Ty Sordina hates Ria’s kind. The Sandarians enslaved his people and murdered his parents in front him when he was a child. He has sought revenge ever since, and nothing will get in his way. Especially not a feisty redhead who challenges his every instinct and calls to his psi like no other.
But there is a war coming. And the two beings who want nothing to do with each other hold the fate of an entire planet in the heat of their undeniable desire…
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An Alien Attachments Novel
By Sabine Priestley
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Sabine Priestley
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Ria Montori leaned against the transparent panel with arms crossed, enjoying the view of Earth below. It was good to get off-planet, if only to the Cavacents' cloaked base station. The little blue planet hung suspended in space, so different from the purples and greens of Sandaria.
Times like these gave her a chance to reflect. She was proud of what she'd accomplished. Because of her small size, she'd had to work twice as hard as anyone else to be taken seriously. Graduating second in her class in the military academy had helped. After her obligatory three years of service, she'd signed on with the Cavacent clan and now had a coveted spot as an Earth Protector, EP for short. But things were changing in the Sandarian Empire, and her world along with it.
She and Dani Standich, the newest member of the EP team, were overseeing the arrival of supplies from Sandaria. EPs had a wide range of duties outside of protecting Earth. The Cavacent clan had escaped Sandaria during the fall of the old empire in such a hurry, many things had been left behind. Due to the animosity of both the new planetary ruler and the Portal Masters' Guild, they might never be able to return, but with the help of those still living there, things were working out. They had been able to recover a large percentage of belongings they'd been forced to leave behind, and most of Rucon Cavacent's shipping business had survived intact.
"You okay?" Dani asked. "You look sad."
Ria regarded the tall blonde. She was a stark contrast to her own petite build and fiery red hair. Where Ria's world had shrunk, Dani's had exploded — other worlds, aliens, empires, all laid bare to her. She blew out a breath. "I'm okay. Glad we pulled this duty today. I don't know if this will make sense to you, but I'm feeling a little claustrophobic on Earth."
"How can you be claustrophobic on a planet?" Dani asked.
She tried to find the words to explain. "Because Sandaria is home to the Portal Masters, it's probably the most connected planet in the galaxy. You could request travel to at least a dozen planets. Starships are constantly coming and going." Both women wore the standard EP attire of black button-up shirt, black jeans, and boots. Ria turned to face Dani and shoved her hands in her front pockets. "I spent three years cruising the stars in the military before I hired on with the Cavacents. And now, with the fall of the emperor, that little ball out there is all there is. Does that make sense?"
Dani squeezed her arm. "It does. I mean, it's kind of weird for someone like me who never knew anything but Earth, but it makes sense." Dani bounced up and down on her toes. "I still get goose bumps being able to see Earth from out here. Don't you?"
Ria gave her a smirk. Her friend radiated a disgusting amount of happy. She'd recently bonded with Ria's boss, Ian Cavacent, and there were times Ria wanted to smack the happy out of her. She was glad for them, of course, but one could only take so much sunshine.
It was a calm day below, with few clouds to hide the surface.
"I still can't believe it," Ria said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "A few months ago Earth was just a job. Now it's home."
Dani huffed. "A few months ago, I didn't know aliens existed or that I had super powers."
Ria smacked Dani on the elbow. "Psi isn't super powers."
Dani gave her a look.
"Yeah, okay. From a human perspective, maybe it is," Ria said. "We're Supergirls."
Ria's com started screaming like a teenager, making both women jump. Dani's com followed a moment later with the atmosphere breach alert.
Ria wasn't sure what surprised her more, the screaming or the breach. "Harvey, silence the alert," Ria said. "And stop screaming." She'd modified her com on Earth, giving it access to the Internet. Over time and with some tweaking on her part, it was developing a personality. The results so far had proved amusing. She never knew what Harvey would do.
"Yes, ma'am," her com said, sounding miffed.
Dani shot her a what-the-fuck look as they bolted for the portal. "That scared the crap out of me."
"Sorry." Ria stifled a laugh. "I've been playing with the interface. Screaming female wasn't exactly what I was going for."
