Break Out by Nina Croft
Dark Desires #1
Tagline: The immortal heart knows no bounds.
About Break Out:
The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.
Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!
Scene right after the ending of Break Out…
“Nice room,” Skylar murmured, hovering in the doorway. Though maybe nice wasn’t the right word. This was the first time she’d been to Rico’s cabin. It was huge and, like the rest of the ship, decorated in black and silver to match its owner.
Rico tugged her inside and gestured with a flourish of his free hand. “Mi casa es su casa.”
“What does that mean?” she asked as the doors slid shut behind them.
She was in the vampire’s lair. With the vampire. Would she ever get over that little twist of primordial fear when she thought the word? Part of her hoped not.
“It’s an old Spanish saying—my house is your house. In this case my cabin but the sentiment remains the same—it’s yours if you want it.”
She thought about the words. A ring and now sharing quarters. This really was serious. “You want me to move in in here with you?”
“Of course. We’re almost married and I’m an old-fashioned guy. This is my home and I’d like it to be ours.”
Home. A strange concept.
The only furniture was a huge bed in the middle of the room, covered in black sheets and mounds of black pillows. It looked comfortable, but she wasn’t tired. She felt totally wired. She’d faced death, today, and made love for the first time in… well, a lot of years. At the memory, everything tightened low down in her body.
Rico turned to her. “So, you’re our new security officer. You think you’re up to keeping order on the Cazador?”
She eyed him up. God, he was beautiful, all long lean grace, wrapped up in black leather. And he was hers. Heat washed through her, tightening her nipples and settling between her thighs.
His nostrils flared, a slow smile curled his lips, and he quirked a brow as he waited for her answer.
She shook herself. “Hell, yeah.”
Rico released her hand and turned to face her, his gaze running over her, no doubt snagging on the hard little points of her nipples pressing against the jumpsuit. Suddenly her clothes were way too tight.
“You think you could take me?” he murmured.
Oh, yes, she could take him. Every way he could think of, and she was betting after fifteen hundred years, Rico could think of quite a few ways. She remembered what he’d said earlier about tying him up and image flashed in her mind of Rico flat on his back, his wrists and ankles bound to the corners of the bed, while she had her evil way with him. Trouble was she wasn’t sure what her evil way would be—maybe she needed a bit of practice first. Get her head around the whole idea that she had a lover.
She swapped the image for one of herself spread-eagled on the bed, while Rico crouched over her, kissed her, licked her, bit her… She was a little concerned about how much she liked that idea. Only a few hours after they’d made love for the first time and she was turning into a pervert. Shaking her head, she banished the image—well, for the moment anyway—and focused on the vampire. “Yeah, I could take you.”
She glanced across to where he stood, his body relaxed, a sleepy smile on his lips. So he found the idea amusing? Without giving herself time to think it was a bad idea, she whirled around and kicked out, sweeping his legs from under him.
He landed on his ass with a thump and stared up at her. “Hey, not fair.”
“Nothing about fighting is fair.”
“You’re right.” He moved so fast he was a blur and she was on the floor next to him, flat on her back. He moved again so he crouched, looming over her. “Totally right, querida.”
She sat up abruptly. Her face slammed into his rock hard chest, she fell back to the floor, and slapped her hand over her nose. Beneath her palm she could feel the warm ooze of blood. “Oh, fuck. You broke my nose.”
Rico had gone still above her. She blinked and stared up into his crimson-flecked eyes. His gaze focused on her face where blood trickled down from beneath her hand.
“Ugh,” she said. “Don’t tell me you find a nosebleed sexy?”
He shook himself. “God, sorry sweetheart.”
“Not your fault. I banged into you.”
He rolled to his feet and disappeared through a door opposite. Skylar pushed herself up and was investigating the damage when he re-appeared. Crouching down in front of her, he peeled her hand away from her face and gently wiped it clean with the warm wet towel.
Skylar twitched her nose. The pain was gone, the damage healed almost instantly. Perhaps she shouldn’t tell him that though. She quite liked contrite Rico. She blinked a couple of times. “I’ll be fine if I just lie down for a little while,” she said adding a small catch to her voice.
