by Cynthia Sax
Refuge Book One
Can love redeem a monster?
The Refuge is home to some of the most violent beings in the universe. Kralj, its leader, reigns over the remote outpost with terrifying ease, ruthlessly squashing any rumors of rebellion, killing anyone who breaks his rules. Primitive, deadly, powerful, he’s a monster, scarred both on his face and his soul. He has never met a being he couldn’t control.
Until he meets her.
Dita has one mission—to kill the three targets claiming sanctuary within the Refuge. Or so she claims. For the first time in his long lifespan, Kralj isn’t certain of another being’s intentions. The tiny assassin is immune to his powers, her thoughts unreadable. He can’t predict her movements, can’t control her, can’t stop wanting her.
Dita is rare, as unique as he is, and, to keep the residents of the Refuge safe, Kralj will have to kill her. But first, he’ll touch her, taste her, show her how passionate the beast inside him can be.
The hero might be tall, dark, and scarred but don’t be fooled by his appearance.
He’s truly a monster.
Content Note: This story is not for readers with delicate sensibilities.
Genre: SciFi RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon Smashwords iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Aliens, Scarred Beast Hero, Genetic Engineering, Space, Dark, Futuristic
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Excerpt & More
“There’s no reason to kill me.” The tiny female pulled her goggles down, hung them around her neck, revealing eyes as blue as the sky above them. “I’m not inside your precious Refuge and I haven’t broken any of your beloved rules.”
“Yet.” His tone was dry.
“Yet.” She walked toward him, her gait loose, her lack of concern for the danger he presented perversely turning him on. The female was fearless.
“You’re a threat.” He didn’t know why he was waiting to eliminate her. “Are you alone?”
“I’m always alone.” Sadness flitted across her beautiful face, a cloud passing over the sun. Then her smile returned. “How am I a threat to you?” She purred, her full pink lips vibrating with each word.
He wanted to capture that tender flesh between his teeth and pull.
“You’re a big strong male.” She drifted her gaze over his physique, her perusal as sensual as a caress, heating him to the bone. “I’m a small human female.”
“You are small.” Kralj surveyed her form as slowly, savoring her slight curves, her lean muscles, her upturned face. He was much taller than she was, the height differential forcing her into an excitingly submissive stance. “And you’re definitely female.” He longed to see her on her knees before him. “But are you human?” He bared his fangs, showing her he wasn’t one of her kind. “I don’t know what you’re thinking.”
“Don’t lie to me.” Her eyelids partially lowered, that physical acknowledgment of his dominance pleasing his primal nature. “You know what I’m thinking.” She slid her tongue over her bottom lip, wetting her flesh.
He tracked the movement with his gaze, achingly aware of her, of the need to possess this female, to subdue her. His brain warned him she was dangerous. His body didn’t care. “What are you?”
“I wouldn’t lie to you, Kralj.”
He liked the way she said his name. He didn’t like that he didn’t know hers.
“I’m human.” She moved within his reach.
An intriguing vitality surrounded her, calling to him. He’d been alone for so long, solitary, emotionally isolated, unable to touch another being without causing damage, without killing.
“I was born with a brain telepaths can’t access.” She verified that exciting fact.
The powerful humanoid part of him couldn’t harm her. He’d never met a being like her.
“That’s why I was chosen.” She swirled her fingertips over her right shoulder, tracing the aligned sun moon planet embossed in her body covering.
It was the symbol of the Dark Veil, a guild of assassins. She was a monster as he was, trained to end lives, violent and soulless.
His desire for her escalated.
“What are you?” She smiled up at him.
“I’m not a mere telepath.” His psychic abilities exceeded any type of measurement. “I’m unlike anything you’ve ever encountered.”
She lifted her chin. “You don’t know what I’ve encountered.”
“You haven’t encountered any being like me.” Kralj was certain of that fact. “I’m the beast hunting you in your nightmares, the fear you feel in the dark, the prickling over the back of your neck when you think you’re alone.” He gazed down at her, fighting the urge to grab her, to sink his fangs into her pale neck. “I’m not a male you play with, little one.”
“My name is Dita. And who said I was playing?” She walked her fingertips across his chest, heedless of the danger she was in, oblivious to how close he was to taking her, tasting her. “You’re an attractive male.”
He wasn’t an attractive male. He was a scarred beast, as hideous on the inside as he was on the outside. She dared to taunt him and that angered him.
“You find this appealing?” Kralj leaned forward, dissipating the shadows partially concealing his face, forcing her to look at his scars.
The right side of his face horrified the staunchest of beings. The skin from his forehead to his chin was angry and red, twisted, stretched, permanently melted.
It would repel her. She’d drop the irritatingly effective seductress act.
He could then view her as merely another enemy, kill her if that was the best solution to the problem she presented. There would be no hesitation, no emotions clouding his judgment.
“Yes.” Dita reached up and touched his scarred cheek.
He flinched, surprised, shocked, stimulated beyond all reason. Although he was tempted, his inner alarms ringing a warning, he didn’t retreat, didn’t draw his face away from her hand. He stood his ground.
She inflicted more damage on his equilibrium, her fingers calloused yet gentle, fluttering over his skin. “I find this extremely appealing, handsome.”
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Be on the lookout for Cynthia Sax's future release(s): Ghost of a Machine coming May 2017 and Dark Sky coming July 2017
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