Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday's Series Spotlight: Galactic Alliance by KC Burn

Spice ‘n’ Solace #1
The Galactic Alliance’s most important negotiator, Jathan One-Moon, is responsible for ensuring the yearly negotiations with the Ankylos are successful. If he fails and the Ankylos go to war, the human race will likely be exterminated. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s under pressure to marry and produce an heir. When he mistakes the brothel owner, Kazha Deinos, for his escort prior to the negotiations, the resulting evening makes Jathan realize his life is missing a man who can be a true partner to him.

Kaz never met his most important client, and Jathan’s misconception allows Kaz the freedom to give in to desires he’s never let himself indulge in before. But Kaz has a business to run, one that a rival is trying to steal, which will force him to reveal his true identity to Jay. There’s also the little issue of Jathan’s impending marriage. Kaz is not interested in being a boy on the side of Jay’s marriage, no matter how much he’s come to care for Jathan. Will Jathan and Kaz find a way to be together, or will losing the man Jathan’s grown to love be yet another price he must pay for saving the human race?

Alien 'n' Outlaw #2
R'kos, son of the Ankylos Emperor, is expected to settle down. But he's much more attracted to human males than to his own species. Eager to explore his forbidden longings, he steals a ship and heads to Elora Ki to see if he can find the right human guy.

Darien robs the corrupt to give to those in need, but now he needs a ride off Elora Ki, stat. Pursued by drug lords, he accepts help from the amorous stranger who calls himself Ricky. As they fly together along Darien's route, their friendship quickly turns into passion.

But when Ricky is injured, Darien must contact the embassy to get his alien lover the medical care he needs. As Darien finds himself accused of kidnapping, and Ricky fears his family's disappointment, can the two protect their growing relationship? Or are their differences just too great?

Voodoo 'n' Vice #3
After nearly causing a galactic incident, fleet captain Gideon Arcturus is disgraced, demoted and exiled with nothing to do but pass the time at a seedy club on seedier planet Elora Ki. It's no place for a straight-laced soldier, but following the rules is what got him there in the first place. When he meets a mesmerizing fire dancer, he'd do anything to get close to the flame.

Tai doesn't date customers—it's far too dangerous for a man who was once for sale. But the shy, awkward Gideon entices him, and the two spend Gideon's leave tangled together, neither knowing the passion that stirs within them won't soon subside.

When a violent drug lord forces Tai back into slavery, Tai has no choice but to give up his new love. But when Gideon learns that Tai's fate lies with those who brought about his own ruin, he'll need to revisit his own difficult past in order to save them both.

Spice ‘n’ Solace #1
The unmistakable lurch of a shuttle docking coincided with the chirping of Jathan One-Moon’s comm unit. Bram Hakers was beginning to piss him off. Jathan silenced the device, wondering what the alliance’s undersecretary would do if he turned it off. He’d talked to Hakers every day of his trip to Elora Ki, and he wasn’t doing it again. For some reason Hakers—and the rest of the alliance—treated this brief sojourn as nothing more than an exotic vacation for Jathan, with the alliance picking up the tab.

Jathan did charge the alliance an enormous amount, but they were the reason Jathan had been forced to become a negotiator in the first place. His other negotiations paid well, but they were on a much smaller scale. For the Ankylos negotiations, Jathan charged the alliance in proportion to the almost unimaginable consequences of failure. Because if Jathan failed, the human race could be snuffed out.

Every year he returned to Elora Ki, the site chosen because of its position as the farthest planet from the center of both the Ankylos Empire and the hub of planets ruling the Galactic Alliance. Every year he repeated the negotiations on behalf of the human race.

In truth he’d do the negotiations for free. Diabolical not to, since the Ankylos wouldn’t negotiate with anyone else after his father died. Without him the Ankylos Empire would renew the Wolframite War with the Galactic Alliance. But people didn’t respect things they got for free, and Jathan wanted the alliance to respect his services. Unfortunately Hakers acted as though the exorbitant fees meant Jathan was his slave for the length of the negotiations. With the Ankylos refusing to negotiate with anyone but a person in his father’s bloodline, he was a prisoner of sorts.

A knock sounded at the door to his quarters.

“Come in.” The military escort to his headquarters had arrived.

“Sir. We made good time. We’ve docked early.”

Dammit. Should he contact Spice ’n’ Solace? With his escort due to arrive the next evening, was it worth altering those arrangements? “Yes, thank you. I’m almost ready.”

Jathan fastened his bag and hefted it to his shoulder.

“Sir. Let me take that.” The well-put-together soldier moved into Jathan’s personal space, took the bag and smiled.

Jathan looked down at the man’s face, assessing his motives. The blond was good-looking, although broader and more muscle bound than his usual type.

The soldier used his firm chest to pin Jathan against the wall—under other circumstances a move like that would have made Jathan’s cock swell. Before the negotiations, though, the aggressiveness didn’t work for him.

“We’re on unexpected furlough for the night.” The soldier might have been making conversation, but the erection pressing into Jathan’s hip made his words an invitation.

“Tempting.” Jathan pushed all inflection out of his voice and painted on his most disdainful expression. This wasn’t what he needed. Not now. Military men weren’t equipped to give in, to submit. “But not a good idea.”

The blond quirked a brow. “Sure? Everyone knows how you spend your nights on Elora Ki.” His hips undulated against Jathan’s. Lies, clearly. If everyone knew what he did—he peered at the shorter man’s name patch—Williams would know this wasn’t the approach to take.

Although the forthright invitation was at odds with a man on duty, starfuckers were rather single-minded. He’d fucked others, but it made him uncomfortable. Still, the blond was quite attractive.

“You going to be part of my escort on the return trip?”

“Mmm, I think so.”

On the way home might be a different story. “We’ll talk then.”

“Yes, sir.” Williams stepped back before leading the way out of Jathan’s quarters. In many ways Jathan preferred to pay for his pleasure. No strings, no expectations on the part of the escort and Jathan could take what he needed to make it through another year of negotiations.

Jathan took out his comm unit, still unsure if he wanted to call for an escort. The unit chirped in his hand. Undoubtedly Hakers again, toadying little suck-up. Screw it. He’d had enough. Jathan turned the device off, determined to pretend that for at least one night no one relied on him to save countless human lives.

Alien 'n' Outlaw #2
Weaving through alleyways and streets, both deserted and crowded, R’kos quickly became lost. Darien’s circuitous route had to throw off their pursuers. R’kos had no idea if they were in the same sector as before and he wasn’t even sure he could follow his own scent trail back to the pub.

“Hold,” he called, Darien for a change within speaking distance.

Darien turned around, gaze flitting around like prey being hunted. “Did you see them?”

“No, but someone’s coming. Might be them.” Unfortunately, Viko’s men were not the only ones who smelled of weaponry, and he’d been concentrating more on Darien’s scent than identifying the motley bunch that followed them.

Darien glanced both directions along the alley. R’kos wondered if they’d retrace their steps or try to move past the threat ahead. Instead of moving, Darien shoved R’kos, sending him stumbling back into a doorway.

“Wha—” The uneven, unyielding surface at his back scraped at his skin through the thin fabric of his robe. His heart thudded, and he could only imagine the scent cocktail he was emitting. Thank all the stars in the universe there wasn’t an Ankylos tracking them. Not yet.

“Shhh.” Darien crowded against him and the air between their bodies heated.

That wasn’t fair. Not at all. R’kos looked up into the inky shadows in the corner above them, willing himself to ignore the scent of smoke and spice in the soft hair sneaking into his hood to tickle his chin. He pulled his hips back as far from Darien as he could in the close space. Why didn’t his people have more information on human mating customs? R’kos didn’t know how much they differed from his own, but Darien wouldn’t want to know how close he was to stripping Darien’s clothes off and licking him all over. The tips of his fingers slid lightly over the oiled cloth of Darien’s coat. He’d shaken hands with a few humans, as was their custom. Did the rest of their skin feel the same as their hands? Did they have hair everywhere?

