Love is a mysterious thing. So say the thousands of poems, songs, stories, plays and novels that have been written about it. No one has the exact formula to find it. No one has even been able to define what it entails.
One man, one woman? That seems to work for the majority of Americans. But my daughter is fiercely in love with her darling partner, a little lady from North Carolina. That’s just as much love as any man-woman pairing I’ve known. Some people find contentment in larger groupings of men and women.
Then there’s those who find their mate in the paranormal world, vampires, weres, shifters of other kinds, all of whom are found in the literature of this world. So what’s left to consider?
How about what’s off this world?
That’s what greets us in A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, a new science-fiction romance hot off the ebook racks. Kylie Sanderson is a hotshot officer with SIRT, an X-Files sort of interplanetary investigative law enforcement team, and she’s looking into a series of murders on the planet Andan. A string of young women have turned up dead, discarded in dumpsters, each partially mutated into a reptile.
Kylie’s inquiry leads her to an unexpected meeting with a man who stares at her, dissecting her in a way that felt not like he was undressing her, but more like he looked into her…Ready to skip the hassle, she heads for the door but he stops her.
“Please join me,” he said.
“No, thanks, I’m on my way out.”
“Please,” he said firmly. She stopped to look at him. That glance froze her steps. His eyes were the exact yellow tone of the dead woman’s. Exact.
She surveyed the room, but no one seemed to be paying attention. One gesture from her would have garnered assistance, but those eyes compelled her to wait. “Why should I?”
His voice softened. “I have information that could be of use to you.”
“Then perhaps you should come to the Cendiary. That’s where SIRT’s camped while this investigation is going on.” Her mind clicked along frantically trying to reject the half bottle of alcohol she’d consumed. There was something about this man, something about him. His eyes, but more than that. Taller than most men, and broad-shouldered. Hair, perfectly combed, his skin, without a blemish. Not even the hint of an old scar. Clothing, unremarkable. Hands, not quite perfectly proportioned, his fingers a little long, the nails even but lengthy for a man.
“No. I need to talk to you now.” His gaze continued to dance with hers.
She blinked and looked away. “This isn’t a good time, friend.”
His hesitation made her miss a beat, too. “No, I don’t consider you my friend.” She frowned. “Come to the Cendiary in the morning.” She turned to go, but her wrist was suddenly caught in an iron grip.
Tugging on her captured hand, she looked over her shoulder. He held no apology in his eyes, and his expression was grim. He nodded to the empty chair beside his. “I need to talk with you, Investigator Kylie Sanderson. Please hear what I have to say before any more females are damaged or killed.”
This not-so-gentle effort to get her attention turns into a full-out partnership as things take a twist for the worst. When Kylie finds there’s no one else she can count on besides the mysterious Griff, that’s the only place she can find a bit of hope. Is that enough to shift the balance to love?
Even the smallest degree of hope can spark love.
Against her wealthy father’s demands, and the usual blockades of a male dominated profession, Kylie Sanderson proves worthy of her position as lead investigator of planet Andan’s Scientific and Investigative Research Taskforce. Someone is killing Andan’s women in an attempt to mutate them into reptiles. Kylie makes it her mission to discover who’s behind the murders and prevent more grotesque deaths.
Shapeshifting lizard Griff comes to Andan to stop his brethren from mutating other planets’ women into mindless breeding stock. Overcoming Kylie’s suspicious and defensive nature proves difficult, but he must in order to help the SIRT team thwart his planet’s scientists.
When Kylie is abducted and becomes the first human to survive the transformation, it’s up to Griff to rescue her so SIRT can restore her human form. On the run and desperate to unravel the mysteries of Kylie’s past to solve the crimes of their present, can she and Griff forge a future for themselves?