by Tamsin Ley
I hate to travel. Loathe it, in fact. I'm quite happy sitting at home with my dog and making custom embroidery to sell on Etsy. But when I win tickets to an intergalactic singles cruise, my sisters bully me into going. The next thing I know, I'm acting stupid over a shuttle pilot with brilliant blue skin and a smile that could melt the clothes right off my body.
Then a freak accident strands us on a hostile alien planet and not only does it look like I'll never see home again, but the locals are hell-bent on rutting with anything female. The only way to stop them is to let Tazhio claim me. And once he claims me, I'll belong to him forever…
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The door irised closed behind him, leaving her alone with the tall blue alien. Tazhio looked less human than the aliens who’d helped her sisters, with eyes that were slightly too big for his chiseled face. His deep blue hair was lustrous and thick, shorter along the sides and curling against his collar in the back. She’d always had a thing for a guy in uniform, and he filled his out perfectly, with muscles like a superhero in a comic book, perfectly proportioned without an ounce of fat.
Slowly, he shifted his gaze back to hers, and the breath of attraction exploded into a storm, sweeping her with a moment of vertigo as his intoxicating midnight blue eyes met hers.
Am I really being this stupid just to talk to a handsome guy? She turned to look for the door handle. “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”
A steward’s voice entered the cockpit over the intercom. “Everyone’s on board, sir. I’m securing the ramp.”
Tazhio put a hand to her lower back, sending delicious tingles up her spine as he urged her toward a chair. “Too late to change your mind now. Please, sit.”
She sank into the surprisingly comfortable seat, shifting her purse onto her lap. Beanie poked his head from the top and whined. She stroked between his ears. “It’s okay, everything’s okay.”
Tazhio’s deft fingers played over the symbols on his console, and on the view screen the shuttle bay doors opened. Beyond the Romantasy’s outer hull loomed black space and the glowing curve of a yellow planet with a band of multi-colored rings.
Her stomach flip-flopped, and she gripped the arms of the seat. Oh, God, oh God.
Then the shuttle rose from the deck and shot forward into space.