Staring into glowing cat-eyes, while her attackers lay like broken dolls in the snow around her, shouldn’t have been a turn-on, Alyssa Aimes knew. But there was a vast, unbelievable world of difference between what ‘should be’ and what ‘is’, she was discovering. Alyssa shouldn’t consider the man who killed to save her from rapists a hero, but she does. She shouldn’t feel as if she belongs to that hero, mind body and soul, but there’s no way she can deny it. And the hardest part to get her head around, besides his extraordinary eyes: the knowledge that she’ll never see him again.
But four years later, Colton Blake does come back into her life, just as dramatically as he left it. And this time she’s determined to keep him there, even if she has to risk her recording contract and her life to do it.
For Colt, much has changed in four years. No longer a homeless drifter with a dangerous secret, he has found his place among the Scorpio Sons, an elite band of genetically engineered cloned warriors charged with bringing to justice a secret cabal that has been exploiting the world for millennia. But one thing that hasn’t changed during that time: his obsession with Alyssa, the stranger he met just once and can’t seem to forget. But now his mission has brought Alyssa back into his life. And with her comes a secret she doesn’t even realise she harbours; a secret that could bring not only Colt to his knees, but the whole band of the Scorpio Sons along with him.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve had a fascination with clones for a long time. The idea that one person could be identical to another raises so many questions. Having been an astrologer for many years and done natal chart readings for identical twins, I know their shared astrological building blocks could be used by each twin in different ways to make them individuals. Identical twins are basically clones. So if you factor in the slight irregularities that occur naturally in a DNA string and then add in different environments in which they grow up, you get a fascinating series of questions around just how alike these clones would be. If you then throw in some panther DNA to the genetically engineered mix all sorts of interesting possibilities open up. Would mates bred for these cloned warrior be attracted to them all, or would one stand out from the rest? Would a bunch of tough warriors with beasts inside them play nice with each other when a prospective mate comes on the scene? And the biggest question of all, what happens to a baby raised in a test-tube instead of a womb without a nurturing mother surrounding him? Does he lose any humanity he might have had and be unable to relate on an emotional level? So with questions like that, and more, my imagination started coming up with answers, and the Scorpio Sons were born (or removed from their gestation tubes to be precise.)
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I started with an astrology chart for a person born on November 1 1988, the day the 100 babies were removed from their gestation tubes. I had overall shared traits for these warriors, but I then I specifically targeted certain aspects of the chart for each of the Sons who will feature in each of the six books in the series. Then I used those traits to mold a man and the kind of woman who would most attract him. Colton of Book i is very much the Scorpio Sun of the chart and his opposite would have Taurus traits. Having a beautiful voice is a common trait for those with strong Taurus, so Alyssa became singer with a voice that attracted Colt from the first moment he hears it.
“Good session, Miss Aimes?” asked her driver politely as he started up the car.
“Very productive, thank you. What was the weather like out here in the real world?” Being in a studio most of the day under artificial lights, air conditioning and surrounded by soundproofed walls made her feel disconnected from the world. It had become her habit to ask about the weather and news highlights when she left that cocoon, as a way to ground herself in what was real for others.
He gave a little laugh. “It’s California, Miss Aimes. The sun always shines here.”
Compared to Portland, that was certainly the truth. But she still missed home. Los Angeles just didn’t feel quite real to her, even after four years.
One of her bodyguards sat up front with the driver and the other sat at her side. She’d attempted polite conversation with them during their first few days on the job, but their stony expressions and lack of focus on anything but potential danger, made for poor conversations. So now she ignored them as the limo glided effortlessly out into the early afternoon traffic.
And she continued to ignore them, until the limo suddenly swerved sharply to the right and the brakes started screaming. Then, she glanced anxiously from one stony face to the other, trying to determine what was happening.
As they came to a jolting standstill, the bodyguard next to her drew his gun and opened the door.
“What’s going on?” she asked in a scared little voice she hadn’t heard since the night of her attack.
“Stay in the car, Miss. The limo was cut off intentionally.”
Cut off? Why? Maybe there was an accident ahead? Maybe there was a good reason they’d been cut off?
But as she heard gunshots erupt and the windshield shatter, she knew that there was no good reason for them being cut off. They were under attack. She was under attack. But why? It was way too organised for a crazed fan, even if she had any of those.
“Get down!” ordered the driver, who’d followed his own suggestion by flattening himself across the front seat at the first burst of gunfire.
Before she had a chance to do as she was told, the back door flew open and a face she never expected to see again peered in at her. He was crouching low, shoulders hunched protectively, as he offered her his hand. But for all his huddled posture, to her he looked like the most heroic man she’d ever seen.
If he’d said, “Come with me if you want to live,” she couldn’t have been more entranced.
“Come on. Your guards are down. It’s not safe here,” he growled urgently at her instead, looking and sounding so much better than Reece from ‘Terminator 1’.
This time there was no hesitation in accepting his hand. This time she was overjoyed to take it. Overjoyed to see him again.
He pressed her into a crouch as she eased out of the open door. The gunfire had stopped, but that didn’t mean the danger was over. The bad guys were probably waiting to see if they’d taken everyone out before they moved in.
With his body protectively wrapped around hers, they scuttled for the shelter of a nearby alley. Once there, her hero stood and pulled her up next to him, flattening her against the wall while he pressed his body over hers. Terrified, confused and shocked, she was still able to experience the relief of having him there and the excitement of feeling his hard form pressed against hers.
He was so much taller than she remembered. The top of her head barely reached his chin. Alyssa’s face was plastered to his sweat-dampened, white tee-shirt, and she could smell the leather of his jacket blending with the unique scent of clean male sweat and that indefinable something that sent her arousal through the roof.
In the distance she could hear sirens. The cavalry was coming. That meant they were safe now, didn’t it? But her hero didn’t relax at the sound. If anything, he seemed to tense up even more.
“Are they gone now?” she asked into his shirt, feeling him shudder as she did so.
“Probably. But I’m not going to wait around to find out. I’ll get you to your hotel. If the cops want to follow-up, they can do it with you somewhere secure.” His voice was such a low baritone that even when he spoke normally he sounded as if he was growling deep in his chest.
“Okay. I’m staying at the Grand Regent. Do you know it?”
“Yeah. Come on, it’s only a few blocks away on foot. ”
Even though she was a writer and storyteller from the time she could string words together, ex-pat Aussie, Nhys Glover, didn’t consider having her writing published until the Indie Book Revolution opened up the world to books that don’t quite fit into a specific sub-genre. Now, with over 100,000 of her ebooks downloaded globally and a SFR Galaxy Award for her time travel/historical romance ‘The Titan Drowns’, Nhys is finding that writing outside the box is appreciated by many romance readers looking for something a little bit different.
Having had a career that was a varied and unusual as her books, Nhys has no shortage of inspiration for her romances, which cover Ancient Roman historical romances to time travel and the paranormal. And she writes them all from her heritage listed coach house on the North Yorkshire Dales of England, where she can stare out the window at the changing seasons (seasons don’t change much in Australia) and follow her imagination to worlds as yet unexplored.
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