Even a rogue can be brought to heel by love. And the seduction of a sexy Empath.Lyssa is feared and wanted by half the admiralty, but no one can control her. She commands one of the most fearsome battleships in the fleet and is friends with the largest mercenary clans in the galaxy. No one dares mess with her.JJ has been tasked with controlling Lyssa and bringing her back under the authority of the Fleet. Instead of the crabby woman he's expecting, he finds an unforgettable woman who makes him ache with the need to get her in his bed. Between the pressure from the powers that be, a mission gone wrong and Lyssa's discovery of his real mission, JJ has his hands full. Can he convince Lyssa that his seduction is genuine and lust is only the beginning?
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Incorporated
March 11, 2011
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Excerpt from Her Empath by Mina Carter
"You've got to be kidding me."
The raised female voice filled the expansive office, making the man behind the large desk wince inwardly. Admiral Daniel Reilly knew better than to show such an emotion on his face when dealing with the woman who sat across from him. Any sign of weakness and she'd have him. Shoot from the hip, both barrels--that was her standard operating procedure.
"General Ryland...Lyssa." Reilly softened his voice as he said her name. It was a concession due to their long friendship and the need to butter her up. "When have you ever known me to joke about anything? Much less something as important as the assignment of a telepathic Empath?"
She glared back at him, then let loose a curse that would make a Marine blush. He should know. He'd been one once, way back when. They'd both started in green. Then he'd switched service tracks and now drove a desk, while Lyssa was still out there in the field kicking ass and taking names. To say trouble followed her around was an understatement.
He sighed as he sat back in his chair then looked over his steepled fingers at her. "You should feel honored, not many starship captains are assigned one."
"Yeah, right. I feel honored all right. Honored that I need a spy on my freaking ship... What is it, Danny? Don't you trust me anymore?" She grinned suddenly, a flash of white teeth and a mischievous expression that reminded Daniel of the wild young cadet she'd been. "And we were so close too..."
The mischief was still there, but nearly four decades of Fleet service had put steel in the expression behind it. Steel and a reputation no man in his right mind would fuck with.
He snorted. "One abortive one night stand does not a relationship make, Lyssa."
Gods, didn't he wish it did though. He'd kicked himself up and down for years after that night, unable to believe he'd screwed his chances with her so completely over something so small. Back then, he'd been too young and dumb to realize making fun of her scales would not be taken in the affectionate, joking way he'd intended. Even now, decades of service and, for him, twenty years of marriage to the sweetest woman imaginable, he still thought on that "what if" at times.
He'd never mention it to Lyssa, though. A master manipulator, she wasn't above using his weaknesses against him. Just like she'd routed out every last one of his spies on her ship and gotten rid of them.
One she'd abandoned in the pleasure city of Cernas, another had been left to walk across the frozen wastes of Kranous and the last... Daniel winced. He should have known Lyssa would see through the ambassadorial act straight away. What he hadn't expected was for her to take the damn actors to the trade negotiations at Heranas and actually manage to secure an exclusive deal with the Arachnids.
She sat back in her chair, her eyes hard on his face. Daniel ignored her body language and her deliberate attempt to unsettle him. He was in charge of three battle groups filled to the brim with egos, and a host of squabbling junior admiralty. So her direct, almost acerbic manner, was somewhat of a relief.
She was a striking woman. She was tall, with the fiery hair and amber eyes of her father's race, the Telatians. She didn't look her age. Anyone would be forgiven for taking her to be in her mid-thirties, rather than the fifty-two Daniel knew her to be.
The slender and toned body, courtesy of her marine training, added to the impression of youth. Her eyes were old though. In his more fanciful moments, he'd thought you could see back through the ages in them...to the first Telatian who had walked the burning sands of their in-hospitable planet.
"This is happening, like it or not. Have a paddy and throw all your toys out of the pram if you like, General Ryland, but this is going to happen and I expect your full co-operation."
He met her hard look for hard look as he pulled rank. If she thought she was getting to him using that "snake-look", she had another thing coming. Even if she let the humanlike mask drop a little and revealed the scales he knew were just under her skin, he wasn't budging an inch.
She was a pain in his ass, and seemed determined to be one for a lot longer. That was why he was bringing in someone she couldn't play. A small grin of triumph spread across his lips. The Combined Fleet's Empaths were the hardest and sharpest minds in the galaxy, capable of discerning truth and lie just from the way a person's eyes flickered. Incorruptible and totally loyal to the fleet, there was no way she'd get through to this one. Finally he'd manage to achieve the goal laid down on him by his superior officers and tame the Rogue of Telat-Moire.
* * * * *
"Fucking jumped up, good for nothing, pain in the asssssss... Bloody wanker!"
Lyssa stormed out of Reilly's office and through the reception area. Fury surged within her, her normally silent footsteps reduced to stomping she was sure they could hear three decks below. She was so worked up, her speech had slipped and her hiss had come into play. Normally such a lapse would mortify her. Right now, though, Lyssa didn't care.
Sensibly, Daniel's personal assistant kept out her way, but then, there weren't many people who would stand up to Lyssa. Even if they didn't know who she was, her Telatian heritage was easy to spot. Just a hint of red hair and amber eyes was enough to have most scuttling for cover just in case they came face to face with one of the famed snake-nomads.
Her long strides took her out of the door like a small tsunami, the sheer energy of her anger swirling ahead of her. Deep in thought, she wasn't paying attention to where her feet were taking her. As she stepped out of the door, she collided with something warm and solid.
Before she could land on her ass in an undignified heap on the floor, a pair of strong arms wrapped themselves around her. In the next second, she was yanked up against a broad male chest.
"Hey there, Kitten. Where are you going in such a hurry?"
The voice, like silk over steel, slid over her senses in a sensuous caress. Whether it was the shock of being touched, the fact someone had just called her kitten or the sheer, sexual arousal that hit her at light-speed... Lyssa found herself struck dumb.
On a normal day, she'd have taken his hand off at the wrist for the first two, but the last... Her gaze wandered up from the chest she was currently eye to 'eye' with, past a strong throat, and up to caress an equally strong jaw. Hell, he was tall.
Above average in height for a woman, Lyssa had gotten used to being on a level with some men and towering over most. The feeling of being petite and delicate was an entirely new experience for her. One she found with surprise that she liked.
Looking up further, she found bright blue eyes. A blue as deep as the sacred oceans on her home planet. They drew her in. Mesmerized her as surely as any old earth snake charmer. Blinking, she snapped out of it and stepped back.
Human, her sensitive sense of smell informed her. She bit down on her tongue, the urge to flick it out and taste the air nearly catching her unawares. First she was hissing and now scent-tasting?
"No, that will never do. Thank you for your assistance..." She looked back at his collar again. "Commander. However, I'm more than capable of moving under my own power," she informed him and extricated herself before she could do something stupid. Like kiss along that delectable jaw...