Lunar Heat

Lunar Heat

Susan Kearney

November 2013 $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-61194-371-9

A future that’s out of this world.

A seduction that’s out of control.


Our PriceUS$14.95
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Synopsis | Reviews | Excerpt

Back Cover Blurb

Wealthy, reclusive celebrity, Shara Weston, hides from her countless fans on a private asteroid in Earth's orbit, but that doesn’t stop captivating alien Cade Archer from crash-landing into her life.

Cade’s on a mission to free his people from cruel enslavement by opening a portal from his planet to Earth, but a powerful enemy has followed him, hell-bent on stopping Cade at any cost.While Cade’s plan sounds noble, Shara can’t help but worry that an untested passage between his planet and hers could lead to the destruction of everything she’s ever known or loved.

Alone amid the stars, the attraction between them explodes. Shara must follow Cade down a sensual path of sweet domination . . . a path that frightens her . . . a path that pleases her . . . a path that could risk the lives of every man, woman, and child on two worlds.

Will she surrender to Cade’s intentions, or will his quest for freedom destroy them both?


Coming soon




The streaming stars behind Cade’s viewscreen appeared to slow, then stabilize.

Gut clenching with excitement, Cade popped into the normal space of Earth’s solar system, the transition smooth and easy. The old mining asteroid in synchronous orbit over Earth’s equator sat right off the bow, her newly terra-formed blue seas beckoning.

"Starting landing procedures,” his artificial intelligence system, AIS, confirmed his final approach toward the asteroid.

He’d made it. Finally, Cade could begin his mission.

"Warning! Warning!” the AIS’s siren blared. "We’re under attack.”

"Engage shields.” Cade pivoted in the command chair, his thoughts bleak. Had stealth mode failed? "Identify the aggressor.”

"Ship-based attack. Gathering data.”

The technology in this solar system shouldn’t have spotted him. Unless stealth mode really had failed. "Assess faster. And get me to that asteroid in one piece.”

"Implementing elusive maneuvers.”

Cade’s ship banked hard to starboard.

"Attacking ship is Raman,” the AIS said.

Damn it. No one from his planet should be here. Cade’s "secret” mission had somehow been compromised.

His communicator went online. A three-dimensional image of his dominating, predatory older brother, Jamar, filled Cade’s bridge. Every First had a temper, and Jamar’s was clearly about to go supernova.

Jamar could do more than hurt Cade. Jamar could crush the mission.

May the Stars have mercy on me. Because Jamar wouldn’t. The man had no mercy. No heart. Just formidable power, and Cade would bear the brunt of it.

Cade’s mind raced to find a way to salvage something from the disaster. He had to survive. He could not fail. Too many people back home were counting on him.

"Don’t move,” Jamar ordered, voice harder than anything ever mined from an asteroid.

Cade went completely still at that order, felt it slam into him like a fist and send him back to his childhood. You, slime worm, are beneath me. Pick up that pot of boiling water. Spill it over your face so the world will see how ugly you are.

Cade had used every ounce of his five-year-old’s will, but his brother’s power was too strong. The pot handle scorched his palm. But he couldn’t let go. He could only obey. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Terrified, he tipped the boiling water over his head.

His flesh burned. And burned. He didn’t make a sound. Jamar had forced his mouth closed, his tongue still, his throat frozen. Cade’s agony poured into a silent scream that only he could hear.

Thanks to medical technology, the facial burns had long since healed. No evidence of the agony he’d endured remained on his face. But the scars had burned into the core of his soul.




Cade felt the same searing rage now that he’d felt then. Fury that almost gagged him. That left him raw and powerless in the face of a truth he couldn’t escape. He was second born. Inferior.

But not helpless. Not yet. Jamar wasn’t yet close enough to exert his full powers.

Cade made the most of every second of free will, and he banked hard to port. At the extra distance he put between their ships, he regained use of his voice. But he had mere seconds before Jamar’s faster ship would put him back in dangerous range. He toggled the privacy mode so his brother couldn’t hear his commands or the AIS’s replies. "Locate the transmission’s source.”

"Jamar’s ship is on an intercept course between us and the asteroid.”

