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Jessica White never intended to stray from her intended path. Her assignment was hard but simple. Travel through the unrestricted path of space corridor that runs between Planet Bear, Planet Wolf, and Planet Cat to human territory to deliver the packages the Union have entrusted her with. The pay day she gets when she completes her job will seriously help her family. But when she gets attacked and ends up crash landing on Planet Bear, her life changes immediately.
Finn, Cole, and Rylan aren’t just any shifters—they run the planet—and if they want their human mate accepted they’re going to change everything to get what they want. She is their mate. Everyone else can get out of their way. But Jessica isn’t at all sure she wants to go along with this mating. Their furniture is too big, their food is weird, she’s not a bear shifter, and she can’t defend herself from crazy bears shifting to threaten her life.
The brothers three will have to convince her they’re worth all the adjustment or lose her to space.
Jessica White’s first run for Union Delivery is going to be on the other side of the Shifter space. Even though she questioned it they didn’t change it. Shifter space is difficult to traverse and landing on a shifter planet is a death sentence. All is going well on the flight except for some shaking which she hoped would be the worst of it. That is until shots from the Wolf Planet hit her ship. She’s barely able to get out a call for help before she crash lands on the Bear Planet.
Not knowing how long she’s been unconscious she is surprised to be alive. Discovering her cargo was gold makes her hopeful she will be rescued but first she needs to get away from the wreckage. Exhausted and hungry she finally comes across a house.
This is a favorite scene.
The giant from the kitchen and two more, whose high cheekbones had to signify they were the brothers he’d mentioned. Unless all bear shifters looked like that. Maybe they did. Brown hair. Brown eyes. High cheekbones. The one closest to me had a slightly more rounded face, and the third man, who stood next to the one I’d sort of met, had a cleft in his chin.
The closest of them, presumably the one who had been speaking to me, put a straw to my mouth, and I sipped. Water rushed down my throat quickly, and I nearly choked, which had him pulling the drink away from me.
“Slowly. You’re dehydrated, and you fainted. Exhaustion, maybe. I don’t like your head injury. Your physiology is the same as ours in this state. You’re just fragile. Don’t fret. We’ll see to it that you are okay from here on in.”
The third one spoke. “You’re sure, Cole? I won’t risk her. I mean, I don’t understand how this is happening, but it is, so I won’t allow anything to happen to her. She’s so small. So likely to break.”
“She is fragile, for sure. But maybe tougher than she looks at the same time,” the one who had been called Cole answered. “She did survive out there somehow on her own, and we’re nowhere near the wreckage.” He rose from the bed. “You need food and maybe something to make your head stop hurting since you can’t shift.”
Shift. The word made me want to pull the covers up over my head and hide. That wouldn’t do me any good, but it was everything I could do in the world not to simply give in and hide under the blankets. The first guy had told me I was safe and then used the word mate. I didn’t know what customs and rules were on this planet or with their species, but there were all kinds of ways to hurt someone.
I swallowed. My throat was still dry, but I forced myself to speak. “What are you going to do with me? Or to me?”
The three of them stared at each other for a long second before they all turned to look at me. First guy spoke. “I’ve told her that she would be safe here. That I was in charge of what would happen. She didn’t hit her head when she fell, but perhaps the crash? That bump and the cut? Do you suppose she has brain damage?”
“I don’t have brain damage.” I sat up straight in the bed, which was when it occurred to me that I was in bed. I guessed that answered my cave question. They slept in beds. Or at least they had one. I had to keep track of what I’d been saying. “It’s a reasonable question. I am here illegally, but not purposefully. I don’t wish to cause any harm. I’m sorry I stole your porridge. I. . .”
I took a deep breath. “You said I was safe, but then you used that word—mate—and I am not going to do that just because I took the porridge. I have gold in my bag. I’ll pay you.”
The third one held up his hand. He spoke to his brother. “We’re having a meaning of the word problem. That means something different to them, and she can’t understand scent as we do.”
First guy made a noise in his throat that sounded like a growl. “Okay. We’ll start over. I did bumble it. I was in the shower. The aroma hit me. It was all I could do to get down the stairs and not destroy things to do so. You had the same reaction. You might have made mistakes too if she had been conscious when you got here.”
Cole sighed. “Hold on, you two. Please. You’ll have to excuse my brothers. Oldest and youngest. They bicker while I make peace. We are the Durojo family. You are in our house. You met Finn first. He was here when you arrived.” First guy nodded to me. “He is the oldest of our family and the leader of this planet. I’m Cole. I have some medical skills. That is why I examined you. And my youngest brother, Rylan. He’s actually been looking for you for several days. You managed to elude him. You’ll have to tell him sometime how you did that. And he’ll have to tell us why he kept the fact that he scented what you would be to us to himself.”
