To prove she's worthy of her place at the prestigious Majj Institute, Tru Van Dye must make an important discovery by age 30and time is running out. To complete her research, she must leave home for the first time and travel to the most dangerous planet in the sector. She needs a guide: someone discreet, someone fearless, someone who guarantees results. The infamous Rayce Coburne fits the bill.
Rayce has given up treasure hunting, but his dream of renovating a starport is threatened by a lack of fundsfunds Tru is offering. All he has to do is deny his attraction to his cool client long enough to complete one last mission.
Rayce is like no man Tru has ever met outside of a virtual reality simulator. He ignites feelings she didn't even know she was capable of. But if she falls for the bad boy in real life, will she be forced to give up the future she thought she was destined for?
Book 2 of 4.
About the Author
C.J. Barry grew up reading science fiction novels, comic books and her brother's Cracked magazines. In high school, a creative writing teacher told her she should be a writer, but she decided to go to college instead. In college, a writing professor told her she should be a writer, but she decided to be a computer programmer instead. A husband, two cats and two kids later, an adult education teacher told her she should be a writer. She finally gave in, and after selling the first novel she ever wrote, decided that all those teachers were right. Eight books later, she continues to bring her unique blend of high adventure, witty humor and sizzling romance to her work.
C.J. has won numerous awards for her novels, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America. By day, she works as a web developer. By night, she dreams up adventures and pens the books she was destined to write.
Read an Excerpt
Tru took a deep breath and stepped through the battered doorway. A drinking glass shattered against the wall behind her, splashing its lime-green contents across one leg of her silver bodysuit. A chorus of roars burst from the far corner of the saloon. Tru froze as The Rough Cut attacked all of her senses at once.
The noise, the smell, the visual were overwhelming. In her mind she fought to make order of the chaos before her.
Noise demanded attention first. An ebb and flow of hearty masculine bellows deafened the dreadful music straining above the discord. Jeers, cheers, rantsthey all melded into a raucous symphony.
The smell, well, she didn't even want to analyze that. Her nose would never be the same.
The visual would take a bit longer to sort through. The four dilapidated walls were a patchwork of crudely attached composite board marred by vulgarities in every alien language. A serving bar stretched the length of the far wall, manned by a single burly saloonkeeper. A haphazard collage of tables and chairs in various stages of ruin littered the rest of the place.
Then there was the patronage. Tru caught glimpses of scars, matted hair, missing teeth and something furry in the corner that she was trying hard to ignore. Men huddled over small tables, heads close, grunting and chortling, watching her.
Lovely place. And to think that in all her twenty-nine years she'd never been in a saloon. Nice to know she hadn't missed a thing.
Over the general racket and chaos, Tru scanned the saloon and spotted the man she had come to see.
She made her way through the crowded tables and overt looks to where he sat at the bar, his back to her. She slowed as she got closer and he got bigger. Standing behind him, looking at those broad shoulders, she nearly changed her mind about the whole idea.
What did he eat?
She shook off the thought and spoke up. "Excuse me. Rayce Coburne?"
The man before her turned leisurely on his stool and propped his elbows on the bar. Tru froze as brilliant blue-green eyes drilled into hers. They were hypnotic, a stunning complement to the black hair that hung carelessly over his forehead. Finely chiseled features under smooth, bronzed skin fashioned a rogue's countenance. He lounged on a bar stool amid the barrage of foul language and stench of alcohol, looking completely at home. She couldn't tell how tall he was, but he was solidly built. Big arms and shoulders stretched the seams of the supple gray jacket he wore. His white shirt-collar was open, revealing a golden-brown, powerful chest. Strong leg muscles bulged through the light fabric of the black pants. Even though she'd seen images of him, the live, up-close version proved far more daunting.
He gave her a long once-over before breaking into a slow, lazy smile.
"Have a seat," he said in a soft growl of a voice that burned into her memory long after he showed her the empty stool beside him.
As she sat down, she was keenly aware of his eyes scanning the length of her body. Talk about distracting. Her pulse quickened; her palms began to sweat. She rubbed her hands on her thighs. The worst part was that he hadn't done a thing except offer her a seat.
Annoyed at herself, Tru straightened. After all, he was only a man. A man who would soon work for her.
