Release date: July 14, 2014
As an undercover operative for the Constellation League, Marcos Starlaw’s current assignment is a dangerous mission. Posing as a low-end gem merchant, he must infiltrate the Delta Seven mining colony to discern whether pirates have overrun the planet as his superiors suspect. Still, he expects to return home soon, back into the arms of the many women who eagerly await his return.
Burned and scarred by torture, Nova Drayton has lived the past two years in a cave, waiting for someone to help her people. The governor of her home world is a lying, thieving traitor who has taken up with the Limaxian pirates that have overrun her society. They’ve killed many innocents, including her parents and fiancé. Realizing law enforcers may never come—that they’ve likely forgotten their promise to so much as patrol her beleaguered colony—Nova now hates everything having to do with the vaunted Constellation League and its pretentious officers.
When Marcos comes face to face with the pirates and a weapon of mass destruction, he makes a critical mistake, blowing his cover. If Nova doesn’t help Marcos escape the pirates … well, he’s already one heartbeat away from taking his last breath. How can he convince a girl who’s lived through hell that he’s the one she’s been waiting for?
With nothing left but their own ingenuity, the pair must find a way to ally or die at the hands of cutthroats.
by Candace Sams
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Candace Sams is known for writing fight scenes and police procedure into her books drawing on experience in law enforcement and as a member of the US Kung Fu Team. Find Candace Sams at www.candacesams.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter @CandaceSams.
An excerpt from Prince of Luster:
Marcos watched the cloaked figure move away, but it wouldn’t be soon enough for the constables not to notice.
Why did he care? A thief was a thief, and he’d incarcerated enough in his time to understand any other constable’s enforcement of very similar laws. Still, something with the situation wasn’t right. If a person wanted to steal, why do it from a burned-out mercantile likely not to hold anything of real value? Nothing but food, water, or perhaps some medicine.
Glancing between the two approaching constables and the small form, logic warred with compassion. The latter won.
He moved closer to his open window, put his hands on the edge, and slammed it hard. The sound echoed to the street below and the thief looked up. Marcos saw the cloaked figure’s attention move not only up to where he stood, but quickly down the street where the constables now moved faster. The sound had alerted them as well. His act was all he could think of doing on the spur of the moment, without risking his mission.
As if by magic, the thief backed quickly into the shadows and became one with the dark columns and window ledges of the buildings. Marcos saw the constables trot up to the front of the inn. They quickly glanced around and finally pulled search beams from their uniform belts. In doing so, they made themselves obvious to anyone who cared to look out the window. They no longer cared if anybody knew they were present. He held his breath as their lights were directed to the areas on either side of the street.
One of the constables drew his laser and aimed it straight at the wall where Marcos had last seen the small figure. But there was nothing there.
Marcos let out a sigh of relief and watched as the guards searched a few minutes longer, then finally made their way back the way they’d come. It suddenly dawned on “him that the thief had to be a woman or a young girl. In the moonlight, the bandit’s shoulders were narrower than a man’s. But it was really his experience with the female anatomy that gave rise to his conviction.
The grace with which the gloved hands had grabbed at the sack, and the slight swaying motion of the body as she moved, left him in little doubt. And he was that much happier for his decision to slam the window. He didn’t want to think about what might happen to the little thief if corrupt constables caught her. He was sure the men who’d confronted him earlier weren’t the kind of enforcers to honor a female prisoner’s rights. They were surly-looking sorts better suited to criminal activity themselves. The way they’d questioned him right after finding out he’d arrived was, in and of itself, suspicious.
He smiled, turned away from the window, and decided to get some sleep.