Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wish for Me by A Star w Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by for the Wish For Me (reviews only) blog tour with Xpresso Book Tours)!

Wish for Me (The Djinn Order, #1)

Book & Author details:

Wish for Me by A. Star
(The Djinn Order #1)
Publication date: April 27th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk

Three wishes. Two lovers. One destiny.
When the snarky Glory St. Pierre discovers the gold mechanical vase in her deceased grandmother’s basement, she has no idea that she has uncovered a priceless treasure: a genie lamp. With a real genie inside. A very sexy genie with a not-so-sexy grudge against the entire human race.
Irving Amir hates being called a genie. He’s a Djinn, and he is none too happy to be in the service of Glory, who is as intolerable, and beautiful, as humans come. Now he owes her his gratitude for freeing him and three wishes. Damn his luck.
But an arrow through the shoulder alerts Irving to the fact that he is being hunted, and after a truce dinner with Glory ends with them both almost being killed, hating each other goes right out the window. As feelings change and love starts to develop, they must dig through the secrets and lies to find the truth…a truth neither of them will ever see coming.
WARNING: Not suitable for ages 18 and under. A significant source of bad language, sexy times, and dirty jokes. If you suffer from a lack of a sense of humor, take with plenty of wine. If the symptom persists, see a doctor.


My Review
Oooh! A new book to love with fantastic characters to keep it going!! Djinn are kind rare but this is a book that will make you want so much more! And it was such a fun story to read too! 

Glory st Pierre finds a vase from her grandmother's basement but it's actually a genie lamp that's mechanical. This was such a cool thing. And upon touching it she summons a djinn. Well, he's something alright. Irving is some kinda sexy lol Glory has a whole lot of crazy at this moment. She was so much fun. And Irving is not the nicest thing but don't we all have flaws ;) he's got a lot of baggage and he's got a right for it. They are both fantastically written characters. 

The plot of this story definitely kept me glued to the pages. And the twists had me kissing my mind. There's no easy prediction and the is unique. It's surprises made for an even greater experience. And it's not just supernatural. There's some steampunk twists that made it super cool. And there's some great writing as well. Romance, surprise, even humor and intrigue. This was a really fun book and a great way to start the series!! Well done!! 5 BATTY PAWS- you'll have to read why I said batty because that part is so damn cute!! 

A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series, the Djinn Order series, and the Knights of the Joust series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.

Author links:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

$10 Amazon GC, a signed print copy of Lover, Divine + a bookmark

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Happy Book Birthday-Crazy over You by Wendy Sparrow!

Title: Crazy Over You
Series: Taming The Pack, #3
Author: Wendy Sparrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Suspense
Length: 254 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63375-346-4
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Imprint: Select Otherworld

She’s on the sheriff’s most wanted list.

Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan.

LeAnn Wilcox isn’t looking for love…especially not from some wolf in sheriff’s clothing. She operates on the other side of the law. Once she finds her brother-alive-she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, normal, non-furry life of changing jobs and her name whenever her past closes in.

The cool, logical Sheriff has finally met his match, but LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once his control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.


Copyright © 2015 by Wendy Sparrow. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

Chapter One

Some days were best forgotten.

As he sat on the edge of his bed, Travis Flynn was hard-pressed to decide if these last few days were among them. True, they’d removed the threat of poachers that had been hanging over the Lycan community for nearly a dozen years. He’d lost some pack members, including Ross, who’d arranged a genocide of his people.

Also, he’d started his courtship of Alanna, despite there being only mild sexual interest between them. She was alpha material. He needed a mate. She was the most logical choice. It was hard to say what he’d feel for her when he’d achieved this goal.

He’d presided over a marriage today. That had been…interesting.

Maybe that was it. He was settling for a mating partner instead of a scent-match. Some Lycans never scent-matched. And he’d been Alpha for a year, and there were expectations. The Alpha was meant to contribute to the continuation of their species. After so many years of poachers taking their toll, their species could use a few Lycans getting it on. Besides, you never knew when someone like Ross would come along and destroy the monotonous routine you’d worked hard to achieve by killing you and using your innards to lay a false trail. He could wind up a bag of guts in someone’s fridge like their pack member Colby had.

In that light, mating with Alanna sounded much better. Anything was better than ending up with no one caring you were dead. Alanna would be a good alpha female. And she wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes. It would be fine. It would be good. And claiming a mate was part of his life plan—a meticulously constructed timeline he couldn’t suspend indefinitely while awaiting a scent-match that might never occur.

Travis wiped both hands down his face. He needed sleep.