His brows drew together then his eyes narrowed. Reaching out he stroked one long finger down the length of her nose. “Broken?”
“I heal quick.” She gave a shrug of one shoulder, then curling her hand into a fist, she punched out, catching him in the center of his chest so he toppled over onto his back. Quickly, she straddled him, palms flat on the floor on either side of his head.
He grinned. “Are we going to fight about who goes on top every time?”
His hands gripped her arms and they rolled on the floor, and somehow he was on top once again, and her jumpsuit was open to the waist, and his mouth was on her breasts. The urge to fight drained away as his cool tongue licked at her heated flesh, his teeth tugging at her distended nipples.
For a moment, she closed her eyes and savored the feeling, then she bent her knees, placed her feet against his chest and shoved. He flew across the room slamming into the wall. And she was on her feet and stalking after him.
He leaned against the wall and watched her through narrowed eyes. “You like it rough?”
Actually, she’d never had it “rough.” “I don’t know.”
“You want to try?” Without waiting for an answer, he grabbed her by the arms and whirled her around so she was facing the wall, her naked breasts up against the smooth metal, Rico’s long, hard body pressed against her back. He lowered his head to the curve where her shoulder met her neck and nuzzled. His fangs grazed her skin while his hand slid around her and tugged her zipper all the way down. She jumped as one hand slipped inside then went still as his teeth gripped her shoulder, not breaking the skin, but holding her in place.
Her insides were melting, heat sinking to her belly, then lower to where a pulse throbbed at her core. Rico worked quickly, pushing the jumpsuit down her arms, over her hips. She kicked off her boots and the jumpsuit followed leaving her naked. He kissed her neck, then the lobe of her ear. His body held her in place while his hands roamed over her, cupping her breasts, tugging at her nipples, sending darts of pleasure between her thighs. He pinched hard and she gasped but pushed back against him, her ass pressing against the hardness of his erection.
“You like that?” He pinched again, rolling the nipple between his finger and thumb. Sliding his hand lower, his fingers tangled in the curls at the base of her belly and her breath caught in her throat. His fingers slipped easily between the folds of her sex. “I’m guessing that’s a yes,” he whispered against her skin, as he tormented her sensitive flesh.
As his hands left her, she bit back a groan. He stepped back, then his lips caressed the nape of her neck and he kissed his way down her spine using his tongue and his teeth. Tingles raced through her body, settling between her thighs. There was a constant throb there now, sensation swelling inside her. He licked the curve of her buttocks, bit gently, then shifted lower to her thigh and every muscle tensed in anticipation. “You have a vein”—he spread her legs and kissed her inner thigh—“just here. May I…?”
She couldn’t speak but she nodded, bracing herself for the bite, her breath coming in short sharp pants. Instead he straightened, scooped her up and tossed her onto the bed.
Before she could register what was happening, he came down on top of her, sliding over her body. His hands grasped her ankles, spreading her legs then his mouth was on her inner thigh and his fangs sank into her. At the first pull, the pleasure exploded, her head falling back, a scream locked in her throat. He drew the blood from her vein as the sensation pulsed through her. As the pleasure ebbed, he plunged a finger inside her, the pad of his thumb massaging her clit, and she came again.
Then he was over her, parting her legs with an impatient thigh, shoving himself inside her while the ripples still radiated out from her core. He filled her hard and fast. She blinked open her lids to find him gazing down at her, his expression savage, his eyes glowing crimson. Fear flashed through her. As the adrenaline pumped through her system, she wrapped her arms around his neck, dragged him down to her, and kissed him, thrusting her tongue into his mouth, careless of the fangs, then tasting the sharp metallic tang of her own blood as her tongue dueled with his.
He ground his hips against hers, each stroke tormenting her sensitized clit, so the pleasure grew again. His fingers dug into her hips as he held her steady for each hard thrust. He was losing control and she loved it. She bucked, rubbing herself against him, until his back arched and they came together just as a loud crash filled the room and the ship lurched, sending them rolling from the bed.
