Meredith has been advocating for foster children for her entire career, so when the courts and child services conspire to remove an Earth-born Sakk child's wings, she'll risk jail to keep that from happening. She goes to the Sakk consulate seeking asylum for Alice and finds herself partaking of the same.
Hayley and Holly are as different as night and day, but the sisters have never been apart. When Hayley decides to indulge one of her younger sister's flights of fancy, little does she know they are going to become the belles of the Sakk ball.
When Beldon and Jannie return to Sakk, Sakkra (the younger Sakk prince) becomes emissary to the humans. Little does he know how difficult the job will be. Between armed attacks and political nightmares, it seems the prince can't even eat a meal without interruption. Enter Amy. She doesn't want to test as a match; she's happily engaged and happily human. She's only at the consulate to offer support to a friend who is testing, but when her friend turns out to be very human and Amy turns out not to be, her life falls apart.
When Amy's other cousins tested as too human to be matches, Jolene didn't bother. A one-night stand with Rietin (a wingless Sakk tracker and Amy's personal guard) ends with an unexpected pregnancy, but can Jo overcome her belief that Sakk men see all women as alike and find happiness with him?
Sandy has had a lousy year. Her POS boyfriend dumped her when she got pregnant. Her step-father kicked her out of the house, leaving her homeless. The shelter has only let her stay as long as she has, because she's pregnant. And now...the final straw. Her sonogram shows the baby she's carrying has wings. Her last chance for safety and stability is finding a home with the Sakk.
A Phaze Books ReleaseContains sexual language and explicit sexual situations intended for the enjoyment of adult readers.
Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 95 published works, office administrator, columnist, special needs teacher, wife, mother...and member in good standing of more than 60 writing advocacy groups. In her first nine years published in novel-length, she's won 3 EPIC e-Book Awards (out of 15 finalists) and finaled for 3 PEARLS (including one Honorable Mention, second to NY Times Bestseller Angela Knight), 2 CAPAS, and a Dream Realm Award. She's also taken Spinetingler's Book of the Year for 2007. Brenna writes milieu-heavy dark fiction, mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror, straight genre, romance and erotic crosses, poetry, articles, and essays. She teaches everything from marketing to choosing an indie publisher, and she's been called "one of the most deviant erotic minds in publishing today" by Fallen Angels. Find out more about Brenna at Youtube
Brenna loves talking to readers and can be reached via her site at www.brennalyons.comAwards for Mundania/Phaze Books...
Finalist PEARL 2003 (Schente Night)
Finalist Dream Realm Award 2003 (Last Chance for Love)
Finalist CAPA 2004 (Written in the Stars)
Honorable Mention PEARL 2004 (Night Warriors)
Finalist PEARL 2004 (Konig Cursebreakers)
Finalist EPPIE 2004 (Fion's Daughter)
Finalist EPPIE 2006 (Rites of Mating)
Finalist EPPIE 2006 (All I Want for Christmas)
Runner-Up Love Romance's Cafe and More Best SF/F Book of the year 2008 (Last Chance for Love)
Finalist EPPIE 2008 (Phaze in Verse)
Finalist EPPIE 2009 (Coming Together: Under Fire)
Winner EPIC's eBook Awards 2010 (Time Currents)
Joyfully Reviewed's Best Books of 2010 (Written in the Stars)
Finalist EPIC's eBook Awards 2010 (Matchmaker's Misery)
Finalist EPIC's eBook Awards 2011 (The Master's Lover)
Finalist EPIC's eBook Awards 2011 (Bride Ball)
This is a great compilation of stories, each one telling the story of a seperate couple, with some constants throughout. This is the first Sakk novel I have read, and I fully enjoyed it. The alien culture is fascinating, and a fresh twist on the “males outnumber the females significantly” alien story. Apparently, Earth is already home to the descendants of the Sakk people.
There is some hot love scenes (always a plus) but more than that, a general feeling of love forms between characters--though, in some cases rather quickly. However, working within the confines of short stories, it fits.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking to meet some handsome alien hunks, learn about an alien culture, and crave HEA. This book will not disappoint!Cara -- Manic Readers and Smile Somebody Loves You
“May I help you with your young one?” a Sakk warrior offered with a tip of his head.
I hope so. God, I really hope you can. Otherwise, this entire mad escapade has been for nothing. Meredith shifted Alice on her hip and focused on the imposing specimen who had made the offer. She forced a smile for him. “Would it be possible to speak with one of your doctors?”
“Do you have a medical referral, ma’am?”
Alice picked that moment to look up at him. She clapped her little hands in glee, and her wings started flapping under the oversized cape-style coat she wore.
Meredith glanced around at the crowd, wincing at the attention Alice was drawing. The absolute last thing they needed right now was attention. Not until we’re inside the consulate. Technically, we’re still at the gates.
A blinding white screen blocked her view, and Meredith gasped in surprise. He’d extended his wing around them.
“May I?” he offered, his hands out to take Alice from her.
She handed the wiggling baby over, and the warrior unfastened the coat. He removed it carefully, and Alice’s little wings flapped furiously.
A smile curved his mouth into a lush bow. “Your daughter is beautiful,” he complimented her. “And fully winged. We haven’t encountered any native young born winged until now, let alone fully winged.”
Meredith swallowed a lump of fear as she rubbed at her forehead. She’s not my daughter. I wish she was. If Alice was mine, none of this would be necessary. “Yes. She is.”
