Please join me in welcoming Rachel Leigh Smith to the LAM blog! ~~~~~~
My Name Is A’yen is set in the far distant future, after humanity has spread through the stars and encountered another species, the Lokmane. Out of fear, humanity enslaved them and so succeeded in wiping out the past that the Lokmane don’t believe there was ever a time they were free and had a home.
A’yen, the main character, also believes this. As a slave, and a male of his species, he can’t afford to dream like that. Humans are afraid of him due to his size and strength. Lokmane men always top six feet in height, and they’re telepathic. Though most of them aren’t able to use it.
He’s not a big fan of clothes. Neither are the other Lokmane males. Starting at the age of 18 and broken up into three sets, they’re covered with metallic ink tattoos to provide humans with an easy way of controlling them. Because of how their bodies process electromagnetic energy, the tattoos, called markings, are torture to endure. Both having it done, and living with it.
Unfortunately, going around half-naked is dangerous for a Lokmane male. A’yen prefers wearing cotton shorts and soft t-shirts when he has to get dressed. In his ideal world, he never has to wear a shirt. He’s not fond of shoes either, since one of the marking sets covers the tops of his feet.
His heroine, Fae Hart, is an archaeologist. She’s almost always in cargo pants, boots, and loose, breathable shirts. Since he’s helping her on her dig, and they’re on an unexplored planet, he’s wearing the same things. Much to his dismay.
A’yen has lived most of his life in pain, so his clothing choices are designed to lessen it as much as possible. It’s something I have personal experience with, unfortunately.
The excerpt I’ve chosen is one where he’s stripped down to go swimming. And he can’t help thinking about Fae. Though at this point in the story, he doesn’t really like her.
Bio: Rachel Leigh Smith was swept off her feet at the age of six by Magnum, P.I., then again at nine by Frank Hardy. She remembers her favorite romance novels by the hero’s name, so of course she writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family, a half-crazed calico, a ginger tabby lion, and a menagerie of book boyfriends.
www.rachelleighsmith.com www.facebook.com/rachelleighsmithauthor www.instagram.com/rlsauthor www.pinterest.com/rachelleighgeek www.goodreads.com/author/show/8425584.Rachel_Leigh_Smith
They've taken everything from him. Except his name.
The Loks Mé have been slaves for so long, freedom is a distant myth A'yen Mesu no longer believes. A year in holding, because of his master's murder, has sucked the life from him. Archaeologist Farran Hart buys him to protect her on an expedition to the Rim, the last unexplored quadrant of the galaxy.
Farran believes the Loks Mé once lived on the Rim and is determined to prove it. And win A'yen's trust. But she's a breeder's daughter and can't be trusted.
Hidden rooms, information caches, and messages from a long-dead king change A'yen's mind about her importance. When she's threatened, he offers himself in exchange, and lands on the Breeders Association's radar. The truth must be told. Even if it costs him his heart.
He kicked back again, eyes closed, and Dr. Hart’s face filled his mind. For the first time, he didn’t shove it away. Instead, he ignored the fact she owned him. Still couldn’t bring himself to think of her as mistress. To him, the word was intimate, symbolic of a relationship they didn’t have. Without doubt she was one of the most beautiful women he’d ever seen. In a playful, impish sort of way. Her nickname fit.
What would it be like to kiss her? He didn’t shove that thought aside either. Full lips begged to be teased, tasted to their fullest. Her green eyes, almost too big for her face, captivated him. Whether he was ready to voice it or not. So deep, almost mysterious. Glossy black hair with just the right amount of wave. How would it feel on his skin?
A physical attraction like this wasn’t unusual for him, or the other Loks Mé men he’d talked to over the years. Fantasizing was safe. No one got hurt this way. It was acting on it that broke hearts and families.
Which meant he needed to stop it now before the urge to act on it became a need and ruined everything. He’d acted on his attraction to Tala without getting to know her first. Not a mistake he needed to repeat with someone he was likely stuck with for the rest of his life.
On the other hand, Mother was right. He had to let her in, show her he wasn’t a smart-ass all the time, that he could accept her authority. If he didn’t give a little and show her he could be obedient and respectful, she’d never give him even an inch of freedom. He’d spend the rest of the journey locked in their quarters, bored out of his skull. Not be allowed to explore the planet where he’d tasted the closest thing to total freedom any Loks Mé had ever known.
Before he could change her expectations, first he had to meet them.
Easier said than done.