Trapped by Alison Aimes

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Title: Trapped
Author: Alison Aimes
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: March 3rd 2016
Publisher: Indie Published
Print Length: 239 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 978-0-996-4683-1-2
Digital ISBN: 978-0-9964683-0-5

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00009]HIS PLANET. HIS RULES… Trapped by Alison Aimes is an action-packed, sexy sci-fi that takes you to the brink of oblivion on a planet where only the strong survive. When Bella West crash lands on penal planet Dragath25, the only thing standing between her and a mass of brutal criminals is one of their own, a ruthless loner known only as 673. But what starts out as a desperate trade based on protection and raw lust soon blossoms into a scorching need that will push them both to the edge. A tale of unbridled desire, stunning sacrifice, and unwavering love, Trapped is the first book in The Condemned Series.

Cadet Bella West has one simple objective when she joins the scientific mission to Dragath25, the notorious penal planet housing Earth’s condemned. Earn the credits necessary to save her family from starvation. But when her shuttle crashes and the majority of her crew perish, her simple mission becomes complicated fast. Now, to stay alive she’ll have to depend on one of Dragath’s own. But such protection doesn’t come free.

Convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, 673 has become more beast than man after eight grueling years on an unforgiving, hazardous planet of dirt and rock—and even more treacherous inhabitants. He doesn’t look out for anyone but himself and he certainly never grows attached. So when the bold female offers him pleasure in return for protection, he takes the deal without hesitation. He never expects how her touch will alter him. Or the growing realization that saving her may be the key to his own salvation.

But as dangers mount and their ‘simple’ deal unravels will he prove to be her surprise savior or her ultimate downfall? Because caring for someone on Dragath25 may prove the greatest hazard of all.

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Excerpt #1: First Touch 

“Come.” He held out a calloused palm.

She swallowed hard, her stare raking from his scowling face to his wide chest and muscular thighs. Payment had already come due.

“No.” Davies grabbed Bella’s arm, glaring at the mud man. “This isn’t right. Take me instead.”

His scowl deepened.

“It’s okay.” Bella hurriedly slid her hand into his. Davies offer was unbelievably brave, but Bella would never allow it. Her colleague was Council—and injured. She’d never survive this. Plus, the idea of a deal had been Bella’s from the start. And she couldn’t regret it. Not when they were all still alive.

His skin was rough—and surprisingly warm.

A shiver slid down her spine. So much so that it took her a second to realize he’d gone perfectly still. His gaze locked on their intertwined palms. Something that looked a lot like wonder etched in the hard planes of his face.

Her gaze skittered to Davies’. Her colleague looked equally confused.

It hit Bella then. Human contact. He was reacting to the sensation of touch. Cherishing something as simple as the heat of her palm against his.

A wave of sympathy rippled through her. This man might be a criminal, but he was also a living being. One who had clearly been alone for a very long time.

On instinct, she interlaced her fingers with his, pressing their hands closer.

He shuddered, his eyes sinking shut, his face tilting upward, the way a person might delight in the sun on his face after a hard, dark winter. Her chest went tight.

After a lifetime of being just one more mouth to feed, one more body that had to be clothed and housed using Earth’s ever dwindling resources, the feeling of mattering to someone was unfamiliar—and nice.

“It’s okay.” It was the same words she’d said before, but this time she meant it. “We‘re on your side….F—friends.”

His eyes flared open, his grip tightening, more possessive now than cherishing. All hints of vulnerability wiped away. “I’m not looking for a friend.”

 

 

Author Bio

KSP_AP_216_C_FullSize.jpgAlison Aimes is the award-winning author of the sexy sci fi romance series the Condemned as well as the sizzling contemporary romance Billionaires’ Revenge series. A sci fi fanatic with a PhD in Modern History, she’s an all over the map kind of woman whose always had a love for dramatic stories and great books, no matter the era. Now, she’s creating her own stories full of intrigue and passion, but always with a happy-ever-after ending.

She lives in Maryland with her husband, two kids, and her dog. When not in front of the computer, she can be found hanging with family and friends, hiking, trying to turn herself into a pretzel through yoga, listening to a fabulous TED talk, or, last but not least, sitting on the couch imagining her characters’ next great adventures.
Alison can be found on-line at www.alisonaimes.com

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Excerpt #2: The Challenge

A splash sounded. Powerful ripples washed against her back like a surging tide. He was coming for her.

She whirled and discovered small bubbles on the surface of the water. An inky cloud of red and brown streamed in all directions followed by foamy white. Then a dark head broke the surface and he was standing before her, waist high in the water, a mud man no more.

Her mouth opened on a tiny o.

