Monday, March 12, 2007

New Review and an Excerpt from Ravager's Redemption

Ravager's Redemption is a part of The Argadian Heart Trilogy, now available at Amazon.



The Argadian Heart Trilogy

4 1/2 Kisses!! Ms. Dane has created a highly charged world; a world of believable characters with strong emotions caused by the tragedies and triumphs of their lives. The action is fast-paced and keeps the reader glued to the page. You can't help cheering for Daelyn and Alekos. ... A beautiful blending of romance, science fiction, and adventure that encourages you to read the entire series... --Anne Marie, Romance Divas

Ravager’s Redemption (Book 3, Argadian Rebellion Trilogy)
Author: Adrianna Dane
Publisher: Amber Quill Press/Heat (www.amberheat.com)
ISBN: 978-1-59279-645-8
Author’s Website: www.adriannadane.com
Link to Purchase: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/RavagersRedemption.html

Synopsis:

Ex-Tribunal Enforcer Daelyn Kapri hides a terrible secret. If discovered, it could destroy her chances at a new life. Alekos Andromeda is the only one who knows the truth. When Daelyn is called to save him, will it culminate in a love that was always destined to redeem them both?


EXCERPT:

"What you need is a male."

Daelyn Kapri’s eyes snapped open to pin Eluria Zydon with a directed, narrowed scowl. It was bad enough she’d let herself be talked into joining Eluria and Kierra in this activity they named female bonding. Now Eluria seemed Haydon-bent on complicating the situation by tying her with some male.

She detected the glitter of humor in Eluria’s eyes and relaxed against the edge of the pool. She should have recognized the teasing tenor in Eluria’s voice. She seemed to take great delight in baiting her. Often Daelyn had witnessed her doing the same thing with her taman, Devon.

This wide array of emotions Daelyn was now saddled with still caused her difficulty. Lately, irritation seemed to be the prevailing influence, surfacing with increased regularity.

She whipped her head around when a giggle erupted from the other side of the pool and glared at Kierra Andromeda.

"Are you laughing at me?"

Kierra shook her head and sank deeper into the bubble-laden hot water.

"Certainly not, Daelyn. But Eluria could be right. A little male attention might help to ease some of the tension you are experiencing."

Abruptly, Daelyn shifted up, water sluicing down over her upthrust breasts. "I am not tense. I am a fighter—an Enforcer for many years. Enjoyment in these feminine bondings you both seem so fond of is alien to my nature. I do not bond. With anyone." She punctuated the statement by crossing her arms over her naked breasts and straightening her spine.

In a dress line-up, in full uniform, standing at attention, the gesture might have received respect. Here, naked, lying in a pool of bubbles, it did not have quite the desired impact. This was fully brought home as both Eluria and Kierra broke out in peals of laughter.

She sank back into the water with a sigh. Would she ever adjust to this new turn her life had taken?

As an assassin for the Tribunal, ties to family and friends were severed. The Nanus process blocked emotion—and the enjoyment of any sort of relationship with others was destroyed.

She respected both of these women who’d immediately taken her under their wings upon her arrival on Ednos. They’d made it their mission to support her as she dealt with the surge of recovered emotions so foreign to her nature after disuse for such a long period of time.

To call it a difficult transition would be a mild statement. Once the block had disintegrated completely, she’d fought to retain her sanity. The serum administered by the healers had restored her memories, and rage had dominated her thoughts. It was an emotion she understood—one left unblocked by the Nanus process. The Tribunal reasoned rage was an influence which only enhanced the efficiency of assassins in their enforcement responsibilities. Killing frenzy, rage, and stasis were the exclusive responses left to an Enforcer.

When the sadness had struck out and gripped her—the loss of her family, her life—she’d been unequipped to handle the assault of pain, like an Enforcer caught naked, not one weapon at hand with which to defend herself.

The healers had administered an equalizer drug to stabilize the return of emotions. Still, the sadness felt so alien to her nature as a trained assassin. The overwhelming grief became almost too much to bear.

Desperate to stop the tide of intense feelings, she’d barricaded herself in her apartment, hoping that without human contact she could control her reactions. Days passed without success until finally Eluria and Kierra had descended on her, refusing to go away. Knowing Daelyn attempted to endure alone was something both females refused to allow, even after her assurances she was well and did not require their assistance. Finally, frustrated at their tenacity, she’d let them in.

The women had encouraged her to meet with Dr. Xander, the psychemedic. Jarek, Kierra’s taman, had met with Xander after his rescue from Odon’s compound and Kierra said it had helped him to cope with the corruption of his memories.

As she studied these two strong women, she contemplated the golden radiance of shared love with a chosen mate that permeated their skin. Eluria had Devon and Kierra had Jarek. There were moments she was envious of their unions, but this was not the time to complicate her situation. It was best she remain alone.

Devon Andromeda was an Elite First Enforcer who’d had the memories of Eluria and his family wiped from his mind. Only when he and Eluria had confronted each other on the desolate planet Serdion and she’d administered the test antidote to him, had he been able to regain his Before. They’d sealed and were marked by Guardian in a union that was legendary.