He lay back on his bed and turned off the light. He’d fought hard today. He shouldn’t have the energy to stare at the ceiling and worry about his pack. His right leg hurt like hell—even if Alanna had stitched it up. He’d carry a scar from the bullet wound he’d received in today’s battle.

Closing his eyes, Travis willed himself to go to sleep. He had a lengthy day ahead of him tomorrow. He needed to go in and function as the local sheriff. He couldn’t take more time off. The threat was terminated. Things were satisfactory. Life was acceptable.

He should try counting sheep.

A wolf counting sheep.

He laughed to himself.

Okay, seriously, he needed sleep.

Finally, exhaustion dragged him under.

The sharp sting to his neck and the pressure of someone crouching on top of him, pinning his arms, woke him up. Travis gasped in a breath, and his heart went wild as he frantically tried to assess the situation. Friend or foe? Is this even real? If it isn’t, is this a nightmare…or a very good fantasy? He blinked. Damn. Maybe both.

It wasn’t every night you woke up with a naked female on top of you and one of your kitchen knives at your throat.This is…unexpected. His pulse kept up its pace despite his mental reminder to “stay calm”—pulses didn’t listen to such things, dammit. This was fine. He was in control. Well, he wasn’t, but he soon would be.

He inhaled, trying not to move…and it hit him. His mouth went dry as his forehead started to sweat. Hormones rushed through his system like he was a teenage boy with a crush—not a grown-ass man, a sheriff, with a genius IQ and a gun somewhere around. Now? Here? Of all the…oh, she smelled good enough to eat…dammit, seriously? Damn was it inconvenient to scent-match to someone wanting to kill you. And in the middle of the night? He didn’t even know her.

He drew in a ragged breath. You can do this. If he played his part right, he could get the upper hand.


Ignoring his hormones. And her very naked body. Her naked body with gorgeous curves that made his fingertips tingle with the desire to trace them. If only his arms weren’t pinned.

A wrinkle formed between her eyebrows, and her mouth firmed just as the sting of the knife blade brought him back to reality.

Ease up on the devouring her with your eyes, moron!

Fantastic night vision was a huge liability right now.

“Hello, what can I do for you?” He blinked forcefully and tried to imbue the right amount of lazy, nonthreatening drawl into his voice.

“Where is my brother?” she asked, slowly enunciating each word as if dealing with an idiot. Her voice was sexy and deep, and his body didn’t care about the knife at his throat. Focusing on the pain helped him leash the animal inside.

Inhaling again, he mentally groaned. Siblings smelled close enough that you could peg a relation.

Just go ahead and kill me.

“Can we discuss this without the knife?” She wasn’t going to take the news regarding her brother well. Who would? Honey, your brother was a traitor to our kind and tried to wipe out an entire population of Lycans. He was ripped to shreds. There weren’t enough pieces of him to bring back in a box to bury.

Narrowing her gorgeous blue eyes, his captor said, “You’ve all been over at his place and taken things and gone through his stuff. The place has been picked through like a crime scene. I want to know why and where he is. I know you’re his Alpha. I know you know where he is.”

Travis was, and he did…but he wasn’t about to blurt that out. “I didn’t know Ross had a sister. You didn’t live with him.” He’d known Ross for years, and she looked around the same age. Ross had never acted as if he had family, and his mother had died when he was an infant. But this woman smelled like she was family of some sort.

She frowned at him.

Warmth flushed his skin. He was burning up with wanting her. Okay, obviously there wasn’t going to be a lot of small talk. Even her frowns were a turn-on.

Concentrate, Travis. Focus. Clear your head. She has a damn knife at your throat. Hell, her legs were long—all sinewy smooth muscle and…dammit.

She inhaled to speak, and then she stopped and blinked…and her pupils dilated. Her breath hitched as she released it. Her frown deepened. “What…just…happened?”

Apparently, the scent-match had hit her, too. Hopefully she wouldn’t kill her soul mate.

Her voice deepened as she said, “He was my half brother. My mom moved away, and he didn’t find out about me until… Why do you smell like…?” She moaned and closed her eyes.

He felt the same way.

Kill me now.

No one could be worse for him to scent-match with. No one.

Unless it was Ross himself. His muscles twitched in a repressed shudder.

And Ross was dead.

Travis had an IQ of 163, and he couldn’t think of anything beyond the scent of her skin and the touch of her brown hair as it brushed the side of his face. Even the knife at his neck wasn’t feeling like much of a deterrent.

She panted out a breath as she opened her eyes. “You smell like everything I’ve ever wanted.”

