Pets in Space is back and better than ever! Featuring 13 original, never-before-released stories from some of today’s bestselling science fiction romance authors, starring your favorite sci-fi pets. These furry, feathered, and slightly alien friends are always ready for a new adventure with their two-legged human and alien companions. From dogs to cats to sea creatures and unicorns, these romantic tales show that pets are more than just animals – they’re family.
This limited-edition anthology includes stories by some of the biggest names in science fiction romance. The Pets in Space 7 authors continue their vital support of Hero-Dogs.org, the non-profit charity that improves quality of life for veterans of the U.S. military and first-responders with disabilities.
This is only available until the beginning of January, so GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!
Alien Abduction for Unicorns
USA Today Best Selling Author
Series: The Intergalactic Guide to Humans series is a humorous take on alien abductions, probing, and other shenanigans.
Unicorns are just as real as aliens.
Despite achieving fame and fortune as a renowned unicorn tamer, Bruin has never found the one thing he craves: love. When a horrific accident puts him deep in debt, Bruin’s only chance of returning to his old life is aiding his scientist father. Sent to find out why the people on a primitive planet called Earth don’t believe in unicorns, all Bruin has to do is abduct a human. But he never expected that human to be his fated mate…
All Tara’s ever wanted is to leave her small Scottish town and explore the world. Being kidnapped by a crazy guy with a fake unicorn wasn’t what she had in mind. Especially when the unicorn turns out to be real, and the crazily hot guy turns out to be an alien.
Her abductor is offering a chance to explore the galaxy with his charming unicorn in tow. But to see the stars, she’d have to give up everything, including the walls around her heart.
This story opens with the worst day of Bruin’s life. The day that An’tia the stabhorn (unicorn) he was trying to calm charged him and her horn pierces his chest almost fatally. The organ transplant that saves his life bankrupts him and his only hope of paying is to agree to his sire’s terms of working for the Intergalactic University. He’s not interested at all, until he sees what his assignment will be. Studying the reason why Peritans (Humans) no longer believe in Stabhorns (Unicorns).
Tara is a tour guide at one of the many castles in Scotland. Since she had done a wonderful job with the social media post for the Mary Queen of Scots exhibition, she’s been chosen to do the same with Unicorns. Apparently someone at the Home Office had the brilliant idea to put horns on horses at Edinburgh Castle and the kids loved it.
When Tara’s putting out signs for the tourists, she sees the unicorn and a man with it. Their encounter is so much more than Tara expected.
This is a favorite scene.
Heaving the heavy wooden signs to the front gates, I noticed a lone man standing next to a horse at the other end of the parking lot. Hadn’t Sharon mentioned two unicorns? Maybe one had lost its horn.
With the sun behind him, their silhouettes were dark against the morning light, looking almost magical. I pulled out my phone and took a quick picture, then quickly set up the signs before I forgot.
The guy stayed in place, waiting for me to approach. His horse was huge, towering above him. I knew nothing about horses, but this one seemed exceedingly tall. Maybe they’d chosen it especially for the unicorn gig, since that would make it even more imposing when surrounded by small children.
Up close, the horse was even larger. I’d underestimated how tall the man next to it was. I wasn’t small, but next to him, I felt tiny. His shoulders were broad, his black t-shirt too tight for his muscular arms. He either had a job other than chaperoning fake unicorns or worked out every day. I blinked against the sun, trying to make out his features. He was bald; not a look I usually liked, but it only made him seem more attractive.
I chastised myself for letting my thoughts stray that way. I was here in a professional capacity. Maybe I was about to get my period. That always messed with my hormones and turned me into a cat in heat.
“Are you here for the photoshoot?” I asked. “Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t think we’re going to get any other unicorns visiting us today.”
My mouth was running away from me. Think before you speak, Tara. But he was making me nervous. He was intimidating and attractive and looking at me way too intensely. His gaze swept over me from top to bottom, as if he was ingraining every detail into memory. I felt strangely naked under his gaze.
I forced myself to focus on the horse. It was safer than to risk meeting his eyes and get drawn into their depths.
