My Favorite Earthling

My Favorite Earthling

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by Susan Grant

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Even a goddess can have a bad day...

Keira, warrior-queen of the galaxy, is as famous for her beauty as she is for avoiding marriage. But when an upstart little planet called Earth threatens her world with its fleet of spaceships, the fate of her people lies in her hands. She must bind herself to a barbarian from the rogue world—or face the


Even a goddess can have a bad day...

Keira, warrior-queen of the galaxy, is as famous for her beauty as she is for avoiding marriage. But when an upstart little planet called Earth threatens her world with its fleet of spaceships, the fate of her people lies in her hands. She must bind herself to a barbarian from the rogue world—or face the destruction of her own!

She's what he never knew he always wanted—

Confirmed bachelor Jared Jasper knows that the trick Earth pulls on the alien invaders isn't a permanent solution. What they need is a peace treaty. It just never occurs to him that he will wind up on the bargaining table. Playing the pushover groom to a mouthy alien babe who knows how to use a plasma sword is not exactly his idea of fun. But with six billion people depending on him, he doesn't have much choice—sleep with the enemy...or bring on interstellar war.

Strange bedfellows? You bet. But this alliance may turn into a romance the likes of which this galaxy's never seen!

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Meanwhile, on a planet far, far away,

THE NEWLY INSTALLED minister of Coalition in-telligence listened in astonishment as an unex-pected visitor vented his spleen.

"Far Star must be terminated!"

The minister couldn't quite get over the coldness in his superior's eyes. You look as if you could do the job with your own two hands. He made a fist in his lap behind his desk where no one could spy the symptom of his nervous-ness—or his grogginess. He'd been summoned straight out of bed and a deep sleep, made nec-essary after a hastily arranged meeting regard-ing a shocking encounter with a small, isolated world known only as Earth had kept him up far too late. "Far Star? As in Prime-major Far Star?"

"Yes, that one!"

The minister couldn't remember the officer ever causing any trouble. In fact, quite the opposite. Far Star seemed an affable sort, young and handsome. Intelligent, with a bright future. But his superior had been in the government since before he was born. Who was the minister to question that experience?

You ought to be standing, he realized sud-denly, and started to get up. He'd been the minister of Coalition intelligence for all of a week, not long enough to get over being a little starstruck dealing so personally with palace leaders—Supreme Commander Neppal, Su-preme-second Fair Cirrus, Prime Minister Ris-sallen and the eunuch Tibor Frix, captain of the Palace Guard—although he'd not yet met the queen, thank the gods.

At the thought of Queen Keira, the minister winced. Other men might like gorgeous, spoiled, willful, wildly unpredictable women. He did not.

"Be seated," hissuperior commanded. "Please. I'm here off the record."

Indeed. There was nothing lawful about an in-house assassination.

"The order was put in three Septumdays ago!

Receipt was confirmed by one of your REEFs—the very best, I was promised. Yet we've heard nothing, and now Far Star is missing. I had the late minister insert a code in the kill order giving the REEF a time limit to track down and kill Far Star. One week! The time is past. What happened?"

Barbaric, the minister thought. He knew it was possible to rig an assassin to self-destruct but had never heard of it being done. Though with a crime this heinous, one wouldn't want tracks leading back to the source, would they? Better to kill the killer and eliminate any messy evidence. "I'll see if I can contact the REEF." He swiveled his chair to access his computer. His communi-cation would be delivered directly to a computer implanted in the individual assassin's brain, giving a level of security unmatched by other means. After several tries under intense scrutiny, there was no answer. As a last-ditch effort, the minister pinged the REEF's ship. Nothing.

"I am unable to contact him. Since the REEF hasn't reported back within the prescribed time limit, I'm afraid he's likely suffered a total breakdown of his internal computer systems."

"Gods be damned. He's dead?"

"Or a vegetable." "Hire me another one!" His superior slammed a hand down on the desk, scattering the most recent panicked communiqué from the fleet commander fleeing planet Earth's unexpected wrath. That is the true threat here, this new and powerful world, not Far Star. Yes, the minister needed to devote his attention to galactic mat-ters, but at home trouble was brewing, kill orders were flying, and despite being the supposed overseer of intelligence, he knew nothing.

There was something innately humbling about being kept in the dark. But he summoned patience. "I'll find you a new REEF, though you'd better give him a longer rope, because we don't know where Far Star is." Probably lying dead somewhere with the broken REEF nearby. "Meanwhile, as a safeguard, I will leave the viewer on the original REEF's ship set to auto-matic two-way. The moment he powers up his ship, his image will be displayed on-screen in my office. Then we will have our answer."

"No. Set it to appear on my personal screen, and only my screen."

