by Alana Khan
Galaxy Gladiators Alien Abduction Romance
Temptation of the Horizontal Publishing, LLC
July 25, 2021
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Born in space. Raised as a pet. I’ve never allowed myself to even dream of love.
I’ve never worn clothes, held a fork, or made a decision. When my old master dies, I’m put up for auction and sold to the highest bidder. I expected my life to continue as it had always been—kneeling at my master’s feet. Instead, I’m told I’m now free.
I should feel grateful, but I’m terrified of being alone. Maybe if I’m good enough, my new master will decide to keep me.
When I dig deep and discover the well of my own power, I have a burning desire for something more than freedom–I want Vartan. I’m going to do whatever it takes to seize my new dream.
My quest in life is liberating slaves. When I see a human female up for auction, I purchase her in order to set her free. Imagine my surprise when she doesn’t want freedom but requests to stay with me instead.
Through my ignorance, I damage things between us. To make amends, I vow to help her discover herself and unlock her deepest desires.
I ache for this female. How can I let her go when it’s our destiny to share our heart connection?
This standalone in the Galaxy Gladiators series has everything you’ve come to expect from bestselling author Alana Khan—action, fighting, and sensual love scenes.
If you like hot heroic alien males and strong human females who find their purpose, you’ll love Vartan. This book has no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after. Warning: It contains graphic sex and violence.
As soon as I nod, he stalks to a nearby booth and points to a pendant hanging amidst a sea of others on a wooden rod. He didn’t inspect all of them. There was a particular one that caught his eye. Perhaps he wants it for his mother or sister, it’s feminine. Certainly he doesn’t want it for himself.
I don’t know how he spotted this particular one from so far away, but somehow he picked the prettiest one in the stall. It’s a lovely purple stone that seems to glow from within. The silver setting is almost plain, which is perfect because the stone is so striking.
I know nothing about him, might he have a female or mate waiting for him on the ship or his home planet? My chest squeezes tightly when I wonder if this will be a gift for his female.
Am I jealous? That’s interesting. I’ve never felt this emotion before. Am I interested in Master Vartan like that? I’ve surprised myself. I certainly never felt that way about my old Master. Just having that thought pulls a little giggle from my throat. Master was old and unattractive.
“Try this on,” Master Vartan says, not even asking the shopkeeper how much it is.
Try it on? Me? Maybe he wants to imagine how it will look on his beloved.
Once it’s around my neck, he stares at the pendant itself for the slightest moment, then his gaze flicks from the stone to my face and back. He nods slowly, then faster, then turns to the shaggy blue shopkeeper and asks, “How much?”
The two haggle for a moment, credits are exchanged, Master Vartan puts his arm around my waist, and we run-walk to the hover.
My hand itches to touch the pendant. I wish I’d had the nerve to glance in the small mirror in the shop to see my reflection with the jewel hanging almost between my breasts. I keep running as I allow myself to imagine what it would be like to have a male like me so much he took time out of his busy day just to buy me something to make me happy.
I never had the courage to imagine a life like that before. Well, it wouldn’t have been courageous, it would have been stupid. Pets don’t have suitors or receive presents. Pets are lucky to be fed daily and not get spanked for their misbehavior.
We arrive at the hover, and Master Vartan helps me inside. As soon as I’m belted in, I take the pendant off, give it one last fond look, and hand it to him. I don’t know where I find the courage to speak without being spoken to, but I say, “Whoever you give this to will be a lucky female.”
A strong emotion flies across his face. I have to look hard through his foreign features to discover what it is. Whatever he’s feeling, it isn’t the appreciation I thought he would express at my compliment to his good taste.
“You don’t want my gift?” As soon as the words are out of his mouth, I can identify his feelings. I’ve hurt him.
“This beautiful piece of jewelry is for me? A gift?” I turn the pendant in my hand and take the time to examine it. The surface is iridescent and so shiny I can see a distorted reflection of myself. I stroke it, allowing my finger to skate lovingly over the smooth surface. “A gift,” I whisper to myself, never intending him to hear me. “My first gift,” my tone is filled with awe.
Tears spring to my eyes as I allow my emotions to swirl inside me. I know, even as it’s happening, that I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t have expected this, but there’s something about receiving something I can hold and touch and feel that affirms my existence, my worth as a living, breathing being.
My hands shake as I try to pull the necklace on over my head.
“Let me help you,” he says as he slips the piece out of my trembling grip. I never noticed his voice before, but it’s deep and full of warmth. For the briefest moment, for the first time in my life, I don’t carry the slightest fear of another person.
I knew my old Master cared for me, but I was always aware he could hurt me if I displeased him. Right this moment, though, a peaceful feeling washes over me. The enormity of this experience causes hot tears to fall from my eyes.
He captures my chin in his gentle grip and turns my face up, toward him.
“Your first gift, Lyra?” His finger traces back and forth across my throat. It barely touches my skin, yet leaves a trail of liquid fire along its path.
“Yes,” the word is more breath than sound.
He pulls away to fasten the chain behind my nape, then slides his thumb between it and my skin. Twirly feelings dance in my belly, maybe lower, with just his gentle touch.
“It looks beautiful on you,” he says, but he’s not looking at the necklace, he’s looking at me.
I fight to keep my eyes open and focused on his face. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been taught not to look directly at any other being, especially my Master or Mistress, but I can’t pull my gaze from Vartan.
I inventory his red eyes, his high cheekbones, and his plump lips. His warm breath fans across my skin. It smells fresh and warm like that day master took me to the beach so long ago. The way he’s looking at me with fire in his eyes, I could drown in it. I want to capture this moment and preserve it in my memory until my end of days.
He leans toward me, his lips edging closer to mine. Is he going to kiss me? Fear bolts through me. Pets don’t receive kisses! Pets are for . . . I don’t even know. I’m not on solid ground anymore.
Perhaps he senses my panic, or maybe he changes his mind, because I see his emotions, so plain on his face a moment ago, shutter and close down.
“We should go,” he says, his words crisp and clipped.
To celebrate the release of VARTAN by Alana Khan, we’re giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by BookMojo on behalf of Alana Khan. BookMojo will distribute the prize to the winner. Giveaway ends 8/31/2021 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About the Author
I write under a pen name because until recently I was still a practicing psychotherapist and didn’t think my clients would want to be privy to the sexy stories I write for fun. I think my history as a therapist gives me unique insight into people’s thoughts, feelings and motivations and provides my writing the ring of truth and deep emotion.
I’ve specialized in working with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder since the beginning of my career. Maybe this is why most of my characters have some…issues. Don’t we all? Even though many of my characters have been scarred and traumatized, I make them work hard to earn their happily ever after, which is guaranteed in every book––because they deserve it.
I know life is hard and the path to true love is littered with potholes and poor choices. That’s why it’s easy to write books with real themes about real people who encounter real difficulties before the characters find their well-deserved bliss. I guarantee no “too stupid to live” heroines and no ridiculous misunderstandings. My characters’ struggles are real and compelling—just like yours.
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