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Blue Fire -- EPUB

  • An alien invasion changed Petroc. Rhianni seeks the truth. Partnering with him to defend innocents could destroy them both -- or join them forever.
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$2.99
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Other Details

Release Date:
November 15, 2011
ISBN:
9781612520995
Cover Artist:
JL Fuller

Product Description

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Rover captain Rhianni Day returns to Mallachrom, burdened with her father's guilt over abandoning the colony decades ago. She intends to find out the truth about the Taken, survivors of an alien invasion, leave, and never return. Mallachrom is no longer home.

Petroc Ash leads the Taken. His responsibilities to the Taken and their secrets are too great to risk, even for Rhianni. Loving her will bind her to Mallachrom forever -- and could kill her.

The quest to solve the mystery of the Talroqi invasion and protect the Taken from destruction pushes them together, shattering secrets and the barriers around their hearts. As time runs out, they take the risk of love, and become a weapon that has waited generations for completion.

EXCERPT

A man trudged up the slope, his boots sliding on the muddy, rocky trail. His hands were full of pocket flowers that nodded and spattered drops of dew with every step he took. He raised his head and looked her directly in the eye. For two seconds he froze, then a chagrined smile brightened his face.

"Danil, I told you not to bother the lady."

"But she's done." Danil tugged on Rhianni's hand, threatening her balance as they slip walked down the slope.

Rhianni knew him. Not consciously, his name and where she had seen him before. Something deep inside her, where she had already fallen in love with Danil, recognized the boy's father. His eyes, dark, wide, deep and touched with somber sadness. They were eyes she remembered, eyes that never lied to her. His thick, black hair hung in tangled curls to his shoulders. Too long for most settlers.

Not too long for one of the Taken, but he couldn't be a Taken, could he? Danil's easy acceptance of her and now his father's calm presence flew in the face of all the rumors that labeled the Taken as anti-social. Rhianni nearly laughed aloud at this first proof that her gut instinct refusal of those rumors and official reports had been dead on. Then her delight at meeting a Taken so soon on landing took over. She tried to stand back and really look at him, mentally filing details for her first report. Rhianni had heard stories of how the Taken had been living like wild animals when they were supposedly rescued from the custody of the Shadows, after the liberation of Mallachrom. Despite the attempts to rehabilitate and re-educate them, they preferred living on the outskirts of civilization now, settlers and hunters, explorers, and harvesters. Their detractors claimed they were psychosomatically allergic to processed foods and synthetic clothes and medicines. They mocked the modern fashions of clothes, hair and decoration, and preferred their rough clothing. Their stringent moral codes made the people in Core seem like participants in an orgy.

This half-familiar stranger moved with a light agility and strength that Rhianni associated with trained warriors. He possessed grace despite the mud that clung to his boots and made him slip. His wide shoulders and the muscles evident under his simple clothes proclaimed him a man who lived outdoors and could handle any kind of physical labor.

"What do the Rovers want now?" he asked. A crooked smile caught one corner of his mouth when Rhianni just stared blankly at him for several seconds.

"Oh, sorry." She slapped a hand over the patch on her sleeve, as if she could hide it and make him forget what he saw.

"If you're trying to recruit Taken for the Corps again, forget it. We knew ten years ago we'd die if we left Mallachrom, but nobody listened to us. Nothing's changed. You won't get any more volunteers to murder with your tests, and there's no war on, so you can't conscript us."

"No. I'm on leave. No Rover activity here at all." She fought the urge to cross her fingers against the bad luck of that particular lie.

Her stomach twisted, part-guilt and part-sorrow for the pain hidden under the chill in his voice. Rhianni had felt sick when she read the report on the deaths of the Taken who had volunteered for intensive testing. Their hyper-sensitivity could have been a powerful weapon for the Rovers, if they hadn't sickened five days of space flight away from Mallachrom. If they hadn't declined and died with terrifying speed.

The details of the wasting illness reminded her of her mother's decline and death. Rhianni had never finished that particular report.

"Dada, she's Rhianni," Danil said. He frowned and looked back and forth between the two adults, as if he expected something from them.

"Anni?" the man breathed. Blue sparks glimmered in his black eyes for a heartbeat.

Rhianni's knees nearly folded under her. The crack in his voice spoke to something deep inside her. He knew her -- why couldn't she remember him? The frustration nearly wrung a whimper from her.

"Took you long enough," he said. "You kept your promise. Never doubted you. Even if it's not the right..." He shifted the flowers to one hand and gestured around the muddy river clearing as if she could understand what went through his mind.

"Promise." Rhianni blinked, momentarily dizzy.

He held out his hand, thumb up. Her gaze fastened on his thumb and the thin white scar across the pad. A scar that matched the scar on her own thumb.

"Petroc." Rhianni laughed and flung her arms tight around him. A thousand questions tried to pour up through her mouth, mixed with laughter, tears and apologies for all the years of silence and her fear for him. They clotted into a thick knot that threatened to strangle her. Heat shot through her as his clean, musky, leather-and-wood-smoke scent invaded her head and made her feel hollow inside.


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