Business or Pleasure, the third novella in my Scifi Romance series, The Department of Homeworld Security is one of my favorites. I think part of that is because I love the dynamic between these characters. Also, I just really love Paige and Khel.
We met Khel in Gray Card, and he was one of the first characters I ever wrote that readers asked to see more of. That is such an amazing feeling! (If there’s anyone you want to see more of, be sure to let me know in the comments or through email 💖 ).
I knew that Khel was a no-nonsense type, who had completely devoted himself to being the perfect soldier. I didn’t know, until I wrote his story, that all of this stemmed from a desperate desire to be accepted and valued. When he realizes that the people he’s been seeking approval from don’t deserve him, and that the people who do already value and accept him and have all along… Well, it shakes up his worldview, to say the least.
But who to match with him? The series was so new at this point, I didn’t really have many other characters. Plus, with the books themselves being so short, it was hard to add other people to later explore (that’s still a challenge for me with this series).
Brendan’s sister, Paige, was mentioned in Resident Alien, but she didn’t seem like a good match. I mean, she was completely devoted to her job. Oh, wait. So was Khel. But she also was fiercely loyal to her family and friends. Hmm. Again, so was Khel. Well, she never had any plans to settle down with anyone and… Yeah, these two were perfect for each other from the start 😁
He thought he was beyond the need for physical pleasure — until he met her.
Paige Sloan thought dedicating her life to protecting Earth’s ecosystems meant dealing with human mistakes—until her latest test samples put her on the hit list of an invasive species of aliens. As if that’s not enough to deal with, there’s a huge, hunky alien soldier demanding she leave the planet with him. But she’s not about to leave until she’s figured out what’s really going on.
Khel’s assignment to bring Paige Sloan to the Coalition spaceship orbiting Earth should be simple, if only she would comply. She’s determined to unravel the truth behind the Tau Ceti’s presence on Earth, even though they’ve killed everyone else who knows where her samples were taken. Her passion for her planet is strong enough to burn down the walls he’s created in himself to be the perfect Sadirian soldier—and it lights a flame of desire in him unlike any he’s ever known.
But the longer they work together on Earth, the more danger they’re in, and soon their hearts are on the line as much as their lives. Can Khel convince Paige to accompany him to safety, or will her quest to protect her planet lead them both to destruction?
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