It's release day for Forsaken Realms! This is my first book release in 15 months. It feels like forever. I'm super nervous but delighted to be sharing stories with my friends and readers again.
Blurb: Forsaken Realms:
On The Run, Bounty Hunters.
“Retrieval specialist” is a fancy term for high-level corporate bounty hunting and Agent Gemmina Nayar is the best in her league. She’s a sense-enhanced, level-seven bounty hunter from New Mumbai who receives an exclusive invitation to track a dangerous criminal on private property. She arrives on the tropical planetoid eager to hunt and release her inner tigress, but is disappointed to discover the bounty has already been captured.
Syan is a Kironian, an off-limits alien race. He’s gorgeous, rugged and all male. Even sedated and forced to wear an electronic silence collar, he resembles a coppery skinned refugee from Mount Olympus. Gemmina’s unaware Kironian saliva is loaded with pheromones that can turn even the most indifferent woman into a willing mate. A single kiss or bite is sabotage.
When the mission turns lethal, she realizes she’s not only been tricked into bringing the wrong man to justice, but the harsh jungle below is a calculated trap.
Excerpt: (After a crash landing, Syan and Gemmina are cutting a path through the jungle)
Syan stepped ahead of her and swung his powerful arm in an arc making the virtual blade glow white-hot. Soon he hacked a tunnel through what had looked like an impassable wall of brush. A virtual blade did some of the work, but it responded directly to the effort expended. His arm never seemed to tire. The task was exhausting to watch, and she knew it must be taking a toll on his already spent reserves. They walked a long way, fighting their way through jungle. The heat wore on her. “You haven’t seen anymore of that bava vine have you?”
The machete stilled; he turned. “It’s everywhere. Would you like to stop and rest? I sensed you were tired but also knew that if I said anything you would be defensive.”
Gemmina knew he was right. “I do need to rest, but only for a few minutes.”
A big smile warmed his face. “I need to rest, too.” He walked toward a yellowish vine, sliced a long portion of it off, and brought it to her.
She accepted the juicy vine with a smile. “Thanks.”
“I like doing things for you.” Syan turned away from her and yanked the top half of his body hugging pressure suit over his head, revealing a flawless wedge-shaped torso rippling with muscle. “The day is hot.” With his back turned he tossed the discarded shirt near the packs and cut another bava vine, drinking several sections dry before glancing over his shoulder. “Do you want more?”
“Yes.” He hacked another chunk of bava away, then faced her. A gasp of awe escaped her. His coppery chest was smooth, no body hair, and heavily tattooed from shoulder to shoulder in an intricately wrought triangle of geometric patterns that glowed emerald green.
“You are staring.” He handed her the section of vine. “I have heard men of Earth mark their skin as well.”
“They do.” She could barely trust herself to speak, and it was all she could do not to reach out and touch the solid curves of his lean torso.
“You may touch.” With care, he took hold of her hand, which was slightly sticky with bava juice, and brought it to his chest.
His skin felt hot beneath her palm. The tattoos had a faint almost phosphorescent quality. She scanned the beautiful designs noticing they were not simple abstract designs as she had first thought. On closer inspection she saw what appeared to be stylized birds of prey and stalking cat-like creatures hidden in the dense line work. “What do these marks mean?”
He crouched lower bringing himself to eye level with her. “I’m glad you asked.” Without releasing her hand he traced her fingertips across his skin until they hovered near the cat-like creature. “This is a picture representation of my name. It was my father’s name as well. On Kiron a, syan is the largest hunter in the jungle. It is twice the size of the biggest man. On Earth I believe you have a similar creature called a tiger.”
“Yes, I see that now.” Her gaze flickered between the tattoo and Syan’s shining black eyes, which tipped upward ever so slightly at the corners.
“Young men must earn each mark by doing brave things and passing many tests.” He traced a faint triangle in the air, moving his finger from shoulder to shoulder and then to a point above his navel. “This area on a man’s torso is called a, shambu or chevron. It takes a man many years to fill in. Recently I received my last mark on my twenty-eighth birthday. Now my shambu is complete.”
His face beamed with pride, which she took note of. “Does that indicate something special?”
“It means I am eligible to claim a life mate.”
Dear God, it was getting hard to breathe. “Oh.”
He moved closer. “You are the first woman to see my completed shambu.”
Her heart raced. “I’m honored.”
“On Kiron showing a woman your shambu is not a casual thing. It’s very personal.”
“Then why did you do it?”
His lips parted, and he appeared to be breathlessly waiting for her to say more.
She sensed he was considering asking for her permission to touch.
This was no time to think or get caught in reason. Purely on instinct, she cupped the sides of his face, pulled him close, and kissed his beautiful mouth. There was no resistance, only thrilling heat. His lips were soft and carried the faintest hint of sweet bava. Immediately he tangled his fingers in her hair, drew her close, and held her captive against his chest. The kiss deepened into a warm, intimate meld. A heart pounding sense of intoxication rose as she glided her tongue across his. Her thigh brushed against his. She wanted him to topple her to the ground and lie with her so badly it hurt...
Forsaken Realms is available today and part of Bounty Hunters United, Fated Desires Publishing, On The Run-Special Lines. Many more exciting bounty hunts are on the way.
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