Devon’s father had joined the rebellion after Devon’s induction as an Enforcer. He’d been betrayed and then assassinated by a Tribunal Enforcer, and Kierra, Devon’s sister, had been taken into bondage. Her scars from that time had slowly healed with the help of her Serdionese Mindwanderer mate, Jarek Bakari.

Each had fought for the rebellion in different ways—Eluria as a warrior and Kierra as a scientist. Both exuded femininity interwoven with their determination and loyalty to their people. They’d taken her into their midst without judgment, even knowing she was an assassin for the Argadian Tribunal.

These women had held her as she wept with pain while the memories of her family spilled from her, when the guilt of the deaths at her hands as an Enforcer lay heavily upon her spirit.

The only passions an Enforcer exhibited were rage and killing frenzy to carry them in battle. Otherwise there was nothing, every other emotion stripped from them, blocked by a procedure that rendered them lethal weapons commanded by the Argadian Council members. Stasis for an Enforcer was a state of rest, but unlike normal sleep; it was a numbing of mind and body where an Enforcer waited for the next Tribunal assignment.

She now knew regret as well as sadness. There were moments of quiet pleasure, but she had yet to experience real joy as Eluria and Kierra described it. And the passion exhibited between a male and female was far beyond the spectrum of her thoughts.

"A male?" She snorted. "You have to be joking."

Eluria shook her head. "I most certainly am not. You work way too hard and you allow yourself no time for pleasure, to relax. If we hadn’t forced you to come with us tonight, you wouldn’t be here now. You would be off checking weapons or monitoring ships—anything but taking time to relax. A little male companionship would go a long way to helping you in that direction."

She sighed, closed her eyes, and tipped her head back. The fact that she was here, naked, lying in a warm pool of bubbles with water jetting rhythmically against her body, was more than enough relaxation for her.

And it certainly seemed to have the desired effect as she felt her body softening beneath the gentle pulsing of the water. And her brain was mush.

"This is relaxing enough. I do not need the attentions of a male to confuse things. I have enough to worry about."

"That’s just the problem," Kierra remarked from the other side. "You worry too much. We all have jobs to do, and they’re dangerous. Without some sort of release, some ability to distance yourself, you will eventually break, Daelyn, and we do not want to see that happen. We care about you and are only concerned for your welfare."

She opened her eyes and her gaze moved between the two beautiful women. They were good friends. It was something she’d never experienced before—friendship. As an Enforcer, she had never had close acquaintances, only other duty-bound and emotionless Enforcers like herself. Any down time was spent at the institute, going through tests and re-immersion. And there was no radiance for a female Enforcer. It was another facet to being an ordinary female she was attempting to understand. Like the golden radiance these women exhibited—visible signs of happiness in union.

The return of her own radiance with any of her emotions had not surfaced yet. The healers assured her it was strictly a matter of time. When she stopped rebelling against the sensations and relaxed into them—accepted them—her radiance would certainly return.

She kept to herself the fact that she didn’t think that was likely to occur in near Beyond. It was like fighting the existence of another person inside herself. Pain, pleasure, sadness—they were all there for her to call upon, although rusty after so many years of dormancy, and it did not come naturally to her to accept their existence as a part of who she was.

"Think about it, Daelyn," Eluria urged. "Kierra’s right, we worry about you. We want to see you happy."

Daelyn turned her head to stared at the vast sky through the domed ceiling and sighed. "I appreciate your concern, Eluria, really I do. I am not ready to be with another right now. I know you and Kierra have found the right mates, but I need more time. Let us just enjoy this feminine bonding you have forced me into." She turned to look at Eluria and a smile curved her lips.

"This is nice. I’ve never experienced anything like this. You both care for me and I thank you for it. To have friends like you both is something I will not take for granted."

"You are no longer an Enforcer and we simply want you to be happy and to live. We don’t know what tomorrow has in store for us, and we don’t want you to waste a moment in dwelling and feeling guilty for what happened in Before. You’re with us now. You don’t belong to them any longer."

"I know. I will try." She turned away, afraid something in her eyes would betray the secret she kept locked away from them. If only they knew the real source of her guilt. She had shared some of her Before with them, but not all of it. There was a time, a split second when even the Enforcer training had splintered, almost causing her death. And it was because of a male.

Even now she could see his searing blue eyes filled with passion. His face was branded into her thoughts. And it was that memory alone which kept her from seeking companionship with another.

For one brief moment, desire had blazed through her and it stayed her hand when she should have killed him with no other emotion filling her than the killing rage of an Enforcer. For an explosive instant, just before he lost consciousness, she had also seen those blue orbs filled with hate and betrayal. And she walked away without completing her mission. Run would be a better word.

No, it was not just any male she needed, there was only one who could offer her redemption and heal her, and that was a most unlikely prospect. Haydon would probably freeze over first.

Yet she couldn’t tell these two women her secret, because the pirate who’d claimed a piece of her unwilling soul was Kierra and Devon’s rebellious brother, Alekos—known as the Ravager—as slippery and lethal as any rogue among the stars. If they ever came face to face again, she knew the only thing he would seek was her death for her betrayal.

1 comment:

mr.xxxs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.