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Title: ALIEN’S CAPTIVE
(Earth Brides & Alien Warriors, #1)
Author: Tina Moss
Pub. Date: October 26, 2021
Publisher: City Owl Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon
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All I’ve wanted since my abduction from Earth’s first long-range space flight is freedom from my alien captives. But when I’m sold off to a Rhonar warrior, I learn I’m not the only one enslaved on this hellish planet, and survival comes at a cost.
The dominant alpha alien they call Xelan may be my new master, but his fair dealings—and devilishly sexy charms—give me hope for the future.
If I can strike an agreement with the battle-scarred warrior, perhaps together we can change the destiny of those bound in chains.
And if I can’t—well, I haven’t backed down from a fight yet.
However, as enemies line up to destroy the alien warriors and subjugate the galaxy, I discover that the universe has a sense of humor.
Fated mates are real. And Xelan declares me his.
How can I attain my freedom if I’m tied to another being? Even if his possessive growls and single-minded attention ignite my desires in ways I’ve only dreamed, I cannot be his.
But how long can I fight the pull of a mating bond before I lose my head—and my heart—to the heat burning between us?
Only the stars know.
Alien’s Captive is a sci-fi romance launching two new series in the world of the Rhonar alien warriors. Will they find their brides? Steamy seduction, alien abduction, enemies-to-lovers, and a HEA guaranteed.
I was inside Stella’s dog crate. And my head throbbed. Why those thoughts came to mind as I blinked my eyelids open? No idea. Slowly, I pushed aside the remnants of my messy bun to find a lump. Apple-shaped and tender to the touch, it had to be the source of my headache.
“Genius deduction, professor. What other gems did you glean from that?” I shook my head at the question, sending a fresh rush of pain to my temple and neck.
I hissed through my teeth. The pain sucked, but it distracted me. “Coping mechanism.”
My head throbbed harder. Yeah, that psych degree was paying off now. Nothing like self-diagnosis in the midst of a crisis. I sucked in a breath. In, two, three. Out, two, three.
“Okay, then, stop stalling and assess.” I’d already registered the cage. Thin metal wires twisted around each other like the threads of a fine woven rug. Except these strands created braided bars that ran vertical and parallel to each other. My face rested on the bottom panel where I laid in a tight ball. Metal beneath my cheek, metal braids around me. I sat up, jostling the delicate balance between numbness and blinding pain. It zapped behind my eyes this time.
“Damn it.” I chanced looking up. The crown of my head to the cage’s top panel was less than an arm’s length away. I reached for it, needing to know if it too were as infallible as it looked. My fingers grazed more metal.
Reality crept in. It’s edges toying with my senses.
I wasn’t in my sweet Samoyed’s crate. I couldn’t be. Stella was with my parents back on Earth. The big fluffy mush had wanted to come with me on the trip. I had seen it in my girl’s sad eyes when we had to say goodbye. But space was no place for a dog. I wasn’t even sure if it was a place for humans. But I wanted to find out. That was my goal in taking the job. After endless hours of researching the human condition, I needed to escape theory for practice.
“Yeah, you escaped alright. Look where you are now?” I bit my tongue. I could have taken that teaching position on the Big Island, one of Earth’s last paradise refuges after the atmospheric holes made most of the planet inhabitable. But no. I didn’t want to go back into the classroom. It was the mysteries of space for me. And now, where was I?
I stared through the metal bars. “Yeah, where am I?”
Darkness pervaded the space. I could make out a thin strip of light from under a doorway.
But even that seemed strange, as if the door were curved somehow. The air smelled stagnant like it had been trapped too long in one place. Well, I could relate.
So badly I had wanted to escape my humdrum life, to have a shot at a real adventure and maybe, even make a difference in the world. When the Unicus power couple offered me a seat on the first deep space flight, I didn’t hesitate for a second. Their company helped humanity’s survival, and they wanted me— me— to aid in the creation of an off-world colony. It was everything I’d dreamed. My civilization psychology expertise, sociology post-doc, hell even the old undergrad philosophy classes would come in handy. It was like I’d built my entire professional life for that chance.
And now, it was gone.
Tears stung the backs of my eyes, but I placed my palms firmly over my lids and refused to let them fall. You’re not done yet. Think!
I took another shuddering breath and tried to sort through my thoughts. The last thing I remembered was having coffee in the ship’s mess hall. We’d been about four months out at that point and past the solar system. The stars had appeared even brighter so far from home, and yet, they felt incredibly lonely. Like me. It had always been difficult for me to connect with others, preferring books to friends. But this trip had been an opportunity to connect with like-minded
people. The crew were efficient, and my fellow scientists, experts, and such were nice enough.