“If you put the knife down…we can talk about that.”

Sometimes, you had to make the best of a bad thing. And considering the naked body hovering above his—the best might be very good. She was gorgeous. At least she was a Lycan. There was that. The last couple of scent-matches he knew of had been to humans. Judging from the fact that she’d shed her clothes to go into form, she was definitely a Lycan. And while nakedness wasn’t as big a deal among Lycans, that was possibly only because their hormones weren’t normally this front-and-center. Was this what it was like being in heat? He blinked and tried to concentrate. And if he could breathe less, that would be great.

“I’m not moving. I’m not a threat to you. Just put down the knife.” Because if she had a knife at his throat even before she found out her brother was dead, things would be much worse after.

She licked her lips, still breathing faster. At least she was considering it. This might not go as unfavorably as he’d first thought. Maybe they were estranged. Hell, maybe they hated each other and she was looking for her brother so she could put a knife at his throat, too.

Hopefully not while she was naked.

“My name is Travis,” he said slowly.

She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t treat me like I’m crazy.”

Whoa, he hadn’t even begun to treat her like she was crazy—which she was. Normally, he wasn’t attracted to crazy women.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She inhaled to speak and then started blinking rapidly again and let all the air out of her lungs raggedly. Yeah, this scent-match thing was powerful. It made you overlook things like incompatibility—one of you being a local sheriff, the other being a head case with a knife in her hand. She yanked the knife from his throat and set her hand on the pillow beside his head before leaning down and pressing her mouth against his. Firecrackers went off in his chest, and he closed his eyes as he lifted his head. It was a damn good thing she’d moved the knife, or he might have lopped his whole head off trying to get closer.

Of the million and one things he might have expected—that wasn’t one of them.

But he was willing to go along with it.

This was the quickest he’d ever kissed a woman after meeting her. Definitely the soonest he’d had his tongue in someone’s mouth as she made soft moaning noises. Plus, she was naked. This didn’t happen. Not in the real world. If only she hadn’t trapped his arms at his sides with her legs. One of her hands—the one not holding the knife—came up to cup his head so she could deepen the kiss.

Okay, he was definitely willing to put up with crazy.

She pulled back slowly, her teeth scraping across his lower lip. “LeAnn.” She wiped her mouth—that heavenly mouth—with her free hand.

“LeAnn.” It suited her. “If you’ll let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.

She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”

Well, that would ruin any “talking.” “First, let me up.”

Raising her eyebrows, she leaned forward and put the knife back at his throat. “First, tell me where Ross is.”

He sighed. “Well, you’ve heard of the poachers, I’m sure.” Whichever pack she’d formerly belonged to would have mentioned them.

She studied his face with narrowed eyes. “What? You mean like animal poachers?”

“No, I mean… Wait, what pack were you a member of?” She was now in the Rainier pack by virtue of being his mate, but this was all happening unbelievably fast for him to process that.

“I wasn’t in a…pack.” She said the word like it was bizarre and foreign.

So she’d simply roamed. But any of the packs she’d been in touch with in the last decade would have mentioned poachers. “Well, in the packs you’ve met with, I’m sure they’ve brought up poachers.” Maybe if she had her memory jogged as to the abhorrent nature of her brother’s crime, she’d be less upset.

“I’ve never met with a pack. Why would I? I mean, I know what my brother was. He showed me on a trip—that’s how I knew about you, but he didn’t take me to any meetings.”

Her brother let her handle being a Lycan all on her own? That was nearly criminal in and of itself. No wonder she was crazy. Being a Lycan was fairly all-encompassing in the way of lifestyles.

“Well, okay, so there are…well, were these individuals who hunted down Lycans for their organs. There is a black market for Lycan organs.”

Her mouth dropped open, and the knife left his throat again. “That’s horrible.”

“Yes.” He cleared his throat. Normally, he’d adopt his dim-witted persona to set someone at ease, but he couldn’t seem to dredge up that side to him. He didn’t want to. He wanted LeAnn to see him as an Alpha. “So, they’ve been hunting our kind for around twelve years and wiping out our population.”

She nodded. Her mouth was pursed in this adorable way that made him want to kiss her again…and they were talking about poachers and the extinction of his species. There was something quantifiably wrong with him. Seriously.

“Now can you let me up?”

She considered this for a second, but then shook her head. “What if you call the police?”

“I am the police. I’m the sheriff.”

She frowned. “Well, that’s unfortunate.”

“But I’m not planning on doing anything.” Not anything as a sheriff, anyway.

With a shrug, she scooted backward—freeing up his arms. He could at least stop her from going for his throat when he broke the news about her brother.