Damn him to the seven hells of Haden. Jamar wasn’t only ruthless, he was very, very smart. Obviously, he’d known where Cade was headed. And Jamar held every superior tactical advantage.

His AIS gave Cade more bad news. "He’s trying for a weapons’ lock.”

"You salt-sucking slime worm.” Jamar’s holo image arched a condescending brow. "You should never have been have been allowed to leave the crèche.”

Tension ripped Cade’s concentration, and he had to wrestle control of his mind back from the instinctive, conditioned tendrils of obedience curling through him. He had to fight the urge to give up, to agree with a First.

Focus! He couldn’t out-fly the other ship’s superior engines. Couldn’t avoid the missile.

He wanted to fight back so badly he could taste it. But he didn’t have the weapons to shoot Jamar down. Nor would he retreat.

Cade’s hands flew over the controls.

"His guidance system is locking onto our vector,” his AIS informed him.

Cade lifted the privacy mode. "Missed me, did you?” he almost snarled his anger. He would not fail. He could not fail. Too many people had sacrificed too much to get him this far.

"You can’t outsmart a First.”

"Untrue. I stole this ship from a First,” Cade taunted his brother, needing more time to save his precious payload.

"You may have more lives than a dock rat, but your time is up.” Cade heard his brother savoring the sweet taste of victory. "The penalty for rebellion is death.”

"I should be so lucky. At least in death I could escape you, brother dear.” Almost there. Cade scanned the distance to the asteroid, then toggled back to privacy mode to give a last order to the AIS. "Buy me a few more seconds.”

"That may not be possible. Jamar has entered a firing code into his system,” his AIS warned.

Jamar shouted, as if pronouncing sentence, "You have lied and betrayed all of Rama—”

"Not true,” Cade retorted.

"And now you will die knowing that your people will suffer for your actions.”

"Laser firing,” his AIS intoned.

His brother’s boast still ringing in his ears, Cade ejected.




Shara Weston had abandoned her holovid career almost five years ago, and hadn’t sniffed, injected, or drunk herself into oblivion in almost a decade. She was at a loss to explain the unexplainable—a man plummeting toward the sea of her private asteroid.

The sonic boom that had drawn her attention from the perfectly duplicated Polynesian coral reef to the manufactured sky had been real. Lifting her head from the azure water, she’d anxiously thrust back her face mask and searched for the spacecraft responsible for disturbing her late afternoon swim in her favorite island cove.

But she couldn’t see a spaceship—just a body falling through clouds too wispy to hide a metal hull. Shara held her breath, watching him fall, waiting for his parachute to deploy.

When the horrifying notion finally sank into her stunned brain that no canopy was about to open, Shara’s adrenaline revved. Replacing her mask over her eyes, her rebreather into her mouth, she swam for her boat.

As her arms churned the water, her thoughts swirled. It didn’t matter if he was a downed military pilot, a stuntman, or a paparazzo come to spy on her in a plan gone terribly wrong—whatever his circumstances, she was the only person around who could help him. Her home on Haven, on an asteroid that orbited Earth over the South Pacific, was wonderfully private—yet sometimes privacy could be damn inconvenient, especially if someone required medical care.

He crashed into her sea about twenty feet from her and struck the surface with enough impact for the backwash to tug her under. Fighting the waves, spinning ninety degrees to the left, she searched the clear water.

Please, please let him be alive.

She’d heard of freak accidents where foolish tourists survived space walks gone wrong and falls onto asteroids with less gravity than hers. But on Haven, gravity and weather were matched to Earth’s.

And he’d landed hard.

Shara gulped a large breath of air through her rebreather then used her flippers to dive. Below a tiger shark darted after a grouper and disappeared into the depths.

Bubbles caught her attention. Air bubbles surrounded a body clad in a golden flight suit.

He was about four meters below the surface, and with the sea calm and the sun bright, she had no difficulty snagging him. Grabbing his gloved hand, she tugged hard, kicking them both upward.

She burst back to the surface and prayed he’d be able to suck oxygen into his lungs. She turned him onto his back, slung an arm around his neck and shoulder, and staying on her side, towed him toward the stern of her boat.

