Science Fiction books

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Eight years ago, Jake Anders was a college kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Then Trace Michelson recruited him into The Trust, a CIA-backed agency whose “executives” eliminate rogue biotechnology operations. Trace was everything Jake ever wanted in a man: powerful, brilliant, and gorgeous. But Jake never admitted his attraction to his mentor, and Trace always kept Jake at arm’s length.

Now Trace is dead and Jake is one of The Trust’s best operatives, highly skilled and loyal to the organization. But the secret agent has his own secret: six years ago, before he was assassinated, Trace designed a Sim chip containing his memories and experiences—and now that chip is part of Jake. It’s just data, designed to augment Jake’s knowledge, but when Sim becomes reality, Jake wonders if Trace is still alive or if Jake really is going crazy like everyone claims. He doesn’t know if he can trust himself, let alone anyone else.

To learn the truth about Trace and the chip, Jake embarks on a dangerous mission—except he’s not the only one looking for the information. Some of the answers are locked in his head, and unless he finds the key, he’ll be killed for the technology that’s become a part of him.

Now, more than ever, Jake wishes Trace were here to guide him. Too bad he’s dead... right?

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The first alien immigrants arrived on Earth long before Henry Mekes was born. Now they’re policed by the government, forbidden from attending school, and assigned menial jobs to prevent them from becoming drains on human society. Twenty-two-year-old Kaden, for example, was assigned the job of sex worker.

When eighteen-year-old Henry and his friend Ellil meet Kaden in a grotty backroom to avail themselves of his services, alien rights are the furthest thing from their minds. It’s not until afterward, when Henry is trying to remind himself aliens can’t get enough of sex, that he questions his actions and the rules of the world he lives in.

Something about Kaden compels Henry to return again and again—but only as a friend. Soon he and his classmates hatch a plan to free Kaden, but even if they succeed, the world is still full of prejudice against aliens—and those who love them.

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Servitude

Reagalos | Book One

Reagalos: Book One

Lornyc Reagalos, future High Lord of the city of Katraman, enjoys his life as a student, even if he has to keep his relationship with Methian Hadral, heir to the throne of Xenetra, a secret. Unfortunately, Lornyc isn’t just any royal student—he’s also the grandson of an infamous magic user named Romanus Reagalos, and his grandfather’s wild youth is about to catch up with him. Unknown to anyone else, Romanus saw fit to sign his grandson into the life of a valet. Specifically, Methian’s valet.

The contract—and the strain it puts on his relationship with Methian—is just the start of Lornyc’s troubles. Though the Reagalos family was once famous for its magic, Lornyc’s father never showed any aptitude, and Lornyc hasn’t either—though that doesn’t make the next contract, the one that says Lornyc must learn to use his latent powers, any less binding. When Lornyc learns of a plot to remove his father from power, he finds himself racing against time. If he can’t master his magic and identify the leader of the plot, he stands to lose everything he knows and loves: his parents, his rank, and Methian.

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Burn

Elementally Evolved | Book One

Elementally Evolved: Book One

Set in a world that closely resembles our own, Burn is a story of redemption and betrayal, of family and sacrifice, which leads to the greatest question of all: how far would you go to save the ones you love?

Fifteen years ago, Felix Paracel killed his mother with fire that shot from his hands. Since then, he has hidden from forces bent on exploiting him and his fire and wind Elemental abilities. But Felix’s world is about to change, because he is Findo Unum—the Split One—and his coming has been foretold for generations.

Though Felix’s arrival brings great joy to the Elemental world, it also heralds a coming darkness. No one knows this better than Seven, the mysterious man who rescued Felix from that horrible fire years ago and then disappeared... who now has returned to claim what’s rightfully his: Felix’s heart. But even as Felix begins to trust Seven and his feelings about his place in the world, the darkness reveals itself, bringing consequences no one could have predicted.

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The Stars are Brightly Shining

2011 Advent Calendar | I'll Be Home for Christmas

Corbin wants to make a good impression on his lover’s family, so when Neil docks the Wanderer at the space station Noel Prime on the Christmas tree planet of Navidia, they set out together to find the perfect tree. On their quest, they relive the enchantment of their first times, and on their journey to Neil’s childhood home, they realize that magic is sometimes in the surprises and that if their love is true, the Wanderer is always home.

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Connor is a netrunner: a hacker who ventures into cyberspace to steal data from corporate computers. As he hides out in the slums of Seattle, he’s attacked by a street gang and, incredibly, rescued by one of the members. His rescuer is a man named Luis, who has decided Connor needs his protection.