He got up on his elbows. “So, we thought poachers had killed someone in my pack last week, but it turned out to be a trap for a nearby pack where…uhh…someone had notified the poachers of the identities of the entire pack. They’d basically sent out an extermination order. Men. Women. Children. The poachers killed an elderly woman before we got there to help.”

“That’s awful.” She scooted farther back and got off his bed, holding the knife in front of her. “What does this have to do with my brother?”

He could lie to her, but she’d need to know soon enough, and there wasn’t a gray area to what Ross had done. “Ross was the one who notified the poachers of their identities.”

She shook her head. “No. No, I’m sorry. You’re wrong.”

He sat up. Time to lay all the cards on the table and work back from there. “When I arrived there, your brother was holding a woman for ransom as part of the trap…this was yesterday.”

LeAnn continued to shake her head. “No. You’re wrong. Ross said that someone had it out for him. That I shouldn’t be surprised if he went off the grid for a while. But…no. He didn’t do that. You’re wrong…or you’re lying…or…”

“I’m not. I’m sorry. Your brother is dead. Another pack killed him after he attacked the Alpha of Glacier Peak. We lost a lot of Lycans yesterday because of your brother.” They had effectively ended the threat of the poachers, but he wasn’t going to offer her that silver lining.

She frowned. “He’s not dead. I’d know if he was dead, and besides, he’s been around here. He was here tonight. That’s why I figured you’d know.”

He’d seen denial, but that was taking it further than expected. “He’s dead. Really. Honey, I’m sorry, but…”

“No!” she said, pointing at him with the knife. “No. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.” She backed up slowly, breathing faster, and he could see the sheen of tears in her eyes.

He got up from the bed—an inch at a time—maintaining eye contact. This could be going better, but at least she hadn’t sliced his throat, and he’d told her without her going ballistic and knifing him. Now he just had to get her to believe him. “LeAnn, it’s okay. Stay where you are, and we can talk about this. This isn’t your fault.”

“No. He’s not dead. I can smell things really well, and he’s not dead. He was outside your house earlier tonight.”

“All Lycans can smell things well, and trust me, he’s dead.” And her brother should have helped her find a pack so she’d be more aware of the Lycan way of life. He wanted to kill Ross all over again for that. What kind of brother would let his sister deal with this all by herself? Ass.

“Well, good for you guys, but I can smell my brother’s scent, and he’s alive. And he didn’t do anything to your…people or species or whatever like you’re saying. He wouldn’t.”

Travis stood up and stared at her. Okay, the hormones might be messing with his head and, yes, he was tired, and he wasn’t handling this optimally, but… “LeAnn, you do know that you’re a Lycan, right?” Even if the naked thing hadn’t tipped him off, she smelled like a Lycan now that she was as aroused as he was. There was a wild aspect to the sweet musk she was putting off. It was making him insane. Knife or no knife…crazy or sane…he wanted to drag her back to bed with him.

She laughed, and for a moment, he was relieved…because of course she knew.

Then she shook her head and said, “No, I’m not.”

His mouth fell open.


“And Ross isn’t dead.”

My Review is coming soon! But since I'm halfway through it, I gotta say this- it's the best one yet!! And I'm so pumped about a recurring Jordan and I'm totally all for Travis!!! :) I promise to have my full review up soon.


Happy Book Birthday~ Traitor by Jody Wallace!

Title: Traitor
Series: Maelstrom Chronicles, #2
Author: Jody Wallace
Genre: Sci-Fi, Paranormal Romance
Length: 342 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63375-347-1
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Imprint: Select Otherworld

He was branded a traitor. And he may be humankind’s salvation…

Captain Nikolas EstherVorn is a traitor. Or so it was decreed after Niko disobeyed protocol while trying to save Earth from other-dimensional creatures. Stuck in a prison cell, the last thing he needs is to be in close proximity to sexy-as-sin Dr. Sarah CallenJoseph. Not with him damn near ready to break out just to get to her.

Niko’s desire isn’t quite his own…and Sarah can prove it. He-along with the other soldiers on the disastrous mission-were drugged with some kind of toxin. Niko has no clue how the drug got into his body or why, but Sarah suspects there’s a link between the toxin and the fertility crisis of Shipborn humans.

To investigate is forbidden. But as lust becomes something deeper, binding them together in a way neither expected, Niko and Sarah must battle time-and their superiors-to uncover the secret that could save humanity…or destroy it.


Copyright © 2015 by Jody Wallace. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.

