USA Today Bestselling Author
Skye Mac Kinnon
An alien scientist desperate for answers
Cyle is the only Albyan alive who knows who was responsible for their females succumbing to the Sleep: his father. Ever since he discovered the truth, he’s been trying to find a way to wake the females.
He vowed to himself that he’d never accept a mate until he succeeded. But that’s easier said than done when he meets the female of his dreams and his mating instincts kick in.
The only way to stop himself from getting distracted is to push her away – but she has no intentions of leaving.
A human woman strong enough to match him
Before her accident, Beth had everything she’d ever wanted: a doting husband, the house of her dreams, a promising career. Now she’s a widow scarred inside and out, jobless and on the verge of being kicked out of her home.
She only registered at a dating agency because her therapist thought it was a good idea. She didn’t expect to be matched to a kilt-wearing Highlander – especially not an alien. He embodies the chance of a new life, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in her.
It’s time to cheat fate and take her life into her own hands. He will become her mate – even if she has to resort to unusual measures.
In the last book we saw Eron meet his mate June and all that entailed. We also saw more of Thorrn’s brother the lead scientist Cyle and Thorrn’s mate Jenny.
While that meet and greet was going on Cyle was working, as he always is, looking for more matches. His assistant Vhom didn’t want to even observe that meeting, not wanted to be jealous of those fortunate enough to get mates through the process. Instead he checks on the control sample of females in the sleep. No one expects any change but they must be monitored for any detrimental changes.
Beth has met her supposed mate Obi. She feels no attraction to him, even a kiss was extremely distasteful to her. He gets arrogant and demands she go home with him, but she’s not having any of that. She gets escorted to the hotel reserved for those who want more time to get to know their mate. One thing she’s sure of, Obi is not her mate.
Cyle is dedicated to not only finding mates from the Peritan data provided but also finding a cure for the sleep. Before his father died he told him something that shaped his path, he can’t fail in this and he won’t mate until he accomplishes his goal. He takes Jenny with him to do some scans on Eron and June had as they too had such a strong reaction to each other. It’s while they’re doing that that Jenny gets a message that Beth has runaway. After reviewing the tapes of her and Obi meeting there is concern that he has taken her against her will.
While the authorities are looking for her, a couple of things happen. First he finds there is a second marker in all the successful mate pairs, and when compared to Albyan mates only the male has it. Second Beth and Obi are not mates, which is an overall relief.
When Cyle adds that second marker to the process to find mates, he is matched to Beth. Now he has to explain to her why he can’t mate with her, at least not yet.
This is a favorite scene.
It was the stuff of dreams. Beth was a miracle. Holding her in my arms, kissing her, was more than I could have asked for.
Her slender body fit mine perfectly. We were made for each other. Mates.
But the longer we kissed, the faster my conscience returned. It had been dimmed by the uisge beatha and Beth’s touch, but now it was back, screaming at me to stop.
I’d made a vow. I couldn’t have Beth. Not yet.
The thought of not having her by my side broke my heart. My eyes stung at the same time as my antennae started burning with fury. A single tear escaped, falling onto Beth’s cheek.
She stilled. Our lips were still fused together, but she’d stopped moving, even stopped breathing.
How such a miniscule group of hydrogen and oxygen molecules could destroy everything.
The tear was the signal to stop. This had gone far enough.
“You said forever,” Beth whispered. “And now you’re already changing your mind?”
I groaned. I wanted her so much it hurt. But I had to stay in control.
“I meant it,” I said, my voice hoarse and dry. “But not yet. Not now. I have to find the cure. Then I can be the mate you deserve.”
She moved backwards, but I didn’t let go of her. I couldn’t.
“And how long will that be? Months? Years? Will we both die before you even find a cure? This doesn’t make sense, Cyle, and you know it.”
She’d said my name. For the first time. I liked how it sounded in her Peritan accent. A little harsher, but I could listen to her saying my name all day long. And all night.
Not helping. I wanted to push her away and at the same time keep her pressed against me. Now I knew why Thorrn kept carrying his mate around. It was hard not to touch her.
