Release Date: March 31, 2009
From the Cover: Kiera Smith wants one thing out of life -- to be normal. But stronger, faster, smarter, and more impervious to damage than her brethren, Kiera is a genetically engineered person unlike any others.
As a special agent she's been assigned to protect the indigenous Buri race from the none-too-honorable conglomerate Dynatec. And it's just the challenge she's been looking for: take down the largest independent trade company in the Galactic Federation and save a race of aliens from extinction, while resisting the advances of the handsome Buri leader.
Kiera Smith is a GEP working for Alien Affairs and Dr. Daniels, and the worst nightmare of the conglomerate, Dynatec. Nothing sticks to that company, they're like Teflon, that is until Kiera is assigned to the planet they're trying to appropriate, Orpheus Two. And they're doing it legally, according to Chapter Twenty of the Galactic Federation edict. The indigenous race occupying the planet will die out within one hundred cycles (one hundred Earth years) and by rights, Dynatec can claim the planet as their own. It's Kiera's job to make sure that the problem can't be prevented and that the Buri race is not used or destroyed. She only has two short months to accomplish this goal.
Max, her Articially Intelligent ship and Crigo, her massive rock cat, will be her only assistants. There is no time for anthropologists to arrive on Orpheus Two to help with speech, customs, and rituals. She have to rely of her wits, and thanks to Dr. Simon Gertz, her creator, she has genetic enhancements that other GEP's can only dream of. She's intelligent with psi abilities that include empathic awareness and she's almost indestructible, only a shot to the head or heart can kill her. The information she has about the Buri and Orpheus Two is what Dynatec has turned over to Alien Affairs and she can bet it's been tainted. To make matter worse, an old enemy has joined Dynatec's crew, Captain Frisk accompanied by Quilla Dorn, clone and GEP megamillionaire.
The Buri are a magnificently exotic race with hair and eye that match, dense bone structure, and larger than average height making her six foot body look 'normal', her one true desire. Orpheus Two is a tropical paradise teaming with spectacular wildlife such as the colorful little dragon birds that would rival other planets, but this cannot be Dynatec's reason for trying to acquire it, what's so valuable and unique? One of the Buri in particular has caught Kiera's eye, Thor, the leader is even more extreme than the others. There are only 70 Buri left on the planet and if there is any chance of saving them, she has to figure out how to make their females more reproductive to continue life on this beautiful planet.
When she arrives in Buri village, she spots Thor. There is almost an instant connection to the man. He is equally entranced with Kiera, legend has it that Thor's mind bond mate will have hair as golden as the sun. Kiera's own lovely locks are as blonde as a sun goddess. Almost all the Buri are enthralled by Kiera's appearance and when they see how fast she can heal, all agree she will be the next Shushanna (healer and one with the Lamatti) and mate to Thor. Unfortunately, the Buri neglect to tell Kiera this fact until after the marriage has taken place and bonding with Thor is consummated. The only way to release the bond is by death. Kiera knows she will never harm Thor, the one man that has made her whole.
There are many question that need Kiera's attention. What is Dynatec after? Why Orpheus Two and the Buri? How will she save them? Will they survive Dynatec's occupation?
Katherine Allred has created a magical world full of mystery and suspense. The heroine is an ass-kicking hard as nails agent, but soft in all the right places. The hero, Thor, is a leader willing to sacrifice all to save his people and his love. You almost become part of this new world of the Galactic Federation as you move through her pages. There many other stories waiting to emerge, the story of Claudia and Ghost has yet to be told, Churka (Thor's sister) and her mate, as well as Kiera's role in Buri history as Thor's mate and Shushanna, and I'm sure Dynatec is just taking a breather. This novel was a page turner from start to finish that grabbed your attention from page one and left you looking at the last page wondering if that was all. Close Encounters is paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and scifi all rolled up in one great book. I highly recommend this book for all those who seek adventure, action, and romance that will knock your socks. If you'd like more information on Katherine Allred's new book, Close Encounters, check out her website or Eos Books, both are good sites for great reads. Katherine Allred also writes contemporaries under the name Kathy Allred and Amethyst Ames (some look to be paranormal under this name as well). She also has Book Two complete and in editing, and researching Book Three of An Alien Affairs Series.
Here's a peek at the new trailer for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: