I’ve decided to change up these weekly snippets and go through my backlist, sharing the first meeting between the two main characters in each book. I’m going roughly in the order of first publication. It’s always fun for me to revisit the books and I hope it will be for you too! Or if you’ve never happened to read a certain book, maybe I can entice you into giving it a try.
STAR CRUISE ROCK STAR is my second in this “love boat of the stars” series with a galaxy-famous rock star as one of the main characters. I love rock star romances and it’s been fun to write my own, set in my scifi romance world.
The excerpt – Addy is a new graduate from a highly regarded interstellar technical school, just joining the ship’s engineering crew. She’s on her way to the shuttle when:
Addy passed a robo kiosk selling feelgoods and snacks and gasped as a man stepped out from his position slightly behind the unit, grabbing her by the arm. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said, speaking quickly, right into her ear. “I mean you no harm. I need a favor. You’re on the crew?”
She stared at him, not quite ready to scream and make a fuss yet—Addy avoided becoming the center of all eyes whenever possible. He was tall and scruffy around the edges, and had a battered leather satchel and an oddly shaped instrument case waiting in the spot where he’d been lurking. Under the beard and brown hair caught back in a messy braid, he was handsome and his eyes were breathtakingly blue. She blinked, mesmerized because she’d never seen anyone with such gorgeous eyes.
He glanced past her to the crowd milling around close to the gates and clenched his jaw. “Listen, miss, I’m a passenger—I can show you my ticket if you like—but I need help getting on board without a lot of undue attention. If you’ll walk with me and pretend to be my girlfriend for ten minutes, get me inside the crew shuttle, I’ll buy you the best dinner available on board the Nebula Zephyr tomorrow night. Deal?”
“Oh,” she said, understanding dawning. Addy studied the noisy hubbub nearby. “All of them are waiting for you?” He didn’t look like a celebrity other than when it came to his beautiful eyes. Maybe he’s a famous criminal. Either way he’s a passenger and customer service is our line’s hallmark. The principle had been drummed into her during the online orientation holo class. As an engine room specialist she hadn’t expected to have anything to do with the passengers. Flustered, she said, “I guess that’d be okay but you probably should show me your boarding pass first. I can’t let a pirate or a mobster on board.” As if she’d recognize such a person but Addy consoled herself asking for a pass was an official act and if he couldn’t produce one, she’d terminate this interaction, gorgeous eyes or not.
With a frown, as if he hadn’t meant his offer to locate the pass, he pulled her further into the tiny bit of privacy the vending machine created and rummaged in his satchel while she waited. He flashed the pass at her with a resigned expression on his face.
“Ryder McRhodes,” she read. The name had absolutely no meaning to her but the pass seemed genuine and the holo stamp flickered authentically. “All right, come with me then. I can’t guarantee the shuttle pilot will let you on board but at least we can get past the people you want to avoid.”
He kissed her cheek exuberantly. “You’re an angel.” He grabbed the satchel and the instrument case, slinging it across his back and put his other arm around her waist, drawing her close. “I owe you.”
They walked together as if they actually were a couple and Addy was acutely conscious of his muscular body close to hers. He smelled like clean fresh citrus, underlaid with a darker spice and the mere thought surprised Addy, who wasn’t used to thinking in such sensory terms. She liked the sensation of being pressed close to him and she loved not being alone. All of which was confusing. This person was a total stranger and he was taking liberties in the way he held her so shouldn’t she be outraged? Indignant?
But her body was having a completely different reaction and the unaccustomed feelings were distracting.
They’d walked past the bulk of the raucous crowd with no problem but one man split off and accosted them. “Are you Ryder McRhodes?” he asked her companion.
“Naw, man, although I’m flattered.” As he lied, the passenger laughed as if he was without a single care in the world. He hugged Addy closer and said, “Just trying to get back to my ship on time with my girl here, after a day sightseeing.” He lifted Addy’s badge, which was hanging on a lanyard around her neck and flashed it. “See? We’re crew.”
“Engineering,” she said with the conviction of truth. Although she was puzzled by the whole encounter, Addy smiled and kept walking as Ryder did and they went through the gate to the restricted crew only area with no problem. The man heaved a huge sigh.
“And we’re golden now,” he said. “I can’t thank you enough.”
VS: Maybe Addy has been keeping her nose in the technical manuals too long…but Ryder will open her eyes to a whole new world. And she will become his unlikely muse as he prepares for a comeback…
Addy Tryndall is a fresh graduate from a highly respected engineering college in the Sectors, on her way to a plum job on the Nebula Zephyr cruise ship. She knows she’ll be on probation but she’s determined to succeed and nothing is going to distract her.
Ryder McRhodes is a has-been interstellar rock star, on his way to reunite with his fellow band members to see if the lightning of mega success will strike twice for them. He isn’t sure he wants to be in the spotlight again and he hasn’t been able to write music since the band broke up.
Addy has secrets. Ryder needs a muse to unblock the creative flow…could her tightly guarded past be the answer to his problem? When the two are thrown together in an attempt to avoid the interstellar paparazzi he’s intrigued. She’s wary.
And someone is sabotaging systems on the Nebula Zephyr. Addy unwittingly finds herself in the middle of the situation while juggling her increasing attraction to Ryder and her challenges on the new job. Can she trust him with her secret? Or will he break her heart?
The danger on board comes ever closer to Addy as the cruise continues…