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By D.A. Hill
Cerelia’s Choice was my first venture into science fiction romance. I didn’t even know it was a genre at the time I wrote the book, but I love both sci-fi and romance, so I figured why not combine the two. I discovered it’s a tough niche from a marketing perspective, but one with a wonderful community of authors and readers. Despite the challenges, I’ve stuck with the genre for my next book.
I wanted to ensure that the story would be an exciting science fiction adventure, fully-fledged space opera if you like, and at the same time a compelling romance, with equal emphasis on both the heroine’s and hero’s journeys to finding true love (to realize this, alternating scenes are told in their respective voices). And I didn’t want to insult my female readers’ intelligence by going soft on the science. I think I’ve achieved those goals, but that’s ultimately for the reader to decide.
When the luxury spaceliner carrying Crown Princess Cerelia across the Galactic Empire is attacked by space pirates, she is forced to flee for her life in the company of the ship’s captain, Jefferson Rydel. Having left behind her home and family forever to marry the man she selected to succeed her father as Emperor, her disappearance throws the Imperial succession into question and destabilizes the Empire.
As she struggles to adapt to a harsh and challenging environment completely unlike the refined, sophisticated, and comfortable world she has always known, she discovers again and again that Captain Rydel is not what she thought he was.
Has he really uncovered the secret of Earth, its location lost in the passage of time and regarded by most as a myth? It would be a discovery to rock the very foundations of the Empire, its fourteen worlds each having been selected and terraformed to resemble as closely as possible humanity’s supposed original home. Or is he nothing but an unprincipled charlatan exploiting the hopes of millions?
Whoever he is, she has no choice but to accept his help. As they fight to stay ahead of the forces trying so desperately to kill her, and to stop the plot against the Imperial throne, she begins to wonder if she has found what she always longed for but never believed she would find—a man she can truly love without turning her back on the duty she was born to fulfill…
In the blackness, her eyes open again but seeing nothing, she waited for the reply that did not come. She stood still, not daring to move, barely even breathing. Perhaps she imagined the noise.
But she was sure she felt a presence. Yes, somewhere behind her. “Who is th—”
Someone grabbed her, muscular arms wrapping around her as a large, masculine hand covered her mouth, filling her nostrils with the far-too-musky scent of Captain Rydel’s aftershave.
She should have known he was nothing but a scoundrel. All that understanding and sympathy during dinner had been an act, intended to lull her into complacency and seek out her weaknesses. Her heart raced as she imagined how grabbing hold of her in the middle of the night might be part of some diabolical plan to exploit the information he had gathered, to use the personal details she had so recklessly shared.
“I’m going to release my hand,” he whispered in her ear, confirming his identity. “If you want to live, I advise you not to scream.”
He clamped his hand back over her mouth. “Please listen to me, Your Highness. You aren’t in a position to demand anything. Your life is in danger.”
Blind terror washed over her. She began to struggle. If he was going to… She would not submit without a fight. She twisted her body, but his arms were too strong. Unable to loosen his hold and determined not to surrender—she would give her life before sacrificing her honor—she raised her foot and slammed it down, but missed his toes altogether. His hand muffled her groan as her heel, protected by nothing but the thin sole of her slippers, smashed into the floor.
“Stop fighting.” He tightened his grip, making it impossible for her to move. “You’re in danger, but not from me. Pirates have attacked the ship and sabotaged the FTL drive. My crew are probably all dead or taken hostage, or soon will be. Our only hope is to get to my shuttle before they find us. Need I add, without being seen or heard.”
He gave her a moment for his briefing to sink in. “Do you understand me?”
Her heart raced faster still now, and not just because she was filled with a new fear. His warm breath caressed the side of her neck, and his body pressed so firmly against her back she felt the rise and fall of his chest. She closed her eyes, savoring his protective embrace, and let her mind drift…
Buy the book: Amazon
D.A. Hill bio
D.A.Hill was born in Australia in 1963 on a farm with no electricity. From 1999-2004 he lived in Asia working in the technology industry and in 2004 emigrated to the United States. He now lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he and his wife Marie live a life filled with amazing technology and some awesome skiing.
His first two novels, Newton’s Ark and Fuller’s Mine, are hard sci-fi exploring the impact of technology trends on humanity and society. He is working on the third and final book in The Emulation Trilogy for release in late 2017.
His third novel, Cerelia’s Choice, is a mix of space opera and romance. Having discovered the joys of writing sci-fi romance, he is about to release Harry Seven, a time travel adventure romance.
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