"As you wish."

The minister's comm device chimed and he unfurled it and laid it on the desk so that his superior could also see who was calling. The in-dividual wore a hooded cloak covering his or her face. "I understand there is a problem, Minister." It was a man—a young man by the sound of it. The voice was regally modulated with an accent that sounded familiar, but not familiar enough that the minister could place it. "Is it true? Far Star lives?"

"Far Star is missing," the minister said. Again, he thought: I should be concentrating on the humiliating rout on Earth, not this.

"You sound distressed, Minister."

"Besides the fact that you have chosen not to identify yourself, I cannot understand this sudden interest in Far Star. He is missing. Gone. Vanished without a trace. Isn't that satisfac-tory?"

"Alive, he remains a major security risk," his superior explained. "It is why we must locate him. He disappeared before the news was formally announced, but Prime-major Far Star has been chosen to be consort to the queen. This marriage must not take place."

"Far Star? Royal consort? Good gods. The poor bastard. Years ago, I heard a rumor that the queen killed a man who tried to take her by force by hacking off his male parts with a plasma sword."

"Almost killed."

"So it is true, then."

"After she sliced off his bullocks, she decided that killing him would be an act of mercy. He lives on at the palace as a eunuch—and as a reminder for those suitors who would attempt to take liberties with the queen."

The minister winced. Perhaps Far Star's ter-mination would not be so terrible, after all. Like euthanizing a sick dog to save it from further misery. "I would think, however, a military man like Far Star would make an ideal consort. With martial arts and weapons train-ing, at least he'd stand a chance at defending himself against her."

"A military man would make an excellent consort indeed. The right military man." The man on-screen threw back his hood. "Me."

Good gods. "You're, you're, " If Queen Keira were to marry this, this boy, this crea-ture, how would the Coalition survive? These conspirators don't mean for the Coalition to survive. "I will not be part of this!"

"You've already done your part, Minister.

Thanks to your help, the queen and I will enjoy a long and productive marriage."

Something hard pressed coldly against the back of the minister's skull. While he'd been focused on the comm, his superior had rounded the desk. Reflected in a crystal souvenir of the minister's last assignment on New Darva was the image of a gun being held to his head.

Of course, you fool. You know too much to be left alive. Briefly, he wondered what had happened to his predecessor. The woman's death had been ruled a tragic accident, but now he wondered. Perhaps, after issuing the original kill order, she, too, had known too much. Or perhaps the previous minister had been more courageous and refused to do as these men asked.

Does it matter what path you chose? The final result will be the same.

The minister stared at his desktop and waited for the burst of light that would end his life. It was a plasma gun: a merciful choice in weapons. The end would be quick and clean. Everything the demise of the Coalition wouldn't be if the circumstances of the queen's upcoming nuptials were any hint.

But if the monarch knew of the conspiracy, perhaps the result would be different. It was worth a try. With his heart thundering in his ears, the minister brushed a fingertip over the data-input port on his command center, secretly linking the automatic two-way visual to the queen's private chambers. If the REEF ever checked in, it would be with the queen. With any hope, and it was a tiny one indeed, she'd learn the assassin's purpose—and the treachery behind it.

And if not, despite the confidence of her hopeful groom, Queen Keira would not go down without a fight. The image of the petulant goddess's likely reaction to his marriage proposal was so satisfying in the minister's mind that when the fatal shot was fired in the beautifully appointed office, he died with a smile on his face.

Meet the Author

RITA winner and NYT best-seller Susan Grant loves writing about what she knows: flying, adventure and the often unpredictable interaction between the sexes! A former USAF jet pilot, Susan flies 747s to China, Australia, Europe, and many other exotic destinations where she finds plenty of material for her novels. Her innovative, award-winning books for HQN blends science fiction with hot romance! Visit Susan at

