Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stargazers 4: Wayward by Anne Kane

Stargazers 4: Wayward
by Anne Kane
Cover art by Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-182-4
Genre(s): Futuristic, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi
Theme(s): Magic and Mayhem
Series: Stargazers
Length: Novella


Katarina and Abbie are twin Stargazers, and their mother, fearful of the pirates that run rampant in this part of the galaxy, has been hiding their abilities for years. But when Abbie is kidnapped, Kat boldly offers her services to a very sexy pirate captain in return for his help.

Tore is fascinated by the sexy young Stargazer, but how far is she willing to go to save her sister?

Kat perched atop the bar stool and took small sips of her cocktail, assessing the other drinkers in the popular portside bar. She needed to find a man. The door made a whooshing sound as it slid open, and she turned her head.

The man strode through the doorway like a conquering Viking, and she studied him with interest. Well over six feet tall, his wavy blond hair hung loose to his shoulder blades, held in place by a thick strip of leather around his forehead. His eyes were like chips of ice-blue rock, sharp and hard. He walked with the loose, easy gait of someone who spent more time off planet than on. Thick ropes of muscle covered his arms, with more outlined beneath the tight material of his heavy uni-suit. He slid onto a barstool at the far end of the Last Chance, and the bartender immediately bustled down to take his order. No waiting for someone like him.

When the bartender had served the Viking look-alike his drink, she motioned him over. “Who is he?” She tilted her head toward the newcomer.

A smirk lit his dark features while he gave her a quick once-over. “That’s Tore, captain of the Sun Runner. Usually stops in here when the ship’s in for maintenance. Rumor has it he’s a pirate, but I’m not stupid enough to ask him if it’s true. He generally doesn’t pick up any female companions here, but for a class act like you, he might make an exception. You want an introduction?”

Kat grimaced at his suggestive tone. She did, but not for the reason he had in mind. “No, thank you. I’m perfectly capable of introducing myself.”

The bartender shrugged and drifted over to group of miners playing cards. Kat waited a few seconds, gathering her courage. This Tore fellow looked like he might be just what she needed. Now all she had to do was convince him to help her. She wasn’t sure the credits she’d accumulated would be enough to buy the loyalty of a pirate. She took a deep breath and slid gracefully off her stool.

She almost made it to his side before the huge stranger turned his head. She felt a dart of pure lust lance through her as his gaze swept her from head to toe. Up close, she could see the rows of scars on his arms and face, evenly spaced so you knew they weren’t inflicted in a fight, or by accident. Those kind of marks bespoke deliberate torture. She shuddered. It was the kind of torture the Intergalactic Council liked to call rehabilitation.

“How much?” His deep voice reverberated through every nerve, causing moisture to gather deep inside her pussy.

She knew exactly what he meant. He thought she was one of the whores who frequented the bar looking to pick up new clients. She should be insulted, but the smoldering passion deep in those gorgeous blue eyes made her consider, just for a second, taking up the ancient profession. A man like this would generate so much power. And so much passion. Unfortunately, she didn’t have time right now to slake her thirst for sex.

She let her regret show briefly in the smile she flashed him. “I’m not a whore. I’m looking to hire a ship, one that’s fast and able to fight.” She paused, realizing she should be careful about how much information she divulged. She knew nothing about him or his connections.

He lifted one eyebrow, a spark of interest lighting his eyes. “Really? And what would you need a ship like that for?”

Kat held out her hand. “My name is Katarina. My friends call me Kat, and I have my reasons. Are you available?”

He stood, towering over her, and Kat found herself tilting her head to keep eye contact. A cynical smile hovered on his lips as he reached out and took her hand, holding it just a fraction of a nano-second longer than necessary. She wondered if he knew what he did to her pulse rate.

“Name’s Tore. Perhaps we should get a private booth if we’re going to discuss business.” He glanced over at the bartender who nodded toward the back of the bar.

Kat licked her suddenly dry lips, feeling unexpectedly nervous. Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea. “Certainly.”


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