I have a gorgeous new cover, but more than that this book releases...today! Yeah, I'm a little behind.
So enjoy the excerpt and blurb below!
Adalyn Jameson fears she and her trade ship crewmates will die on the uninhabited planet where they’ve been stranded by pirates. Before panic sets in, Zarain shifters arrive to help them. Ada does not fight her intense attraction to one of the brawny shifters. A short, sizzling affair with this man is the perfect way to occupy her time before she goes back to normal life.
Jagger Antein thought babysitting a stranded crew until they could be evacuated from the planet would be an easy assignment. He never expected to find his mate among those he rescued. Now that he has, he’ll seduce her and keep her close before he claims her. When members of the crew are attacked again, he’ll have to discover who’s behind it and what they’re after if he hopes to keep his mate safe.
Ada lifted her head from the cold gray deck of the holding cell. She didn’t even need to look out to know that they were still aboard the pirates’ ship. The entire crew had been taken from the Setona, a trade ship, and brought here.
The pirates wanted them away from the easy means of communication there. They also seemed to believe there was something they’d missed when they’d raided the ship. Screams of her crewmates being tortured in the large area beyond her prison had drawn her from the numb daze she’d fallen into after the brutal agony caused by the villains’ methods of questioning. When would the torture stop?
Her red hair matted to her face and fell across her eyes, blocking her vision. She slowly rolled her head until she could see. Pain pounded through her head and body. Stilling, she tried to remain motionless to let the wave of discomfort pass. She looked around the holding cell, hoping to see the rest of her friends. The captain sprawled on the floor not too far from her, and blood dripped onto the metal floor from his lip and nose. He looked unconscious.
Where is it? We know it’s been sent. That’s all the men had asked her, over and over again. Each time she didn’t answer, they’d pressed a silver rod against her skin. She’d never seen anything like it, although it could have been some kind of modified pulse weapon. Surges of energy had coursed through her muscles, causing them to spasm. She didn’t know what the pirates wanted. By the end of the torture, she would have told them if she had. When she couldn’t tell them what they wanted, they’d beaten her to try to draw answers out of her.
What the hell was it? Fucking space pirates. It wasn’t enough that they’d stolen the cargo and crippled the vessel. No, they had to torture the crew. She didn’t even know what they’d done with the Setona. If they were still asking about something that might be on it, it was probably in one piece, but that didn’t mean the ship would be in working order.
They had all the cargo. What else could they want? The pirates asked for it. Nothing more than that. How was she or any of the other trade ship crew supposed to know what it was if it wasn’t among the cargo? That was the only thing of value that was on board.
She’d heard about the pirate attacks over the past months but never expected pirates to attack the Setona. The Setona wasn’t from one of the huge lines. Most of the freight runs were routine. She’d thought they’d be safe because of that. The pirates seemed to target those larger ships and the pricey goods they hauled. The Setona didn’t transport much valuable cargo or even weapons. On this run, it only carried supplies.
She hung woozily between consciousness and oblivion. Her mind circled around the question of what it was. When the pirates began gathering the crew of the Setona and taking them somewhere, Adalyn didn’t know what to think. They might have gotten their answer and decided to dispose of the unwanted passengers. Her heartbeat raced as fear chilled her. Her mouth dried and her breath caught. She didn’t want to die.
When they came for her, two pirates roughly jerked her to her feet. She stumbled as they urged her forward, her muscles slow to respond. Her mind still felt disconnected. At one point, the blows and the jolts from that rod had blended together. She wondered if they’d drugged her while she was out after the beating but couldn’t come up with any answers. It would explain some of the detachment she felt, but then again she’d been tortured and beaten. She might be in shock.
She eyed the dark gray walls and empty corridors, trying to get some kind of idea of the size or type of the ship. She wanted to be able to identify something about this ship and the men if she survived. It didn’t take many hallways to reach the destination though. Ada was surprised when the pirates ushered them into a shuttle bay and straight to a waiting shuttle.
She saw eight to ten of the crew in the shuttle, along with two of the pirates at the front. The Setona’s crew numbered twenty with the captain. Some of them were missing. Glancing around before they shoved her fully into the vehicle, she tried to catch sight of the others but didn’t spot anyone familiar. She couldn’t remember seeing the other people for a while. Blearily, she realized the shuttle wasn’t large enough for all the crew members. Still, she worried about her friends and crewmates. Where are they?
Two pirates operated the controls of the shuttle while the Setona’s crew sat in the rows of seats behind them. Ada knew there would be no chance to take over the shuttle. A shield separated the pilot and copilot’s seats from the rest of the shuttle. Not that she could have done much. Ada’s body screamed with the pain from the torture and beating. She was in no condition to try to take over the shuttle, and the others were likely in the same condition.
The shuttle dipped and a difference in gravity grabbed her attention. She focused her gaze on the control panels. From what she could see on the monitors, they’d entered a planet’s atmosphere. The discovery left her with more questions than answers. What planet? Is it a habitable world or are we going to be left to die? Her heart slammed in her chest and her nerves stretched tight.
The shuttle lurched forward and rocked slightly to the side in a bit of a rough landing. Before the pirates made any move to open the hatch or even say anything, the speakers on the shuttle beeped, followed by an almost inaudible stream of curse words. She frowned, listening, trying to make out any kind of message there.
“You’d better be on your fucking way back up here. The scanners just picked up a large-ass ship heading straight for us. If you’re not up here before we’re prepped and ready, we’re leaving you,” the voice snapped with urgency and abruptly cut off.
The copilot stood and pulled out his weapon. “Get out now.”
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