Ria pulled up the status of the six cloaked transport ships that currently surrounded Earth. Two of them were picking up an alien signature on the planet. How is that even possible? They stepped through the portal together. Ria felt the familiar pull on her body and tingle of her psi as they were transported from the station to Earth. They emerged in Ian and Dani's study on Cat Island in the Bahamas. The portal exited through the fireplace and onto woven grass rugs. White floor-to-ceiling bookcases covered the walls, and a massive desk sat near a window overlooking the cliff and water below.
"What gives, Ian?" Ria said. "How could we have an atmosphere breach without an approach from space?"
Ian ran a hand through his wavy blond hair. It was obvious that he and Dani were communicating telepathically via their bond.
Dani's face paled.
"Your ships picked up alien signatures on the planet," Ria said. "Who is it, and how did they get here?"
The shock was evident in Ian's voice. "They exited hyper-space inside the impact zone."
"Frack me," Ria said as the meaning sunk in. Who would do that? Inside the zone meant it was pure luck they didn't exit partially or fully inside the planet. Earth could have been destroyed today. A cold sweat formed on her skin as the horrific scene played out in her mind.
The fourth EP currently on Earth at the moment entered the room from the hallway. The arrogant albino, Armond, had arrived from the tunnels and looked as shocked as the rest of them.
The final EP, Marco, was on a mission with Ian's uncle and wouldn't be back for a few weeks, at least.
Ian projected the status holo and searched the incoming data.
Armond joined them as information updates came in on the vid. "Identified?"
"Torogs," Ian said, looking puzzled.
"Where are they headed?" Ria asked.
Ian scratched his head. "They were headed straight toward Asia, but they've changed course."
Ria followed the trajectory of the signal. "They're coming here." It was impossible not to remember the last time the Torogs had visited Cat Island. They'd stormed the villa. Their ball-jointed limbs and leathery bodies had half climbed, half fallen through the dining room window. At the same time, they'd smashed in the front door. They'd managed to slice off Marco's hand before he and everyone but Dani and Ian had made it through the portal back to Sandaria. Those two had almost died when the Torogs bombed the tunnel that led from Ian's villa. They'd barely survived by pulling off a nearly impossible portal move and following the others to his home planet. The whole thing had been a mess. "Is this some kind of joke?"
"No joke," Ian said. He brought up the villa's sensors that showed it cloaked and shielded. "They can't get in here. Question is, what do they want? Why did they change course?"
"What if they weren't headed to Asia, but the Maldives?" Ria asked.
The EPs had bases around the globe. Ian on Cat Island, Ria in Lago Como, Marco in New Zealand, and Armond in the Maldives.
Ian raised an eyebrow. "Go on."
"It would explain the change of course if they're tracking Armond. They were headed to his base. Now they're coming here."
"Why would they be doing that?" Armond looked down on her with an air of superiority.
"I don't know. You're the self-proclaimed genius. You figure it out."
They all watched as the Torog signal approached the Island. It hovered around the Cat for nearly ten minutes before blasting out of the atmosphere and setting off another round of alarms. They followed the signature until they were satisfied the aliens weren't coming back.
Ian's com signaled an incoming call. He spoke briefly and disconnected. "My father wants to see us."
A network of subterranean tunnels interconnected by portals existed deep under the Earth's surface. The EPs used them to travel the globe and the Cavacent clan for mining the rare and precious mineral carnium. The trace mineral was a required element in the fuel used by their Faster Than Light, or FTL, interstellar ships. The team filed out of Ian's library and headed for the cruiser. Twenty minutes later, they were gathered in Ria's villa in Bellagio, Italy. Rucon Cavacent, Ian's father, had chosen Lago Como as the location of the new Cavacent compound, currently under construction in the hills above the lake. In the meantime, Ria's villa was the most centrally located and served as temporary headquarters. They gathered around the large dining room table. Ria had instantly felt at home the first time she had seen the marble floors and rich browns and reds of the walls of the ornate Italian villa. She'd inherited it from a previous EP and wouldn't change a thing.
Rucon was not happy as he wrapped up a call to someone on his com. "They must pay for this. They could have destroyed us. Not to mention the entire planet is buzzing with the news of something leaving the atmosphere. Earth is still a dark planet. They don't know about us." Rucon paused, listening before he continued. "Agreed. Thank you, Torril. I'll be in touch."
