Title: Banner's Bonus
Author: Carole Ann Lee
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1
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INNOCENCE MEETS HEDONISM: He’s a father’s worst nightmare. Yet cargo pilot, Nick Banner, is Jonathan Loring’s only hope of getting his daughter, Tressa, safely off-planet and out of harm’s way.
Within the tight confines of Banner’s ship, Tressa battles a girlhood crush gone dangerous. As a sheltered teen, she secretly worshipped the hotshot cargo pilot from afar. Even his carnal reputation seemed romantic. But, now, those old feelings are unsettling.
Banner misses nothing, particularly her coy glances. Yeah, he’s noticed, and sexual tension smolders. Danger stalks them across the galaxy and when Tressa is captured by pirates, Banner finds himself willing to sell his soul to free her.
Without so much as turning to address her, Nick’s satin baritone calmly broke the silence. "It’s a damned good thing we don’t have any more days left on this run. With your lengthy showers everyday you’ve managed to put our more-than-sufficient water supply into the red."
"I have not been taking lengthy showers. For your information, I’ve been very conservative."
Nick smiled. "Yeah, well we’ve got a flashing indicator here that says differently."
Tressa cast a glance at the pulsing light on the console, then made her way to her seat. "I can assure you that’s not my fault."
"No of course it’s not. It’s TiMar’s." Reaching overhead, he flipped a series of switches and waited for a cluster of lights to turn green.
"It appears to me," Tressa said as she settled into her chair, "that once again your immaturity is at fault."
"Is that right." He continued monitoring the controls.
"Yes. Did you ever stop to think that the cause of the low water supply might be all those cold showers you keep taking?" The instant the words were out Tressa regretted them.
His head came around with a slow grin, and she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was about to be had for lunch.
"You think that’s what I’ve been doing in there?"
With heat scorching her cheeks, Tressa looked away, refusing to respond.
Taking a cold shower is probably the least of your busy little activities behind a closed door. A silent voice added.
"Tressa? I asked if that’s what you--"
"I really don’t care what you do, Banner." Glancing down, she feigned sudden interest in her fingernails.
"Ah, but you’ve wondered, haven’t you?"
She ignored him.
There’s nothing to wonder about, flyboy.
"Haven’t you, Tressa?" he taunted. "You had it all figured out."
She slid him a retiring look.
He grinned. "Besides, why the devil would I be taking cold showers?"
Refusing to rise to the bait, Tressa began examining one particular fingernail with avid interest. "I couldn’t care less why," she mumbled beneath her breath.
"What was that? You say something?"
Without looking up she replied, "The low water supply is just another classic example."
"Your lack of self-control, of course."
You just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?
Tressa didn’t dare look at him. He was spoiling for a fight and she had just delivered the first punch.
And if you don’t stop, you’re going to find yourself out-gunned on a subject you’ll wish to stars you hadn’t opened.
"Ya wanna know what I was really doin’, Irish?"
Feigning boredom, she turned her sights to the small port window. "No thanks, Banner, you can keep the details to yourself."
"Allow me to satisfy your curiosity by enlightening you on several ways in which-"
"I’m not interested."
"But I’d be happy to educate you on some of the--"
"How much longer before we get there, do you think?" she asked, releasing a heavy sigh.
Satisfied and grinning, Nick turned back to the control panel. "Never challenge me, Irish--either directly or by insinuation--and particularly on a subject you know so precious little about." With a wink he added, "You’ll lose every time. I guarantee it."
Tressa didn’t respond, at last heeding the silent voice of reason.
5 Stars--Naomi of Fallen Angel Reviews
Banner's Bonus totally blew me away! I absolutely loved every page.
Linnea Sinclair--Award Winning Science Fiction Romance Author
What a wild ride! Futuristic romance fans will love the passion and adventure in Lee's Banner's Bonus. Nick Banner can swagger through the stars with the best of them!