When Lieutenant Kina Tamar graduated with honors from the Starfleet Academy, she was aiming for a pilot berth aboard a premier warship. Her dreams are shattered by backroom politics and she ends up skippering a Starfleet freighter. Bored beyond belief, she’s about to resign when she’s implicated in a smuggling ring.
The officer sent to interrogate Kina is Colonel Jake Lancaster — her charismatic instructor from the Academy. Soon there are shadowy assassins on Kina’s trail, and she’s on the run with Lancaster. Along the way, she cracks the hot colonel’s resistance and enjoys a wild night of lust. Later, when she learns the truth about the Christmas tragedy that destroyed her family, she’s forced to make a devastating choice.
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Kina couldn’t help but remember the exciting weight of his body covering hers during the laser fire. She wondered if he was talking shop to keep her mind off the danger or the fact they were alone in a hotel room. Not that she thought there was chance he had a secret interest in her. For all she knew he could be married or seriously attached. Unfortunately for her self-control, he’d loosened the top of his uniform tunic and she couldn’t keep her gaze off his strong bronzed throat, wondering how it would taste if she licked it. It didn’t help that the beds were just a few feet away, and at some point they’d probably be moving onto those beds to get some rest. Then again, if she knew for sure he was taken that would kill her obsession and her hormones could stand down — she’d never knowingly slept with a mated man.
“Since we’re here,” she ventured, “maybe we could exchange some personal details.”
His violet-colored eyes came up to study her for a moment. “What would you like to know?”
“Where were you born to start?”
“Earth… Seattle, Washington. Now, I live in California.”
“Do you still have family living in Seattle?”
He took a sip of wine. “Yes, my folks still own the house I grew up in. Dad’s a retired general and mom teaches art in junior school.”
“Three, a younger sister who’s still in college and two brothers, both pilots with Starfleet… ”
As he spoke, Kina was suddenly aware that alertness flickered in the back of his eyes. With that came the tantalizing notion that he might actually be attracted but hiding it. What the hell, nothing ventured… “Can I ask if you’re married or attached?”
He hesitated, holding her gaze as he set his wine glass down on the table. “No, I’m not attached. But if you are about to suggest what I think you are about to suggest, the timing is wrong.”
Knowing he was single was a wonderful relief, but now she had to wonder if he was heading her off because he wasn’t attracted, or he didn’t want to take advantage of the situation, or he was afraid she would try to make more of it. Whichever is was she didn’t care if he thought her shameless. This was an opportunity not to be missed. “I assure you, I’m not looking for anything more than one night in your bed…