Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn: Genetically enhanced. Accused of treason. Can she clear her name before it's too late?

Commander Rhys Rykus: Ash's former instructor. The man who trained her. The one person in the universe she can't love.

Together, they'll either save the Coalition they're sworn to preserve and protect...or they'll destroy it.

The perfect blend of action, jeopardy, and romance.

~~ Kindle Reviewer

Starts off fast and never loses the momentum.

~~ Tina, Kindle Reviewer


The perfect blend of action, jeopardy, and romance.

~~ Kindle Reviewer


Starts off fast and never loses the momentum.

~~ Tina, Kindle Reviewer

READ: CHAPTER ONE

Rykus didn’t say anything when he entered her stale-aired prison, so Ash echoed his silence. The room’s low ceiling accentuated his height and broad shoulders. He outweighed her by forty, maybe fifty pounds now that he’d completely gotten over his old shoulder injury and packed on more muscle. The way his crisp, black uniform embraced his frame drew her gaze, but she was a bit disappointed that he was clean-shaven. She’d always liked it when stubble shadowed the planes of his face. She’d told him as much once during training, and he’d sent her on extra weighted runs as punishment. Though she’d ended up sore, stiff, and tired as hell, it had been worth it to get under his skin.


She had to get under his skin now because she could already feel his presence scraping away her resolve. The Coalition wanted her to talk, and she’d been programmed years ago to respond to Rykus’s voice. She had to escape soon—now—because if she didn’t, he’d trigger that brainwashing and command her to give him the cipher the Coalition so desperately wanted.


Keeping her smile in place, Ash turned her attention to the two men flanking him. The first waited beside the door, his gaze locked on her, his hand resting ready on his gun. The other man wasn’t armed. Instead of a weapon, he carried a bio-scanner and med-sack. He dropped the sack on the data-table in front of her, yanked out a blue aerosol bottle, then sprayed both his hands with liqui-glove. With short, rough movements, he treated the cut on her temple.


Ash lowered her gaze to the table, but Rykus’s stare drilled into her. She didn’t have to look up to imagine his expression. After a year of training under his command, she’d memorized the harsh set of his jaw and the dark, I’ve-been-to-hell-and-back depths of his eyes. The force of his scowl could shatter heat shielding if Rykus was so inclined, but he usually kept his anger in check. Usually. Ash had a talent for setting him off.


He sat in the chair on the other side of the data-table, the only piece of furniture in the cell besides her chair and the sleep-slab that was now folded into the dull gray wall.


She took a moment to steel herself against her loyalty training, then met her former instructor’s eyes. “It’s been a while, Rip.”


When the medic went still beside her, she forced a laugh. “Guess the commander doesn’t go by that name much around here, does he?"


Ah, there it was, the telltale tightening of the skin around Rykus’s eyes. No one else called him Rip—at least, not to his face—but she was the one who’d given him the nickname back when she was his cadet. She figured she might as well use it, especially if it would throw him off-balance. For the Coalition’s loyalty training to fully kick in, Rykus’s words had to be spoken in a precise tone and cadence. When he was angry or—dare she suggest it—aroused, his voice dipped. It was a slight, almost unnoticeable change, but it was enough to let her fight and occasionally overcome the compulsion in his commands.


“Still,” she said to the medic, “he is the only man in the entire federated military to show up alive and well to his own funeral. He never told us anomalies how he managed that.” She tilted her head to the side and pitched her last words as a question.


Rykus just sat there staring through her. Her faith in her plan wavered. Maybe she shouldn’t push him away. Maybe he could help her. If he ordered her to report what happened on the mission to Chalos II, maybe she could break through the telepathic stranglehold preventing her from explaining everything.


But as soon as the thought entered her mind, her heart clogged her throat. She could almost hear her subconscious cautioning against the idea. Something bad would happen if Rykus commanded her to speak. She was certain of it.


She made her tone casual, her expression unconcerned. “Tell me, Rip, how are you liking this plush new command?”


Still, he said nothing.


“Not much for conversation these days, are you?”


He didn’t even blink. When had he become so fucking impenetrable? Used to be, she could make him angry with a few take-me-to-bed glances, but maybe his triggers had changed. Or maybe since she was no longer his cadet, he didn’t give a damn about her anymore.


Her stomach twisted like a transport on a bad reentry into atmosphere. She blocked out the sensation, the odd little mix of hurt and devotion. It was just the loyalty training urging her to please him. It didn’t mean anything. Never had, never would.


The medic finished treating the cut on her head, then swabbed the broken skin on her knuckles. Even though her escape attempt had failed, she’d managed to land a few solid hits before she went down. Rykus had taught her well.


The medic put away the disinfectant and picked up a bio-band. He stared at the device, then frowned at her chair-shackled wrists.


“You can unbind me,” Ash told him, innocence dripping from her tone. “I won’t try anything. Promise.”


He glared, shook his head, then stepped back to look at her bare feet. She’d regained consciousness without her boots and without the knife she’d confiscated from one of the guards she’d taken down during her transfer to the ship.


He strapped the device to her ankle and switched it on. It wouldn’t do him any good. Her physical injuries were superficial, and she’d already been scanned a dozen times since her arrest. The bio-band wouldn’t tell the doctors what was really wrong with her, and she couldn’t tell them herself. She’d tried. Over and over again, she’d tried, but Jevan, the deceitful, manipulative bastard, had screwed with her head.


“I didn’t train a traitor.”


WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

He's the instructor she can't forget. She's the cadet hecouldn't break.


Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whosegenetics makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She's pledgedher life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems,but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she's charged with treason andthe brutal executions of her teammates.


The Coalition needs the information Ash's team stole ontheir last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys "Rest in Peace"Rykus to get it. He's the man who's responsible for turning Ash into an elitesoldier... and he's a man who isn't, never was, and never will be in love withthe woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.


Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be thewoman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed herteammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathicallysilenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to thetruth about what happened. Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truthdying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path coulddestroy the Coalition she's sworn to preserve and protect...

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A love story hidden in a tale of soldiers, telepathy, futuristic surroundings and space travel.

~~ Kindle Reviewer

Here I am, after roughly 10 hours of non-stop reading. The book was everything I hoped for.

~~ Kindle Reviewer


The perfect blend of action, jeopardy, and romance.

~~ Kindle Reviewer


Starts off fast and never loses the momentum.

~~ Tina, Kindle Reviewer

Hi! I'm Sandy!


I write the type of books I love to read. Books that are gripping enough to make the dishes and the laundry disappear.


Books that slam a door on real life drama and disasters and transport me to another world. I want to read about a heroine who is independent, smart, and courageous even when she is outmatched.


ESPECIALLY when she’s outmatched.


I want action, high stakes, and hard choices.


And I want all of this with an inconveniently timed romance thrown in.


If you also want characters who can bring people together—or tear universes apart—you've found the right author.