Intergalactic Agent Bride by Loretta Johns
Being promoted to detective in the New Hope Protectorate Bureau was an achievement I was proud of. It had taken a lot of hard work and dealing with a lot of sexism, even in this day and age. I loved my assignment to Illegal Imports and Exports Control at Huachuca Landing Field, a small spaceport terminal on the grounds of the former military post from the pre-Drowned World days. A fair bit of the old post was now underwater and had been among the first of the cleanup efforts our alien friends helped us accomplish. This meant I got to enjoy scuba diving and sailing the pristine waters of Huachuca Bay while not busy checking imports of and exports for contraband.
Imagine my surprise when I’m assigned to help track down the missing District Commissioner and the group of underground bunker folks that made it off-world after the killing that shocked the world. No one had even known that this bunker had existed until recently, and they were the first people to be still living in them for over a hundred years, which had been sensational enough, to begin with. The pressure is on, as the case has caught the public imagination. Not enough pressure? The Paethian Royal family is now involved, and the Paethians have been given the lead on the case. I find myself heading out into deep space to work with some cotton candy-colored vampire whose markings begin to deepen, apparently from just meeting me. He makes my arm itch, too, and what’s with him licking his hand before shaking mine?
The royal wedding is in seven days. Seven! I’ve been asked to retrieve the mother of the humans marrying our King and his brother in the double wedding and bring her back in time to attend the said ceremony. That wouldn’t be too demanding, except for one tiny detail. No one knows where she is, seeing as she was kidnapped by the Bunker Killers, as the tabloid press has dubbed them. I have a lead, though, but it’s one that presents its own set of problems. Sa’Shawna Station is in the Neorjokno Commonwealth’s sector of space, not ours. Oh, and to reach there, I have to cross disputed space rife with all kinds of travelers, including Freebooters.
Not complicated enough? My bosses in the SCIS have decided we should give the humans a role in the investigation and retrieval, in the spirit of co-operation. I don’t mind that one bit as it’s a good idea. The detective they select is well trained enough, albeit not experienced in this type of crime. Did I mention the Freebooters and having to cross contested space and going to a space station in another government’s region? Well, now I have the added pressure of discovering my mate and taking her into this danger while my biological clock starts ticking like a veritable time bomb. I need to claim her, keep us from being eaten by space cannibals, captured by slavers, or blown into smithereens by heavier armed smugglers, find the King’s mother-in-law, catch the murdering criminals who kidnapped her, and do it all before the seven days are up. No pressure at all, right?
This is an alien warrior, fated mates romance with a HEA.