Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he’s ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters.
What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is a fae with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries – among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.
“I just got into town a few months ago. I’m a novelist and I’m scouting out the area to write about.” Rhys picked up his martini glass.
“Oh? Anything I might have read?”
“I don’t know. What do you like to read?” As he sipped his drink, Rhys studied Aaron with his deep-blue eyes.
Aaron wrinkled his nose. “That was dumb of me. Mostly, I like fantasy, science fiction, and mystery.”
“Then, maybe. I’ve written a young adult series about the fae.” Rhys’s eyes went distant, a strange, introspective expression replacing the more animated one. Aaron wondered if he had somehow hit on a raw nerve, though he couldn’t imagine how. “Too bad there was a need to put in a romantic subplot for the teens.”
“Well, it is young adult. I think that’s expected.”
Rhys gave another nod, smiling wryly in agreement. “I write under the name S.G. Evans.”
“I think I’ve read one of those. It’s about the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, right?”
“That’s them.” Rhys took a drink of his martini. “Your turn.”
“Grad student at Pitt. I’m studying physiology. I wanted to be a doctor, went to the Army to pay for it, and ended up a medic. Things went sideways from there.” Aaron gestured with his prosthetic hand and Rhys’s blue eyes widened. “Ah, you didn’t expect it to move.” Aaron grinned.
Rhys studied the transhumeral prosthesis Aaron sported, obviously amazed, awe in every word. “No, I did not.”
“I’m in a program working with myoelectrics, and this arm is part of it.” Aaron moved his fingers.
“How does it work?” Rhys leaned closer.
Aaron didn’t mind bragging about his arm. “There are electrodes under my skin that talk to the arm. I think about moving the arm, and it moves. I’m still learning all the intricacies. I’m working on the physiology aspect as part of my doctoral work.” He couldn’t contain his excitement as he explained, his mechanical fingers clenching and unfurling as he showed off.
“That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” Rhys reached over and touched the prosthetic hand.
Aaron wiggled his thumb. “Isn’t it?”
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Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.