Chapter One

Nikolas wadded the thin paper communiqué from Ship’s medtech into a ball and pitched it into the waste slot in his quarters. If he hadn’t responded to Dr. Sarah CallenJoseph-daughter’s six electronic summonses, the squandered paper wasn’t going to prompt him to endure the post-mission checkup, either.

He’d avoided it for weeks. He had his reasons. Until he could address them, he’d continue to avoid it.

Along with the persistent doctor.

“Dr. Sarah requires your presence in the main medlab for your routine examination,” Ship informed him in its flat tones.

“Is there another medtech available?” Niko asked, like he always did.

“Negative. Dr. Sarah has been assigned to handler reintegration.” After a dirtside op, the handlers, who were sent to work with a native population, sometimes experienced post-mission issues that could be physical or mental.

“Then override the request, on my authority.” As a captain, he outranked doctors and most other crew on Ship 1001, the AI sentient spacecraft that currently orbited the planet Terra.

“Override number seven recorded and transmitted.” Niko had lived on Ship 1001 almost his whole life. As such, he could detect the condemnation in the way it emphasized “seven.” No one who interacted with Ships for any length of time labored under the misapprehension that the massive techno-organic beings were anything but sentient—possessed of their own opinions, thoughts, and personalities.

The personality of Ship 1001 was that of an extroverted, somewhat uptight, and insistently nosy next bunk neighbor. If Ship had had a throat, the electronic crackle before it spoke again would have been a harrumph. “Complete examinations are required after Shipborn return from any non-Shipborn planet surface. Your continued noncompliance is not recommended.”

“I’m fine. The humans on Terra have similar germs to us.” Cross-species ailments, such as the Haetherian flu, were of greater concern than anything they might encounter on a human-evolved planet.

Either way, cross-species ailments had nothing to do with Niko’s reluctance to report to Dr. Sarah CallenJoseph.

“Invalid. Terra’s biological neutrality is not yet confirmed.”

“Nobody’s sick, and it’s been nearly a year since we arrived. I think that’s confirmation.” For the first time in fleet history, a pre-code planet was being sponsored like a post-code planet, and the eyes of the entire fleet were on them, inasmuch as interstellar communications would allow.

How much longer they would stay in orbit was uncertain—though Niko suspected General Vorn and Ship were closer to a decision than most of the Shipborn and Terrans realized. Niko only knew because of his relationship to the general.

And to Ship, who considered Niko family. A dubious honor at best, since the result was a nearly omniscient AI constantly up in his business.

“You are not a medtech,” Ship informed him.

“You’re not a medtech, either.” Granted, Ship’s vast knowledge probably included everything it needed to train or advise a medtech, but that didn’t make it one. Mostly just a know-it-all pain in the ass.

“Sarah is a medtech, and she requires you to report to your checkup.” Ship was fond of Sarah, too, hence the first name basis, an honor it didn’t bestow on just any sentient.

“I outrank the doctor. She can’t require me to do anything.”

The last person in the universe he wanted to deal with right then was Sarah. He’d rather juggle histrionic Ships, deadly flying daemons, and pissed off Terran cats than allow Sarah to get within ten feet of him.

If she hadn’t been the one in charge of handler reintegration, maybe he’d be through with that exam.

“Sarah is permitted to submit a grievance to Vorn if you cannot prove your noncompliance is due to scheduling issues. You do not outrank General Vorn.”

“I have an actual scheduling issue—I’m busy.” Eventually she’d give up and assign him to another medtech. She wouldn’t bother Ship’s ranking sentients with something this minor.

“Sarah is permitted to escalate public health concerns to the trine advisors as well.”

“This isn’t a public health concern.”

But Sarah would become extremely concerned about her own health if she had to be around Niko for any length of time. He had no idea why she was being so stubborn about conducting the exam herself. Practical and shrewd, she wasn’t one to fritter her time on lost causes. “Let me know if she goes running to my father.”


With Ship no longer nagging him, Niko was able to return his attention to the data table and pore over the reports.

Opting to bend code, Ship had supported the human population’s war against the invading entities that had swarmed out of the now-sealed rift to their dimension. But the Terrans weren’t making saving their asses any easier, and they had no idea how close they were to being abandoned.

Ship had sent emissaries and technology to the natives but wouldn’t risk its soldiers in battle. One single Shipborn misstep against the soul-sucking entities, and everyone on the planet and Ship alike would die.

Many segments of the human population assumed the aliens were lying about that, like they’d lied about so much already. Niko, restricted from the Terran surface after his illicit mission, was doing whatever he could to persuade Ship and Vorn that the planet was worth helping.

