THE STAR TRIPPER, a science fiction romance novel by JL Malkston
What if the man you fell in love with isn’t the man he claims to be?
Jade Falcon was a take-no-prisoners Star Force commander with a weakness for the kind of man most likely to break her heart. Morgan Kidd, a covert operative posing as a space pirate, was that kind of man. When they met, neither knew the other was on a mission to investigate the piracy that threatened to bring on interstellar war. They soon found themselves investigating each other. Falling in love wasn’t part of the strategy, but their hearts weren’t let in on the battle plan . . . or the mystery shrouding Morgan’s past.
She knew he was trouble the moment she met . . .
She saw his butt-kicker boots first and then the rest of him. He was human, tall—more than two meters worth—and sprawled in a chair at a table in the farthest, darkest corner of the pub. He folded muscular arms across his chest, and his lips parted in a feral smile.
Jade’s kneecaps liquefied. He was the type of man she was drawn to, not classically handsome, but with compelling, rugged masculine features. His striking, don’t-mess-with-me face had seen more than its share of brawls. She could tell that from the scarred brow and the nose that was pushed just shy of center. He wore his long, jet-black hair pulled back and tied at the nape of his neck. His manner of dress marked him an itinerant spacer, possibly a star tripper.
His black vest matched the snug talgahide trousers covering long, muscular legs that disappeared into tall boots, and his long-sleeved burgundy shirt was open at the throat. A Berethan naptor tooth hung from a silvery chain around his neck. Vicious beasts, naptors. It would take a hell of a man to kill one himself.
Jade watched the stranger’s eyes as she approached him, smoldering brown eyes framed by jet-black lashes. Obviously, he liked what he saw. He was a living, breathing occasion of sin, whoever he was, and Jade was no stranger to his kind. She was addicted to bad boys. Couldn’t get enough of them and always got hurt, but that didn’t stop her. The moth flew straight to the flame.
Jade halted a meter away, with arms akimbo and brows arched. “Sir Galahad, I presume?”
His wide, sensuous mouth curved just enough to show he was amused. “Hardly.”
“And we’re hardly damsels in distress.”
“My mistake.” He leaned farther back in his chair, tipping it on two legs. “Figured you two might need a hand, nice girls like you in a pesthole like this.”
Jade’s brows lowered, as did her voice. “Maybe we’re not nice girls.”
Sir Galahad’s smile spread, a dazzling alabaster smile that revealed he lost no teeth in any of the fights he no doubt won. “The answer to my prayers.” Never taking his eyes off Jade, he kicked out the chair beside him. “Join me, please.”
. . . The Star Tripper
SWING FEVER, a contemporary romantic suspense novel by Jolana Malkston
She was a fish out of water.
Sabrina Lombard jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire when she fled New York City for the tiny town of Looking Glass, Michigan to find the serenity and solace she needed to lick her emotional wounds. Instead, Sabrina found herself entangled in sex, lies, and videotapes amid a cast of characters who made The Three Stooges seem like Masterpiece Theater. The only island of sanity was the sexy police chief living right next door who made her rethink her hasty vow to swear off men forever.
He had the right bait.
Ruggedly handsome EJ Kendrick, the Looking Glass Police Chief, moved back to Looking Glass after his wife died so his mother could help him raise his teenage daughter. It had been two years since a drunk driver killed his wife, and his friends and family were urging him to go looking for love again. To his chagrin, love was looking for him in the form of every eligible female in Looking Glass. And then Sabrina Lombard arrived to sneak past his defenses and give him the desire to jump-start his life again.
He assumed he was confronting a prowler . . .
EJ strolled around the house, checking doors and windows, making certain all were secure. He reached the back door and stopped cold. A dim light flashed in the kitchen. EJ extinguished his flashlight at once and drew his Sig Sauer. He climbed the back steps with professional stealth and pressed his back against the wall beside the door.
Cautiously, he peered inside and detected movement. Someone was in there, all right, opening drawers and doors, possibly a vagrant. He sneaked another look and observed a small silhouette in the light from the refrigerator.
EJ relaxed. A kid. He wondered whose little mischief maker he was. No matter. He was going to teach the kid a lesson he would never forget. EJ reached for the doorknob. It yielded with ease, of course. The little devil picked the lock.
“Freeze!!!” EJ shouted it loud enough to crack plaster.
The kid jumped and the jar he was holding crashed to the floor, splattering its contents everywhere. EJ moved swiftly, grabbing the startled kid by the scruff of his hairy neck. “Up against the wall. Spread’em.” He heard a muffled whimper as he pressed the kid to the wall and systematically patted him down. He was a little guy, maybe twelve or thirteen. EJ could feel the kid’s body trembling with fear as his hand swept over him.
Suddenly, he stopped. Something wasn’t right. The kid’s clothes were soft and silky to the touch. He slid his hand upward, and then stopped short.
He had his hand on soft, rounded, undeniable evidence that the kid was a she, not a he. His heart sank. He spun the girl around so he could get a better look in the light from the refrigerator. He saw dark brown eyes wide with fright and an apple where a mouth should be. She took one look at his gun, spit the apple out, and screamed blood-curdling murder.
Lights flashed on in the upstairs hallway. The girl kept on screaming, and then he heard voices shouting and footsteps clambering down the stairs.
“Sabrina! Sabrina, honey, are you all right?”
“What in hell’s going on down there?”
EJ recognized Ruth and Hal’s voices immediately. He groaned and holstered his Sig.
Hal flicked on the switch and the kitchen was awash in light. The tiny, silk pajama-clad girl darted past EJ and ducked behind Hal. There was no longer any doubt in EJ’s mind that he just made a complete ass of himself.
Ruth’s eyes were wide with surprise. “EJ? What’s this all about? What are you doing here?”
“Checking the house. I thought somebody broke in.” He rubbed his face, now flushed with embarrassment. “I didn’t know you folks were back home. You said you’d be gone all week.”
“We just didn’t think to call. Sorry, EJ.” Sheepish, Hal hung his head. “It was a spur of the moment change of plans.”
Ruth nodded. “We left the wedding early, and we brought Sabrina back with us instead of staying on in New York. We drove straight through.”
EJ cocked his head. “Sabrina?”
At the sound of her name, she peered out from behind Hal, and EJ got his first good look at her. Her dark brown eyes were luminous, and her unsmiling lips were set in a sensuous pout. An untamed mane of dark curls framed her exotic features. He swallowed hard. A bag over her head would not be necessary. She was a knockout.
. . . but he was pleasantly surprised to discover his mistake.