Without the dirt, dark, thick hair, shorn close to his scalp, was now visible. Along with olive skin, a wide forehead, low brows, firm lips, and a square jaw. Tiny droplets left his long lashes spikey while rivulets of water tracked over chiseled cheekbones down his sculpted chest and abdomen to a small trail of dark hair that snaked from his belly button to disappear into the water. Scars of various length and width tracked across miles of pure, hard muscle.

My God, mud man was a flesh and blood man—an incredibly masculine one. If she’d met him at the Academy or the barracks on Earth, she would have been unable to stop staring. He was that beautiful.

Then his hand shot out and her daze shattered.

With a hiss, she stumbled back.

One dark eyebrow rose. “Here.”

She looked down to see a small white bar in his hand.

“It’s soap.” His tone was brusque. “The drones dump trash from Earth. Use it.”

“Thank you.” It took all her courage to reach out and take the bar from his hand. “I—I’ve never used it before. The Academy only allows lasers for cleaning. The use of water was banned a long time ago.” She stopped short.

Of course, he knew that. He wasn’t from some distant galaxy. He was from Earth. He just wasn’t welcome there anymore.

His lips flat lined. “I’ve been here a while, but not as long as that.”

Was that a joke? His expression offered no clue.

“Of course.” Hands shaking, she took the soap and rubbed it against her arm. The blood stayed put. She rubbed harder.

She hadn’t expected this…this talking. Or the kindness of a bath—with soap. It was confusing.

“You need the water to make it work.” Rough hands reached out and took the soap, dunking it under the water, making that same foamy circle she’d seen before.

“Turn around.” His voice had gone husky again.

That overworked heart of hers started up double time once again. Her feet remained planted where they were.

He waited for longer than she would have expected before he spoke again, his jaw locked tight. “Anything?” It was a reminder. A reproach. A challenge.

And her last chance to change her mind.

Her eyes sunk shut. I can do this. I need to do this.

She whirled around, bracing for a grab. A strike. But the deliberate slow glide of a calloused fingertip down the bumps of her spine slammed through her with more force than any blow.

 

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Excerpt #3: Revelation
“Fine. Go.” Bella screamed at the spot where he’d been. “I should have known you wouldn’t keep to the deal. You’re nothing but a lowlife Dragath25 criminal. Who needs you?”

She was turning back toward the cave when the ground shook. Reeling round, her eyes went wide. Convict was steamrolling toward her, a murderous look on his face.

She’d only just begun to run when powerful arms jerked her back against hard, warm steel. Clawing, kicking, she tried to break free, but it was no use. Caged by one thick arm around her stomach and one tangled in her hair, she was trapped.

“That’s right, fighter-girl. I am nothing but a lowlife Dragath25 criminal.”

“Stop.” She shoved against his chest. It was as unmovable as the rock at her back.

“Criminals don’t stop.” He fisted her shirt, drawing her onto her tiptoes, bringing her face in line with his. His knee slid between her thighs, forcing them wide. “We take.” His hand skimmed down her body. “We violate.”

Heartbeat slamming against her ribs, she tried to fix this. “I—I shouldn’t have said what I did. I’m sorry.”

“That’s right. You shouldn’t have said it.” He wrapped his wrist tighter in her hair. “Just like you shouldn’t have ignored my direct order.”

“I understand that now.”

It was as if he didn’t hear her. “You think it’s easy to survive out here. You think this is a joke. You think I made it on this fucking hellhole this long out of sheer luck.”

“No.”

“I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. Done things I can barely stand to think of.” Echoes of those horrors stretched tight across his face. “But I’ve made it here eight years and I don’t intend to die now.”

Her chest grew tight. She didn’t think she could bear even another few days on this place. She couldn’t imagine surviving eight years.

“I’m sorry. You’re right.” She spoke fast, the words spilling from her, more genuine this time. “I wasn’t trying to get you killed. I was trying to help. I appreciate all you’ve done. Hiding us in the cave. Saving us from the tigos. Even the water and bandages you gave my colleagues.” She cleared her throat. “You were keeping to the deal. I was the one who screwed up.”

He didn’t acknowledge her words, but his grip loosened, the tension in his body lessening. “It’s easy to die out here.”

“But people make it.” Her voice shook. “You’ve made it. I will too.”

He shook his head, something that looked a lot like regret in his gaze. “You’re soft. Delicate.” The finger that had been so predatory against her skin now felt like a caress. “Keeping you alive will be next to impossible. Even without the added stubbornness.”
A new and astonishing idea flooded through her, a live wire of awareness to her brain. It wasn’t cold-heartedness that had promoted his departure, but the exact opposite. He didn’t want to watch her die.

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