When the planet was initially considered a lost cause, a number of Terrans had been white-lighted—involuntarily—to preserve the natives’ invaluable genome. Nearly all of those Terrans had opted to remain at Ship’s safe and hidden dirtside base in Yellowstone National Park once the mission shifted into a global rescue op.

Or until Ship and Vorn decided they were done with the aggravating Terrans.

Niko had never had to strategize on a pre-code planet whose religions, superstitions, technologies, and cultures hadn’t achieved the level of enlightenment that code required for open communications. Territory ten wouldn’t allow any refugees from North America, twenty-one required larger concessions, five wanted more technology to fight the entities, four wanted permission to scavenge in three, thirty was trying to get its hands on nukes to shoot Ship down, sixteen had taken advantage of the chaos to go to war with fifteen, and so on and so forth.

He wanted to shake them all and tell them if they couldn’t cooperate, they were going to die. Be mauled or carried off by daemons. Eaten by shades.

But maybe intentionally destroying the planet was the ultimate plan. Who’d believe him? It wasn’t something any Ship would do. It wasn’t code. Wasn’t ethical.

But Vorn?

His father, General Vorn, the most powerful individual on Ship. The head of the military unit. The sole Shiplink, connected to the AI. As the Terrans would say, Ship’s BFF.

The crew assumed that Ship was the deciding vote on important issues.

Niko knew better. It was Vorn.

His father’s BFF, aka Ship, interrupted Niko’s reading. “Sarah requested that, should you override her latest summons, she be notified immediately.”

“So?” He hadn’t instructed Ship to withhold information from the doctor. Since he wasn’t Vorn, it was debatable whether Ship would follow an order like that from Niko anyway.

After the original Terran mission devised by his father and Ship had flopped—although it should have been a cinch—Niko couldn’t, didn’t, trust Ship any more than he did his father.

Or much of anyone.

He wasn’t even sure he trusted himself.

“Sarah is currently outside your quarters and has employed a medical override on your security,” Ship informed him, far too blandly.

“What the hell? Belay that,” Niko exclaimed, but even as he said it, he heard the hiss of the retracting door.

His enhanced senses immediately detected the near-silent tread of Sarah’s feet, the scent of her soap, and the swish of her medical bag against her pants leg.

Fucking Sarah and her perseverance. If it weren’t for the fact she was discreet and possessed of some very kissable lips, she’d be Ship 1001 in human form.

Niko didn’t turn from the data table.

“At last, we meet again,” she quipped. Her voice was nowhere near as expressionless as Ship’s, and her amusement was evident.

He tried not to tense up. If she noticed, she might suspect his avoidance was due to more than his duties. “You can’t employ a medical override without cause. I’m not lying in here passed out. Dismissed, doctor.”

“Hm. No. Your post-mission examination is weeks overdue.”

“That’s an order.” If she hadn’t contacted Vorn to complain about him yet, would she do it now?

“I’m going to ask you to reconsider that.” Sarah, unsurprisingly, didn’t sound the least intimidated by his pulling rank. “It’s just a checkup.”

“A checkup I don’t have time for. In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re trying to save a planet. Reschedule for next week.” At which point, if he couldn’t figure out his little problem or get a different doctor, he’d cancel the appointment again.

She crossed the small living area to stand behind him.

Niko braced himself. And still, his body responded to her proximity. He was as well-trained, disciplined, and enhanced as any Shipborn human could be, yet he couldn’t control his body’s response.

His libido. His lust. His desire to procreate.

He hadn’t been able to control his lust around women since arriving on Terra, and he had no idea why. He should stay as far from her as possible, which meant a physical exam was out of the question.

“I’m here now.” Sarah’s medical kit thunked when it hit the floor. “As are you. We may as well get this over with.”

He didn’t have to see her to imagine how she looked standing behind him. Her thick blond hair would be smoothed carefully back from her face. Her golden skin would be flushed with health, and perhaps success, at having waylaid him. Her crystalline blue eyes—when the fuck had he turned poet?—were probably regarding the back of his head with a clinical detachment that should cool anyone’s ardor.

It wouldn’t cool his.

Fucking hell.

He would not stand. He would not turn around. He would not let her see him like this.

“Not now.” He gestured over the complex spread of data on his table. “I’ll come in when I’m done. If it’s after your shift…” And it would be. “…Keltin can perform the exam.”

