USA Today Bestselling Author
Award Winning Author
Everything changed when I crashed into a food truck.
It all started with a brutal hill. An incline that I was determined to crest. One, long, punishing climb with my thighs screaming as I pumped the pedals for all I was worth. That hill could have been a metaphor for my whole life. I was climbing out of the crater left by a broken heart, ready to seize control again. Making it up that hill was a good first step.
Then I hit the food truck.
Enter Reese Riley, blond, gorgeous, stunning sapphire eyes and the kind of smile to set my blood on fire. No way he was real. With charm to spare, he walked me home and then asked me out. Then he introduced me to his friends—Briggs, Goran, and Dalton. Stunning men, all of them. Funny, too. They flirted, they teased, and they indulged. They were incredible, each of them, and they fit into my life like they’d been born to be there. I didn’t know whether to celebrate or to run like hell.
Oh, and did I mention they were aliens?
Author’s Note: This is a reverse harem and the authors suggest you always read the forwards in their books. This is the first in a trilogy.
Queenmaker is part one of a trilogy, what that means is that this is a continuing journey that progresses through each book to the end.
In this book we meet Khloe, she’s still recuperating from a break-up in which her ex took everything of value from her. She’s riding her bicycle and thinking of all that injustice when she crashes into a food truck.
Reese is the first to aid her and as he walks with her to see her safely home, he also convinces her to join him and his friends for a drink.
To be on the safe side she calls her best friend Grace to join her. Grace isn’t with her very long though since she runs into her on again off again boyfriend Maurice.
The initial meeting with Briggs, Goran, and Dalton is fun and flirty and interrupted twice, once by a woman who is more than a little tipsy, and once by Grace.
This is a favorite scene.
If Briggs was taken, well— he was.
Except… “Are you all dating people?”
I shot Reese a look. If I was going to be some hookup while he traveled and went back to his fiancée, then I was going to leave right now. Women shouldn’t do that to other women.
“Well, I’m on a date right now,” Reese told me without an ounce of hesitation.
“You just had a break-up,” Dalton said. “So I get being shy, but I’m not seeing anyone else. I’m a one and done kind of guy. None of us are Billy.”
Goran lifted his whisky, his expression unreadable. “I have never dated anyone.” Blunt and to the point. So that just left Briggs as the taken one. Disappointment curved through me, but I smothered it. A few months ago, I’d been the taken one, and while I’d been mourning the life I thought I’d had, the more distance I got from it— the more I realized I didn’t miss Billy at all.
Especially not right now.
Making a face, I met Briggs’ concerned gaze. “So I guess you’re the odd man out in this group of bachelors.”
“Or I just told that woman something to let her down easily,” Briggs countered, his eyebrows raised as if in a dare.
“So you’re not dating either?” That… that was great. I mean, that was kind of sad. They were all really good-looking guys and, granted, a little weird, but weird was definitely not bad. They were colorful and different, definitely intriguing.
Chuckling, Briggs lifted his glass of whisky, and the pressure against my leg increased. I really should have pulled my leg away, but there was just something nice about the contact. “At the moment? No.”
“Oh.” What else was I supposed to say to that? “Sorry?”
Dalton threw his head back and laughed. The humor rippled around the table, but only Reese joined him in chuckling. Goran and Briggs gave him flinty-eyed looks that didn’t fracture or cool until Dalton’s laughter gradually sobered. “Sorry,” he said. “She’s sorry you’re not dating anyone else.” Mirth danced in his eyes.
Studying him, I propped my chin on my free hand since Reese still had possession of my left one, and I didn’t think I was getting it back anytime soon. Not that I was all that eager. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re an ass?”
“Yes,” Dalton answered briskly, his smile undiminished. “You would not be the first. Definitely the loveliest, but not the first.”
At my snort, Reese squeezed my hand. “We frequently tell Dalton he’s an ass. Sadly, he does not seem to learn from the experience.”
“No,” Briggs said with a little more chill in his words than a tease warranted. “He doesn’t. We might need a new word.”
“Or a new method,” Goran suggested. “What do you think, Khloe? What would you do to correct such brutish behavior?”
What would I do? I didn’t see asses. Not even good-looking ones. Not anymore. Before I could answer though, Dalton and Goran’s attention flicked to behind me, and I shifted to find Grace slipping a hand onto my shoulder.
“Excuse me, gentlemen, I need my bestie for a second.” At her tug, I let go of Reese and slid my leg away from Briggs. All four stood as I did, and Grace let out a huff that sounded a lot like damn under her breath, before she hustled me away from the table. “Sorry, sweetie. Won’t take but a minute…” She glanced behind me rather conspicuously as she leaned to the side, then straightened and met my gaze. “Holy hell, Khloe. You hit the damn jackpot. There’s not a man there I wouldn’t tap.”
“Grace,” I hissed at her, and she gave me a smug grin then pressed her keys into my palm and closed my fingers around them.
“Don’t get huffy. You get first pick. Besides, I got all the man I need in Maurice. I hate to kiss and run, but— damn, you know how it is.”
“Oh, honey,” I said with a sigh, and she gave me a knowing smile. Grace knew, as well as I did, it wouldn’t last. They would fall down the lust-fueled rabbit hole together, and I’d be there on the other side when it was time to kiss the boo-boos and pour the pity wine.
“Hey, we only live once. You’ve got a hot date and his hot friends, go grab life by the balls and kiss the hell out of it. I intend to.” She pressed her lips to my cheek. “Keep the car so you can get home. I’ll call you later. I promise.”
Then she was gone. Maurice waited for her by the front door, and Grace all but melted into him as they stepped out into the night. A sigh escaped, and I held her keys to my chest. Grace really did just embrace life, even the parts that hurt.
Warmth surged against my back, and I didn’t have to turn to know it was Reese. He was just there, a comforting shield bracketing me. “Everything okay?”
“Yeah,” I said, and even I didn’t believe me. Summoning up a smile, I turned around. Grace was right about one thing. I needed to grab some life by the balls. It was why I was here.
Heather Long; Rebecca Royce. Queenmaker: Heart of the Nebula Book 1 (Kindle Locations 653-692).
One of the most confusing things for Khloe is her attraction to all four of these men. They are able to persuade her that it is the way they would prefer it to be and she doesn’t have to choose between them.
I love all these characters, the slow, steady progression of each relationship, the warmth and caring, and yes, the love that is just a bit different depending on who you are talking about.
Many interesting revelations, along with wit, fun, kindle melting heat and some danger as Khloe learns about her men and who she really is.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this trilogy!
5 Contented Purrs for Heather and Rebecca!
Deal Breaker – Heart of the Nebula Book 2
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.
I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.
In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.
I’d love to hear from you!