Torril Anantha. Ria was impressed. Not many people were on a first name basis with the head of the newly formed Galactic Trade Organization.
Rucon tapped his fingers on the tabletop. "He's launching an investigation. Even with the current state of unrest, risking an entire planet warrants the GTO's attention. There will also be a small battleship stationed along with our transport ships. If they attempt this again, we'll be able to hunt them down."
Chasing the Torogs wasn't an option with the transport ships. Although heavily armed, they weren't designed for pursuit.
"For now," Rucon said standing, "we keep all bases shielded at all times."
Rucon was taking this seriously. Full-time shielding meant full-time monitoring as well. The shields prevented anyone and anything from crossing their perimeter. From the local deliveryman to birds and animals. It wouldn't do to have humans walking into an invisible wall.
Rucon interrupted her thoughts before she could ask how long he expected to keep the shields active. "One more thing. Assuming everything remains quiet, Mara and I have accepted an invitation to attend the Summer's Ball on Mitah this year. An old friend of mine lives there." He scanned the faces around the table. "We've all been working hard since coming to Earth. I think it's time for a break. As long as we don't have further complications from the Torogs, I'm extending the invitation to the whole team. We'll make a portal back to Earth as soon as we get to Mitah."
"Excellent," Ria said.
The others were equally excited about the prospect.
Rucon said his goodbyes, leaving the rest to discuss plans.
Dani, who'd never been anywhere other than Earth and Sandaria, was bouncing up and down. "Anyone been to Mitah?"
"I've never been," Ria said, "but I dated a guy from there for a while at the academy. It's supposed to be beautiful." And it would be great to have another world to go to occasionally.
"And you guys?" Dani asked.
Armond shook his head, but Ian nodded. "We've been to the ball a few times. You're going to love it. It's a three-day visual spectacle, complete with a masquerade ball. You two" — Ian nodded to Ria and Dani — "are going to need to go ahead of time for dresses."
Dani clapped her hands like a child.
Ria nearly choked on her water. "Why? We're an hour and a half from Milan. World class designers and all that."
Ian crossed his arms and smiled. "Yes, but you can only get Mitan silk from Mitah, and trust me. You want Mitan silk."
* * *
It had been four days since the Torog's return to Earth. There had been no further attempts. Whether that was due to the battleship now orbiting with Rucon's transport ships or not, they had no idea. Ria and the other EPs were forty minutes into a training session in her sim room on Bellagio. They'd chosen a tropical jungle with four different types of alien life forms for variety. Distinguishing between harmless native wildlife and deadly aliens wasn't always easy. It was a team mission, and so far, they hadn't lost anyone. Today's weapon of choice was a small handheld laser called a dart. It worked like a gun on one setting and like a two-and-a-half-foot sword in the other. The training models were designed to deplete rapidly over time until only the sword function remained, and that got shorter until only the casing was left. So far, everyone still had functioning guns.
It was she and Dani's turn to hold their base. Ian and Armond flushed the surrounding area. Ian was ahead in kills, but so far, she and Dani were ahead on team saves. So as usual, the women were keeping them alive, and the guys were shooting things.
Ria wiped the sweat from her eyes. "We need to pick a desert next time. This humidity sucks."
"You get used to it," Dani said.
The bushes to their left rustled, and both women swung their lasers in the ready.
Ian stepped out, and Ria sparked with envy when he grabbed Dani and planted a kiss on her before he disappeared back into the foliage.
"Seriously?" Ria said. "You can't go an hour without locking lips?"
Ian's laughter rippled through the trees.
Ria rolled her eyes.
Another rustle, and a four-legged creature with razor sharp teeth launched itself at Ria's chest. "Morits!" Ria called out as she sliced the critter in half.
The sound of Ian and Armond battling away let her know they'd found the nasty critters as well. Six more made it past the men. Dani made easy work of the two that had targeted her. Ria nearly made it unscathed but when four hit her at once from all sides, one managed to latch onto her lower arm. Those jaws had some serious force, and her hand popped off, dropping the creature to the ground with it.
