by Jess Anastasi Atrophy #3 Publication Date: January 2, 2017 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Otherworld, Sci-Fi, Romance
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Synopsis: After his unusual reaction to a weapon, Commando Varean Donnelly is accused of being a shape-shifting alien and imprisoned onboard the Imojenna. Sure, he has abilities he keeps hidden from everyone—including the gorgeous doc examining him—because the government makes sure people as different as him disappear. For good.Imojenna doctor Kira Sasaki knows there’s something different about the handsome commando the captain’s thrown in their brig. She doesn’t think he’s Reidar, although he might have been a victim of their cruel experiments. But when Kira learns the stubborn commando’s racial make-up, she finds herself torn between defending him to Captain Rian Sherron and his crew or urging Varean to escape while he still can. The Atrophy series is best enjoyed in order: Book #1 Atrophy Book #2 Quantum Book #3 Diffraction
Kira Sasaki wasn’t sure she wanted to know what he was up to now. Because when it came to Rian Sherron, the captain of the , often a person was better off pretending like she hadn’t seen anything.
She came to a halt at the bottom of the ship’s ramp, making way for the aforementioned Rian and his apparently-not-a-pirate cousin, Qaelan Forster. The two of them were dragging an unconscious soldier they’d seemingly removed from the , the flagship where the was currently docked.
Considering all she’d seen in her years onboard as the ship’s doctor, this latest of her captain’s escapades didn’t particularly surprise her. She wheeled the case she’d been lugging just inside the atmospheric doors as the trio passed her, Rian not bothering to ask what she’d acquired from the ’s extensive and state-of-the-art medical deck. It’d been a rare treat getting to view the facilities and grabbing a few supplies she hadn’t seen in years. Though she made do with what they could source in the outer systems, she couldn’t deny there’d been more than one day when she’d wished she could go supply-gathering somewhere that didn’t consider second-rate disposable gauze a marvel of modern medicine.
Abandoning her goodies, she tagged along after Rian and Qae as they headed across the cargo bay and hauled the soldier deeper into the ship toward the engines, instead of heading up to her medbay as she’d assumed.
By the time she caught up with them, they were dumping the soldier in Rian’s makeshift brig. The man wore the dark blue military uniform of the ’s crew, the shirt stretched taut across his broad shoulders and defined biceps. His light brown hair was chopped short but thickly spiked on top, and as his head lolled to the side, she got a good look at the square, masculine angles of his face. Well, he was a handsome one, no doubt about that.
“What’s wrong with him?” She moved to just inside the cell door, putting aside her superficial assessment and casting a critical doctor’s eye over the groaning man.
Rian stepped back, while Qae made a big show of stretching his shoulders, muttering about how heavy the guy had been.
“He and the new Reidar stunner didn’t get along,” Rian answered.
“It bitch-slapped him like a two-credit shag.” Qae had one hand resting on the stunner in his belt. “If mine wasn’t out of ammo, I’d be mighty agreeable to hit him with it again.”
Her attention cut to the soldier’s face, but he looked completely human. There was no hint of shimmery scales in his flesh nor the typical flatness over the forehead and bridge of the nose that the Reidar possessed in their true form. If the stunner had worked, she’d have seen evidence of a shape-shifting alien beneath his attractive form.
“Reidar?” Rian crossed his arms, staring down at the man with cold detachment. “I don’t know. Maybe. We don’t know enough about how the stunner works yet to say either way. He could be an alien that’s somehow resisting the change where others haven’t been able to. Until I work out otherwise, everyone should consider him dangerous and keep their distance.”
She nodded, though the doctor side of her brain had already taken over, cataloguing his condition: pale, clammy, tension in his body as if maybe he was in pain. And semiconscious—not with it, but mumbling and groaning as if he was having a bad dream or hallucinations.
She’d pulled the small palm-sized medical scanner out of her pocket automatically before her mind had even registered the decision.
“Before we leave him—” She stepped over and knelt down, holding the scanner above his chest and watching the readings scroll across the screen. “His blood pressure is a little on the low side.”
“Fascinating.” Rian’s tone told her exactly the opposite. “He’s still breathing, so I’d call that good for him right now.”