But instead of providing safety, Luis’s presence wreaks havoc with Connor’s online identity, and they find themselves hunted by a lethal security force. While they attempt to escape the city, Connor finds himself struggling to survive with the most lethal killer ever pitted against the corporations that control the FreeCorp—and he risks losing his heart to the same man.

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In a world destroyed by nuclear mismanagement, a deformed young man named Trill finds an intact Netpad. Once he secures a working battery, he discovers a story penned by Sam Devine, a hacker who led a rebellion against the insane corporation BCM thirty years before.

Sam works for BCM out of necessity rather than choice. He despises the company for its lack of ethics and knows the best way to destroy it is from within. When a staff meeting opens with the torture of BCM’s captive enemies, Sam sees his chance: he lies to convince his bosses he wants to further degrade one of the warriors, a man named Pokatawer, and once Pokatawer is released to him, Sam finds they share common goals and lusts.

But Sam and Pokatawer are up against a hugely powerful corporation, and they’ll have to bring BCM to its knees to escape nuclear wrath and make a life for themselves somewhere outside the company’s grasp.

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The now-extinct Brill gifted humankind with the technology of space travel, but the implacable Swarm is determined to wipe all humans from the face of the universe. But the human race won’t give in so easily. On board the spaceship Fearless, a team led by Dr. Rhys Aubrey and Major Jim Tanner is tasked with developing technology for the fight and making new allies to trade for whatever edge they can get.

Every day the Fearless ventures forth to new worlds and faces challenges that forge strong bonds of friendship among the crew—and perhaps something more between Rhys and Jim. In a life filled with danger and trouble around every corner, are Rhys and Jim ready to risk their hearts too?

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Jonathan Hatcher has led an interesting life. Once the psychic protégé of Dr. Nelson Cagney of the Bureau of Psychological Corrections, he escaped and went on the run through post-World War Three Europe, scraping a living out of the ruins of civilization and avoiding the mindless vics: humans turned berserker by exposure to biological and chemical weapons.

Once again at Cagney's mercy, Jonathan is stuck in PsyCo's high-security wing with no idea whether Sam, the man he thinks he may love, is alive or dead by his hand. Though at first he only plays along for news of Sam, soon Jonathan sees the conditions in the warring European Coalition are desperate. Sam and Jonathan must make a choice: make for France and a life together… or team up with their captors against a devastating new threat.

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Hagar is the captain of the cargo ship Midgard Serpent. Most of his shipments are legal, but he has a reputation for being an honest smuggler—a reputation that lands him some troublesome cargo. Shibito, an exiled member of the Nipponese imperial family, meets Hagar on Dunmore Station. Keeping his true identity secret, Shibito tells Hagar he'll do anything to get out of there. Never one to turn down an offer like that, Hagar accepts.

But Shibito doesn't have just any destination in mind, and Hagar is furious when he discovers that his mysterious passenger has altered their course without telling him. With no way to change course a second time, Hagar has no choice but to trust—and face the temptation of Shibito’s request for some rough handling, a proposal Hagar isn’t sure he can resist.

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Kyle Anderson grew up with the lie that he was one of the last humans born. Then Kyle’s quiet, lonely life as a research assistant and student is shattered when he discovers the government has been lying to the world for more than twenty years. Now on the run from authorities who would kill for his silence, Kyle is taken in by Daniel Shanks, a member of a militia group dedicated to discovering the truth.

Daniel has seen death and violence in this new, radically changed society, and the closer he gets to Kyle, the harder his fears ride him. They will need to stop listening to the lies told by the government and start facing the lies they’ve been telling themselves, because the only place strays like them may be safe in this uncertain world is in each other’s hearts.

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In an act of heroism and self-sacrifice, Anderson Rawn's sister saved him from the destruction of their tiny mining colony, but her actions condemned the thirteen-year-old to ten years of crushing loneliness on the hyperspace journey to a new home. Using electronics and desperation, Anderson creates a family to keep him company, but family isn't always a blessing.

When Anderson finally arrives, C.J. Poulson greets him with curiosity and awe, because anyone who can survive a holocaust and reinvent holo-science is going to be a legend and right up C.J.'s alley. But the more C.J. investigates how Anderson endured the last ten years, the deeper he is drawn into a truly dangerous fantasy, one that offers the key to Anderson's salvation—and his destruction.

