Best-selling futuristic science fiction: ALIEN HEAT by Susanne Marie Knight
"All women love these flowers… but the feeling's not mutual."
What happens when an "uncivilized" villager matches wits with a handsome warrior... and strange, heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another Venus?
Because of her unfortunate past, Glyneth doesn't want to marry. But when she is abducted by the Outsider, Lucas Jefferson, she learns not all men are like her despicable father. With her unusual abilities, she is the only person to understand the threat the Venusian flowers are to not only Lucas' people, but Earth as well.
Lucas protests his non-warrior mission to abduct future mothers for his country. But Glyneth teaches him that might is not always right. Can he rise about the intrigues of his noble court to fulfill the prophecy of uniting the old ways with the new?
Scene Set-Up: Major Lucas Jefferson's mission is to invade a "primitive" village and abduct women. In this scene, Glyneth, the unwilling victim, escapes, but then returns to help him after he has been knocked unconscious by an outside force.
When Glyneth reached for the binding cloth, the man held onto her wrist with an unrelenting grip. "No. Stay. I must... thank you." His uniform shirt was tight without the armor, and through the thin material she saw bulging biceps, powerful pectorals, and a host of manly muscles.
She gulped down hard. She felt so strange around this man. Unfamiliar emotions stabbed at her, causing confusion.
No! This won't do. I must control myself. She took a deep breath, then glanced at her hand, neatly imprisoned within his grasp. "Perhaps you can thank me by releasing me?"
He let her go, but continued to pinion her to the spot with his mesmerizing gaze. "This much I can do. As for allowing you to return to your village, no. That would not be for the best."
"It would be best for me." Warily eying him, she took a chance on his weakened state and sat a yard away from him.
"No," he repeated as if his word was law. "You will be honored in my province of Columont. Doubly so because you rescued an heir of the ten sons of Canusa."
The ten sons of Canusa. Glyneth scratched at the fake scar on her forehead, then released her hair from the restricting ponytail. Not having her head covered in a man's presence made her feel extremely vulnerable.
Canusa, he had said. Somehow, that word sounded familiar. "Who is Canusa? Does that mean you are a prince?"
"The original Canusa was the most holy of holies. Out of the ten sons- -or the ten ruling families --one is elected to reign as the new Canusa." He shrugged his broad shoulders, then winced with pain, probably because of his upper arm. "It is true, I am nobly born."
"Not a true warrior then." She folded her arms across her chest. "I thought so."
His eyes narrowed, glittering dangerously. "You wound me again, woman. Make no mistake, you shall not escape me a second time."
"You're in no condition to threaten me! Sweet Christmas, I saved your life! Allow me to return home and we can call the debt paid." Standing, she pointed her finger at him in an accusing manner. "Believe me, I don't want your double honor."
Before she could blink, he was on his feet, towering over her. With one quick movement, he twisted her arm against her back. "We shall
call it paid now. By rights I should kill you for your insults."
Oh, how her arm did hurt. But she didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing her flinch. "Kill me because of words?" Due to his superior height, she lifted her head up to stare long and hard at his cold, blue eyes. "You come from a savage people."
"Savage?" he shot back. "That is ironic coming from an uncivilized villager."
"Well, if being civilized means going around stealing women, you're right. We're not civilized."
The man paused. Raking his gaze over her, he released her arm, then did a quick walkabout where they stood, scanning the rock formations in the dark. "Raiding your village is not something we wish to do but it is necessary for our survival."
"And so that makes it acceptable, hmmn?" For some perverse reason, she was enjoying herself. Fighting with words was far more exhilarating than thrusting with swords.
He ran his hand over his unbandaged hair and changed the subject. "You look different, woman."
If she wasn't scared before, the peculiar gleam in his eyes scared her now. "It's nighttime, in case you haven't noticed. Everything looks different in the dark. "If you'll excuse me--"
Cold metal snapped painfully hard against her left wrist. It was a silver bracelet, cruelly imprisoning her. He snapped a duplicate one, connected by a chain, on his own wrist. "Handcuffs," he explained. "So you cannot refuse the honor waiting for you back at my province."
Wild, fiery fury consumed her. "How dare you--"
"I dare anything to bring my prize back to Columont." With his free hand, he rubbed his forehead. "Good offensive move, by the way. Called a head butt, I believe. By thunder, it still hurts. But not as much as the blow...."
He yanked on the handcuffs, pulling her along. "Never mind. Come. We will find a spot to rest for the remainder of the night. I could use a good sleep."
Trailing behind like a stubborn mule, she dug in her heels, but it was no use. She was no match for his strength, even in his weakened, fevered state.
The man headed for an area soft with undulating sand. "Your actions do your village proud. Plucky little thing." He sat down, giving her no choice but to follow suit. "I was not wrong to select you. Quite an improvement without those bulldog cheeks. Your color has also improved, but you could use more padding on your bones."
She flared her nostrils. "Let me go."
Instead of answering, he reached over and flattened his palm against her breast.
"Get away from me, you... you beast!" Tears springing to her eyes, she shoved him away with her unshackled hand.
Surprisingly, he did not pursue her, but settled down into the sand. "That is rather difficult to do with handcuffs binding us. No matter. I am relieved to know you have more padding on your chest than I originally thought. Your future mate will be pleased."
How could she lie down next to this monster? Imbuing her words with all the venom she felt, she hissed, "I hate you."
Although his eyes were closed, he curved his lips into a smile. "I know. Good-night."
And blast the man, but the next minute, he started snoring!
Glyneth chewed on the fingernails of her free hand, trying to figure her next move. She raised her left arm, only to drag his arm up, too. There was nothing else to do but ease down on the sand and close her eyes. The man had won this round. But, she still had hope. As the ancient saying went, tomorrow was another day.
Review: From Rae Douglas at Romance Junkies.
Susanne Marie Knight has an interesting take on the future of the world with aliens from Venus thrown in to heat it up. I really loved the way she pulled modern day facts into the story to put a realistic tint to it. Her characters grab you and pull you through the story not letting go until the last page. Once again Ms. Knight hits the jackpot with a compelling story and life-like characters. So much happens in ALIEN HEAT that I only touched on some of its aspects. What an incredible journey it is. ALIEN HEAT is not to be missed, in this reviewer's humble opinion.
Purchase Info: ALIEN HEAT can be purchased electronically and in print at: www.wings-press.com and electronically at www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/SusanneMarieKnighteBooks.htm and other Internet locations.
Print copies are also available at amazon.com and through Susanne's website: http://www.susanneknight.com/orders.htm.
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