“I don’t like the idea of someone being down here in the brig under questionable health.” She gently grasped the soldier’s chin, tilting his head toward her. Maybe it was a coincidence, but he seemed to settle somewhat at the contact. At least she wasn’t losing her touch out here in the barrens of space.
She gently lifted his eyelids, and with a startled half breath, found his eyes were an astonishing light blue, almost silver. She’d never seen that exact shade of blue before. It was utterly gorgeous. But she pushed the thought aside, noting that his pupils were reactive but a little sluggish.
“Since there’s a chance he’s not a , but an alien, don’t make it your concern, Kira. When he wakes up, he just needs to answer a few questions and this can all be settled up—if he’s human, I’ll let him go. If not…”
Rian didn’t need to spell out what came after . She’d seen the way he’d dealt with the Reidar, and it always ended bloody. Not that the sociopathic parasites didn’t deserve it.
“And you think waking up in your brig will put him in a chatty mood?” She glanced over her shoulder, a low spike of annoyance cutting through her. Usually she took Rian’s cavalier attitude toward people as it was, but for some reason, it’d started getting on her nerves today.
“Not to sound like a walking cliché, but”—Qae cocked a hip, patting the Reidar stunner—“we have ways of making him talk.” The last words were uttered in an extra deep, foreboding voice.
She pushed to her feet, slipped her med scanner back into her pocket, ignoring how her annoyance was swiftly turning into frustration. “Let me know how that works out for you.”
As she headed for the doorway of the brig, she paused to look up at Rian. “You’ll comm me if his condition worsens?”
The captain gave a single nod, and it seemed like that was all she’d be getting from him in the way of agreement, which didn’t leave her with much reassurance. The notion that the soldier might be a Reidar left a creeping sensation under her skin, like skittering insects, but her ingrained sense of compassion as a doctor pushed back against the anxiety, especially since, more than anything else in the universe, she hated seeing patients mistreated.
Her gut feelings had always gotten her a long way as a doctor, so she never ignored them. Something was up with this guy—not that she necessarily thought he was Reidar. As Rian had said, they hardly knew anything about the experimental energy weapon that revealed the alien’s true form. What if he wasn’t Reidar, but human, and for an unknown reason the stunner had seriously affected him in some way it hadn’t done to anyone else so far?
If she hadn’t heard anything by the following morning, she’d sneak back down for another check. Rian might want everyone to leave the soldier alone, but he surely knew her well enough by now to realize she wouldn’t sit idly by in her medbay while there was a clearly unwell person within the bulkheads of the .
DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE ATROPHY SERIES!
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iBooks: http://apple.co/2ijz7WASynopsis: Captain Admiral Zander Graydon has seen a lot of action, but almost getting killed three times in one day is pushing it. Only the company of his new assistant, Lieutenant Marshal Mae Petros, makes things a little easier to swallow. Except the delectable Lieutenant Marshal Petros is hiding a number of secrets, and her presence might have something to do with the continued attempts on his life. It’s no accident Lieutenant Marshal Mae Petros finds herself in the firing line alongside the charming but very off-limits Captain Admiral Graydon. She’s taken the job as the admiral’s assistant to determine if a shape-shifting alien has killed the CO and assumed his form. Whether the admiral is human or not, Mae finds herself getting way too close to him as they run for their lives. Military to the core, Mae and Zander will have to overcome their suspicions of each other to work together, when they realize the fate of the entire universe is at stake.
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Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2ijrnnr
Synopsis: Twelve years on the prison planet Erebus makes a man long for death. The worst part for Tannin Everette is that he was framed for murder. He's innocent. When the ship Imojenna lands for emergency repairs, Tannin risks everything to escape...only to find himself face to face with the captain's undeniably gorgeous sister. Zahli Sherron isn't planning on turning Tannin in. In fact, she actually believes him. Sure, he's sexy as every kind of sin, but he's no criminal—so she hides him. But no one escapes from Erebus and lives to tell about it. With every day that passes, Zahli further risks the lives of the entire crew...even as she falls in love with a man she can never have for herself.