Rico hit the floor with her on top and his arms wrapped around her. For long seconds, they lay waiting for whatever came next. Finally, he looked into her face. “Are you getting a sense of déjà vu here?” he murmured.
The ship jolted again, hurling them sideways so they slammed into the wall. She held on tight but when nothing else happened, she levered herself up. “I suppose, as the brand-new security officer, I’d better go check out who’s shooting at us.”
Time to go to work.
Someday, she’d really like to spend a whole uninterrupted night in bed with Rico. But not today. One thing was for sure—things would never be boring around here.
Deadly Pursuit by Nina Croft
Dark Desires #2
Tagline: Eternal love is the greatest risk of all.
About Deadly Pursuit:
Breaking assassin Jonathon Decker out of a maximum-security prison on Trakis One seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, pursued across space by the two most powerful factions in the universe, the crew of El Cazador are having second thoughts. They’d like to give him back. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option.
Jon is used to working alone. Now, he’s stuck on the space cruiser El Cazador until he can work out just what he’s supposed to know that puts him on everybody’s most-wanted-dead list. He’s not happy that the crew includes a runaway priestess with designs on his virtue—such as it is. Jon likes women, but he gave up the role of protector a long time ago, and Alexia, High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, is an accident waiting to happen.
After twenty-four excruciatingly boring years of doing her duty, Alex is finally having some fun. She never meant to run away—it was a rash impulse—and she means to go back—eventually. But first, she’s going to squeeze enough excitement out of the situation to last her a lifetime. And what could be more exciting than a stunningly gorgeous werewolf?
Meanwhile, the Church are chasing their missing priestess, and the Collective are pursuing their escaped assassin. Being hunted has never been more deadly…or more fun.
Death Defying by Nina Croft
Tagline: Eternal love is the greatest risk of all.
About Death Defying:
Captain Tannis of the starship El Cazador is part snake, part human, and—according to some—all bitch. She is one job away from her lifelong goal—to achieve the immortality she craves. The assignment: protecting the most powerful man in the Universe.
After five hundred years, Callum Meridian, founding member of the Collective, is bored out of his mind. Until he realizes he’s physically changing—into what, he isn’t sure. Callum is determined to discover the truth, but his own people will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming out.
With a coup brewing and the crew of El Cazador close to tossing him off the ship, Callum turns to Tannis. Sparks fly as they work together to make it out alive. But can Callum really trust the one woman hell bent on using him? Defying death has never been more dangerous, more sexy, or more fun.
Temporal Shift by Nina Croft
Dark Desires #4
Tagline: Caught between destiny and desire…
About Temporal Shift:
After diving into a black hole in search of the source of Meridian, the key to immortality, the crew of the Blood Hunter finds themselves stranded in an alternate universe.
Engineer Devlin Stark doesn’t want immortality. He just wants to live long enough to get his revenge on the man who murdered his brother. Now, he’s trapped in a strange world with a crazy woman who claims he’s fated to be her lover.
Saffira Lourdes has a destiny: to save humanity and lead her exiled people to the Promised Land. Haunted by visions of the past and future, she’s been sustained through the years by a dream lover. Unfortunately, Devlin doesn’t believe in fate. But it’s obvious there’s a connection between them, one that will soon be tested by the limits of time and space. Saffira is about to make the crew of the Blood Hunter an offer they’ll find impossible to refuse.
They’re heading back to Earth, and they’re going back in time…
Blood and Metal by Nina Croft
Dark Desires #5
Tagline: She’s his last chance for redemption…if she doesn’t kill him first.
About Blood and Metal:
Copilot of the Blood Hunter, Daisy is a newly-turned vampire, and she’s hungry. Really hungry and it’s interfering with her plans for revenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that can distract her from said hunger is sex…which is a problem when she can barely refrain from draining any man dry within moments. But old flame Fergal Cain might just be the sexy-assed solution to her problem.
Part human, part cyborg, and with a poison coursing through his system, Fergal’s running out of time to find the scientist who has the cure. Unfortunately for him, the misfit crew of the Blood Hunter put a serious kink in his plans. And if the poison doesn’t kill him, the hot little vamp he can’t resist might do the honors herself…
Flying Through Fire by Nina Croft
Dark Desires #6
Tagline: Saving the universe sucks.
