Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The System by Heather Lin (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to romance author, Heather Lin!

The Hero
by Heather Lin

Hello, everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Reading Between the Wines to promote my new science fiction romance novel, The System. It’s very different from anything I’ve had published so far, as I usually stay in the safety of relatively lighthearted contemporary romance, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

The System is a darker romance, taking place 600 years in the future and focusing on the relationship between Brody, a mercenary, and Capri, a prostitute, who both have painful pasts and uncertain futures. As their feelings begin to develop, Brody reacts with anger and resentment. He’s a hard, stoic man who has no intention of going soft for love. But, as is often the case, his heart doesn’t give him much of a choice, and eventually he has to give in.

When I wrote Brody, I knew he needed to be an alpha male, the Beast to my heroine’s Beauty. And he certainly is that. He has no problem threatening or lying to Capri, even handling her roughly once in a while in a fit of pain or passion. I love everything about him—the angst, the danger, the complexity. But as I wrote and edited the story, I did find myself wondering if his behavior would be a turn off to some people. Where does alpha end and destructive begin?

The truth is, I don’t know. I do know that, in the wild, alpha males have to fight for their position. They’re large and tough, and they have to be because they are constantly challenged. They take their females without much in the way of seduction or romance, but then they’ll turn around and fight to the death for them.

Brody possesses all of these qualities, good and bad. And all I can say for sure is—while I wouldn’t recommend one of my girlfriends seeking out a man like Brody to settle down with today—if we were in a different time, in a different world where life was harder and teeming with often unwanted action and adventure, I’d want a man like Brody on my side. And in my bed. ;)

What type of hero do you drool over? Wicked? Romantic? Debonair? Comment below to get in on the conversation!

And don’t forget—everyone who comments and leaves their e-mail address during the blog tour will be automatically entered to win a custom made bracelet engraved with a quote from The System. Winner to be announced on my blog September 1st!

Capri is an alluring young prostitute with a painful past; Brody is a ruthless mercenary for a crew of thieves from the spaceship Gypsy Lass. When he enters her brothel, the attraction between them is instant, electric, and too much for him to handle. After a robbery gone wrong, the crew takes Capri hostage, forcing her and Brody to remain in close quarters until they see fit to drop her on another planet.
But Capri's plight and the intense feelings between her and Brody turn out to be the least of their problems. Together—whether they like it or not—they uncover a secret no one in the whole System could have expected.

Excerpt (Unedited)

Year 564 after the Migration

Brody walked along a quiet street on the outskirts of New York on Earth one. A car zoomed by every few minutes. The newest ones were held aloft over the street by opposing magnetic charges; others were navigating themselves as the drivers fixed their hair or ate their lunch; and the cheapest ones necessitated the driver to attempt to handle the controls while fixing their hair or eating their lunch. He glanced over to admire a new Ford Mustang before opening the door to a small, neatly-kept building.
On the outside, it looked like a nice, upscale bar, but the inside would have shocked any upper-class drink connoisseur. There was loud yelling and catcalling, beer splashed out of mugs, and scantily-clad girls sat around, waiting for their turn to dance on poles. Brody grinned and rubbed a hand over the stubble of his chin. This was his kind of place.
"Good evening, sir." At the intrusion of the male voice, Brody tore his eyes away from the dancing girls. "Will you be needing service tonight?"
"Yeah, how much?" Brody replied to the short, well-dressed man.
"Depends on who you like. Sit down and have a drink." He smiled accommodatingly. "There isn't any hurry to decide."
Brody gave a short nod before heading to the bar. He watched the girls for a while, took in the scenery. There were older girls who were too faded for his liking and younger girls who were too fake. He was well into his second beer before he saw one that really made him want to open his wallet.
She was coming out of one of the side rooms, tugging a heavy-set, bald-headed man by his hand. They were laughing and chatting, and by the flush of their cheeks, they had just finished something hot and heavy. The girl was a young one, barely old enough to be called a woman, with a slim figure and long chestnut curls that were scattered with braids and beads. She must have felt Brody looking at her and met his gaze for a brief moment. Brody gave her a grin and signaled to the brothel's manager. He came over to the bar with the scheduling window already up on the screen in his hand.
"Have you come to a decision?"
"Yeah. That pretty brunette there." He waved a hand in the girl's direction.
"Capri. She's a very good choice. But I'm sorry to say that was her last customer. Our girls only take five per day. They need their rest. Would you like to choose another one or make an appointment for tomorrow?"
"I think I can handle another one, Guy," said an alluring female voice.
Capri had escorted her last customer to the exit before approaching the bar. The barkeep handed her a glass of water, and she kept her eyes locked on Brody as she took a sip, examining him, sizing him up. He was keenly aware of his unshaven face, ratty jeans, and the gun strapped securely to his hip. But he was unapologetic. He might not be one of her upper-class clients, but he had the money for her. For now, she was his, whether she liked him or not. And by the way she'd jumped to get his pay, he doubted she was fazed by his rough exterior.
"I like the looks of this one," was all she said to Guy by way of explanation before beckoning to Brody and heading back to her room.
"That'll be five hundred," the man told him.
Brody took out his wallet and opened it. A pocket on one side held blank cash cards and the other side held a small scanning device with a numbered keypad. He entered his password and the amount of money and swiped a card. Then he handed it to Guy and followed Capri into seclusion.
She was sitting on the edge of a double bed, her long, smooth legs crossed, waiting for him. Dark curls fell elegantly over the satin fabric of her red dressing gown, and her hazel eyes gleamed green in the overhead lighting. She was the image of perfection, and Brody could feel desire pulsing within him. He sat next to her and fingered the smooth fabric of her outfit.
"Red's my favorite color," he said.
"I'm glad you like it."
Capri smiled and reached up to touch his face. He sucked in a breath at the tender gesture.
"It's been a while for you, hasn't it?" she asked softly.
"Don't get the company of women much in my career."
"What career is that?"
"There ain't one in particular," he replied, trying to focus on what he was saying as her fingers traced the muscles of his chest and abdomen. "The crew I run with just does… sorta odd jobs."
"Sounds exciting," Capri murmured, raising her eyes to meet his. "So how about you tell me your name before we get started?"
"Shots," he answered.
"Is that your real name?"
"That's what the boys call me."
"Well, as you can see, I'm not one of the boys." She gestured to her modest, but all-too-appealing curves.
"Brody," he answered after a moment.
"Brody," she repeated softly, grasping the bottom of his shirt and sliding it up over his head.

Author Bio

Heather currently resides in Delaware with her loving husband and beloved cat. She began writing romance and erotica in 2008 and hasn't been able to keep her mind out of the gutter since. Like Heather Lin on Facebook or visit her blog at http://heatherlin88.blogspot.com/ for updates, talented guest bloggers, and the occasional piece of free fiction!


  1. Can I choose all of the above? Could you imagine a man with all those attributes? Wow, I wouldn't mind meeting him!
    Very interesting concept for the book! Sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway!
    hschrock24112 at yahoo dot com

  2. I love the reformed bad boy, Thanks Carin
    mawmom at gmail dot com

  3. I want a wicked, bad boy!!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

  4. I never knew until the last year how much I enjoy Sci-fi stories. This one does sound wonderful, As for heroes, I tend to lust after the wicked bad boys! They are so great in books, not so much in real life, lol.
    Congrats on the release.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com


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