AYDARR (A Badari Warriors...) by @vscotttheauthor is a Binge-Worthy Festival pick #scifiromance
Title: AYDARR (A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel) Sectors New Allies Series Book 1
Author: Veronica Scott
Genre: SciFi Romance
Jill Garrison, a maintenance tech at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown stranded in the middle of a forest on an unknown world. There’s no time to think as she’s stalked by carnivorous predators and rescued by genetically engineered warriors calling themselves the Badari. Turns out they and she, along with her whole colony, are now prisoners of the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.
Aydarr, the Badari alpha, isn’t sure he can trust Jill but his attraction to her is undeniable. He impulsively claims her as his mate to prevent her death at the hands of the Khagrish.
Can he continue to protect her from the experiments already underway? Will his claiming her put his pack in jeopardy from their alien masters?
As Jill searches for a way to rescue her fellow humans and get them all to safety, she finds herself falling for Aydarr, despite the secrets he’s keeping. She has a few of her own.
The situation becomes dire when Aydarr and his pack are sent offplanet on a mission, leaving Jill unprotected, prey for the senior scientist. Can she escape the experiments he has in mind for her? Will she be able to thwart the Khagrish plans and liberate humans and Badari alike? How will she and Aydarr reunite?
The creature watched her and moved forward a bit from the tunnel, the front segment of its body sinking onto the ground, while the rest remained in the tunnel. The segmented body expanded like a child’s toy as the predator closed the space between them. Opening an outsize mouth, revealing a yellow, forked tongue, the animal hissed and reared as if preparing to charge at her.
Jill shouted defiance in a combination of rage and fear, and threw the rock hard, striking one glowing eye in the center, shattering the facets. She dodged as the predator made a high-pitched sound like an exploding generator and lunged toward where she’d been. As she scrambled in the slick muddy water at the bottom of the trap, she searched for another rock, finding only small ones. She gathered a handful of them as better than nothing and spun around as the half-blind animal tried to locate her.
With a hoarse yell, a man jumped into the pit from above and landed between her and the predator. He didn’t seem to have a weapon but, as the lightning flashed, briefly illuminating the scene in stark white light, Jill gaped. Were those talons? He glanced over his shoulder at her briefly as if to see how she was doing then made a dash at the animal, slashing its neck before dancing away.
Jill moved along the pit wall as the man and the beast fought. Mud dripped from the sloping side of the hole. Resting her palm on the damp dirt, she felt vibrations. There’s another one tunneling towards us. No matter how brave and strong this guy was, he couldn’t defeat two of the animals. Frantically, she searched for more rocks, trying to pry a likely candidate out of the wall with her fingernails.
“Incoming! There’s another one about to pop out of the wall,” she yelled. Hefting the rock she’d dug from the muck, she took a few steps forward, waited for the right moment and threw the stone at the first beast’s remaining eye, striking a glancing blow on the brow ridge above the glowing orb. The warrior took advantage of the animal’s distraction to open more gaping wounds along its upper body with the lethal claws he bore.
Something in the rapidly rising water brushed against her leg. She jumped sideways, but not fast enough. As the unseen predator made a stinging bite on her calf, Jill nearly toppled over. Unable to see below the surface of the roiling water, she hurled her handful of rocks a foot or so away from her body, hoping to drive away this new menace.
Before she could find more rocks to use as weapons, another man lowered himself into the pit on a rope, reaching for her and speaking urgently in Basic as he gestured. “He can’t fight them off forever – we need to get out of here. More beasts will arrive soon, attracted by the vibrations signaling prey.”
Figuring whatever might happen later, getting out of the trap was the best plan in the short term, she stepped closer. The newcomer grabbed her by the waist, and unseen comrades above hauled the two of them out of the hole at a surprising speed. Her second rescuer handed her off to another man and hastened back into the pit.
She sank to the wet grass, shaking in reaction and feeling the pain now from her cut foot, the mysterious bite, and the effects of the fall. With a fresh rush of fear, she glanced at the strange men surrounding her. Most were ignoring her, facing away as if watching for an attack, although all of them were oddly weaponless. She’d expected to see spears and knives at least. Then again…Had the one who’d jumped into the pit really had claws?
A final animalistic shriek rose from the depths of the pit then the two individuals who’d come to her rescue climbed out.
The one who’d jumped in to help her first came to her side, picking her up without a word and took off to the south at a dead run, the others following them.
“Nice shot with that rock, by the way,” her captor said.
“Who are you? And where are we going?” she yelled into his ear as she was jostled in his arms.
“My name is Aydarr, and we have to get undercover before the full night falls. You won’t be harmed, not by us anyway, I give you my word.” He redoubled his pace, moving impossibly fast over the uneven terrain and through the stands of trees.
Basic? How can these men be speaking Basic? She remembered the second warrior had addressed her in Basic when they were in the pit, but she’d been so scared and full of adrenaline she hadn’t registered the fact. Where am I?
The way the men were running, something big and dangerous must be in the vicinity, perhaps even stalking their party, so she clung to her rescuer and resolved to get a few answers at the first opportunity. On her best day she couldn’t sprint as fast as they were going, even if her foot wasn’t cut, so she didn’t make any attempt to get away. The lacerated skin around the bite throbbed and burned, which meant she was going to have to deal with the problem once the men got wherever the destination might be. In the meantime, she hoped her military anti-venom injects were still viable. Who knew what exotic neurotoxins the creature might have hit her with?
Several individuals raced ahead, moving impossibly fast through the grassland.
“They’re going to ready our shelter, make things as comfortable as we can for you,” he said, not sounding the least bit winded despite the pace he was setting.
“I appreciate the concern, but don’t go to extra trouble for me.”
His laugh was deep and sounded genuine. “Our best effort will be pitiful, I fear. Don’t thank me yet.”
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What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation, which opened up the wonderful Psy-Changeling paranormal world to me as a reader.
What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?
Who can resist genetically engineered soldiers finding their human fated mates and battling the evil alien scientists who created them?
One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon (US or Canada) gift card.
Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.
Runs August 1 – 31
Drawing will be held on September 1.
USA Today Best Selling Author
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.
Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!
She read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the official audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”
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