block from the pub, the rain changed from a gentle mist to big fat drops streaming from the sky, soaking her to the bone. Great, just great.

She shivered, wiping the water from her eyes. The walk would only take longer if she couldn’t see. Though she’d still make it home, knew the town like the back of her hand.

An engine rumbled behind her. She kept moving, pretending she didn’t hear. It could only be Dirk, or some other guy expecting to pick her up. Better to be drenched and alone than have to deal with drunken assholes.

“Need a lift?”

The voice was deep and masculine, one she didn’t hear very often, but would recognize anywhere. Luke. Wonderful! He wouldn’t talk to her before, but now that she was topless and sopping wet, he noticed her.

She circled slowly to stare at the leather-clad figure sitting atop his motorcycle. The visor of his helmet covered most of his face, leaving only his luscious lips and deep, jutting chin, covered in light stubble, exposed. What would they feel like against her lips? Between her legs? Her body tingled.

“Earth to Rachel. Do you need a lift, or should I leave you here in the pouring rain?”

Oh God, he knew her name. Since they’d never actually talked—she’d only heard him greeting his dates—her name on his lips came as a surprise. “Um, yes, I’d appreciate a ride.” On his Harley, and if she was lucky, in his bed. Anywhere. Her romance-first rule didn’t apply to him. He’d already seduced her plenty in her dreams.

Remaining on his bike, he yanked a helmet from his saddlebag and held it out to her. “What happened to your pretty blouse?”

Pretty blouse? He’d seen her earlier? “I….” Fluttering rolled through her stomach. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She grabbed the helmet from him, fit it over her soaked hair, and buckled the chinstrap. Straddling the seat behind him, she fumbled with her hands, wondering where to place them, no bar behind her to hold on to. Oh, what it would be like to wrap her arms around him, lean against his wide back covered in leather. But what if he didn’t want her to touch him?

Luke pushed off from the curb. “I suggest you hold onto me or you’re going to fall off.”

The bike lurched forward with a roar. She clasped her hands around his waist, her fingers coming together temptingly close to his manhood, cheek pressed to his cowskin jacket. His deep chuckle reverberated across her skin.

“I told you to hang on.”

And she could lean on him forever. Being so close to him with pure raw power between her legs moved her better than any fantasy she had ever created. But what would happen when he took her home? Or would he invite her to his house instead?

She pressed her lips together. Sure, she wanted to know what lay under his tight pants, but she refused to be another conquest. She couldn’t handle it.

He drove into her driveway too soon, leaning the bike over enough for her to slip off. She removed the helmet and handed it back to him. “Thank you. I appreciate the ride.”

Tucking the helmet away, he nodded. “You want to come over for coffee?”

That and more. Though she refused to go anywhere in her state of disarray. “Um, no, I’m kind of wet.”

“Another time, then?”

She nodded. Shit, why did she say no? They could strip down together and have all kinds of fun. But he drove away before she had a chance to retract her words.

A ruined opportunity. Would she ever get another?

A sudden flash of lightning sent her running up her steps. Reaching behind the outside light, she grabbed her house key and unlocked the door. In the foyer, she plucked her loose change from her pocket and placed it on the table beside her purse. She stripped down to nothing then rushed up to her bedroom. Without thinking, she opened the curtains and glanced next door, hoping for another glimpse of her rescuer.

He stood on his porch. Grinning at her, he waved.

She fell to the floor, flat on her ass. Not only had she been topless behind him on the bike, but she’d just exposed herself to him. Everything. With her tall window, he must have seen her from her head all the way down to her knees where the sill cut her off.

Had he expected her to be there? Was he waiting to see what else she’d show off? Molten heat coursed through her veins. Her heart pounded. There was no way she could sleep tonight, not without self-fulfillment while imagining being ravaged by her sexy and mysterious neighbor.

Crawling onto the bed, she ducked underneath her covers, trailing her fingers down to her heat. With so much more inspiration, this promised to be her best fantasy yet.