“That horn looks really realistic,” I blurted. “I assumed it would be a cardboard roll or something silly like that, but this is beautiful. How do you make it shimmer that way?”
The horse snorted, hot steam rising from its nostrils. Its fur was a silvery white all over, reflecting the morning sun. Its large eyes were a stunning turquoise framed with silver lashes. The mane looked freshly brushed and a few golden ribbons had been tied into it. I wondered if the guy had done that or someone else. He didn’t look the type to care much about ribbons.
The horn was a curved spire of silver and gold. I couldn’t quite determine what material it was made from. Definitely not plastic. It reminded me of mother-of-pearl, but that couldn’t be right. How was it even attached? I couldn’t see any cords. Surely they hadn’t glued it on? That would be cruel.
I wanted to reach out and touch the horn, but the huge horse was intimidating. It stared at me just like I’d stared at the fake unicorn. Its eyes sparked with intelligence. I’d never been around horses much, but I was starting to feel like this horse was special.
“You can touch her,” the man answered my unspoken question. He had a slight accent, but it was barely noticeable.
“Sure she won’t bite?”
“She won’t bite you.”
I faked a smile, not sure if he was making a joke.
“Does she bite other people?”
“Sometimes. She stabbed me once. I almost died.”
Alright, he had to be joking. That horn was fake and couldn’t be hard enough to stab someone.
I turned to look at him and realised his intense gaze was still fixed on me. “Are you making fun of me?”
He said it with such conviction that I didn’t doubt him in the slightest. Everything about him was intense. His huge body, his dark eyes that seemed almost black, every word that came from his perfectly shaped lips. Lips that looked very kissable indeed.
I took a step back to get some distance between us. This situation was becoming ever stranger. I should take them into the castle and start taking some pictures. For some reason, I didn’t want to stay alone with him any longer. Not because he was making me uncomfortable. Because he was making me feel too comfortable.
“Follow me,” I said and turned around before I could change my mind. “There’s a great spot in the Queen Anne Garden where you can see the castle looming up above. And after that, we can go into the inner courtyard for some pictures in front of the Royal Palace.”
The horse’s hooves click-clacked over the cobblestone, but the man’s steps were silent. I was tempted to look over my shoulder to make sure he was following me.
The security guard by the gate stared at us, his eyes wide. “That unicorn looks very real,” he muttered to me. “I didn’t know horses could be that big.”
I shrugged and waited until he lifted the barrier that prevented cars from driving into the castle complex. Something warm touched my shoulder, followed by a burst of hot air against the side of my face.
“Turn very slowly,” the stranger said, his voice calm. “No sudden movements.”
I did as instructed, coming face to face with the unicorn. She kept her muzzle on my shoulder. Something akin to humour twinkled in her turquoise eyes, but I had to imagine that.
“Reach up and stroke her cheek. She likes that.”
I gingerly rubbed the soft fur beneath the horse’s eye. She snorted and pushed against my hand as if to ask for more.
“I’ll take a picture,” the guard announced. “You two look adorable together.”
I frowned. I didn’t want to be called that. The horse was adorable, yes, despite her intimidating size, but not me.
Without warning, her tongue shot out and licked my ear. Yuck.
“Can I step away from her now?” I asked the horse’s owner, realising at the same time that I didn’t even know his name. I’d forgotten all about polite introductions. That wasn’t professional at all. I was representing not just the castle team, but all of Historic Scotland, the charity looking after many of Scotland’s ancient sites. I had to get my act together and stop being so affected by the stranger’s presence.
“Slowly, don’t startle her. She likes you.”
Great. I stroked her warm cheek one last time, then stepped back. She inclined her head a little, then snorted happily. At least that’s how I interpreted it.
“I’ll send you the pictures later,” the guard promised.
I probably wouldn’t take him up on that. I hated seeing pictures of myself. I preferred to be behind the camera where I could indulge my insecurities.
Now that the barrier was up, I led the stranger and the horse through the gate and up the uneven cobblestone path until we got to the gardens. The roses were in their final days of bloom and their sweet fragrance filled the air. It was one of my favourite parts of the castle complex.
