Title: Landon: A Badari Warriors SciFi Romance Novel (Sectors New Allies Series Book11)
Author: Veronica Scott
Genre: SciFi Romance
When unexpected circumstances give her a chance to escape from an alien scientist’s lab after she’s been tortured, Mandy Rennegar knew she should run for the hills with the other prisoners. There’s one more special captive who hasn’t been freed, however, and she decides to risk everything to help him. Mandy’s not leaving anyone behind.
Captured by the enemy on a scouting trip, Landon of the Badari has been pushed beyond his limits of sanity and strength by the Khagrish experiments and waits to die…until the human woman sets him free and takes him into the wilderness with her on a desperate trek to freedom. If he could only regain his memory, he’s sure there’s a sanctuary on the planet where his people could help them both.
As Mandy and Landon flee the pursuing Khagrish new challenges arise, including secrets from the past which could destroy the growing attraction between them. Difficult choices have to be made, putting Mandy’s life at risk and Landon discovers the Khagrish have left a lasting mark on his mind.
Will they reach the Badari sanctuary in time? Can their love survive Mandy’s revelations? Will the Alpha of the Badari give them a chance to be together or will he allow her to die when Landon risks everything to save his fated mate?
Mandy rested her palm against his cheek. “I’m so sorry I said no when you asked me, not because of the transfusion issue, which I’m not sure I even understand since we’re not the same species, but because we should have been together fully. I should have trusted my heart. I was wrong to think my past was a barrier to our love. I regret my indecision now—we humans foolishly think we have all the time in the world and sometimes we don’t. I’d be proud to be your mate. I wish I hadn’t squandered my chance with you.” Coughing, she broke off as if the lengthy speech had exhausted her slender reserves.
Landon rushed to get her a cup of water. “I’d be proud to claim you,” he said as he propped her up to sip. Hope rose in his heart but then when he looked at her closely, he had to crush the emotion. There was no way the two of them could claim each other now. Mandy simply didn’t have the strength and the ritual had to be done correctly or the goddess would withhold her approval. Time had run out for them.
Mandy pushed the cup away. “I know we can’t be mates in the Badari sense,” she said, rubbing her chest as if her heart ached and needing soothing. “It would mean a lot to me to be your wife, to be yours at least for my last hours. I love you so much, Landon.”
He shook his head at the impossibility of the situation but then he reviewed what she’d said and sat straighter as he considered the human term she’d unconsciously used. “You’d marry me? Now? Today? If I could find someone authorized to perform the human ceremony?”
“Yes, of course.” A bit of the old sparkle returned to her beautiful blue eyes. Lips curving in genuine amusement, she continued. “Do you need to hear the formal request? Will you marry me, Landon?”
“Marriage is for life, yes?” His pulse raced and he sat on the edge of his chair.
“For better or worse, in sickness and in health—from what the doctors told me, you’d be getting the worst of the vows.” Her tremulous smile fled as she twisted in pain.
Landon rose and paced the room, excitement and hope rising in him again. There were no human priests among the residents of the valley. Aydarr could perform a ceremony but it wouldn’t have the power of the human laws. He had to make this happen, not only to grant Mandy’s heart’s desire but then to argue again for the transfusion. If they were married for life under human law, he could give her his blood and marrow, couldn’t he?
Who in the valley can perform a legal human marriage ceremony? He sent the Alpha the question, heedless of protocol or anything else. Time was slipping through his fingers and Mandy’s life with it. She asked me to marry her and I said yes.
Aydarr’s answer was swift. I’ll ask Nicolle if we have anyone with the legal authority—she knows everything.
And then we’ll be bonded for life in the human fashion, Landon said forcefully. And I can give her my heart’s blood. We have to hurry.
There was no immediate answer so Landon hastened to his post at the bedside. Mandy opened her eyes, focusing on him with obvious difficulty as he took her hand and said, “I’m going to make this wedding happen. What else is needed besides an officiant?”
Visibly struggling to come up with a list, she said, “Two witnesses, a ring…I ought to be wearing a beautiful white dress for you but this ugly hospital gown will have to do, I’m afraid. What does the old Terra rhyme say? Something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new.”
Not sure she was taking him seriously, he leaned over and kissed her forehead. “You’re beautiful to me.”
Gabe is on his way to you now, Aydarr said. Nicolle verified that as the captain of his own ship, he has the legally binding power in the Sectors to conduct a wedding. Jill and I are coming as well and I’ve alerted Megan to prepare to do the transfusion the minute the vows are done.
I need a ring. Two would be better but there probably aren’t any Badari-sized rings to be had.
Mandy had her eyes closed again and her grip on his hand was loose. He prayed to the goddess to grant his beloved the tenacity to endure just a little longer, until he could give her a measure of his own strength. The idea of her dying now when the solution was so close at hand sent chills up and down his spine. “Hang on,” he whispered. “You’ve got to hang on.”
Megan knocked and entered the room, followed by her nurse Rik. Landon glimpsed an antigrav stretcher in the hallway. “We’ll have to do the transfusion in the operating room,” she said, stepping to the bedside and running a scanner in the air over Mandy. Patting her patient’s arm, the doctor said, “You’re doing fine, all vital signs are good. This is exciting, to have a wedding going on.” She stepped aside to issue low-voiced orders to Rik, who nodded and left the room.
Gemma came in. “I hear there’s to be a wedding?”
“Nothing would make me happier than to be Landon’s wife.” Mandy made an effort to sit up and Landon supported her while Dr. Garrison plumped the pillows. “But is there anyone in the valley who can perform a ceremony legally?”
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Mandy’s wedding to Landon is a life or death situation, but can their friends put together a ceremony on an alien planet at war?
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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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