"Aw, come on. Not fair. There were four of them." Ria lifted up her wrist and studied the bloody stump. "Halt sim."
Ian and Armond approached from opposite ends of the clearing, equally covered in sweat.
Dani came to her side and inspected her handless arm. "It would almost be easier if they were bigger. It's hard to keep track of them when they're so small."
"Perhaps your relative height to the ground also contributed to your demise," Armond said.
Ria glared at him. "Are you seriously going there?"
"I'm simply stating that you were closer to them than Dani."
"Whatever," Ria said. "Little shits. Reset sim," she called out.
Morit bodies and Ria's hand evaporated. The illusion of a bloody stump did, as well, and her own hand reappeared as they all caught their breath. The jungle around them melted into the floor, and they soon stood in the metal gray of the sim room.
"That wasn't bad," Ian said. "We made it nearly an hour, outnumbered five to one. I'm good with that."
Ria was annoyed by the fact that she'd been the one to go out first. She had a competitive nature and hated losing.
She was still in a bad mood later that night when she sat at the kitchen table with her two Support Agents, Gina and Battista. They lived in a suite of rooms off the kitchen. Together, they cooked, cleaned, and took care of the estate. They looked like a normal, older Italian couple — a bit on the pudgy side, but sprightly enough. In truth, they were both highly trained and fully in the know about aliens. Across the table, they were giggling over a shared joke. Looking at them fawn over each other, you'd think they were psi-mates like Dani and Ian, but they weren't. They were simply humans in love and, at the moment, irritating.
Gina finished a bite of pasta and chuckled at Ria. "Ms. Dani, she tell me you lose today. It's not like you to lose, no?"
Ria bit the side of her cheek, still steaming. "I was being attacked by four furballs with teeth. One of them took my hand off." She shoved a large forkful into her mouth.
Apparently sensing Ria's chagrin, Battista jumped into the conversation. "We ran into the Mancini boy in town yesterday. He said to tell you hello and give him a call someday."
Excerpted from Rebellion by Sabine Priestley. Copyright © 2015 Sabine Priestley. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was provided a copy of Rebellion for an honest review for a blog tour. Rebellion could be read as a standalone novel; however, I would not recommend it. There is a good deal of political and cultural change happening in the Galaxy as a result of the emperor being overthrown; you will need a grasp on this world from the start, and you get that in book one, Alien Attachments. Book one is Dani and Ian’s story, where Rebellion is all about Ria and Ty. Now there is a whole lot going on in this book. There is political movers and shakers, a planet trying to perform a mass genocide on a people, OMG! It was so freaking good! The thrills and the drama didn’t stop! You have Ty, (I love that name) who hates the Sordina Military, and for good reason; they have been part of the politically corrupted system that continue to hold his people into oppression and slavery. Not to mention, one of the high ranking officials killed his parents when he was a child! So he is a big ball of hate and revenge, and one of the key players in the Rebellion. Who does he meet? You guessed it, Ria, who happens to be his psi-mate. Now a psi-mate is this crazy connection that is beyond anything, you can’t control when you meet that person. It’s pure lust drawing your heart, body, and soul with no limits to your mate. It’s a strong driving force for them to bond; possibly for procreation, idk, we haven’t got that far yet. The bond is unbreakable, and a psi-mate is forever. Everyone wants to find their Psi-mate! But what do you do when your psi-mate is your worse enemy? Ria is ex-Sordina Military, everything Ty hates. Ty is a cold blooded killer, and a kidnapper. What can they do?! You can’t fight a psi-mate bond, its futile! From the thrilling aspect of a Rebellion rising up to fight a totalitarian regime, to Ria and Ty’s complex relationship; I loved everything about Rebellion, I give it a HUGE 5 Boundless Stars....Sara
Tied irrevocably to a killer? When finding your mate is everything you could hope for and everything you dread… Neither Ria or Ty are exactly thrilled with finding their psi-mate… not when Ty believes Ria to be part of a military regime that saw his people enslaved and his parents killed… not when Ria watched Ty kill a man in cold blood. Like it or not, though, they are bonded and each night brings prophetic dreams. I really liked Ria in Alien Attachments. I loved her in Rebellion. This ex-military maven may be petite, but she exemplifies all that is a touted in a redhead. She’s fast, has a bit of a temper and can definitely be deadly if the situation warrants it. She’s also all woman… shopping trips for girly fashions, giggle fests with her bestie and total heartache when