In the far distant future, during a war that no one really wanted, two starfighter pilots become stranded on a deserted jungle planet. Both have skills the other needs for survival and they decide to work together rather than fight.
But there is more than that between them. Earthforce's Lieutenant Meagan An Flena turns out to be Gaian Pilot Kavath Terrell's sexual match. Kavath attaches to Mea and she's attracted to him, but neither of them want to commit to a relationship.
At least that's what they tell themselves!
But as they work together for survival, both soon realize that what they have in common just might be more important that what keeps them apart.
2006 Futuristic, Fantasy, and Paranormal PRISM Finalist!
This book should not be missed. - Susan Mobley Romantic Times Magazine: 4.5 stars: Top Pick!
The dry, thin, field-ration wafer tasted as flavorless as she remembered from her survival class. Washed down with the “clean” orange-tinged water from the stream, it was a miserable excuse for dinner. Mea leaned against the fallen log she was using as a backrest and unenthusiastically examined the rest of the wafer before wrapping it up and putting it back in its storage box.
Philosophically she considered the extra five pounds that she’d carried since her youth. Unless things improved, she was likely to lose that weight.
Tomorrow she’d have to do something about the food situation. She barely had enough rations for a week, and it might be a month or more before the homing signal she’d set up would bring someone.
She couldn’t risk bringing the Gaians to her doorstep, so she’d selected a very narrow band to broadcast on, one only used by Earthforce ships. Free traders and colony ships wouldn’t be listening on that channel. She’d have to wait for a long-range patrol to find her.
Whenever that was likely to happen. With the war on, it could be a long time.
Now that the sun had set, the jungle around her had gone from bright, green, and alive, to dark, spooky, and alive. Sitting on the ground beside her ship, Mea watched the encroaching gloom apprehensively. For a moment she wondered if being a Gaian prisoner wouldn’t have been a better choice. At least they’d feed her and she’d heard food on a Gaian ship was actually quite good.
A sharp cry from barely a foot away sent her up the ladder again. With darkness, the other living things in the jungle were coming closer.
Light, that’s what she needed to scare away the nocturnal inhabitants. Mea fetched a small lamp from the emergency kit and set it on the ground. The cheerful glow illuminated the clearing around the ship and her mood lightened with it.
This might not be so bad. There was an emergency shelter complete with sleeping sack in the hold. She would set that up and make a little camping area next to her ship. The shelter was supposed to protect against insects and other creatures, and she could stretch out in it. It would be much easier to sleep lying down than in the cockpit.
She stood on the ladder and leaned over into the storage compartment behind the seat to look for the shelter
Her only warning was a soft exhale of breath. Inwardly Mea groaned. Frack, her luck had run out again … it had to be the Gaian!
She reached for her knife, but powerful hands pinned her arms and pulled her off the ladder. Suspended in the air and without access to her weapon, all Mea had was her legs.
Not a problem -- she mule-kicked her opponent with one foot. A deep male oof told her she’d connected with something useful and the arms around her loosened. Twisting, Mea broke his hold and jumped away from him, dropping into a roll that left her three meters away, on her feet, knife in hand.
At the sight of the knife, the Gaian stepped back, one hand rubbing his upper thigh. She’d missed the spot she’d aimed for, but not by much. In her roll, her flight cap had fallen off, uncovering her dark hair. She stood with her legs apart, chest heaving in the tightly fitting suit.
Her Gaian opponent’s eyes widened in surprise, and he took another step back. “A woman? What the … you’re a woman!” He sounded outraged.
“ What’s the problem,” Mea said, hoisting her knife in readiness. “They don’t teach girls to fly where you come from?” Fear lent her a certain bravado, but she was happy her voice didn’t shake.
This guy was so big -- well over two meters tall and built to match. Most Earth pilots were small, the better to sit in the undersized cockpits, but apparently the opposition tended to fit the planes to their men instead. A man his size might even find her Starbird a tight fit.
And his height wasn’t the only thing impressive about him! The Gaian looked like he could break her in half without half trying and he wasn’t hard to look at. His finger-length pale blond hair fell in a swooping curve across his forehead, and he had the nicest pair of lips she’d ever seen on a man.
The shock at finding she was a woman must have hit him harder than her foot. A deep shudder ran through him, and he bent at the waist, breathing heavily, eyes on the ground. He was completely ignoring her, his stunner still holstered at his hip while she at least had her knife in hand. She could take him out easily while he tried to catch his breath.
