INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM
Emotionally scarred and embittered, Nick Banner knows he’s the wrong man for this job, but unless he gets a desperate friend’s daughter off-planet, she’s certain to be kidnapped. While it seems a simple enough task, experience has taught Banner that a female onboard will mean trouble. But a young woman accustomed to only the best? Purgatory.
Within the tight confines of Banner’s, Victorious, Tressa Loring battles a girlhood crush gone dangerous. As a sheltered teen, she secretly worshipped Banner from afar. Even his carnal reputation seemed romantic to her young eyes. But, now, she finds those old feelings unsettling. As wary of herself as she is of him, Tressa hides behind a cool façade and a feisty tongue.
Intrigued, Banner misses nothing: Her beauty. Her spirit…or her coy glances. Yeah, he’s noticed, and sexual tension smolders. As danger stalks them across the galaxy, Banner eventually finds himself falling for Tressa—the last thing he needs or wants. And when she ends up at a slave auction on Steel—a corrupt and depraved sanctuary for pirates, the notorious Nick Banner is willing to sell his soul to free Tressa.
An Awe-Struck Release
Carole Ann is a native of Oregon. Along with their two children, she resides with her own special hero who shares her crazy sense of humor and love for animals. The Lee family is owned by, Hunter—a German Shepherd pup, Turk—an English Budgie, and two horses: Ace—a registered Quarter Horse and Nacoma—a registered Paint whose legendary Medicine Hat markings make him very rare.
Having always been fascinated by the thought of space travel, yet equally captivated by the romance of the tall sailing ships, Carole Ann’s goal has been to integrate the two worlds in a futuristic romance that sizzles with both high tech as well as the swashbuckling intensity of a high seas adventure.
Carole Ann began writing on a lark in the early nineties. In 1994, at a writer’s conference she had the privilege of meeting and submitting BANNER’S BONUS to a New York editor. Eight months later, BANNER’S BONUS was on the shelves as a Love Spell release.
Aa a member of Romance Writers of America, she has placed highly in every contest she has entered, and consistently earns four and five star reviews.
Having recently finished SOLAR WIND, the first sequel to BANNER’S BONUS, she is presently working on the second sequel—working title, BANNER’S RENEGADE.
Carole Ann loves hearing from her readers and answers every letter. You may email her at: CaroleAnnLee@aol.com. Her website is: http://caroleannlee.com/
3 STARS out of 4
"What is a father to do when he’s been told his daughter may be ? Get her off the planet fast! A fast paced story filled with adventure, space pirates, old enemies and new discoveries...A great read and I can’t wait for the next book in this series."Christy H. -- WeWriteRomance Reviews
"Author Carole Ann Lee has a gift for writing science fiction in a realistic and believable manner. The future and space travel come alive. Readers will delight in the constantly escalating tension between the two protagonists, Nick and Tressa, both of whom are strong-minded and independent individuals determined to follow their own respective paths. Adventure, danger, and excitement keep readers turning pages eagerly. BANNER'S BONUS is a good introduction to the work of a fine writer of science fiction and will encourage readers to also pick up the next volume, SOLAR WIND, which shares a universe and some main characters with BANNER'S BONUS."Dark Angel Reviews
"Banner's Bonus is a riveting story filled with laugh-out-loud humor, angst, treachery, danger, hot sex, and handsome brothers and a dad who come to assist when Tressa is captured...I adore this author's stories. I loved the sequel, Solar Wind, and was thrilled when I discovered that Ms. Lee is writing a series about this intriguing family who are all heroes as far as I am concerned. Banner's Bonus is a Keeper, and a story that you will remember long after you have finished. Please, Ms. Lee, keep on writing about this family because you have a winning combination of adventure, competent men who know their way around a woman's body, and are willing to die to protect those whom they love. Plan on a wonderful evening’s entertainment while enjoying the fun of this fabulous story."Susiq2 -- Manic Readers Reviews
4 out of 5 STARS
"Banner's Bonus is a rousing adventure that delves into power, corruption, redemption and fear as well as the strength of the human spirit. I was drawn into the story's energy from the very first page….I enjoyed the complexity of the plot which includes many thrilling challenges for them to meet and overcome. The love story between Tressa and Nick is tantalizingly slow to mature but definitely worth the wait."Chamomile -- Long and Short Reviews
"…Her lusty descriptions combine with an often tender, heart-warming flow that makes this reviewer understand why this book is getting such high accolades. This book does well at targeting fans of three different genres. It is perfect for those who enjoy science fiction, romance and fantasy, but its strong point is the romance. The common attraction between a sweet, innocent beauty and a rough, thrill-seeking charmer will have any romance enthusiast immediately hooked. This is a futuristic romance novel that will have any fan of the genre gushing."John Washburn -- Read and Review Reviews
10 out of 10 STARS
"It is a rare book that makes a reader care about it's characters, and 'Banner's Bonus' Nick and Tressa fits the bill! Sure to be a 'romance classic', 'Banner's...' is set in the future, yet brings to mind sailing ships, pirates and open water. Tenderness, well-written love scenes, and strong family ties make 'Banner's Bonus' a read well above the ordinary in the futuristic romance genre. This reviewer would give it ten stars!"Jacki Leach -- B. Dalton Booksellers, Inc.