she discovers her psi-mate is a cold stone killer… and she wants to know why. She sure didn’t expect to find herself embroiled in a rebellion on a far-flung planet when she sought answers. It seems the whole galaxy has been misled when it comes to the native Curzans of Mitah. These are no illiterate, simple-minded people. Far from it. And, if what she suspects is true they never should have been subjugated to begin with. Fifteen years ago, Ty watched as his parents were murdered in front of a classroom full of children by a Sandarian soldier. Now their killer is back on Mitah. People are turning up dead. The government is corrupt and there is only so much the underground movement can do and only so fast. He went to the festival to take out a killer. He never expected to be taken down by the woman he shared a glorious night of loving with. Finding out she’s ex-military is just the icing on the cake. Now he’s in the hands of his enemies and his every dream is filled with her. Every moment of his day is filled with pain. Time is limited and if they’re going to find the proof they need to free their people they’re going to have to look past the surface and trust what their bond is telling them. Rebellion is full of action and adventure. There are plenty of story arcs to keep you busy with Ria and Ty’s romance as well as the ongoing politics of the galaxy. The secondary characters are engaging, if not totally likable. Funny thing is that even though Ria’s co-worker, Armond isn’t all that likable with his standoffishness, I can’t help but want to see where the author might take him. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the Alien Attachment series goes next. *****Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions*****
RATING 4.5 STARS Rebellion is book two in the Alien Attachments series by Sabine Priestley. I was generously provided with this book in exchange for an honest review by the author. If you have read my reviews for the previous books in this series you will know that I am a huge fan. This book was no exception. I applaud the author for this in-depth if not somewhat complicated world she has created. We first met Ian and the Cavacent family from Sandaria who now reside on Earth as their government has become corrupt in book one. They employ a group of Earth Protectors or EP’s that help to protect earth and the precious mineral it provides, Carnium, which powers their ships. Ian is now psi-mated with Dani whom we also met in book one. Ria is one of the EP’s I mentioned. She longs to find her own psi-mate after constantly being subjected to the love oozing from Ian and Dani. Ria, the other EP’s and the Cavacent family are all traveling to the planet of Mitah to attend an annual three day ball and celebration. Ria should be careful what she wishes for because upon meeting the oh so sexy Ty Sordina, she feels the zing of her psi waking up and recognizing it’s future mate. Ty has been posing as a resident of Mitah since he was young when his parents were brutally murdered by a Sardinian military officer. He is actually Curzan. The Curzan people have been forced into hiding. The evil Chancellor Mortog has been slowly taking control of Mitah, instilling a network of corrupt officials across the planet. Their sole purpose was to wipe out any and all educated Curzans. Ty loathes Sardinian military and when he realizes he is beginning to bond with Ria who is ex-military from Sardinia, he’s having none of it. When Ria sees the man she has begun to bond with murder someone, she actually helps to capture him. How could fate be so cruel as to find her a psi-mate who is a murderer? Ria, the Cavacents and the other EP’s all find themselves smack dab in the center of a possible civil war. But there is more to this than just what is going on on Mitah. The evil current leader of Sardinia and the leader of the portal masters are also involved. I do admit that I got a little confused with some of the complexities of everything that was happening. But it didn’t interfere at all with my enjoyment of the book. Ria and Ty are eventually forced together and cannot deny their bond. They are each other’s psi-mates, whether they like it or not. And as with any other psi-mates, when they get together, well, expect fireworks, not little ones, but the huge, fill up the sky kind. The book builds to a roaring finish as all parties involved are forced to face off in the bid for power. It all boils down to good against evil. Can the Cavacents and their EP’s save Mitah and the Curzans from the power hungry Chancellor Mortog and his corrupt government? Or have they gotten in over their heads here? Of course the author had my pulse pounding in my ears as we move towards the conclusion. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, Liberation, which is going to be Balastar’s story. I’m actually thrilled he will get his own book as I’ve loved him since he was first introduced in book one. Liberation is scheduled for release the beginning of December.