“I’m in charge of handler reintegration, not Keltin.” Plastic snapped as she donned medical gloves. “You’re the final patient on my list, and I’d like to complete this duty so I can turn my attention to more important things.” Her tone sharpened. “Such as obstetrics. Terran mothers often prefer a female physician. You may have heard that I’ve been assigned that role as well. In fact, I’m returning to the dirtside base tomorrow, where I’ve been for most of the past three months. I’ve met so many interesting people. There’s a woman pregnant with twins, if you can believe it.”

Niko hid a flinch. Celibacy had been part of his team’s original mission parameters. Except for Gregori, none of the handlers had behaved according to code while masquerading as Terra’s saviors. The handlers had posed as angels, wearing white tunics with gold combat armor over their torsos and hips. Endo-organic wing packs created the illusion they were avian deities.

They’d tried to conceal their lust. Tried their best to control it. Niko had restrained himself better than the others, but opportunity and need had defeated them time and again.

It wasn’t that they’d forced themselves on anybody, thank the Mother. But enough women had approached the angeli, curious and persistent, that they’d all succumbed to multiple encounters. Oddly, now that he and his men were aboard Ship again, the team’s urges seemed to have ebbed, as far as he could ascertain. Their shit-ass, code-breaking, bed-hopping behavior was definitely on the “do not share” list of the nondisclosure agreement they’d signed post-mission.

Niko’s urges, unfortunately, hadn’t abated. The only way he’d found to curb them was to avoid human females of childbearing age.

Especially ones he’d desired even before his Terran mission.

Sarah’s portable scanner beeped to life. Her medical kit snicked.

He would not look at her. No matter how much he enjoyed looking at her, he would not do it.

“I would appreciate it if you would disrobe now,” she said.

She wouldn’t suggest that if she knew what he was thinking. The idea of disrobing the coolly professional doctor seized him. Licking his way down her supple body. Tasting her intimately. Mounting her, filling her. Hearing her cry his name.

“Nikolas,” Sarah said, as if echoing his fantasy. “Did you hear me?”

The way she said his name, the ‘l’ tripping off her tongue like a kiss on his cock, hardened him all the way.

“I don’t want an exam right now,” he snarled. Combat adrenaline hummed through his veins, which her scanner would detect. It bleeped accordingly. “I refuse your services. Interference with free will is against code. Leave before I report you.”

Sarah’s clothing rustled, and she sighed. “Nikolas. Niko. How long have we known each other? Can’t you trust me when I tell you this is crucial? I’ve conducted some preliminary calculations that indicate… I’m getting ahead of myself. I need to complete the first round of exams.”

“Is this about our enhancements?”

She was their resident enhancements and augmentation expert, and they’d collaborated on his tech projects. Somewhat amicably. He wouldn’t normally hinder her work, but she was hindering his grip on civility.

“I’m not ready to share my information. It’s too inconclusive.” He could hear her tinker with the medical bag. “This exam will only take thirty minutes of your time, Nikolas, and then you can return to whatever it is you do now.”

He tilted his head until he could see her faint shadow on the floor to his right. “That’s Captain Nikolas.”

“I keep forgetting. I’m stunned greater sanctions weren’t instated after you…” Sarah expelled a small, disgusted breath. “I’m sorry. I’m not part of the trine. I’m your doctor. It’s not my place to judge. But I need to finish what I came here to do.”

Due to her role in the childbirths, she’d been drawn into the truth about the team’s indiscretions. Including his.

General Vorn and Ship had restricted the information as need-to-know. It wouldn’t do to have the heterosexual men on Ship ignoring the dangers and demanding shore leave while the planet teemed with various types of entities. Red, bat-like daemons with talons nearly as strong as tactanium that scouted new territories and food sources. Hordes of black, soul-sucking shades whose very touch meant death. Twenty-feet tall ovoid drones that linked up to create force fields and crank out shades.

And the grandfather of them all, the Ship-sized leviathan that appeared when a shade detected Shipborn DNA. Any time a leviathan had formed, all sentient beings—including all Ships in the vicinity—had been consumed within hours.

That was pretty much all they knew about leviathans, but it was enough.

“If you’ve come to tell me I’m a screw-up, consider yourself heard,” Niko said. Her unhappiness about his actions, an unhappiness that seemed based on personal acquaintance and not code, cut him more sharply than he’d expected. He reacted poorly. “Never mind that my Terran friends and I were part of the op that sealed the Terran nexus and saved billions of lives.”

“Many of your Terran friends are my friends now, too,” Sarah said, still in that disappointed voice. “I’m not so sure they should call you friend, considering your mission could have killed them.”

Niko lowered his chin. If he pissed Sarah off enough, would she leave? “They knew the risks. I didn’t involve anyone who didn’t volunteer.”