In spite of his best intentions, C.J. can’t resist the terribly seductive Anderson. Their attraction threatens to destroy them, because the heart of a man who can survive the destruction of his people and retain his sense of self holds a solid core of alpha male that will not be denied.

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In a future where the United States has split along party lines, Agent Matt Tennimore’s job is to get people out of the Confederated Red States, whether they’re captured special ops agents from his own country or gay CRS citizens who’ve petitioned for asylum. He never expected to have to retrieve his high school crush, aka the guy who ostracized him for being gay.

Rescuing James Ayala isn’t going to be easy: he’s crawling with tracking nanos and has a cybernetic brain implant that’s granted him psychic power he isn’t sure how to control. That’s the good news. The bad? The implant is compromising James’s mental stability.

So they’re on the run, avoiding surveillance by AI aircraft and hiding from enemy militia. Then James confesses he tormented Matt in high school because James wanted him. Matt can’t resist the temptation James offers, but he wants so much more than sex, assuming they ever make it home alive. Is James really a good bet when he’s got a ticking time bomb in his brain and there’s the question of how much he’s actually changed?

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Rhan knows what it means to bear the daemon’s visible mark. The Empire claimed and culled his childhood friend, and he has never forgiven the government for its callousness. When Rhan is assigned to help Imperial soldiers find a dangerous heretic, he is hard-pressed to keep his opinions—and his invisible advantages—to himself.

Surprisingly, one of the young guides in the hunt, Aerik Rodan, shares some of Rhan’s ideas. As the journey brings their minds closer, it also ignites the passion between them. But any thoughts of happiness are threatened as the hunt for one heretic soon leads them to the source of the heresy and a truth about their world that could bring chaos and war upon them all.

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A Hot Cargo Story

Desperate for an edge in the war against the Gavenelians that will keep the Confederation from losing as many ships to the sadistic aliens as they destroy, Sasha Dmitrov contacts the space pirate he knows only as Harry, hoping the mysterious engineer will be able to pull off one more miracle. Having been warned of Harry's disdain for the Confederation, Sasha is prepared for Harry to tell him to jump out an airlock without a space suit. The last thing he expects is an invitation to Nicodemus Vector, Harry’s shielded planetoid. What Sasha discovers is an Andromedite empath who sees far too deeply into his soul.

As they race against time for a breakthrough that will tip the scales in their favor, Sasha finds himself more and more attracted to the reclusive mercenary. But duty calls, and Sasha has a war to win before he can even think about returning to Harry’s side—assuming that either of them will risk opening himself to the other's empathic touch.

Read about Peter and Blaise in Hot Cargo and about Ryan and Juo in Healing in His Wings.

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In war-torn Europe of 1872, Karol and Hart devoted themselves to protecting England and the peace England maintained. Hart was a spy and bodyguard for Karol, a brilliant but hotheaded scientist. Their partnership was almost unstoppable... until Hart could no longer bear to see Karol in danger—or with other men—and seeing Hart repeatedly put his life on the line came to terrify Karol. Then a horrible accident separated them for what they believed would be forever.

Now the enemy's plan to kidnap Karol has Hart volunteering to guard him once again. Alone together with their fear and pain from the past might destroy them... or it might give them hope for a brighter future.

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While eking out an existence on the edge of the Settled Worlds, looting ships left behind by raiders, Jeff Hawkins comes upon the Dante, just another broken hulk of a spaceship. But this time, amidst fuel cells and ration bars, Jeff finds a survivor in stasis. After meeting Dr. Peter Vale, Jeff will see that there's more to life than mere survival—especially when it turns out Peter may be worth more to Jeff than a king’s ransom.

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The truth is that those who make a difference usually get martyred. What good are you dead?

Ezra Kneebone is most at home in the skies, piloting his airship with his best friend Jazz, even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills or warm Ezra’s empty bed. Those same skies are also the territory of a man known as Icarus, who uses his metal wings to steal from the rich and feed the poor. Icarus and Ezra could be soul mates but for one thing: Icarus has a bounty on his head, and Ezra is desperate for money.

Against the wishes of Jazz and her partner, the formidable Lady Bart, Ezra is determined to get his man... in more ways than one. But when Icarus saves Ezra’s life, Ezra realizes he would be betraying a hero—and his heart—if he turned Icarus in. Unfortunately, the bounty is tempting more than one hunter, and Ezra will find that loving a fugitive may mean becoming one too.

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