Ignoring the ‘don’t step on the grass’ signs, I headed to the wall looming high above us. When I stopped to make sure they’d followed me onto the grass, I wasn’t surprised to have the stranger stare at me intensely once again.
“That beech tree over there is over two hundred years old,” I said, falling into my tour guide routine. “And did you know that Queen Anne, after whom this garden is named, never actually visited the castle?”
“I did not know that,” the man said, an amused smirk twisting his lips. “And there’s something else I don’t know. Your name.”
“Tara. Tara Crawford.”
He touched two fingers to his forehead and gave me a short bow. “Bruin, son of Tholin.”
Again, I felt like he was making fun of me, yet his expression was sincere. I couldn’t make head nor toe of this man.
He stroked the horse’s mane, getting a soft whinny in response. “And this is An’tia. She is as pleased to meet you as I am.”
The unicorn stared at me. Her turquoise eyes seemed to turn into swirling whirlpools, pulling me in. Unseen ropes wrapped around my chest, restricting my breathing. My knees buckled, yet I couldn’t look away from those gorgeous eyes. I was trapped, held in place by a force I had no words to describe. My body was frozen, yet my mind was free as I floated towards the unicorn, pulled into the depths of her soul.
MacKinnon, Skye; Pets in Space 7: A Science Fiction Romance Anthology – Alien Abduction for Unicorns kindle Locations Kindle Locations (5151-5216)
The unicorn rendered her unconscious and Bruin places her in his medpod once they were back on the ship. He does something that is going to anger Tara once she wakens. Well, angers her more than being abducted by a Unicorn. On second thought she’s pretty angry about that too. Then there’s the fact that she and Bruin are mates. That doesn’t go over well either.
While this is Pets in Space An’tia, the unicorn, is far more than a pet and has more than a few surprises for this couple.
This is book is a lot of fun with plenty of laughter and sizzling heat.
5 Contented Purrs for Skye!
Written in the Stars
USA Today Best Selling Author
Stranded on an alien space station with only books and an alien cat for company.
That’s Megan’s life, but she’s determined to keep smiling. She just needs to save enough for a ticket back to Earth, and she’s managing just fine—until Drask walks into her bookshop.
The grumpy alien mercenary is infuriating, arrogant, and hotter than molten steel. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wore more clothes—the blue-skinned alien’s muscles are a distraction Megan doesn’t need.
Talbrek Station is the perfect place to lie low. That’s what Drask needs after a mission gone wrong. Finding a bookshop is an unexpected benefit, especially one run by the sexiest woman he’s ever seen. Exasperating, smart, and unwilling to back down from anything, Megan is everything Drask desires, wrapped up in a curvy package that won’t let him think straight.
When the local criminals threaten both Megan’s bookstore and her pet, Drask can’t stand aside. Not even if it drags them both into a gang war.
Yesterday, getting off-station was Megan’s goal. Now, it’s a matter of life and death.
Drask’s ship The Cry of Battle just barely makes it to the Talbrek station. He’s immediately approached with an offer to buy, for parts. The damage is way more than he initially thought, but this isn’t where he wants to stay. He’s determined to find someone to fix his ship. Once a thriving mining operation, it’s now populated by pirates, thieves, smugglers and gangs at least two from what he can see. Most are what you would expect in the middle of nowhere, but one shop catches his eye. Written in the Stars, a bookshop. In a station filled with pirates, thieves, and smugglers?
Megan owns Written in the stars and lives there with a winged cat Nebula. Nebula really isn’t her pet, more she’s more a companion who can’t be owned. While Megan makes a small profit from her bookstore, she’s trying to save money to get home. This is not an easy task when she has to pay protection to one of the gangs. She’s surprised when a stranger walks in, they don’t have that many newcomers here.
Drask immediately lets her know his opinion of whoever owns the shop, but she holds her own. He even has a bit of an encounter with Nebula.
This is a favorite scene.
