Backlist to the Future: Thrill-Kinky – the “standalone novella” that started a series

By Teresa Noelle Roberts

When I finished Witches’ Waves, the last book of my Duals and Donovans paranormal series, I needed a mental palate cleanser. Things got pretty dark in that series. I even killed off one hero’s grandmother. (Granted, she was a powerful witch who died in battle, not a helpless victim, but still… I killed someone’s grandma.) So I decided to finish the light science fiction romance novella I’d started before the paranormals took over my brain. 20,000 words of comic outer-space crime caper with some wild sex sounded like a good change from the dark and violent world my witches and shapeshifters inhabited.

And then my characters started talking to me and the 20K novella turned into something much bigger.

Drax, my hot, winged alien hero, wasn’t a thief. He turned out to be an undercover operative, a.k.a. spy, betrayed by a traitor in his own government. He’s injured and stranded on a high-gravity planet where his wings are nearly useless but he’s determined to carry out his mission.

My original concept of Rita my heroine was an outer-space Cinderella with a naughty twist. She’d escape her dull life as a crew member on a tramp freighter by joining Drax in a life of glamorous crime and exhibitionistic sex. But with Drax turning out to be a spy in danger, my heroine morphed from a girl in need of rescue—at least the sexual and emotional kind—to a tough, resourceful woman who loves her job but is willing to risk everything for a good cause (It doesn’t hurt that the good cause involves a handsome, charming guy who shares her fondness for thrill-seeking sex.) Her crewmates on the freighter Malcolm are good-hearted misfits with heroic streaks that get them in trouble on a regular basis. They’re more than willing to support Drax’s attempt to carry out his mission, especially since it’ll help them get back at people who ripped them off. (In case you can’t guess, I loved Firefly.)

And then there was the cat-girl. In my first draft, I’d included a throwaway line about Rita’s best friend on the crew being “an intergalactic slacker sex kitten, complete with ears and tail”. I originally figured she’d create a wild, funny distraction so the lovers could steal some priceless loot and escape. Only cat-girl Xia informed me she had a dark history and some unusual skills that proved useful when dealing with traitors, counter-spies, and an assassin who’d be happy to kill Drax for free.

As Xia and the other crew members of the Malcolm developed as characters, I knew they’d need their own books and HEAs. So far Xia and Buck, the amputee ex-soldier with PTSD, a drinking problem, and a heart as big as the Milky Way, have had their stories told, and I’m working on the captain’s and first mate’s. There are more in the works. I’ve even created another cat-girl heroine to star in a shared-worlds adventure.

But Thrill-Kinky started it all—because my novella idea turned out to be bigger than I thought it was. And it’s still one of my favorite books, because it has the light-heartedness and space-opera derring-do I’d originally envisioned—but with a larger cast and a story that affects multiple worlds.

And of course true love and no-holds-barred sex.

About the book

When spacer Rita stumbles upon a injured, naked, and absolutely gorgeous winged man during a routine cargo pick-up, things get dangerous—and steamy—fast. Sexy alien Drax Jalricki is a covert operative whose cover has been blown, but he still needs to finish a mission that will protect three planets. Hiding in plain sight in the middle of a local fertility festival, Drax and Rita discover they have a lot in common, including a shared kink for risky, exhibitionist sex.

Could be a stars-made match, except for the people trying to kill Drax.

Unable to use his wings and suspecting someone in his own government betrayed him, Drax needs help with a crucial step in his mission. Swapping a real artwork for a reproduction loaded with a tracking device so enemy operatives can steal the fake should be nothing Rita’s friends on the space freighter Malcolm, with their diverse and slightly shady skills, can’t manage.

But an infamous assassin is on Drax’s trail, a highly placed traitor is paying the assassin, and Rita’s cat-girl best friend has just revealed her own lethal secrets. Rita and Drax’s feelings for each other may not matter if they don’t live through the night.

A slightly naughty excerpt:

Rita thought Drax did the significant eye contact thing better than most. She’d almost forgotten how the right look could feel as hot and intimate as a caress, could move across her skin like a skillful hand, could reach inside her and pump at her like a cock. Her nipples stiffened, poking out through the thin fabric of her bra. She shifted her hands, hoping he wouldn’t be able to see any telltale moisture at the crotch of her undershorts. Or maybe hoping he would. It was probably the worst time ever for her libido to go into overdrive, but logic never had a lot to do with lust.

She already knew she was a thrill-seeker, knew she liked to try new things in just about every area and break a few taboos when it came to sex, but she hadn’t realized how much of an aphrodisiac actual danger was. Drax was hot as midsummer on Argos Seven, hot as Xylac goulash, hot as her wildest erotic dreams, some of which were outrageous enough they’d make Xia blanch under her fur if Rita shared them, and felinoids were known for a high sex drive and low inhibitions—but this was so not the time.

Not with both an armed Fiero and the local cops after them.

Except her body really, really thought it was the perfect time. For all it was a terrible idea, her brain didn’t completely disagree.

She had to pull herself together. Whether she wanted to or not.

“Come on!” she urged, letting the orange jumpsuit fall to her feet and stepping out of it. “We’ve got to move. Those obstacles won’t hold them long, and we’re still too close to where we left the floater and…what?”

“The Blemondians won’t anticipate this. If you’re my pretend-lover,” he said, “shouldn’t we put on a good show?” He leaned forward, put his arms and the coat around her, and then, under the cover of the coat, wrapped her in his glorious wings.

Definitely something in the danger-as-aphrodisiac theory, because in a fetid alley, with the law and outlaws both after them and her no doubt out of both a job and a home when the guys found out she’d dumped the slag and abandoned the floater, Rita was getting more turned on than she ever remembered being. She’d been excitable to start with, from the kiss, and from simply being around Drax’s dangerous good looks, but now she could feel herself getting slick, hot, ready for the cock that she could now feel all too well against her bare skin.

And his wings—marling stars, she’d never felt anything like the soft, sensual caress of all those feathers against her back, her ass. So good. His hands gripped and kneaded, and his wings stroked and soothed, and all the while he was kissing her, exploring her mouth with his tongue, sending sparks down the connections from her lips to the mouth of her sex. Her common sense told her they needed to move, couldn’t take the time to play there when the overpriced thugs in the Fiero might show up at any second.

Her common sense lost the argument with her libido.

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About the author:

Teresa Noelle Roberts started writing stories in kindergarten and she hasn’t stopped yet. A prolific author of short erotica, she’s also a published poet and fantasy writer—but BDSM-spiced contemporaries, hot paranormals, and sexy science fiction romances have become her favorites.

Teresa is a geek of many enthusiasms, from science fiction to medieval re-enactment. In her copious spare time (ha!), she also enjoys belly dance, yoga, cooking, hiking, playing in the ocean, and growing more vegetables than she and her husband can possibly eat.

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