[BookStrand Sci-Fi Romance, interracial]
Jordanne enlists the aid of handsome Delph hunter, Wesley Cofferdrake, to piece together her predecessor's mysterious death. However, as Jordanne battles her feelings and sexual attraction to Wesley, hysteria, disease, and an obstinate crew wreak havoc on the ship and make finding the murderer even more difficult. As she barely maintains command of her ship, Wesley's touch urges her to melt into his arms forever. While hiding his true identity from her, Wesley falls more deeply in love with Jordanne. Soon, refugees from Wasteland Earth are brought on board, and the mayhem and danger escalates. With the safety of three worlds hanging by a thread, Wesley must protect the woman he loves long enough to reveal her true destiny and seal their love.
Upon volatile seas and with their lives in the balance, they discover love, passion and an unexpected killer.
Note: This book was previously published by another publisher under a different title.
A Bookstrand Mainstream Romance
Jordanne Saunders, admiral ofThe Red Storm, watched her crew going about their morning duties. Her gaze stalled on Wesley Cofferdrake, who lounged against the starboard rail, a coffee cup between his dark-skinned hands, his gaze focused on the ocean’s steaming surface. As a contracted Delph hunter, Wesley’s knowledge of the ocean and its voracious creatures made him essential to The Red Storm’s survival. Jordanne just wished the female crewmembers would pay more attention to their tasks than they did to his physique.
“Delph below!” the radar tech, First Sun Tosha Zale, yelled from the ship’s control tower.
Wesley’s coffee cup shattered at his feet, its contents splattering the deck. He rushed to a nearby trunk and threw the lid open.
“Delph one hundred seventy-five fathoms directly below!” FS Zale shouted louder.
Wesley pulled an archaic 3.75 rocket launcher from out of the trunk.
Jordanne’s mouth dropped open. Although the weapon was more or less obsolete, it had obviously been modified. Quickly, she did the math. The Delph swam one thousand fifty feet below the vessel. She noted how Wesley shoved the explosive down the weapon’s gaping maw. A suction sound hissed from the weapon, followed by a loud snap. He sprinted back over to the starboard side.
“Delph quickly approaching—currently at one hundred ten fathoms!” Zale sounded hysterical. Jordanne saw the radar tech had left her seat and stood rigidly at the control panel. The last thing she needed was a first sun who fell to pieces every time a Delph came within striking distance.
One hundred ten fathoms put the creature at six hundred and sixty feet below. Wesley had better act fast.
He pulled on a pair of goggles, fitted them snugly over his eyes, slung his weapon over one shoulder, and jumped overboard.
Is he insane? She rushed to the railing and peered over just in time to see the last bubbles from his plunge break the surface. She tossed a Jacob’s ladder over the side and waited. Seconds passed, and finally, his head broke through the water. He quickly scrambled up the ladder, the missile launcher bouncing against his back.
A dull thump vibrated the ship. Enormous bubbles mixed with blood and huge sections of meat and guts surfaced. An oily crimson slime quickly spread across the waves. A few seconds later, a fine mist rained down over the ship.
“Have you completely taken leave of your senses?” Jordanne shouted. He didn’t acknowledge her, so she grabbed his heat-reddened arm.
He turned, his gaze meeting hers.
His dark, penetrating eyes always disconcerted and infuriated Jordanne. She was the admiral of The Red Storm, and no one, especially a man, would intimidate her. Well...except for maybe Wesley Cofferdrake.
He looked intently at her mouth. “What is your problem?” he asked, his gaze never wavering from her lips.
“Have you lost your mind?” she repeated. “Were you waiting for that Delph to ram us from underneath before firing? You’re supposed to use artillery on those monsters!” Jordanne’s hands twitched at her sides. She restrained herself from slapping him. Actually, she’d love to choke the Sister Hell out of him. “You took a huge risk, not only because you could’ve been a nice snack for that thing, but if it wasn’t for the antidote, you’d be dead by sunset tonight—and let’s not forget that the primary blast of that weapon would’ve killed or injured you had you not gotten out of the water in time. Our survival depends on your expertise in killing Delphs, not your testosterone!”
Several crewmembers looked at her as if she had just sprouted tentacles. Jordanne glared back at them, her anger mounting.
“What are you gawking at? Get back to work!” She watched in satisfaction as the women scrambled back to their posts or concentrated on their current tasks.
“First, I’m well aware of the dangers of underwater explosions.” His midnight blue gaze bored into her. “Secondly, in case of shipwreck, all vessels carry more than enough antidote to treat victims of the toxic ocean water, and lastly,” Wesley leaned towards her, “the artillery is for the deep ocean, Admiral.”
Jordanne blinked. “Excuse me?”
Nodding, he continued with a wry grin, his voice a bit louder. “That Delph was just a small one. Most of the big ones come from the deep ocean. I’ve modified a few weapons for Delph hunting. This little beauty,” he patted the rocket launcher, “shoots under water, penetrating the creatures from several yards. The missiles aren’t very big, but they will puncture a Delph’s thick hide. We’ll begin using artillery tomorrow. Why waste major fire power when I can do the job myself?”
A couple of women stifled their giggles.
With her face burning, Jordanne replied in a clipped tone, “Of course, you’re right. I learned that in the academy, and I apologize for my thoughtlessness. I’d hate to lose my most valuable crewmember to something so stupid so early into our voyage. I overreacted.”
“No problem,” Wesley said. “I was hired to kill Delphs and to advise you on the best methods of their destruction.”
Jordanne lowered her voice, feeling like a total ass. “After you check in at the infirmary, I want to see you in my quarters.”
He nodded, stripped down to his undergarment, and strode across the deck. He dumped his clothes in a rubbish container. A lump formed in Jordanne’s throat. The muscles rippled in his shoulders and powerful legs, but the flaming red, gold, and yellow firebird across his left shoulder and upper arm drew her attention the most. She’d never seen a bird like that before, but whatever it was or symbolized, the beauty of the tattoo rivaled that of any she’d ever seen.