After a brief clatter of boots against loose pebbles, both scent and sound faded, and R’kos unclenched his muscles even as he sensed the tension bleed out of Darien’s body.

Darien stretched up. “You are a big one, aren’t you, Ricky? Let’s get going while we can.” Darien’s whisper heated his ear.

Jaw tight, R’kos only nodded, afraid any involvement of his mouth would result in an involuntary response like moaning or tasting. The urge to lick the warm skin so close to his lips was almost unnerving in its intensity, and he reveled in the freedom to experience those emotions.

“Quick now.” Darien’s voice was almost inaudible.

Should be easier to follow this time, as his eyes had become accustomed to the lighting, more or less. Holding close to the side of the alley, Darien sped away and he followed as stealthily as possible. Darien halted and R’kos followed his lead, looking around. Surely they had not reached a destination. Nothing distinguished this alley from any of the others they’d passed through, as far as he could tell.

Bending over, Darien grunted and hoisted a circular metal plate out of the street. Darien curled his finger downward, gesturing for him to descend. He peered down past the circular entry into black nothingness, and a whole host of new scents wafted up.

“What is this?”

“Storm sewer,” Darien whispered.

Storm sewer. Sounded ominous. He’d never been on Elora Ki during their storm season, and he hoped they didn’t have any unusual storms while he was trapped down there. Gritting his teeth, R’kos lowered himself into the blackness. He’d trusted Darien thus far, no reason not to continue. Carefully he climbed down. Through his tight grip on the cool metal, he knew when Darien landed on the ladder above him, but he didn’t dare look up. At the bottom, he splashed as he stepped off the ladder and moved out of Darien’s way, into the palpable darkness. The light from the alley, as dim as it was, illuminated a faint circle on the shallow pool of water gathered on the ground. The grate clanged shut above him, cutting off even that meager source of visibility. He was well and truly blind down here.

A muffled shout sounded as Darien leaped off the ladder, accompanied by a flare of blue light.

“They saw me. Time to run.”

Voodoo 'n' Vice #3
Demoted. Captain Gideon Arcturus scrubbed his face with his hands before he reread the memo on his console. The words hadn’t changed. They hadn’t stripped him of his rank, but he was no longer the head of the Galactic Fleet’s interplanetary criminal division.

How could this be happening? With a growl he stood, his chair tipping back and thudding to the ground behind him. He barely suppressed the temptation to upend his desk, as well. Gideon stalked around the office, the one they were ‘allowing’ him to keep, with two words echoing through his mind: Why me?

He’d been following orders, for fuck’s sake. Just like he was supposed to. Following them slavishly, in fact, because deviation from orders and protocol had been the reason he’d been exiled to this pit of human civilization on Elora Ki.

The agitated pacing wasn’t helping. Gideon returned to his desk, righted his chair and slumped down in it. Too bad Elora Ki was already at the outermost edge of the Galactic Alliance. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to escape. Unless he wanted to end up in Ankylos territory, and those damned aliens had already caused him enough trouble.

How long before some sucking-up little asswipe went running to his father or brother with the juicy gossip of his demotion? He rested his forehead in his hands. Would his father even bother expressing his disappointment this time? Or would General Arcturus merely pretend he didn’t have a second son? Stowing him out of sight on Elora Ki must make it easy to act like Gideon and his disgrace had never happened.

The door opened, and the big, blond bane of his existence on Elora Ki walked in. Gideon took a deep breath and clenched his fists out of sight underneath the desk. No way would he let anyone see how much this demotion had rattled him.

Author Bio:
KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own--getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she's had in a long time, and she hopes you'll enjoy them as much as she does.


Spice ‘n’ Solace #1

Alien 'n' Outlaw #2

Voodoo 'n' Vice #3

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