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Zhiruto (Audiobook)

Zhiruto (Audiobook)

Kirenai Fated Mates (Intergalactic Dating Agency), Book 2

Experience the sizzling dynamics of 'Zhiruto,' where a headstrong policewoman meets an alien shapeshifter who believes fate has brought them together. As she sets out to prove him wrong, sparks and tempers flare. Narrated by Stephen Borne, his compelling voice perfectly captures the intensity of their entangled fates.

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Main Tropes

  • Aliens on Earth
  • Cultural Misunderstandings
  • Adorable Animal Companion
  • Reluctant Romance
  • Mystery/Adventure
  • Giggle-worthy Humor

Synopsis

Officer Lora Griffin only volunteered for the alien dating auction to help raise money for the animal shelter—she has no interest in kissing little green men. But when her date dissolves into a puddle of goo, she’s thrown into an investigation with a new partner who isn’t slimy or tentacled—he’s seven feet of solid blue muscle, and it's hard to remain focused under his panty-melting stare…

Zhiruto is hot on the trail of an interstellar assassin, and the last thing his people need now are diplomatic blunders. To help avoid cultural misunderstandings, he enlists the assistance of a sharp-tongued, captivating human female who appears to have the ear of the local authorities. But as he and Lora work together on the case, he finds himself drawn towards the fiery female for more than just help. He wants her.

The problem is, she wants nothing to do with him. Can he break down her walls and ignite the sparks between them before duty calls him back to his home planet?

Filled with humor, heart, and plenty of heat, this story will tickle the funny bone of readers who enjoy their science fiction with a generous side of laughter and love.

Intro Into Chapter One

Lora poured two glasses of champagne and offered one to the blue-skinned man sitting across from her at the table. Stars glittered overhead, and a few couples were dancing in front of the stage where a live band played. She had to give Georgie credit—the alien charity auction had so far been a success, raising more money for the animal shelter than all the previous fundraisers combined. She also had to admit that her worry about being set up on a date with a big-eyed, six-tentacled alien from Area 51 had been unfounded.

Every alien at the auction was positively scrumptious—if they even were aliens. She still had her doubts, though their blue skin looked amazingly realistic.

Extraterrestrials had supposedly landed in Beijing several decades ago. They’d showed off for the cameras, talked to a few dignitaries, then disappeared without a trace. Most people believed the visit had been a hoax, but Lora’s friend Georgie insisted this Intergalactic Dating Agency thing was legit. Then again, Georgie’s mom used to tell stories about being abducted. Whatever. Lora was willing to go along with the cosplay to make money for the shelter.

Her date wore a navy blue suit and looked like a broad-shouldered member of the Blue Man Group, bald head and all. However, his stoic silence was giving her a bit of a creepy vibe.

“So, have you been to Earth before?” she asked, trying to initiate alien small talk. She pushed one of the champagne flutes toward him, wrapping Pepper’s leash tighter around her free hand. She regretted bringing the gangly Redbone Coonhound along—the guy couldn’t seem to take his attention off the dog.

Her date turned his gaze to her, his eyes a solid black that was hard to get used to. “No.”

A piercing scream erupted at a table behind her.

At almost the same moment, her date’s body seemed to quiver. Not like someone with a chill or even a person with palsy—he actually quivered, like his body was made of Jell-o. Then he collapsed inward, reduced to a glob of glistening blue slime in the seat of his chair.

Lora gaped, then stood to pull the hem of her crimson ball gown out of the way of the gelatinous sludge rolling off the seat toward her. Oh, hell no. Georgie had promised there would be no slime.

Her date—or what was left of him—landed on the grass with a plop.

More screams were coming from other tables, and she glanced around, heart pounding fast and hard. Everywhere she turned, blue-skinned aliens were dissolving. A white poodle darted past, dragging its leash. A woman ran after it shouting, “They must have death rays!”

Most of the alien guests had looked like blue humans, but the two gray aliens with horns and wings now perched on the stage several yards away. Now one of them flew upward—actually flew!—and batted something from the sky. 

Lora gaped, all doubt about these being real aliens dispelled.

A drone smashed to the ground several yards away. A small red light blinked from its underside and letters on one of the rotor arms spelled Mini2. That’s not a death ray. Just some amateur trying to get footage of the soirée. And definitely not the cause of disintegrations. So who was attacking them and from where?

She turned a full circle, looking for a shooter as she dug out the cell phone she’d stashed in the bodice of her gown. She knew she shouldn’t have listened to Georgie’s insistence that a police uniform didn’t fit the theme for participants in the dating auction. Trying to keep her curious dog from burying her nose in alien goo, she called dispatch.

An automated voice said, “All circuits are busy. Please try your call again later.”

“Fuck.” She shoved the phone back into her bodice and watched as women in ball gowns tripped over toppled chairs, loose pets, and each other in their need to flee.

