By Stephanie Beck
From the storybook of the stars.
A groundbreaking mission to the moons of Jupiter should have been Annalina’s big ticket for advancement, but instead of captaining her own ship, she’s second fiddle to Shields Albright.
Playboy, adventurer, immature.
Shields has been called it all, but really, he just wants to fly and hasn’t spent a lot of time on his social skills. Mutual attraction grows as the walls of the space ship close in, and they come to an arrangement that satisfies them both, while allowing them professional distance. The distance doesn’t last, not as they grow to understand themselves…and each other as someone who just fits.
Not all is as it should be among the stars.
Their ship is attacked, and the moons of Jupiter are not exactly untouched when they finally arrive. The little world they’ve built high above terra firma is about to smack down in the middle of a dangerous, maybe even deadly, reality. If Shields didn’t attract trouble like fireflies on a bug zapper, the two might have an actual shot at true love.
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Shields strode from the room, his gear already packed and waiting in the briefing room. He hadn’t settled into the base. Knowing he’d be flying soon, there hadn’t been much to unpack. In the small briefing area, the rest of the crews waited in full uniform. Annalina sat in the corner, isolated and flipping through a magazine. Anderson, the tiny boned, frail looking dick sat between the two other woman who would go on the missions—one older and one painfully young. One other man, much older and with chemist experience rounded the group.
Shields took the open seat next to Annalina. “Hey, Captain. How are you? Massage go all right? I was thinking of scheduling one.”
She didn’t glance away from her magazine. “You should. They’re wonderful, and Missy is a pro—who books out six month in advance.”
He leaned closer, loving her tough-nut exterior. “Well, damn. Maybe you could give me the lay version. You look like a woman who knows what to do with hot oil, candles, and sheets.”
“If you mean I look like I know how to cover a man in oil, set him on fire, and use a sheet to dispose of the body—you’re right.” She set down her magazine, but he didn’t miss the smirk on her face. “How’d it go in there?”
“How it always goes. I told them who I wanted to work with; they told me they’d put me with whoever the hell they want, and then I left. I’m heading to ship.”
“You got assigned a ship?” She sat straighter. “So you’re going to captain a ship.”
“Makes sense, doesn’t it? I’ve done these long stretches before, and everyone else in here,” he motioned to the rest of the room, not caring who listened, “has limited experience. I’ve been there before, too. So that helped. I’m guessing Aaron and maybe you will get a plane.”
“Really?” Her eyes lit up then cooled to disinterest. She was a smart one. If she didn’t get her own plane this time, she would after this adventure.
“Yep. Amy is too young, and Anderson is too much of a dick.”
“Hey,” Anderson protested. “That’s uncalled for.”
Shields winked at Annalina and stood up. “Whatever. I’m outa here. I’ll be on Ship Three. Good luck.”
I’ve never been one of those girls who needs piles of angst to trigger strong emotion. Little things can get the waterworks going—a song, the perfect picture, a grumpy word at just the wrong moment—so when The Challenge Series call came at Decadent Publishing, I wasn’t sure how to jump.
I’m not a dramatic girl and though I value a good conflict, I prefer the ‘us against the world’ type plot. I feel conflict faced together makes a couple sooo much stronger, so I usually give them something to rock side by side.
The Challenge Series call asked for characters working through their own struggles, also finding love. Every character has its own personal challenges, but I don’t think I’ve ever set out to intentionally break a character, but with Jenn, I did.
Giving a deeply personal, universally frightening challenge was out of my usual ‘box’ but Jenn proved herself more than ready for the challenge and Dorian, her leading man, showed his worth in support and love.
This one makes me think that sometimes, the stronger the challenge, the sweeter the reward.
***How do you like characters challenged? Deep inner conflict or outside battles? One lucky visitor this week will win an eBook of Home to Hellas, so be sure to leave your name and email with your answers.***
Home to Hellas
The Challenge Series
Jenn’s love of basketball and travel lead her to Greece, but only one
man could keep her coming back. After sharing sexy summers with
distinguished businessman Dorian Logos, Jenn returns for a seventh
with more emotional baggage than she’d like, but her feelings for
Dorian push her out of her comfort zone.
Dorian has loved Jenn for years, the young American delivering spice
and sweetness during their weeks together. When she arrives in Hellas,
limping from an injury, he quickly sees more than her knee is hurting.
He want his love to be enough to heal all ails, but it’s hard to show
his love to a woman who can’t tolerate his touch. If he can help Jenn
get well, he might be able to make their usual summer last forever.
All the best,