For a moment she hesitated. Blowing away a ship in space was one thing, but to stab a man in hand-to-hand combat was something else. For the same reason she’d been unable to shoot his disabled ship above the planet, she froze at attacking him now.
Mea fought her reluctance. She had to kill him. If she didn’t he’d capture her, and that Gaian POW planet would become a reality. At the moment he wasn’t paying attention to her so Mea seized what might be her only opportunity.
Stamping down her lack of enthusiasm for the job, she leapt at him, her knife poised to stab him deep in the chest.
At the last moment, he glanced up and grabbed her wrists before she could strike. He dove to the ground, taking her with him and into a long set of rolls. She hit the dirt hard, and the scuffle left her knife in the dirt far from her hand. When they stopped rolling, she was pinned to the ground, his hands stretching her arms high above her head.
Hard male covered her and while his breathing still labored and his heart pounded furiously, it was clear the man was far from incapacitated.
Frack it! Well that was what she got for hesitating so long.
Deep green eyes glared into hers. She could feel the intensity of his fury ... plus, something that wasn’t anger.
It was particularly obvious where his pants met her crotch. The Gaian had a hard-on of monumental proportions. Whatever else was going on, he desired her. That was almost as much a surprise as his attack had been. It hadn’t been common for a man to want her, much less someone with the kind of sex appeal this man had, and she couldn’t help her shock at his reaction.
It seemed a shock to him, too. For a moment he just stared at her, the heat of his breath scorching her cheeks. A struggle showed on his face, then his head dipped and his lips bonded to hers in a soul-searing kiss.
For a moment she just savored him. He tasted good, like man and something else … like coffee and chocolate mixed together with cinnamon and vanilla. He tasted like -- mocha chocolate-chip cookies -- her favorite!
Under his spell Mea groaned and went limp. She should be fighting him -- knee him in the crotch, perhaps even bite him -- but he just felt and tasted so good.
It was the most mind-bending kiss she’d ever received. Forgetting the man was her enemy, Mea couldn’t resist reacting to it. She opened her mouth and his tongue took full advantage, engaging hers in a battle nearly as fierce as the one they’d had in their ships. By the time the kiss was over her breath was laboring as hard as his. Where their bodies met she felt the strain of his erection. He moved just a little, and that powerful bulge dragged against her, setting up all sorts of inner whistles and bells. Mea moaned.
Maybe she shouldn’t be so quick to try to kill him. If there was one thing she’d learned over the years, there was always more than one way to fight a battle. Maybe she and the Gaian could reach some sort of understanding. After all if the man shared a bunk as good as he kissed…. Without really meaning to, she rubbed him back, dragging her crotch along his erection.
He raised his head and stared at her, his green-eyed gaze scorching hot. He leaned forward and whispered into her ear, “Say no.”
Mea wasn’t sure if she’d heard him right. “What?”
“ No. Say it, as loud as you can. Mean it.”
4.5 Stars TOP PICK! – Romantic Times Magazine This book should not be missed. - Susan Mobley
Five Stars – Ecataromance! Janet Miller hooks the reader with the first few pages of the book and does not let go until the last. The relationship between Meagan and Kavath develops as they learn to work together to survive on the hostile planet while fighting the intense attraction they have for each other. Humor is generously heaped into a mix of action and hot sex. I enjoyed this book and hope Ms. Miller will write more stories about the interaction of Earth and Gaia in the future. - Candy
4.5 Unicorns – Enchanted in Romance Introduced in the high enjoyable prequel Promises Keep, Ms. Miller’s latest installment of the Gaian fight for independence is a refreshing read in the science fiction romance genre. …. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this second novel in the Gaian world and hope to see another installment in the future. - Francesca
4 Cups – Coffee Time Romance If you enjoyed Promises to Keep, Ms. Miller’s first glimpse into the Gaian world, you will enjoy Beloved Enemy. The characters were both engaging, true in both words and deed, making them not only likable but believable as well. The style and tone of story held this reader’s attention from the first page to the last, making for a highly entertaining read. One can only hope that Ms. Miller returns to the Gaian culture for yet another story. – Kimber
Four Angels – Fallen Angel reviews This was a very satisfying SF romance, and I quite enjoyed it! The plot makes sense, and moves along at a nice pace… The relationship between the two protagonists develops quite naturally, and there is a relaxed relationship between them which leads to some funny scenes. The man/woman love scenes are quite explicit, but not shocking. - Jean