From the Author
Races and their characteristics,
Cast of characters
In the Brides of the Kindred series, I am introducing a race of genetic traders who have traveled the universe for centuries looking for viable matches to expand their gene pool. The three genetic trades the Kindred have already made have resulted in three very specific types of men. But though they take on some of the physical characteristics of the race they are trading with, the Kindred gene always ensures three things: physical prowess, extremely large and muscular body structure, and undying loyalty to the female of their choice.
Beast Kindred come from Rageron--a jungle planet full of beautiful but deadly flora and fauna. They have dark hair, golden eyes, and hot tempers but their most defining characteristic is the mating fist. The mating fist is an area at the base of the Beast Kindred's shaft which engages fully only during bonding sex with his chosen mate. This ensures sex that is both tantric and multiorgasmic for both partners.
Blood Kindred are blond with pale blue eyes and come from Tranq Prime where ice, snow, and arctic-like temperatures are the norm. They have a set of double fangs located where a human's canine teeth would be. These fangs do not develop fully or become sharp enough to pierce flesh until a Blood Kindred is with a woman he wishes to mate and bond with.
Twin Kindred come from Twin Moons--a world of vast, stormy oceans dotted with craggy but beautiful islands. True to their namesake, Twin Kindred always come in pairs. The brothers are not identical, however. There is always a light twin and a dark twin. These labels refer not just to skin, hair, and eye coloring but to the twin's moods and perceptions of the world. The dark twin in the pair is usually more moody and withdrawn while the light twin takes a substantially brighter view of life.
In all their years of travel the Kindred have come across only three worlds with species close enough to their own to initiate a trade.
Earth is the fourth.
After saving the Earth from the ravaging attack of the Scourge (actually a genetic trade gone wrong, a fact which most of the Kindred are unaware of) the Kindred warriors demand compensation from the governments of Earth--the right to call brides from among our world's population. Having no choice (the Scourge are still out there) Earth agrees. A type of draft is set up and every unmarried woman between the ages of nineteen and thirty-five is required to register. The chances of winning this "bed-an-alien" contest are about the same as winning the lottery--very rare--but it does happen on a regular basis. Before calling his bride, a Kindred warrior will become aligned with her and they will dream-share--or see each other's memories and daily activities in dreams regularly.
Women who are drafted are required to go up to the Kindred Mothership and spend a thirty day "claiming period" with the warrior who has chosen them. If, at the end of that time, they have managed to resist the charms of their Kindred mate, they are allowed to go back down to Earth and resume their normal life. However, if they succumb to their Kindred male's seduction, they are mated for life and must move to the Kindred ship to live, leaving everything else behind and seeing their family and friends on Earth only infrequently. And the Kindred have a secret weapon--devotion to their female's pleasure and attention to detail during incredibly hot sex.
The Rules of the Claiming Period
The Claiming Period lasts for four weeks:
The Holding Week: the Kindred warrior may hold his bride only
The Bathing Week: the warrior and his bride bathe together and he is allowed to massage her with scented oils.
The Tasting Week: the warrior is allowed to perform oral sex on his bride.
The Bonding Week: sex is allowed but it is completely up to the bride whether she will take things a step further and allow bonding sex which is a special and specific process to the three different types of Kindred males.
The only way out before the claiming period is up is a breach of contract. This can happen if the Kindred warrior does not strictly follow the rules and tries to skip forward in the order of allowed events or by breaking one of the rules laid down by the Kindred High Council. These rules--mostly to do with restrictions on communication with Earth--are for the safety of everyone aboard the Mothership and are nonnegotiable.
Hero of Book 1 Claimed
Baird is a Beast Kindred, a native of Rageron. His father is one of the rare purebred Kindred whose bloodline has never mingled in a trade before so he has all the characteristics of his home planet. At six foot seven with black hair and golden eyes Baird is nobody to mess with and he has just been through a horrific ordeal. Captured and held by the Scourge he has been tortured by the evil AllFather who had a special affinity for the taste of his psychic pain. Throughout this ordeal, only one thing has kept Baird sane--the alignment of his mind with that of his bride's. When he escapes the Scourge Fathership his goal is to claim her without delay.
Olivia Waterhouse (Liv)
Heroine of Book 1 Claimed
Olivia is in her mid twenties and has just graduated from nursing school. She lives in Tampa, Florida with her best friend and twin sister, Sophia and their good friend Kat.
Liv is stubborn, intelligent, and not afraid to stand up for herself. With her nursing degree in hand and the rest of her life ahead of her she would be feeling great about life if she hadn't started having such dark, disturbing dreams which all center on a man with black hair and golden eyes. She has no idea what the dreams mean but when two hulking envoys from the Human/Kindred Relations bureau show up on her front step to collect her, she begins to get the picture.
Not being the type to go quietly, Liv fights the process of her claiming every step of the way. Though she is required by law to go aboard the Kindred Mothership and spend the thirty day claiming period with Baird, she makes no secret of the fact that she fully intends to wind up back on Earth living her normal life at the end of that time. Of course, Baird is just as determined to keep her as his wife.
Hero of Book 2 Hunted
Sylvan is a Blood Kindred, a native of Tranq Prime and Baird's half brother. He is built along the same massive lines as all Kindred warriors and has the blond hair and ice blue eyes of his people. He also has the cold, logical demeanor all Tranqs possess. But despite his icy exterior, Sylvan has been hurt in the past. After suffering a devastating rejection on Tranq Prime, he has vowed never to take a bride and no woman can move him. Until he meets Olivia's twin sister, Sophia, that is. Then, much to his chagrin, his mating instincts roar to life and he has to remind himself constantly that she is off limits.
Heroine of Book 2 Hunted
Despite their shared looks, Sophie is Liv's polar opposite. She's shy and gentle but not weak though it takes her a little time to learn to stand up for herself. She's a first grade teacher and an artist who loves to paint. She's also fiercely loyal to her twin and horrified when Liv is taken away to the Kindred Mothership. Her antipathy toward Baird, who she sees as her sister's kidnapper, extends to Sylvan as well so their relationship is stormy right from the start.
Though she dislikes Sylvan, Sophie can't help the way her body responds to him. She tries to avoid him but in Hunted their ship is forced down in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains while trying to return from the Kindred Mothership to Earth. Wounded and frightened, she has no one else to turn to when it becomes clear the Scourge are hunting her for their own nefarious purposes.