Somehow, she tossed her flippers onto the swim platform and climbed aboard with one hand while preventing him from floating away with her other. With both her feet planted on the deck, she hauled him up, first his powerful chest, then his muscular legs. After removing her mask and spitting out the rebreather, she rolled him onto his back.

Shara had been around the Earth’s top holovid stars. She’d been jaded about gorgeous for a long time, but this man was beyond gorgeous. Perhaps the most handsome guy she’d ever seen.

No blood seeped from his straight nose, full mouth, or ears. A pulse beat in the strong cords of his neck, but the color was draining from his face. He wasn’t breathing.

Damn it. Surely he hadn’t been in the water long enough to drown?

Oh, no. No way was he going to die in her puddle of the solar system.

Tilting back his head, she pinched closed his nostrils, placed her lips over his mouth, and blew a strong breath into his lungs. "Come on. Come on. Come on.”

She exhaled more air into his mouth.

"Breathe. Damn you. Breathe.”

Pale as a jellyfish, he didn’t so much as flicker one stunning black eyelash. Shara kept filling his lungs with air. "Take a breath. Come on, man. Stop being so difficult. One breath.”

He coughed, spit out water. He grunted, a purr so low and so deep that she almost responded to his pain on an elemental level. With a groan, he opened his eyes, mesmerizing eyes—emerald stars on a background of vibrant black. Wow, oh wow. He was big and handsome and impossibly alive.

As his bronzed skin tones replaced his former pallor with inhuman speed, she felt as if her heart was going to beat right out of her chest.

"Easy,” she soothed, wanting to ease the wariness in his gaze. "You’re going to be okay.”

He clasped one hand over his obviously injured shoulder, his stare watchful, waiting. Patient eyes. Dangerous eyes took in the pulse racing at her neck, the expansion of her chest as she gulped in air. The reminder that she wore only a minuscule bikini forced more wariness to trickle through her psyche.

Was it simply coincidence that out of the myriad of asteroids orbiting Earth, he’d crashed into hers? She had to consider if he’d deliberately sought her out. While the world hadn’t forgotten Shara Weston the holovid star, one compromising holopic of her could still sell for a large cache of credits.

Did that matter right now? He was too weak to do much about anything at the moment.

"Hey. Don’t sit up yet.” Shara placed a hand on his good shoulder, pleased at the warmth that indicated he’d thrown off the chill of the deep. She ignored the heat that blazed up her arm. Ignored the way the predatory gleam in his eyes made her stomach flutter and made her uncomfortable.

"I’m fine.” Voice tough, commanding, but threaded with pain, he shoved his good hand onto the deck and raised himself to a sitting position. Instead of looking at her, he shaded his eyes from the sun and searched the empty sky.

Interesting. Shara’s looks had rocketed her career to a pinnacle of success that had made her an inter-solar sensation. She wasn’t used to men ignoring her. These days she wasn’t used to men. Period.

Was that why she couldn’t seem to stop staring at his massive chest? He really had a super-fit body, sculpted abs, and bronze skin the color of warm honey.

Sweat beaded on his strong brow. "Have you seen anything... odd?”

"Other than you falling onto my asteroid?” she cracked, and when he simply continued to scan the sky and cradle his arm, she figured that maybe he was in more pain than he wanted her to see. "After your swan dive into my ocean, you may have dislocated that shoulder.”

He finally lowered his head to scan the water. "Ocean?”

"Okay, so I have pretensions of grandeur. It’s my asteroid, and I prefer to think of it as an ocean. Just like I call the artificial atmosphere a sky.” She was babbling. Nervous. Stop it. She steadied her nerves with a deep breath. "I’d really like to know what you’re doing here.”

Finally glancing sideways at her, he spoke carefully. Too carefully. Like he’d learned elocution from a textbook. "You have medical training?”

Don’t trust him. Although she’d detected an almost military briskness beneath the softly spoken words, she reminded herself he hadn’t made even a token attempt to answer her question.