“I can’t.” I had to force the words out. “If I give in, if I claim you, I won’t be able to focus. You’ll be all that’s on my mind. I want to give you all my attention. I want to spend every click with you. But I have to think of more than just my needs. Our species is dying and I can’t rest until I find the cure.” I sighed deeply. “Until now, I’ve never considered giving up my mission. Know that you make me want to throw it all away. You’re so close to breaking my conviction.”
Her eyes shone with tears. “I can’t go. I won’t leave you. I only just found you.”
There was no way around it. I’d have to break the delicate thread spun between us.
“You don’t know me,” I said and finally let go of her. I stepped back fast as if touching her would burn me. “This is an illusion, nothing more. We’re more than our genes. We can control this temptation.”
“We,” she scoffed, her smile fading. “You mean you. I have no desire to resist. When I met Obi, I felt nothing for him, but I saw all the other women react to their matches. Their bodies leant towards each other without them even realising. And now that’s exactly how it is with you. I won’t give this up. I won’t.”
“You have to,” I said as gently as I could. “I can’t give you what you need.”
She looked close to punching me. It would be in her right. I deserved it.
Every single male in Albya would be grateful to get a mate. Me? I refused the match. I was an absolute idiot. When my brother found out, he’d have a few choice words to say. And Jenny, his mate… I was scared of her fury. She was a bundle of feminine energy ready to strike whoever went against her and the other Peritan females. She wouldn’t understand. Neither would Thorrn. They didn’t know what our father had done. They didn’t feel the guilt I’d been carrying around ever since I discovered the truth.
My father had been selfish. When he’d burned the lab, himself in it, he’d destroyed all his research. Any data that could have helped me find a cure was gone. I still didn’t understand why he’d done it. End his life, yes. I got it. He’d sentenced our species to extinction. But why destroy the lab? He could have found other ways to kill himself. And he must have known that my mother would die the instant he did. In all the years since that horrible moment, I’d still not found an answer. He’d loved her. I’d expected him to fight for her, not give up on both of them.
“I give you a month,” Beth suddenly said, ripping me from my thoughts. “One month to find a cure. After that, I’m organising the handfasting ceremony and you’re mine.”
“One month?” I echoed. “That’s not enough. It could take years. The data is promising, there might be a cure hidden within you Peritans, but I need more time.”
“One month. Twenty-seven Albyan days. Or wait, I’ll be generous. You get an Earth month. Thirty days. And I’m not saying you have to stop your research after. Not at all. But I won’t wait longer than that to officially become your mate.”
The burning heat in my antennae lessened to a warm tingle. They approved. Was I really going to let these two tiny appendages dictate my life?
I looked down at Beth and decided that yes, I would. Her deal gave me a goal, an ultimatum. A month was different now than it had been a rotation ago. Back then, we’d not discovered Peritus. We didn’t know that there were compatible females across the stars. Now, everything was different.
Maybe I could do this.
Beth was encouragement enough.
“One month,” I agreed. “And we will meet once a day for lunch.”
A smile spread across her face. “Will there be kissing?”
“Are you trying to kill me, lass?”
The smile turned into a wicked grin. “It’s you who’s making me wait. The least you could do is sweeten the deal.”
And I did. I pushed away all doubts and worries and kissed her like she deserved it.
Skye MacKinnon. Cyle: Starlight Highlander Mail Order Brides 3 (Kindle Locations 862-911). Peryton Press.
With that ultimatum Cyle knows he has to find the cure, and Beth gets the other Peritan women to help.
It’s Vhom who brings some information to Cyle after having checked the data on the control group, there had been a change to their brain waves. This is a major break through.
Beth is supportive and being with Cyle isn’t difficult as she makes sure he eats and rests. Oh and the attraction here is not a simmer, it’s sizzling.
I truly love this book and I really want to see more of the Albyan’s we’ve met get their mates.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
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Skye MacKinnon is a USA Today & International Bestselling Author whose books are filled with strong heroines who don’t have to choose.
She embraces her Scottishness with fantastical Scottish settings and a dash of mythology, no matter if she’s writing about Celtic gods, cat shifters, or the streets of Edinburgh.
When she’s not typing away at her favourite cafe, Skye loves dried mango, as much exotic tea as she can squeeze into her cupboards, and being covered in pet hair by her two bunnies, Emma and Darwin.