CONGRATULATIONS TO TANYA G., WINNER OF THE $5 GIFT CARD
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Love at first sight. It does happen Sometimes. For the characters in my science fiction romance THE PILOT, it was more like lust at first sight for Celara. Not for Trevarr. He was bent on teaching indie pilots that when Coalition Security said “halt” they’d better heave to and stop. Not Celara. She leads him into an asteroid field.
What a way to start a romance.
Life on the frontier of space is hard enough so when pirates stole Celara d'Enfaden's cargo, she vowed not to be tricked again. Determined to make an example out of indie pilots who disobey orders, Coalition Administrator Trevarr Jovano impounds Celara’s starship and cargo. If he backs down, he’ll lose respect. If she can’t deliver her cargo, she’ll default on her loan and lose her only home—her ship. More important than her ship, though, is her brother. To rescue him from a galactic gangster, she’ll even work with Jovano who is bent on avenging his wife’s murder.
Celara stopped looking for the Dockmaster when she saw a pair of legs topped by the most gorgeous set of male buns she’d seen in at least a year. The owner of the aforementioned body parts, encased in the dark blue uniform of the repair crew, was bent over the open hatch of an Agilean Speeder.
Now, there was a ship. The sleek vessel—one of the fastest in the galaxy—almost distracted her from the mechanic. He’d shrugged off the top portion of the jumpsuit so that it pooled around his waist. The environment of the repair shop affected many newcomers, especially those unaccustomed to the heat.
As she stared at his butt, all she could think was oh, mama. She hoped he was human and that the rest of him lived up to the preview. Better yet, she hoped he was in a party mood. After escaping from the pirates, Celara wanted to howl . . . and someone to howl with.
“Hey, big boy,” she called to the mechanic. “Wanna party?”
As the mechanic abruptly straightened, he whacked his head on the raised engine hatch. He muttered a Bricaldian curse about origins. She hoped he meant the ship’s, not hers. But then, considering her origins, that curse wasn’t out of line. When he turned around, she sucked in a breath. Oh, yeah. A primal part of her sat up and took notice. His backside, gorgeous as it was, didn’t compare to the rest of him. He had the broad shoulders and muscles of a laborer plus the black hair, square jaw and blade-straight nose of Bricaldian aristocracy. What a delicious combination.
“Did you arrive on that hauler?” He nodded to her ship. His voice, a tantalizing allure of baritone and chokiris, sounded vaguely familiar.
“Yep. That’s my ship.” She tucked her thumbs into the side pockets of her trousers and thrust out her chest a little in pride. “D’Enfaden’s Thermopylae. Fastest little transport in three sectors.”
He walked past her to examine her ship then ran his hand—long, strong fingers, she noted—over the dents and scrapes along the aft section. “It appears to have sustained damage.”
“My thruster gimbal got damaged when I kissed an asteroid evading filthy pirates. They didn’t catch me, though.” She grinned. “Hey, you new around here? Don’t remember seeing you before—and I sure would remember seeing you.”
He arched his dark eyebrow.
She raised her hand, palm outward, in the traditional indie greeting. “Celara d’Enfaden.” As he stared at her with green eyes as sharp and clear as veridion, she raised her own eyebrow. “And you are . . .”
When he reached into the pocket of his work uniform and pulled out a zircan leather folder, she groaned before he even opened it. She knew what the folder contained. A shiny gold badge, carved with an intricate array of stars, swirls and a tiny red jewel in the center. The insignia of the Coalition.
“I am Administrator Trevarr Jovano.” He snapped his fingers and two armed Security personnel stepped out of the shadows of the Agilean Speeder. “I am impounding your ship and confiscating your cargo.”
THE PILOT is the first book in my Outer Rim series about strong women on the frontier of space. It is available at:
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