Towering well above the crowd, a singular set of broad blue shoulders and flowing navy colored hair was moving toward the park’s fountain. He appeared to be the only surviving blue alien at the party. Was he responsible for the attack—or trying to escape it?

Cursing silently at her four-inch heels, she followed him, threading between the abandoned tables. Pepper wanted to stop and sniff every toppled chair and discarded napkin, and she was forced to yank on the lead to make her obey. “Pepper, heel, or so help me—”

Overhead, a pair of helicopters came into view, spotlights panning the tables as they descended to the lawn behind the stage. Someone must’ve gotten the word to the authorities. But her intuition was tingling about the blue alien she’d seen fleeing.

She hurried along the path toward the fountain, following the string of lights hung between poles to make the evening more romantic. Poor Georgie must be beside herself over what was happening to her premier event.

Pepper spotted a loose dog and veered off the path, trying to drag Lora with her. Lora’d enrolled her in obedience school and had been training her to track scents, but the dog was willful beyond belief. “Damnit, not now.” Lora gritted her teeth, keeping firm hold of the leash.

She looked back up to find the blue alien striding toward her. He was tall, towering over her despite the added height of her pumps. Suddenly realizing she had no weapon, no cuffs, not even a radio to call for help, she held up one palm. “Springfield Police Department. Freeze.”

He stopped a few steps away. His well-muscled chest was bare, narrow hips clothed in blue jeans, and the light stubble of a beard dusted his jaw.

Her mouth went dry. She couldn’t tell where his solid black eyes were focused, but despite the chaos around them, it felt like he was undressing her with his gaze. Unbidden curiosity about how that stubble might feel against the tender flesh of her thighs filled her. Wrong moment, wrong guy, Lora. But damn if he wasn’t the sexiest man—alien or otherwise—she’d ever laid eyes on.

Curious as always, Pepper surged forward to greet the stranger.

The sudden change in trajectory made Lora stumble, ankle twisting in her heels. The leash was yanked from her grip and she tumbled forward, hands out to catch herself.

The alien somehow averted the dog and managed to catch Lora before she crashed to her knees. His big hands were warm on her bare arms, his naked blue chest right at eye level. Damn. He was ripped. He even smelled sexy, like warm spices with a hint of leather. Her knees suddenly felt weak from more than just the tumble she’d almost taken.

She lifted her gaze to meet his glittering dark eyes and swallowed. Stand up, you idiot. But her legs felt too wobbly to hold her weight.

“You are injured,” he said. His voice had a smoky depth that shot straight to her core.

What was wrong with her? This guy was turning her into a slobbering idiot. At least he didn’t seem to intend her any harm.

“I’ll be fine. I just need to take these shoes off.” Still leaning on his arm, she slid her injured foot out of the pump. But when she tried to put weight on it to remove her other shoe, pain rocketed through her ankle. She fell to one knee on the grass.

Pepper took that as in invitation to play and barreled into her, knocking her flat onto the ground. “Pepper, no! Stop.”

God, could this be more embarrassing? She wrapped one arm around Pepper’s neck to keep her under control and managed to push herself up to her knees, trying not to think about the grass stains she was probably getting on her expensive dress.

The alien suddenly stiffened, and she thought she was about to see another guy turn into goo. Instead, he lifted his arm, and a semi-transparent screen appeared above his wrist, just like in a sci-fi movie. Another alien’s blue face floated in the air, speaking a language Lora didn’t understand.

Then she heard a familiar voice. “Lora! Are you okay?”

“Georgie?” Lora let go of Pepper and grabbed the alien’s outstretched arm, dragging herself upright onto her good foot. “Where are you?”

The big blue man frowned and pulled his arm from her grasp so the screen once more faced him. After a few more words with the other alien, the screen disappeared.

Lora reached for his arm again. “That was my friend! What have you done with her? What’s going on?”

The alien tilted his head, as if taking a moment to understand. This close, she saw his eyes weren’t completely black, but deep blue with no whites. His nose was slightly crooked, as if it had been broken at some point. “Your friend is safe. She’s with Prince Arazhi.”

“Prince?” Lora gaped. “What prince? What’s going on?” She took a hobbling step forward and gritted her teeth against the pain lancing through her ankle.

Without warning, the alien swept her into his arms and strode toward the stage where the helicopters could be heard winding down. “Someone tried to assassinate the crown prince. I must find out who.”

Lora clung to his neck. She wasn’t exactly a small woman, but he carried her as if she weighed nothing. Before she could ask more questions, a man’s voice called out, “Hey! You! Come with us.”

Twisting her neck, she spotted a pair of men in black suits approaching along the path ahead. Probably Feds. And here she was being carried like a damsel in distress. The guys at the precinct were going to have a heyday when they heard about it.

She patted the alien’s shoulder. “Put me down, please.”

He hesitated, gaze concentrated on the men, then gently set her on her feet.

Keeping her weight on her good ankle, she reached into her bodice to retrieve her badge. “Springfield P—”

“Gun!” The shorter man shouted, drawing his pistol.

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