5 out of 5 STARS
"Banner's Bonus totally blew me away! I absolutely loved every page. It leaves you breathless, thoroughly shaken, laughing, and in love with its hero. It is a fast paced adventure, taking readers on the ride of their life. Be prepared for some fairly intense emotions. The sexual tension is clear and the air steams with the unresolved issue. This resolution is an essential part of the plot and character development, and is another tactic that this author uses to put the reader at ease...then blows their socks off! Her prose is quite fast flowing and unique; almost poetic at times. Nick grabbed me right from the first chapter, and in the conclusion, this reader was sincerely touched by his evolution. Amazingly, this author turns a perfect man into a knight in shining armour. This is a must-have for fans of Sci-Fi Futuristic Romance!"Naomi -- Fallen Angel Reviews
Lynn -- eCataromance Reviews
"Ms. Lee's work is a boisterously written, beguiling love story of a man haunted by the past and a young woman coming into her own. Filled with thrilling action, lively banter, and a cast of secondary characters as unique and intriguing as it's leads, 'Banner's Bonus' is a true jewel for the futuristic romance genre! All this reviewer wants to know is, when will we meet the Banner family again? I certainly hope its SOON!" (Editor's note: 'Solar Wind', sequel to 'Banner's Bonus',released by Awe-Struck September 5th, 2008.)
"What a wild ride! Futuristic romance fans will love the passion and adventure in Lee's BANNER'S BONUS. Nick Banner can swagger through the stars with the best of them!"Linnea Sinclair, Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author
"A bickering romance, pirates, kidnappers, and a chase through space ensure the pace is nonstop. The woman can take care of business. The bad boy hero keeps a grin on your face and your hand ready to reach for the next page."Brenda McCoy -- Coffee Time Romance Reviews
Tressa started to turn, then hesitated. "Nick, sometimes all a person needs is--"
He slammed down the bottle with such force, it sent a geyser of spray into the air and a cascade of foam running down its side to the table. He moved so swiftly that Tressa gasped when he shackled her wrist in an iron grip.
"You haven't the vaguest notion of what I need right now or you wouldn't still be standing here."
Tressa looked up at him in wide-eyed alarm. "Let go of me!" She struggled to wrench free, but was no match against his superior strength.
Gripped by a primal need to possess her, Nick's heavy-lidded gaze focused on her mouth.
Slow down, old man. You're scaring her. You know how to play this game. You've done it a million times. Don't hold her so tight. Be gentle. Say something nice.
Fighting for control, he loosened his hold without completely releasing her. His gaze flickered lazily. "Tressa," he said softly. "Honey, do you have any idea just how pretty you are?"
He felt a shudder course through her and shifted his focus from her mouth to her large, unblinking brown eyes. Eyes filled with apprehension...or...or was it intrigue. Hell he was so spaced, he couldn't tell which. And furthermore it didn't matter. Nor did it matter that there were a thousand and ten reasons why he shouldn't be touching her. He was just drunk enough to ignore what he shouldn't be doing, and concentrate instead on what he was aching to do.
He pulled her against him--intimately, reeling with the feel of her body in direct contact with his and the heady scent of her filling his senses. His hooded gaze dropped into the gaping neckline of her nightshift and another intense wave of raw lust swept through him.
"Tressa," he said nearly howling at the hunger raging through him. "I need you." A heartbeat passed before he felt the jolt of comprehension chase through her. He watched her throat work as she choked back a convulsive swallow.
"Please..." she whispered, unconsciously teasing him with her dimpled cheek.
This woman-child had walked into his life and blown his entire existence to hell with her smile, her flashing brown eyes, and her damned dimple. He had never been so driven to possess a woman as he was now. Even Linnae had never had him aching like this.
Slowly his gaze slid back to her mouth. "A kiss. That's all I ask. Just a kiss."
"A kiss?" she repeated as though not quite understanding.
"That's all, honey. One kiss."
After a long moment of thought, she went up on tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek.
Nick was so primed, he froze at the touch of her mouth brushing his hot skin. And before she could protest, he'd lifted her several inches off the floor and pinned her against the wall. "Not like that, baby," he growled. "Like this..." He captured her mouth in a kiss that was both tender and shockingly seductive. He felt Tressa's body jerk in response when he touched the tip of his tongue to the corner of her lips, seeking entrance.
"Nick..." Her parted mouth allowed him access, and with a groan he took advantage of the moment. Tressa struggled to break free, but it was far too late for any hope of freedom. With hot desire overriding the dictates of his mind, Nick lowered his shaggy dark head and kissed the pulsing hollow at the base of Tressa's throat. "You should have gone back when I told you to," he murmured quietly and so seriously there was no mistaking his intent.
Again, with no success, she pushed against his shoulders. "Nick, please..."
He wasn't listening. Cupping her bottom, he lifted her higher and adjusted his position.
"Shhhh, baby just let me hold you," he whispered, leaning into her heavily, intimately securing her against the wall. He caught her head in his hands and once again lowered his mouth to hers, seeking--demanding entrance.
Slow down. You're frightening her again.
Leashing his rampaging emotions was not on his agenda. He wanted to ravish her, to make passionate love to her. He growled her name, and Tressa stifled an answering sob.
And then she relaxed. Suddenly. Almost as if some unseen force had taken over, she melted into his embrace.