Murmurs rose around them, reminding Meredith that time was limited. “I do need to speak to one of your doctors.” Quickly. Before they figure out we’re not where we’re supposed to be and come here looking for us.
His smile faded into a look of horror. “Is the young one ill?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “That’s what I’ve come here to find out.” It was an accurate statement. I hope to God I’m right. If I’m not, I’ll go to jail for the next decade for nothing. Going to jail would be worth it, as long as I’m right.
“Then there is no time to waste.” He turned with Alice in his arms, his extended wing guiding Meredith with him. “A hole!” he thundered. “A hole, please.”
In the distance, other warriors passed that command along. A line of armed and armored Sakk men waded into the crowd and widened the area between the rows for them to pass through.
Her heart hammering, Meredith hurried into the main consulate building. And to safety. I hope.
Jarem played with young Alice’s toes, laughing at the babe’s squeals of delight.
In the distance, Meredith waited for the healers’ determination. Her hands were clenched in the young one’s coat, her face tense.
The dame bore little resemblance to the babe on the bio bed. The former had hair as black as deep space and eyes the color of uba nuts at harvest. By comparison, her young one’s hair was the color of cooling embers and her eyes a vibrant green.
Alice must resemble her sire. Jarem tried not to obsess over the question of where that male might be. What sort of man wasn’t at his child’s side in a medical emergency?
“I see no cause for concern,” the healer decreed.
Jarem breathed a sigh of relief. The idea of a young one at risk was a difficult thing for any Sakk male to cope with, their own or those of other Sakk.
“You’re certain?” Meredith asked urgently.
“Then Alice needs asylum.”
“Asylum?” Jarem asked. Even with his grasp of English, the term made no sense to him.
Meredith turned his way. “Your protection.”
“She has that.”
“Here in the consulate. She has to stay here in the consulate,” she insisted.
“I do not understand,” the master healer admitted.
Meredith visibly calmed herself and started her explanation again. “If you let them take her out of the consulate—”
The doors opened and Master Beldon marched in, sword drawn and armored for battle. A half dozen warriors followed in his wake, similarly armed.
Jarem stared at them, at a loss to comprehend this turn of events.
“Protect the young one,” the master ordered.
Four of the six warriors surrounded the bio bed, and Alice startled at the rush of bodies. Jarem lifted her into his arms and let her fuss against his chest.
Master Beldon took another step toward the babe’s mother. “Meredith Mallory, will you come with us peacefully?” he challenged.
She took a calming breath. “If you promise Alice asylum, you can take me away, hand me over, and I’ll spend the rest of my days in a prison cell without complaint.” Her eyes pleaded for his agreement.
“You cannot legally ask for asylum for this young one. You are not her dame.”
“I’m the closest she has.”
Master Beldon’s wings ruffled in offense. “You abducted this child. The rightful authorities are waiting to take custody of her, and I will return her to them.” It was a blatant warning that Meredith should not stand in his way.
“What?” Jarem protested. His arms tightened around his wriggling bundle. Abducted? Alice’s parents must be frantic to find her.
“She’s an orphan,” Meredith countered. “She’s a ward of the state.”
Beldon didn’t seem to understand the latter half any better than Jarem did.
“She has no parents. They died. Or rather... Her mother died. We have no clue who her father is.”
Beldon questioned her. “She has been...adopted? Those are her parents if they have adopted her. You still have no right to—”
“She. Has. No. Parents. The government is raising her. Do you understand?”
He didn’t seem to.
“You need to understand. They’re going to surgically remove her wings. Today. They said it’s for her health, but it’s not. Your doctors have confirmed that Alice is healthy with her wings.” She motioned frantically with one hand. “If you give her back to the government officials asking for her, they will take her wings away. Do you understand that?”
Jarem curled his wings around Alice. She was perfect, and someone wanted to maim her? His fury uncorked. “Who will take her wings? Why would they do such a thing?” I will kill them if Master Beldon does not get to them before I do.
“It’s...complicated. There are three agencies that oversee orphans like Alice. They asked the courts to allow them to do this and were granted permission. I was ordered to take Alice to the surgery, but I couldn’t do that without knowing there’s no other way.
“Now, please...I beg of you. I did this, knowing I would go to jail for it. All I’m asking is for you to meet me halfway. My job... My former job was advocating for children like Alice. God knows, I tried to do that. I argued to stop this. If what I’ve done legally isn’t enough, you’ll have to advocate for her while I pay the price of stepping outside the law.”
“In what way?”
Jarem startled at the sound of Ambassador Janice’s voice.
Meredith focused on her. “I’m not Alice’s family. I wish to God I was, but I’m not. Genetically, she’s more Sakk than human.”
Janice nodded. “You’re saying we are the closest relatives Alice has.”
Words seemed to fail her. Meredith nodded, a tear escaping her eye. “Please. Grant her asylum.”
Meredith’s throat bobbed, but she managed a shaking nod. The two remaining warriors strode toward her, and more tears splashed to her cheeks. They shackled her wrists in front of her but used soft restraints in deference to the fact that she was female, Sakk or not.
“Should we hand her over to the human authorities?” one of the warriors asked.
“Yes,” the master rumbled.
“No,” his mate ordered.
Beldon snapped a look of disbelief her direction.
Janice sighed. “Ms. Mallory has abducted a Sakk child. I believe the Sakk have questions for her.”
Beldon stared at her for a moment, then nodded his agreement. “Cell two. Jannie and I will speak with her.”
“Make sure to feed her,” Janice added.