About Alien Adoration:

Erotic dreams fill her with need…

Night after night, Rachel fantasizes about her sexy, playboy neighbor. But in her small town, no one changes, least of all the bad boy next door. But when Luke rescues her not once but twice from disastrous dates, she dares to believe her knight in black leather armor may be the right man for her after all.

Until she learns the truth…

Life on Earth has never been easy for Luke. Stranded as a little boy, he struggled to craft an existence for himself, but he never forgot the first human he met–and he never stopped wanting to see her again. Returning to Hanton, Luke longs for Rachel. Yet nothing goes as he plans, and Rachel barely notices him. Convincing her he isn’t like all the jerks she’s dated means telling her the truth, but can she handle it?

Can she overcome her fears, or will she deny her alien adoration and leave him stranded once more?

Available with four other stories for only 99¢ USD from:

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Her ideal date is an alien. #1stChFriday from HER ALIEN HERO #scifirom #romance @DecadentPub

It’s time for another First Chapter Friday where I share the first chapter or up to 1,500 words from a different story each week. Sometimes, the selection will have a sale attached to it, and other times a new release, or just because it’s a story I love. Happy reading!


The second book featured in First Chapter Friday is Her Alien Hero. This story is part of the 1Night Stand line at Decadent Publishing. It is part of the AN ALIEN TO LOVE box set which is available for 99¢ until July 15. And it is set in the capital of Canada, my home an native land which is celebrating our 150th birthday on July 1st (tomorrow). Enjoy!

HER ALIEN HERO

by Jessica E. Subject

Chapter One

Melinda Rose tossed a quarter into the gleaming-white marble fountain near the porte cochère. I wish to find my soul mate, the man I’m going to marry, in the next year. She’d waited long enough, dated men of all ages and races, but had yet to come across her forever man.

Her friends leaned forward and stared at her, Michelle bobbing her head up and down as if waiting for her to say something.

Tara bumped Melinda’s hip, almost knocking her into Michelle. “So…? What did you wish for?”

“A billion dollars.” No way would she tell them all she wanted was a guy to settle down with. According to her online friends, she reigned as queen of single women, the one who tossed men away like she held her own “guy card” and then wrote books about them the way composers wrote music about their relationships.

She could tell when a man wanted her for nothing but sex. They offered effusive compliments, and sneaked quick peeks at other women in case someone younger or skinnier came along. Often, she didn’t object to a night or two of raw, dirty sex—her stories needed some fresh inspiration—but she grew tired of the game. How long did she have to wait to locate her future husband, her very own hero? At thirty-five, she hadn’t even had a nibble on her line, not a single relationship with any promise. Yet, a couple of her friends already enjoyed life with their second and third husbands. She only asked for one.

“So you can travel the world and sleep with a man from every country?” Amber’s eyes lit up at the thought, the poor thing having lost her husband in a motorcycle accident less than a year before.

Melinda cringed inside. She didn’t want to be the friend her peers lived their fantasies vicariously through. Why couldn’t she unearth a guy to spend the rest of her life with? “Sure. I’ll definitely have to stock up on condoms before I go on that trip.” Though, if her wish came true, she could bring a man, the man, with her. She just had to stumble upon him first.

Sabrina, Tara, Michelle, and Lauren all tossed coins into the fountain. What wishes did they make? As a child, Melinda never would have guessed she’d be sharing her hopes and dreams with readers in stories. If only one of them would come true.

Melinda shrugged off her woes, ready to enjoy her first romance conference of the year. “Okay, are we all ready to check in?” Though, after driving four hours to meet her friends, some she’d never met except online, she yearned for the chance to crash on her bed for a few minutes of rest before the event began.

“Yes! Let’s get this party started!” Sabrina sashayed through the entrance of the hotel as if leading a parade. Thank goodness she’d roomed with Lauren again. Melinda didn’t know if she could handle Sabrina’s excess energy for an entire weekend. Sure, she enjoyed the social aspects of conferences, meeting readers in person as well as other authors she’d connected with online and connecting with new ones, too, but she liked her downtime.

At the check-in desk, Lauren—her ideal roommate and closest friend in the industry—sidled up beside her. “You ready for another?”