Still, I’d been…disconnected. It was like being an extra in a movie. Even when I had a speaking line, it rang hollow.
As I’d sat alone, sipping the caffeine elixir that forced a small smile from my otherwise glum mood, an alarm blasted through the ship. “All hands to stations. All hands to stations.” The mug had fallen from my grip, cracking on the table and spilling coffee all over the floor. I’d hopped back in time to avoid the mess on my jumper. Not that the solid gray one-piece wouldn’t be improved by some color. Still, I’d managed to get my feet under me and run toward… Where was I supposed to go?
Before I could figure it out, something hard and heavy slammed into the ship.
The impact sent me careening through the mess hall as the ship dove at a harsh angle. My shoulder collided with the bottom of the table, a ringing noise sounded in my ears, and then nothing.
Pulling at the front zipper on my jumper in the present, I angled the garment down my left shoulder. Mottled purple bruises ran almost to my elbow. I sighed and readjusted my clothes.
No matter how hard I tried, I could recall nothing more.
We must have been attacked. It was the only way to explain my current confinement.
As I came to terms with that realization, a burst of light from the curved doorway illuminated the space. I blinked against it, waiting for my eyes to adjust.
When they did, I wished they hadn’t.
A creature stood before me unlike any I’d ever seen. It had to be almost seven feet tall with a round body encased in an insect-like shell, long spindly legs, and four lanky arms topped
with lobster-style claws. My gaze traveled up to a face with a pair of antennas, wicked mandibles, and egg-sized eyes.
“Ceassse your whining, ssslave,” the bug-man hissed at me.
It took my mouth a half second to catch up with my brain, and I continued to scream, until… “I understand you?” Humanity had long been capable of translation technology. Babbler units were the most popular and often installed in the brain stem at birth with an adjuster function behind the right ear lobe. I knew all this, and yet, the sheer shock of comprehending this bug-man’s words tossed me to the stone age.
“It isss clear you do.” The monster stalked closer and opened my cage door.
Oh hell no. I shrunk to the back of the metal contraption, as far as I could get from the bug beast. I knew the possibility of aliens when I started the journey into space. What none of my fellow space travelers or I counted on were bugs-based aliens. I didn’t even like bumblebees, and at least they were important for the ecosystem.
Okay, I was spiraling. This was a panic attack waiting to happen. Breathe.
When that lobster like claw reached inside the cage, no amount of self-talk would keep the fear at bay. I screamed and did not stop. That didn’t prevent the creature from latching onto my ankle and pulling me through the opening. I grabbed at the braided bars, not caring for a second how they cut into my palms.
“Let go!” I held on with everything I had. It didn’t help.
“Foolisssh Terran.” Bug-man tugged me free like I weighed nothing. He dragged me toward the curved doorway and beyond, only releasing his grip after I’d been thoroughly caked in dirt. “Now, you will behave.”
I scrambled to my knees. Everything throbbed. My head had never stopped, and now, I could add an overall ache to the growing list of injuries. Trying to ignore my pain, I looked around to get a better idea of my circumstances. A translucent wall surrounded me in a full circle like a fishbowl of thick plastic. The ground was all dirt, and to the side the bug-man stood, calling in his loud hissing voice, “Special threats today!”
My brows rose toward my hairline.
He glanced at me, the bulbous eyes growing larger, and a sick smirk twisting his thin lips.
“Fresssh and rare!”
Nauseous threatened to bring up the coffee I’d had who knew how long ago. Tears threatened, starting at the corners, but I wouldn’t let them fall. Not yet. I had to think of how the hell to get out of this.
From beyond the translucent wall, another figure stood. Almost the size of the bug-man, I could make out his dark brown hair. He appeared to be more humanoid, but it was hard to tell as the fish-bowl effect of the wall distorted everything on the outside. Either that or this new figure was built like a pretzel.
If that was the case, I’d still take my chances with twisty humanoid over bug-man. I started to crawl toward the newcomer when the bug-man skulked toward me, his lobster fist raised. “You think to essscape?”
This time there was no stopping the tears or the cry that tore from my heart.
I was never going home.
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About Tina Moss:
Tina Moss is a USA Today Bestselling Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and sci-fi romance. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and corgi Bear, though both the males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. Her corgi Chuck now lives in her heart. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, and traveling. As a 5’1″ Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.
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