Heart of the Spider's Web
TriSystems: Smugglers Book 1
by JC Hay
Metal Pig Press
Paranormal Romance: Science Fiction
September 8, 2020
Available in: e-Book
Sheri Tyler had a simple undercover assignment: work the docks at Nobu Station, monitor the illegal trade, and report everything back to Intelligence Command. Now a botched robbery has forced her to hide among a crew of smugglers and put her on the run from the Spider Queen, one of the TriSystem’s most dangerous crime lords. Worse, it’s left her working alongside a brooding security officer who reminds her of everything she shouldn’t desire.
Rayan Barr only wants three things: keeping his ship secure, his friends safe, and his pet goanna well-fed. None of those include overseeing a dockrat whose stories don’t add up, and who has a mad idea to sell their illegal cargo in one of the largest black markets in the Three Systems. Now his captain has demanded he keep a close watch on her, something his eyes are already all too eager to do.
Forced to rely on each other, Rayan and Sheri get pulled deeper into the Spider Queen’s web of deceit. And while Sherri might let Barr get a glimpse of the real her she’d kept hidden away, she also knows it’s only a matter of time before the lies she hides behind come crashing down. Without that protection, there’s no telling how badly they’ll both get hurt.
NOTE: This story was originally published in Pets in Space 4, and contains the prequel short story Bodyguard of Lies, from the 2019 Pets in Space teaser.
When I was younger, I watched this amazing animated series and then devoured the Jack McKinney novelizations. Somewhere along the way, I realized that the part I would discuss with my friends wasn't the cool technology, or the amazing action sequences --- I was pulled into the wonderful, painful love triangle between Lisa, Rick and Lynn Minmei. All that setting, and there is plenty, only mattered as to how it drove the characters together and apart. And thus an SFR aficionado was born. When I started writing seriously, I ended up all over the map. I dabbled in most of the speculative fiction genres with varying degrees of success, until I remembered the thing that really caught me about Robotech --- the coolest technology in the galaxy is worthless unless you have someone who cares about you to share it. So I started writing the stories I really wanted to read --- sweeping tales of galactic empires in decline, and love on the hardscrabble rim of civilization. Romance in both the classical and understood senses of the word, with brave, tough-as-nails women and the men determined to win their hearts. Hopefully, you'll find them as enjoyable as I do. JC Hay is an SFR Galaxy Award-winning author of Science Fiction Romance, a proud member of Romance Writers of America; the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal genre chapter; and the SFR Brigade (for fans and writers of Science Fiction Romance). He lives, writes, and knits in an outpost on the edge of habitable space, also known as the Northwest, and is a proud defender of the Oxford comma.