Melinda nodded, filled with a sudden excitement. “Always.” She’d met Lauren online through another author five years earlier, and while they lived hours away from each other, Melinda tried to meet up with her at least once a year at a conference.

After presenting her credit card, Melinda received key cards, passed one to Lauren, and headed toward the conference registration table, leaving her friends with their multitude of suitcases behind. She’d left her own in the car until she took care of all the registration details—the advantage of a con so close to home. After returning the valet cart to the lobby, she walked into her room and saw Lauren already rooting through her goodie bag on the other bed. Melinda removed her shoes and hung up her coat in the closet, already half-full with her roommate’s stuff.

“Hey, have you heard of 1Night Stand?” Lauren pointed to her laptop. “It’s a dating service run by someone named Madame Eve. I hear several authors attending the conference have dates using them this weekend.”

Melinda scoffed, tucking her luggage beside her bed. “Romance authors using a dating service? Seems weird, doesn’t it?”

Lauren shrugged. “Makes sense, though. Everyone here believes in soul mates and happily-ever-afters, right? Want to sign up?”

“Wait, what?” Lauren knew the type of guy she wanted and had been there to commiserate with Melinda through all her bad experiences with matchmaking sites in the past.

“C’mon. Sign up for a 1Night Stand. It’ll be fun.”

“No.” Melinda shook her head with vigor. “No way. I’ve had enough one-night stands in my life. You know that. I don’t need or want another. Ever.” She flopped back on the bed, trying to forget the sting of rejection at being kicked out of a warm bed at three o’clock in the morning and making the walk of shame to her car, or waking up alone. Worse yet, the guy who woke up beside her and didn’t even remember her name. She was done with it all. Done.

“But this is different.” Her friend tossed the paper at her. “It’s more like a blind date. The owner of the company chooses the guy you’ll go out with. No profiles to look at and no obscene messages from creeps.”

“Sounds too good to be true, if you ask me.” She’d been burned too many times trying new ways to meet men.

“Read the testimonials. From couples still together, many of them married shortly after their date.”

Melinda rolled her eyes. “Okay, so she got a few right, but how many mismatches did this woman make along the way? How many of her clients will tell you they ended up with an asshole? I don’t want to be an Oops, I got it wrong case.”

“C’mon, Mel, take a chance. I swear, if you don’t do this, I’ll do it for you. I’ve already started filling out my own application. I’m going to do yours next.”

With a sigh, Melinda read the testimonials on Lauren’s screen then reached down to grab her laptop case. Too good to be true, maybe, but Madame Eve did have a high success rate and had set up some very high-profile couples. “Fine, I’ll do it.” Besides, if she refused, Lauren would sign her up. She noted the cost of a 1Night Stand and didn’t want to be someone’s charity case, no matter how close they were.

Filling in the never-ending online form, she told almost truths, though she may have left a few pounds off her weight. And her height may have included her high heels. When asked to describe her ideal man, she paused. In every story she wrote, her hero came from outer space, as she didn’t believe any good single men still existed on Earth. Women who already knew what they wanted in life had snatched them up in their twenties without exception. If only she’d been ready to get hitched at that age.

A sexy, hard-working man from another planet.

There! Let Madame Eve find her a man who fit her bizarre description. She tabbed to the next question before she could delete her words.

Melinda rushed through the rest of the questions and submitted her application. She glanced over at Lauren. “You done yet?”

“Yep.” Her friend bounced on the bed, releasing a high-pitched squeal. “I can’t wait to meet the guy Madame Eve sets me up with.”

“Me, too,” she lied. Though she had no doubt extraterrestrials existed somewhere in the wide expanse of the universe, they didn’t live on Earth and, therefore, could not be found for a 1Night Stand. Especially at such short notice. Her application would be rejected, leaving her worry free about another blind date. No money out of her pocket, and Lauren wouldn’t be hounding her all weekend about applying.

Melinda’s email tab blinked to show a new message. Her stomach rolled when she read the sender. She clicked over and opened an email from the owner of the matchmaking service. “I got a confirmation of receipt. Did you?”

