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By Susan Hayes
Blind Bet marked a lot of “firsts” for me. It was my first shorter story, my first ménage romance with more than three main characters, and my first sci-fi romance. It’s also the first book to be written in the universe of my current sci-fi cyborg series, The Drift.
I had a lot of fun writing this book. Building a new world, populating it with alien races, and imagining the technology in use, (including a malfunctioning food dispenser that puts my heroine in the med-bay.) It was a labor of love, with random moments of laughter as I planted a geeky pop culture reference here and there. I may have also giggled more than once while plotting an MFMMM sex scene that included a blindfold and lowering the gravity to make it all work.
Until Blind Bet, I was writing mostly paranormal stories, but having been raised on Star Trek and idolizing Princess Leia from Star Wars, I always knew I wanted to write sci-fi romance, too. Writing this story made it clear to me that sci-fi was a genre I wanted to write in again. (and again, and again.)
This is the book that started my sci-fi journey, and it will always have a special place in my heart.
Four men, three days, one chance to win it all.
Technician Laurli Corbin has spent the past six months on an asteroid-mining ship on the far side of the galaxy. The problem is she is stuck with four hot men and under strict orders not to mess with crew morale. That means if she gives in to her desires she can only choose one, and that’s an impossible choice.
The captain has set strict rules that he expects his crew to follow, but when he and the other three men on board realize they have all fallen for the fiery beauty those rules come back to haunt him…
When a cosmic storm hits, fate conspires to put the crew to the ultimate test. The men are given one chance to change the rules and make a play that could give them all what they want most, but can they bet on losing the one thing that matters most?
“What was with the order, chief?” Jax demanded, his green eyes flashing with anger.
“Why would you make her choose between us?” Mattero pounded a fist into his open hand with a meaty thud, and there was deep anger showing in the torski’s all-black eyes.
“I know why you did it, Cass.” G’arn leaned forward and Cass noted his eyes were gleaming brilliant silver, a sure sign that his medic was seriously pissed off. “What I want to know is why you didn’t tell us.”
The two other men turned to stare at the pheran. “What do you mean, you know why he did it?” Mattero asked. “Mind filling the rest of us in?”
G’arn merely lifted his hands in a placating gesture and glanced at Cass.
“Go ahead, tell them,” Cass sat back and waited for the inevitable explosion of tempers.
“Natasha. He didn’t want what happened with her to happen again.” G’arn looked from Mattero to Jax. “Can you blame him?”
“Yes, I can vething well blame him!” Mattero was on his feet and stomping around in circles hard enough the floor beneath them all was shaking slightly with each footfall. “Natasha was a psychotic slut who only managed to get on board because she forged her qualifications. We all learned our lesson and agreed to put that behind us when we put her ass on a shuttle back to Earth. We would never let a woman, or anyone else, turn us against each other again. We agreed!” Mattero slammed a foot down and spun to face Cass, his canines flashing and his normally placid expression screwed into a mask of fury. “So why would you treat us like children and give Laurli an order like that without even bothering to tell us?”
Jax scowled, nodded and jerked a thumb toward the thundering torski. “What he said.”
“You done now, Mattero? Or are you going to try to put a few more dents in my floor first?” Cass asked and waited for the big man to grunt and take his seat. “When I took Corbin on as our tech, I had a talk with her, yes. I told her flat-out that if she hooked up with one of the crew, she’d have to live with her choice, no bed-hopping. This is the most important run of our lives, and you all know it. If we hit all our targets, we’ll have enough money saved to buy this ship, give her the full refit she needs and finally be able to work for ourselves from now on. This is what we’ve been working toward for years, and I wasn’t willing to risk a woman screwing it up again. I thought I was protecting all of us.”
Three sets of very pissed-off eyes looked straight at him and Cass threw up his hands. “It’s possible I fucked up. There you go, I said it.”
“Re’veth, he admitted to a mistake,” Jax drawled. “Did the world end while we were yelling?”
“Don’t get used to it, it’s not likely to happen again in your lifetime,” Cass shot back. “Look, I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, but clearly at least some of us have feelings for Laurli, and apparently she hasn’t been with any of us because she hasn’t been able to choose just one.” He glanced around at his crew, every one of them a friend, brother and someone he’d known for years. “So the question is, what the fraxx are we going to do about it?”
Susan Hayes bio
Susan lives out on the Canadian west coast surrounded by open water, dear family, and good friends. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidently swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.
If the world ends, she plans to survive as the spunky, comedic sidekick to the heroes of the new world, because she’s too damned short and out of shape to make it on her own for long.