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My Favorite Earthling 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Susan Grant is the Queen of 'Space Romance'. Small wonder, since the lady is at home in the air, zooming through the atmosphere, pedal to the metal (do they have pedals in planes??). That she is at home with themes that deal with Space and Travel is hardly a surprise. She has been dazzling her fans with book after book, and this one is no exception. Keira is a warrior queen, ruler of the galaxy. Not an easy job, mind. The lass is beautiful, skilled with all the tools of a grand warrior, and is lethal--literally--with plasma swords and knives. Only as with most rulers, they are forced to walk a lonely road. She was queen from childhood, rising to the title after her family was killed in an accident. No family, no friends, she has sealed herself off emotionally, finding by being alone no one can hurt her. Only this pesky little planet earth is threatening hers, so she must step forward to protect her people. Fighter pilot Jared Jasper's life changes when he enters a spaceship. Beam me up Scotty time! He gets connected in a video with 'some sexy lady' and gives her his 'pilot name' (think Top Gun - Maverick, Joker, Iceman etc). Jared's is the 'The Prince'!! He quickly learns revealing that was a big mistake---maybe. The lady shows up on his door step, informing him she is the Queen of the Universe and he must wed her because he is royalty, too! She is determined they wed to form an alliance between his planet and her universe and then they can live happily ever after. After a bumpy courtship, Jared thinks being consort to the Queen of the Universe might have its advantages. But accidents begin to happen, just as they happened to Keira's family. They must unriddle the truth about her families death before it's too late. Once again, Grant delivers on all levels. I read the first book, so I knew things going in, however, that only enhanced the pleasure of the Stand-Alone title. Obviously, on the quality, fun and enjoyment of both these books, I am looking forward to more in the series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another disaster averted, Earth can once again rest easy...or can they? Though an alien invasion has in fact been averted, now's not the time for the big sigh of relief. On eggshells, the world watches in anxious anticipation of a permanent solution to the threat to their safety. Who will give all to keep Earth safe?****** Enter our Hero, Jared Jasper, brother to the previous installment's heroine. He knows about the limelight his family's been in it for a long time. Now's his time to step up to the plate and make a stand for the people and all because of his big, sexy mouth. After a precipitous video encounter with a fiery alien beauty, via a crashed alien spacecraft, Jared finds himself her reluctant consort. A man through and through though, Jared's ready to bring his game to the people of not only Earth, but his soon-to-be-bride's as well.****** Keira, Queen of galactic superpower Sakka, is under pressure to marry. No one's remotely interested her till backwater Earth member Jared Jasper. While she'll bow to her council's wishes in this regard, she will retain complete control of her unwanted marriage. From the moment he steps foot on her frigid planet though, Jared not only dares to question her council's motives, but goes several further and dares to make her feel. On a planet in the throws of intergalactic disaster, can they divert the hated Drakken, keep Earth safe and surmount a rocky marriage? These aliens, the good and the bad, are in for a surprise because they've never met an Earthling on a mission.****** At first, I felt I should have read the first book previously. But then author Grant saved this reader's day by interweaving just enough of the previous book's (titled Your Planet or Mine?) plot and characters to set the scene perfectly for this entry. Too, it hooked me solidly for backtracking to the first one as soon as possible. That being said, Jared and Keira's story was as utter delight. We have a queen, revered in the highest sense monarchs can be, who is more vulnerable than the poorest of Earth's residents. Intrigue, murder and intergalactic espionage--it's all right here and written in a snappy, fast paced style that's enjoyable and witty. Keira, being who she is, has the opportunity to come off as arrogant and snobby, but fortunately she has a sensitive Earthling to delve under her protective layers. Jared's been dealt a low blow, having to save the world, but his new life's not without some perks. He's a genuinely caring husband to Keira, what she needs most at a crucial point. My Favorite Earthling is a marvelous addition to Ms. Grant's already impressive romance shelf. Be on the lookout for the third book, How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in Ten Days, starring Jared's other sister, Evie.
harstan More than 1 year ago
California States Senator Jana Jasper and Coalition Space Force Prime-Major Cavin of Far Star saved the earth from alien acquisition (see YOUR PLANET OR MINE?). To earthlings they are heroes however his CSF superiors have sent REEF operatives to kill him.------------------------ However while everyone celebrates the rout of the alien invaders, Jana¿s sibling Jared fears Lord-General Rakkuu will be back with an even more powerful Drakken Horde as he will not underestimate the enemy a second time. Jared looks for clues inside the dead REEF assassin¿s vessel, but unintentionally hits the wrong device that sends him to a world whose ruler is known for using a plasma sword to cut off male genitals. Warrior Queen Keira assumes Jared is the Prince of earth as his kin is the first family of California and his sister is the renowned planet savior. She and her advisors decide they must marry so that an alliance can form against the common enemy the Drakken Horde. Initially worried about his precious jewels, Jared soon realizes that he loves his Queen and Keira, to her disgust, reciprocates. However someone wants his wife to be known as the widow-maker though he believes it is not her trying to kill him she would slice and dice in person not through an assassin.---------------- This is an exciting science fiction romance that delightfully lampoons the sub-genre with wit and humor yet maintains a hyper level of action. The fast-paced story line starts off fast as Jared finds himself out of this world and never slows down until the final confrontation with Keira¿s sharpest weapon (her tongue not her sword). Readers will enjoy the latest Jasper escapades especially with the ultimate kick butt female accompanied by her beloved male saving two worlds.----------- Harriet Klausner