“They were pregnant. Pregnant because of you. And you endangered them.”

“Technically, only Claire Lawson is pregnant because of me,” he corrected, not allowing the shame coursing through him to bleed into his words.

Their mission had been worth the potential cost. He’d been desperate to protect the fertile blue planet and had basically committed treason despite a lifetime of trying to please his father. A planet like Terra should never be lost to the entities’ never-ending quest to consume sentient life. No matter what.

“I guess that makes it a little better,” Sarah mused. “I do understand precautions were taken and accidents happened. However, many of the Terrans feel completely betrayed. They were innocent. They didn’t even know who you really were.”

“Claire isn’t one of them. She knows everything now and, to be frank, she suspected at the time as well.” Niko swiped his data table, as if he were ignoring Sarah. The truth was, he could barely focus on the charts in front of him because all his nerves were attuned to the woman behind him. “Besides, I wouldn’t describe her as innocent. Would you?”

Plastic snapped. A soft, blue glove bounced off the back of Niko’s head. He blinked, surprised.

“Would you at least turn around and face me when I’m talking to you?” Sarah demanded.

“No,” he said mildly.

“You’re displaying signs of mental duress. I’ll add that to your chart to support my claim of medical necessity.” Her shoe scraped the floor. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled, but from the position of her shadow, she’d only shifted her weight.

He didn’t want to seduce Sarah; he couldn’t imagine the havoc it would create. Better that he insult her than subject her to the things he wanted to do to her. None of the Terran women had been unwilling, but Sarah wasn’t interested in him sexually.

“We aren’t supposed to talk about this.”

“I’m your doctor. And Claire’s. We’re talking about this.”

“Is Claire all right?” he asked.

“She’s fine, but—”

“Then we’re done here. Get out.”

“Is this because of Gregori?” she asked. “You’re angry with my brother for telling us about the pregnant women. You can’t get at Gregori through me.”

As his doctor, she’d seen him in every condition—healthy, naked, nearly dead, bleeding. She’d taken away his pain, healed him, advised him, researched with him, occasionally kidded him, and always, always been untouchable.

He longed to touch her, and he couldn’t. Why did he find her so much more irresistible than the women on Terra who’d actually propositioned him? She had no idea what he was imagining right now—what he was struggling to keep himself from doing.

“I’m not angry at Gregori.” The man had been his friend, one whose skill and level-headedness Niko respected, but he didn’t know where they stood after that mission. “I was going to tell the trine about the women.”

“After you used them as daemon bait.”

“The women agreed of their own free will to lure the shades and daemons away from the nexus so Adelita Martinez could get close enough to shut it—and so your brother could rescue her. Technically, I’m not supposed to talk about it, because of my nondisclosure agreement.” He wasn’t telling her anything she didn’t know, but he felt compelled to defend his actions. To recapture her respect.

“The women have certainly talked about it,” she said. “They didn’t sign agreements.”

He needed to chase her out of his room before her frustration with him turned into something a lot worse. He couldn’t let himself harm her.

“Look, doctor, the truth is, I just prefer Dr. Keltin to you.” His fingertips practically dented the data table as he struggled against his compulsion. His response to her, even stronger than he’d feared it might be, frightened the hell out of him. What would she do if he leapt up and grabbed her like some kind of primitive? “Your bedside manner is annoying. I just never wanted to say anything. Switch me to Keltin’s roster. He can handle endo-organics.”

“Give me a break,” she retorted. “Get off your surly butt and submit to this exam before I tranq you.”

Mild-mannered, good-natured, code-pure Sarah CallenJoseph, the perfect doctor and perfect sister of Gregori the Also Perfect, threatening to tranq him?

Niko couldn’t help it. He laughed.

“You don’t believe me,” she observed. “You’re making a mistake.”

As threats went, “you’re making a mistake” didn’t register on his hazard scale. He’d survived a ten-daemon attack on Raelta and had a daemon claw embedded in his skull to show for it. Sarah could probably have removed it, but he’d opted to keep it.

She was the one in danger—entering his quarters alone.

“I’ll ask you one final time,” he said. “Leave my room before I file a report that you’ve invaded my privacy.” The coolness of metal brushed the side of his neck.

“This is too important, Niko,” she whispered. “I did warn you.”

His vision blurred. Holy Mother, she’d actually tranqed him! He slumped sideways in his chair, the doctor’s capable hands catching him before he hit the floor.

His last sight was of Sarah’s blue eyes, beautiful face—and her damned dimples.

My Review is coming soon :) ps it's a good one!