“Hasn’t exactly been the time.” Rylan growled, his voice lowering. “It is illegal. I wasn’t going to discuss it with strangers. I was waiting until the three of us could be alone.”
I got up on my knees. I understood about half of what they were talking about, but I wasn’t worried about it. The fundamentals of things had not changed. I had to get out of here before whatever they smelled caused them to hurt me.
“I’m sorry I’m here. I’m sorry I came in here uninvited. I can go. You never have to see me again.”
Finn scrunched up his face. “We’re not angry. Relieved, in some ways. And confused. But not upset.” He patted the top of my leg. “I was going to feed you. I scent hunger from you, and if we are to proceed, in whatever way we can possibly do that, then I need to make sure you are cared for first.”
Rylan laughed. “You were going to cook? You don’t cook.”
“Maybe I was going to warm something. I would have gotten her fed.”
I shook my head. “I think we’re having a little bit of a translation problem.” They all turned to stare at me when I said that. Okay, that was good. They could take me seriously. I had a chip in my ear that let me hear in my own language. Although these shifters hated people from other planets, presumably they must have them, too, since they could hear me just fine. Otherwise, planet-to-planet, and sometimes within one planet itself, people would struggle to make themselves understood.
Still, things went askew. This had to be one of those times. I pointed to my ear. “I’m hearing things that don’t make sense, and that is fine. That happens. My name is Jessica White. I work for the Union as a courier. I bring things through space. Well, this was my first mission.” Rylan opened and closed his mouth. I didn’t know what he was going to say or why he decided not to speak. Or maybe that was some kind of tic thing he did. It didn’t matter right then.
I had their attention, so I continued. “I was flying through the assigned corridor of space, and the wolves shot some kind of planet to space missile and knocked me off the corridor and sent me crashing onto your planet. I don’t really remember anything from after the strike until I woke. I was pretty sure I was going to die. My family tends to be blown up in lots of different ways, but the end result is the same. We just do.”
Cole rubbed his chin and rocked back on his feet, but he didn’t interrupt. I really appreciated them not talking over me. Whatever the glitch was in our language chips, we could overcome it if we just all listened very carefully.
“I know that you guys, as a rule, don’t allow non shifters here. That is fine. I don’t want to be here. My people will come get me. I can either wait until they do somewhere else, or maybe you could contact them.” I might have been expendable, and I really hoped I wasn’t, but the gold would get them here fast. “You can all go back to your lives.”
Cole shook his head. “I am going to go do the cooking. You can explain this, Rylan. Finn needs to call off the searchers.”
I rubbed my eyes. Why weren’t they focusing on the fundamentals here?
Rylan sat down on the bed next to me, patting my leg under the blanket. “Are you in pain? Cole wanted to get you a pain block. I can do that.”
“I am in pain, but I’m less concerned about that than about the things I said not being answered. I am grateful you are trying to help me. Concerned, but grateful.” There. I’d been magnanimous, hadn’t I? I knew big words sometimes. I could read and did when I had any time.
“Listen, this must be confusing. It is for us too.” Rylan sighed. “You see, we were raised to believe humans smelled bad. That upon encountering a human, we would instantly want to kill it.”
It. I tried not to wince, but failed. His use of that term was exactly what I was afraid of. I was a cockroach to them. Every planet had them. The little bastards probably had their own interstellar travel arrangements.
He made a growling noise in the back of his throat and then abruptly stopped. “I didn’t mean to say what I said the way I said it. I’m not. . .good at this. Finn should be explaining. Okay, listen, we don’t hate the way you smell. If anything, we’re sort of addicted to it. You smell like our mate. I don’t know what you know about us since we know little about you, but we mate as clans. Brothers usually mate the same woman. There are always more males than females. Our kind evolved that way. Helps us protect you better too. You’re ours.”
My mouth fell open. “That’s not possible. I’m not a bear shifter.” Now at least I understood that word Finn had used. “Bear shifters must mate other bear shifters.”
“Yes. Usually. But we don’t often find ourselves with others outside of our population. You’ll adjust to the idea. You’ll like us. We are the strongest clan on the planet. Finn is in charge. It’s an honor to be our mate.”
Royce, Rebecca. Planet Bear: A Reverse Harem Science Fiction Romance Short Novel (Shifter’s World). Kindle Locations (210-276). Rebecca Royce. Kindle Edition.
Jessica is really freaked out over their declaration she’s their mate. Not just one of them but all three. Finn is the planet leader and they would somehow make all of this work out. Cole and Rylan were sure of it.
They even go so far as to assure her they would make sure she kept her promise to her brother, although they don’t say how that was going to happen.
I really loved this book, it’s got action, suspense, romance and sizzle. All things the original fairy tale didn’t have. I really can’t wait to read Planet Cat!
5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!
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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!