Wednesday Special Spotlight
RIDING THE ODDS
Lynda K. Scott
She thought her past was behind her.
She was wrong.
Spaceship captain Tara Rowan has her secrets. One is her Rider, Zie—an organic symbiote, like a living tattoo—that enhances Tara’s physical abilities. But Zie is no ordinary Rider, and Tara can never risk anyone discovering Zie’s true origins. Especially not the sexily dangerous stranger who appears out of nowhere and makes Tara’s pulse race…
Except that “Trace Munroe” isn’t exactly who he says he is. He’s in fact a Holy Knight, who does everything by the book, and Tara is his only lead in tracking down a kidnapped princess. And Trace will do whatever it takes to get that information—including blackmail. But a blazing attraction to Tara is definitely complicating things…especially when Trace realizes that following his code of honor means destroying the woman he’s falling for.
Set Up: On the Market level of the space station, Tara and her Rider, Zie, have just purchased a Tweenie and eaten it when a strange man comes up behind them.
In an instant, Zie linked in a protective move that had Tara wrapping her hand around the man’s throat, thumb digging into his jugular. Her other hand drew back to slam into his solar plexus as she fought for control.
The man manacled the wrist holding his neck. His green eyes narrowed. His very fine body tensed and his free hand wrapped around her waist, yanking her close. Close enough that she could feel the strong beat of his heart, the heat of his body, and the heavy bulge between his thighs. His scent became an intoxicating drug each time she inhaled.
Pretty, Zie murmured, surprised, and released her control. Tara dropped her hands and stepped back, appalled with her, and Zie’s, reaction. Her heartbeat ratcheted along at Zone speed even as Zie attempted to slow it. Tara opened and closed her mouth without saying anything as she looked into the tall man’s face.
He stared at her through eyes that glittered with green and gold and flecks of rich, warm brown. Unexpectedly, his hands lifted, opened in surrender. Amusement filled his eyes as a killer smile flashed as bright as a nova. A dimple flickered in his cheek. When he spoke, his voice was deep, his accent softly musical. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
His voice sent waves of tingling sensation through her. She thought she could listen to him talk all day and never worry about what he said. She knew that would be dumb, but Tara felt mesmerized, seduced by the lilting accent of his words. She wanted to lean forward, rub herself against him, bask in his heat. She could. All she had to do was move forward the tiniest bit.
Abruptly, Tara realized she was still standing far too close. Intimately close. She took a deep breath, willing the tension out of her body and stepped back again. Adrenaline still pulsed through her veins, making her shaky, but she attempted an apologetic smile. “Sorry. Did I hurt you?
“Just my pride, that’s all.” He cleared his throat and rotated his head. His voice, textured with that soft accent, which came from New Alba if she wasn’t mistaken, flowed over her like rich, smooth chocolate, and she found herself waiting, just waiting, to hear him speak again. His brow arched; he quirked a smile. “You’ve got fast reflexes.”
Tara shrugged. “Zie has fast reflexes. I just follow along.”
His longish, auburn hair turned what could have been vid-star good looks into something a little edgier, a little more roguish. A little more dominant. She decided she liked the look. On him. “My Rider.”
Zie purred, swirling over Tara’s face in her version of a flirtatious maneuver.
For a moment, his eyes tracked Zie’s dance, a hint of cool disapproval flickering over his face. Tara tensed all over again. She didn’t need his approval for Zie. She didn’t need his approval for anything.
Then his gaze swept Tara from head to toe, leaving a warm trail in its wake. That smile flickered to life again. “I saw you at Mean Joe’s last night.”
“Did you?” Had he followed her from the Trade Level? Had he recognized her after all? The thought that perhaps he had sent a tiny little flush of pleasure over her skin.
Mate, the Rider’s voice whispered. Zie had never used that term before. Not for anyone—not Jackson, who she adored, or Drummer, who was like the brother Tara never had.
Something inside her flared to life, making her heartbeat quicken and her blood race just the tiniest bit faster at the thought. Tame Riders and their human partners invariably mated with other Rider-pairs. Tara couldn’t do that. She couldn’t afford the level of intimacy that might expose Zie’s origins. Or her own.
Exasperated with her Rider and herself, Tara replied, Not mate. We’re lucky he didn’t call Security. Aloud, she said, “I’m really sorry.”
The man stood a good eight inches taller than Tara, and she was no peewee. He was impressive in all his proportions, broad shoulders that tapered to a trim waist, long arms and legs. His dark blue one-piece was similar in design to her drab gray one, but new and, she guessed, from one of the expensive, elegant shops on the retail mall. He wore it with authority, unlike the fashion freaks who paraded through the clubs and bars during downshift. The one-piece, comfortably loose on his lean frame, failed to hide his underlying musculature. On his left wrist, he had a high tech P.A. The wide silver band hugged his strong wrist. The face had the telltale kyhmid glow even in the bright mall lights and enough computing power to fly an Icarus class cruiser. The cost of it would probably make a decent dent in the Hawk’s mortgage.
Good looking and he had money, a great combination.
Mate, Zie repeated.
Not mate, Tara said, firmly.
“My fault.” He gave her that killer smile with the dimple in his left cheek, then nodded at the tweenie vendor. “I think we’re blocking his table. Can I buy you lunch? There’s a food court just ahead.”
Good looking, had money, and willing to buy her food. What more could a girl ask? She stuck out her hand. “Tara Rowan. I don’t eat with men I don’t know.”
SPECIAL PRICING: For the first week of its release, RIDING THE ODDS will be priced at $1.99. Get it before the special ends!
I’ll be participating in the Sci Fi Week release party for RIDING THE ODDS. .We’ll have an Amazon Kindle Fire for a grand prize. The winner to be selected by a random drawing. https://www.facebook.com/events/1398074173829518/?pnref=story
You can find more information about Lynda K. Scott here:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynda-K-Scott/201599553208653
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