“I want to know why you think this is a good idea.” He gestured around at the stacks of books and other chaos around us. “Why would anyone open a bookshop here?”
“Not much choice,” I said, trying my very best to focus on his words rather than his voice. That hard, deep growl did things to me, and it wasn’t easy to think of an answer. “When I got stranded here, all I had was my book collection, so I made the best of it.”
He frowned and stepped closer to the counter. “I’m surprised you found any customers here.”
I grinned. “It drew you in, didn’t it? There are plenty of pirates who appreciate a good book, and more who like having someone around who’ll buy them.”
The alien bristled but didn’t argue with the comparison, just made a non-committal noise, and leaned over the counter. My breath caught and my cheeks burned at being so close to him.
Should I ask him his name? Should I kiss him? Ask him out for a drink? My mind spun out of control, paralyzing me with options. Good options, bad options, crazy options. And all I could see was his face, handsome and rakish, a scar across his left cheek adding to his appeal.
Nebula broke the moment with a hiss, pouncing at the alien with claws out, wings spread, and fangs bared. My reactions were too slow to do anything other than panic, but the warrior responded instantly.
He wheeled, one hand flicking out, claws extending from his fingertips. The other came up between him and Nebula, trying to block. But even his reflexes were no match for a flying cat, and she zipped over his arm to hit him in the face.
Caught off balance, he tumbled back and fell out of view with a crash. Nebula’s battle-yowl cut off when they hit the ground. I called her name, vaulting over the counter, terrified that I’d find her impaled on the warrior’s claws.
“Hah, what a fierce guardian you have,” the alien said. He held Nebula back from his face with one hand and scratched behind her ears with the other as he spoke to her. “Aren’t you a mighty warrior? Yes, you are.”
I breathed a sigh of relief as Nebula’s purr filled the shop. Hands on hips, I looked down at the pair of them.
“Some guardian. Look, some asshole’s buying her off with head skritches.”
He barked a laugh, momentarily silencing the winged cat with the deep booming sound. He gave her an apologetic look before replying. “Ah, I lie here at her mercy, a defeated foe. I offer her this in tribute, not as a bribe.”
Nebula’s purring resumed, louder than before. I snorted and shook my head. “You are ridiculous.”
“I am not, and you will not attempt to ruin my reputation by telling anyone about this. Otherwise…”
He trailed off, climbing carefully to his feet without disturbing the flying furball. I watched with both admiration and jealousy—she’d never been that comfortable or compliant with me.
Come on, Megan. If he scratched you behind the ears, you wouldn’t put up any more of a fight than she did. Just the idea made me blush bright red and stammer. “Otherwise, what?”
Drask lowered his voice to a growl that made me shiver. “Or I will have to punish you.”
Chase, Leslie. Written in the Stars – Pets in Space 7: A Science Fiction Romance Anthology Kindle Locations (14579-14602). Kindle Edition.
Megan does get Drask to buy a book on humans, with the condition that she will tell him what the book got wrong when he’s finished with it. After Drask leaves, Megan is visited by a group of thugs. She didn’t know them and when they asked for payment, she informed them she’d already paid the Stellar Kings. They aren’t with the Kings and want payment for their boss, A’Lun. The amount they want she could only pay once and that wasn’t how things usually work.
Nebula attacks one of them and just when she thought she’d have to intervene Drask returns. He saves them from bodily harm, but really doesn’t solve the lone term issue of a second gang wanted protection money.
This becomes the beginning of a quest, a friendship and something much more.
I loved the way this story plays out. Nebula is one of my favorite characters of all time and I would love to see more of her.
5 Contented Purrs for Leslie!
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.
Science fiction and paranormal romance author Leslie Chase loves writing, especially writing sexy romance! Over the course of her life, she’s done a lot of things, from working with the elderly to studying sword fighting to teaching tai chi. And, always, reading reading reading! When she’s not busy reading or writing, she’s busy thinking about what she’s going to write next or researching it – yes, damn it, looking at castles and swords and pictures of spaceships counts as research. She is a USA TODAY Bestselling author.