Lauren sighed. “Yes. I thought she had arranged a date for me already, but I guess I was hoping for a lot, eh?”

“Considering she probably has several applications come in each day with all of those high-profile testimonials, I doubt we’ll hear anything until after the weekend.” Hopefully never, in her case.

While logged in, Melinda checked the rest of her inbox, deleting row after row of unimportant emails, nothing to take her mind off the numerous possible creeps she might be set up with. If, in fact, the woman found her a date. Maybe Madame Eve would set her up with a man who believed he came from another planet, one obsessed with space, the kind of guy her parents thought she wanted. They’d sweetly bought her a ticket for Fan Expo in Toronto last August, encouraging her to meet one. Epic fail. Dressed as Agent Carter, she’d had a guy claiming to be Captain America, wearing a beer case around his chest, stalk her the entire day.

In her other social media, a fan had mentioned being excited to meet her, a big squee in front with plenty of exclamation points. Such messages brightened her mood. Reader excitement fed her own and kept her muse’s ego soothed. She sent a quick reply. @LindaReads Looking forward to meeting you. I’ll be a Mad Hatter tonight. Be sure to find me. About to log off, Melinda noticed another message appear in her inbox. From Madame Eve again.

“Hey, did you receive a second confirmation?”

Lauren turned toward her, the side of her face scrunched in confusion. “No, did you?”

“I…I think so. Maybe.” Though the subjects were different. Your 1Night Stand the subject of the second said rather than Confirmation of receipt of 1Night Stand application.

“Let me see.” Lauren leaped from her bed to Melinda’s, not touching the floor on the way over.

Melinda waved her fingers over the touch pad. “There’s no way she could have found me a match already, or even read through everything I wrote. Should I click on it? I mean, what if it’s spam or a virus—I would lose all my stories.”

“Open it!” Lauren perched behind her, peering over her shoulder. “You backed up all your work before you left home, remember? Maybe Madame Eve predicted your application would come in today and is a speed reader. Who knows? Please don’t keep me waiting any longer.”

Hand vibrating from nerves, Melinda brought the pointer to the message, clicked, and read.

Bonjour Melinda,
I’ve been waiting a great deal of time for your application. I’ve had the perfect man for you all along. You will meet him at seven tonight in room 316 for dinner and an evening filled with whatever activities you choose. I have attached his photograph so you will know who you are meeting.
Affectuesement,
Madame Eve

Melinda’s lunch threatened to make a reappearance. This is all wrong. Her date had to be someone who believed himself an alien. No one else would match the description of her ideal man. Thank goodness she had a reason to cancel. “It’s not going to work tonight. I am having dinner with all of you, with my readers. I spent a lot of money on my Mad Hatter costume.”

Gripping her shoulder, Lauren squeezed. “Yes, I know, but you are going to skip it. No way I’m letting you pass on this opportunity. Besides, I’m sure your fans would love to read about how you met your happily-ever-after guy at a conference.” She clicked on the attachment. “Let’s see what this guy looks like.”

As the picture popped up on screen, they gasped, Melinda in pure shock.

“He’s hot.” Lauren leaned closer to the computer. “Look at those muscles. And such a strong jaw…. Wow! I’m so jealous. Can I pretend I’m you tonight?”

Melinda squinted at the screen, a headache developing in her temples. He wasn’t at all the man she’d expected to be matched up with. Not even a guy she’d expected to see again. “I know him. He’s my…. Oh God, I know him.”


About Her Alien Hero:

Librarian by day, erotic romance author by night, Melinda Rose sets out for another exciting conference, this one in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. But all her plans go up in smoke when the 1Night Stand she applies for is set to happen at the same time.

Cooper Tate heads to Ottawa to meet a friend. When he learns of her deception, he is ready to head back home and vows never to trust her again. That is, until he sees a picture of his stunning date.

With the help of Madame Eve, can these two former neighbors become lovers? Or will extraterrestrial secrets rip away the hero Melinda has always dreamed of?

Available with four other stories for only 99¢ USD from:

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