One look at the formidable determination in his eyes, and she knew it would be a wasted effort to confront him head on. "You’re holding that arm just like my stunt double did after Sweetie Pie bucked her off.”

"Sweetie Pie?”

"Finest horse that ever made a holovid.” She bit her bottom lip. "Maybe you should—”

"I’m fine.” His eyes gleamed stardust. His confident tone suggested he was accustomed to giving orders.

Yeah, he was fine all right. So fine that as he clutched his forearm to take the weight off his shoulder, his fingers trembled. Yet, with his piercing gaze once more focused on the sky, he exuded stubborn determination, even as he licked his top lip and a tiny smile of satisfaction curled his mouth.

The breeze carried his tantalizing male scent to her nostrils, and his gold flight suit molded to his wide shoulders and reflected the glow of sunlight. His wet blond hair, cut military short, slicked back and emphasized his chiseled cheekbones. A chest wider than her ocean suggested the guy was in shape, possibly dangerous. No, definitely dangerous.

She shivered.

"You’re cold.” His gaze noted the goose bumps on her skin. All of her exposed skin.

Suddenly, having bought such a skimpy swimsuit on her last shopping trip to Bali seemed like a bad idea. With her shoulders bared and her cleavage and flat stomach exposed, plus the low slung bottom that formed the tiniest of triangles over the essentials, she felt as if she was offering too much of herself.

Stepping back felt like retreat. But she didn’t care. Needing a moment to regroup, Shara moved farther into her boat, opened a locker, and tossed him a towel. Grabbing a robe, she thrust her arms into the sleeves and tugged the belt tight.

Plucking two bottles of ice water from the cooler, she kept one, untwisted the cap of the second, and offered it to her guest, who had yet to make use of the towel. "I’m Shara Weston.”

"Cade Archer.”

Cade held her glance and introduced himself as if he’d never heard of her or the scandal. That raised her impression of him a notch. However, he might just be in too much pain for her name and face to register—or he’d grown up under a crater in the lunar tunnels. Otherwise he’d undoubtedly have connected her with the celebrity whose face had frequently been plastered across vidscreens during her scandalous heyday.

"Thanks for... saving my life.” Cade accepted the water bottle without letting his eyes drop to the open V-neck of her robe, or mentioning that she’d covered up, winning another point in his favor.

"No problem.” She twisted off the bottle cap, took a healthy swig. "You a pilot?”

"It’s one of my skills.” He downed his water in several long gulps, then neatly recapped the bottle with only one hand. She’d bet the man had lots of skills. Dangerous skills.

Stalling to get her nerves back in control, she sipped more water. And summoned courage. She had every right to find out who and what he was. Yet when he focused his stare on her, questioning him wasn’t easy.

Her acting skills might be rusty, but she was pleased she could still sound cool and casual when her heart was pounding. When he didn’t volunteer more information, she raised an eyebrow. "So exactly how did you end up here?”

A muscle clenched along his jaw. A hint of something feral and painful came through in his flat tone. "I was shot down.”

Not an accident? And somehow he’d survived when that crash should have broken every bone in his body.

"Where’s your ship?”

"A missile disintegrated my spacecraft.” Was it her imagination, or had she heard a soft growl beneath his polite tone? And why couldn’t she place his accent?

Disintegrated? Was that why she hadn’t seen any burning metal falling into her ocean? Not that she was complaining. It had cost a fortune to convert the abandoned mining asteroid into a luxurious replica of a South Pacific paradise. The last thing she wanted was debris polluting her reefs and upsetting the delicate eco-system.

She supposed there was only one reason he hadn’t disintegrated with his ship. "You ejected before your ship was hit.”

His eyes sparkled with interest. "Safe guess or experience?”

She shook her head. "I’ve read a lot of scripts.” She made note that he was sparse with the details, especially the back story, when other men might have spun out a tale to fascinate the ladies. She’d have to be direct.

"I haven’t heard of a war breaking out. The Martian colonies have been quiet. The rebels on the Moon have finally made peace. Even the scientific colonists on Io and Europa have joined the Solar System’s Alliance.” She fisted her hands on her hips and raised her chin. "Where are you from? Who shot you down?”



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