About Flying Through Fire:
For ten thousand years he’s done his duty. Now he wants something for himself…
Winged monsters have been seen in the skies, and a pestilence follows in their wake, threatening the very survival of mankind. Only the crew of the Blood Hunter knows where they come from, and only one man has the power to send them back—Thorne, a human/dragon hybrid in possession of mental powers beyond comprehension.
Candace Decker doesn’t need anyone to look after her—she’s a badass werewolf more than capable of protecting herself and those she loves. All the same, she’s always been drawn to Thorne’s strength. In an uncertain world, he’s the one man who makes her feel safe. And what Candy wants, she usually gets.
But while Candy is tenacious, Thorne’s willpower has been honed over ten thousand years. He might want her, but the last thing he needs is an infatuation with a young, impetuous werewolf. Candy makes him lose control, and that could have disastrous consequences.
As the threat escalates and they become separated by time and space, Candy must find a way back to him, because while Thorne alone has the power to defeat the dragons, only together can they finally bring peace to the universe.
In Flying Through Fire, book 6 in my Dark Desires series, we have the whole cast of the series appearing at some point or other. I thought it would be nice to get inside a few of their heads, see how they were doing, what they were thinking…
However, my editor believed that these scenes detracted from the two main characters and were a little jarring, and so the scenes were removed. This one was from Saffira’s (the heroine of book 4, Temporal Shift) point of view.
The door slid shut behind her. Saffira leaned against the wall of the corridor and tried to slow her breathing. Sweat pricked her forehead, heat from the vision.
Thorne had burned because of her. She’d been powerless to help him, to save him.
It’s not real.
Not all her visions came true. Maybe this was a warning of what might be.
And she’d already lost Thorne. He’d closed himself off. He’d given ten thousand years to his people. Now they were dead. Perhaps he was right, and that meant he was free. They were both free.
She pushed herself up, hating the weakness that made her stumble. The visions drained her strength, but she had to sort herself out before she saw Devlin or he would want to know what was up, and what could she say?
In the back of her mind, deep down, she’d always known it would come to this.
She shook the thought aside, not wanting to think about what was to come. She’d always been afraid of burning; had the flames already consumed her in some forgotten vision?
Thorne had been right; she hadn’t thought of anyone but herself and Devlin in the past year. She’d been totally immersed in their love. It had been a magical time, and she’d believed she deserved it. She’d saved the goddamn human race. Sort of. And besides, she would have visited later; she was supposed to have had fucking eternity.
Time enough for everything.
Now time was running out.
The strength was coming back to her limbs. Good, because she was going to need all that strength. She headed to the nearest transporter bubble.
“Bridge,” she murmured. The ships mind control systems were still offline. Wouldn’t be brought back up until Thorne was away.
He’d been like a father to her, but that was over. She’d broken the first ties when she had lied to him, betrayed him. He’d said he understood, but she’d known that underneath he’d harbored resentment. The remaining ties had snapped when she had abandoned Espera and her people.
How hard would it have been to visit?
Guilt gnawed at her insides.
She’d always had a selfish streak.
The transporter bubble opened onto the bridge. It was empty but for Fergal sitting at the console.
“Hi,” she said.
He glanced up. “Hey, there. I’m just tweaking the program and keeping an eye on our incoming.”
“Are they still heading this way.”
“Yeah. On a direct course. There’s also a third, seems to be following but farther behind. It’s these two you’re going to have to avoid.”
She leaned closer. “Can I see?”
“Sure.” Fergal flicked on the monitor and the screen filled up with an image of the two dragons flying through space. In a way, they were beautiful, fierce and powerful, and they called to something deep inside her. But then she was part dragon. It had been in her blood from birth, and she had strengthened the connection when she had made the change. Probably more so than anyone alive.
She took a mental note of the coordinates flashing on the screen. They were still four hours out. Plenty of time. Or no time at all when compared to eternity.