Boldly, she met his gaze. "What are you drinking?"
Coburne narrowed his eyes. "What are you drinking?"
She hadn't planned for that. She never drank, but she wasn't about to admit that to him.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The overall rating for the series is 4 butterflies. I had a great time reading these books, I had fun, I got a healthy dose of smutty galore, and I was very, very glad I got a chance to read them. If I were to say what genre they'd go in, since people are always big on tags and stuff like that, I'd think these are romance with a sci-fi-ish twist, and not the other way around. There is a lot going on in each book, and there's a whole universe weaved for them, but I feel the main element is the romance. So I'd disagree with some reviews I read up on Goodreads, that slightly bash them for not being solidly sci-fi. I don't think they were meant to be; and I don't think I would have liked them more if they would have been, honestly. Buuut then again I'm not a sci-fi buff, I just like the occasional sci-fi because the book was very well written and the writer is very talented, not because of that genre. Anyways. Unraveled (UN-Forgettable #2) This one came close to being my favorite of the series. I liked both Rayce and Tru, a lot, and their chemistry was awesome. I also loved the emotional tension between them, and the healing that their connection brought them both. The first part of the book seemed more fun then the second one, for some reason. Here I felt a slightly more interesting level of world-building then in the first, the whole Majj thing, and their intolerance for anything less then 'perfect' seemed more sci-fi (to me) then the more space-fairytale flavor the first book had. The fact that I liked both the characters of course influenced me, and this would be a full 4 butterflies rating.
Tru Van Dye grew up on an insular colony of Majj scientists. To prove themselves worthy, each member must succeed in a project, invention, or some type of major scientific break through before age thirty. Tru is now twenty-nine. She has less than a year to earn her Charter or she would be disassociated from her home planet. Tru decides to locate the legendary lost Curzon Collection. She has only a small plate to help her. But the plate is a key. She needs to locate three unknown pyramids, built centuries ago, on three unknown planets. The plate must be set on top of each pyramid in order to complete the plate's map. Then she must use the plate to locate and retrieve the Collection. However, the Majj are not allowed to leave their planet. Their own administrators keep them grounded. With the help of her mentor and only real friend, Noa, Tru gets off world and goes to hire the man best suited for the retrieval job. ...................... Rayce Coburne is building a deluxe spaceport, due for its grand opening in less than three months. Due to lack of funds, things are not going well. Then Tru shows up and offers him all the funds he would ever need, for a simple mission. Rayce would have refused instantly if his partner, Gil, had not forced him to be realistic. Rayce hates all Majj, for very personal reasons. He agrees to Tru's mission, but only if Tru agrees to also include a kiss each day. .................... ***** A stellar romance with action that Indian Jones would envy. Author C.J. Barry is quickly becoming famous in the sci-fi/romance genre and for good reason. Few in today's market can match Barry's intense action and suspense while keeping the romance alive as well. C.J. Barry is an outstanding author. Do not believe me? Simply read this novel. You will. *****
Going through her father¿s possessions following his death, Tru Van Dye finds an odd artifact. She researches the out of place item and concludes that she may have found the key to a treasure of ancient relics. More important to her, though she has always lived in a contained community, she feels strongly that she must complete her dad¿s work. This is her opportunity plus Tru has to secure her own Charter soon or she'll be asked to leave the scientific colony of Majj. A realistic, she knows she needs to hire someone who does this sort of thing for a living. Rayce Coburne is no longer interested in treasure hunting. He is now devoting his time towards spaceport renovation but worries over a lack of capital to open on time. When Tru offers him a treasure-hunting expedition, Rayce reluctantly accepts though he prefers to reject this cold Majj scientist. Even worse, he is attracted to one of those icebergs so he decides on a ploy to get Tru to detest him. He will kiss her once everyday, but instead of sending her packing in warp speed he starts a supernova that lights up both their hearts. Book two in C. J. Barry¿s outer space thriller is a delightful placing of Romancing the Stone but on a strange world (not that the Amazon Rain Forest is different than Atlanta). The story line is loaded with action and plenty of sizzling romance as the protagonists deny their feelings for one another. The key to this fine tale is that this non-earth orb seems like a genuine place obviously visited by chronicler C.J. Barry. Harriet Klausner