“Thanks,” she said. “I’ll go check if Devlin has Thorne’s shuttle ready.”
This time she didn’t take the transporter bubble but walked to the docking bay. She needed time to think this through. Sort out what she needed in her head, and the best way to achieve it.
And put off seeing Devlin for the last time.
She didn’t know if she was strong enough, but she had to be.
Her steps slowed as she drew close, and she cleared her mind. She needed to keep the truth locked down in that lower level where they only went in the most intimate moments when their minds became as one.
As she entered the docking bay, he was coming down the ramp from the shuttle he was readying. Her heart still gave a little jump each time she saw him. He was the most beautiful man she had ever seen, with his tall, lean figure and his black and gold hair. The scar running down his cheek adding to the attraction. When he caught sight of her, his lips curved up in a smile, and as she came to a halt in front of him, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard.
For a second she relaxed against him, gave herself over to the kiss, emptied herself of everything but the taste and feel of him. Finally, she pulled away.
“How did it go with Thorne?” Devlin asked.
She screwed up her face. “Not good. He’s determined to go, and won’t let me in. Said I should leave, that I’m endangering everyone by hanging around.”
He leaned across and kissed her forehead. “We’ll be out of here as soon as he’s on his way.”
She licked her lips. “I think I might have one more go. I’ll call him, tell him the shuttle’s ready, and try and convince him one more time.”
“Well, you know him better than anyone else. Go for it. Rico seems to think he’s our one hope. You want me to stick around?”
“No, I think I’ll have a better chance alone.”
“Okay. I’m going to get some food. Is there anything I can get you?”
He grinned. “Of course,” he said and strode away.
At the last moment, she had to touch him one more time. She raced down the ramp and he turned at the bottom. She ran into his arms, hugged him tight.
“Hey, are you okay?”
“No. Not really.” She forced a smile. “It will take time, but I will be.”
He kissed the top of her head. “Go call Thorne. I’ll feel better once we’re away from here and on the move.”
“I will.” This time she held her feet in place as he disappeared into the transporter bubble.
She worked quickly, tapping into the systems manually. She knew the Blood Hunter better than anyone. Better even than Devlin. After all, she had five hundred years on Earth to study the plans.
When she was sure she had done everything she could to buy herself enough time, she wiped the ship’s memory and headed to the shuttle Devlin had prepared for Thorne.
She purposefully didn’t think as she sat in the pilot’s seat and switched on the engines. The shuttle lifted, hovered, then the docking bay doors opened and she was heading out into open space. Tears pricked at her eyes as she left the Blood Hunter behind. She watched the rear screens, saw the docking bay doors close and then the explosion that would seal the doors and give her enough time to do what she needed to do.
Two minutes out, she sensed him in her mind.
“I have to. I love you, but I have to do this.”
“Why?” The question was tortured.
“I’m the only one who can end this. I started it, and I need to finish it. I should have died a year ago. We’ve had that year and it’s been the best time ever.”
“You promised me eternity. How am I expected to go on without you?”
“You’ll find a way.”
“I’m coming after you.”
“You can’t. I’ve seen to that.”
She raised the wall in her mind and shut him out forever.
About Nina Croft:
Growing up in the cold, wet, north of England, Nina Croft spent a lot of time dreaming of faraway sunnier places and ponies. When she discovered both, along with a whole load of other things, could be found between the covers of a book, her life changed forever.
Later, she headed south, picked up the perfect husband along the way, and together they volunteered to work in Africa. There they discovered a love of exotic places and a dislike of 9-5 work. Afterward they spent a number of years travelling (whenever possible) intermingled with working (whenever necessary.) Eventually they stumbled upon a remote area in the mountains of southern Spain and the small almond farm they now call home.
Nina spends her days reading, writing and riding her mare, Gencianna, under the blue Spanish skies—sunshine and ponies. She reckons this is proof that dreams really can come true if you want them enough.
Connect with Nina:
Author Website: www.ninacroft.com
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nina_Croft
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NinaCroft.Writer/
Author Pinterest: https://es.pinterest.com/nicolacleasby/
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Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3378320.Nina_Croft