Thursday, October 24, 2013

Strong is Sexy Heroine of the Week: Janel Canton

Book: A First Love Never Dies
Author: Margaret Taylor
Heroine: Janel Canton

 Janel Canton is Strong and Sexy for several reasons. First and foremost is her ability to survive on wits alone. All through High School, Janel was bullied mercilessly by her peers. She was taunted and beaten at every turn but managed to survive with her wits intact and joined the Government right after graduation. As an analyst her first assignment was to correlate and catalogue the number of women disappearing in the U.S. She discovered a pattern but was too good at her job and ended up being kidnapped from Earth and sold in the Flesh Markets of the Jaikalor Consortium.

She escaped and again survived the transition from owned property to free woman on her wits alone. Since then, she’s worked her way up to command a Long Hauler for the group known as Spi-Corp and along with some of her fellow Captains has created a Space Railroad of sorts that ferries rescued Human women wherever they wish to go in the Great and Grand Universe.

Janel Canton must be pregnant by the time Fleet Commander Pearson Acto catches up to her again and only one man will do for that. Her one true love, sexy Montana Sheriff Jake Reeves. But returning to Earth she finds he's still mourning his dead wife and has become very comfortable in the small-town life. Will introducing him to reality of the Universe be enough for him to move on to a new life?

Sheriff Jake Reeves never thought the nerdy girl he and his cronies picked on in High School would someday become a star ship captain capable of holding her own in just about any situation. But when he meets up with Janel again at their 20 year reunion, that's exactly what he finds! Gone is the nerdy little mouse that never fought back. In it's place, is a rough and tumble, no holds barred, drop-dead gorgeous woman who he's going to have one hell of a time not falling in love with...

They entered one of the far holds and she managed to shock him yet again. It looked like any of the other cargo areas he’d seen so far, but she walked over and pressed a hidden button. The farthest wall melted, fizzling away right in front of his eyes. Behind it was a group of women, four in all, seated around a table. They looked up, eyes going wide with fear until Janel spoke. “Easy girls, this is the man I was telling you about.”

They visibly relaxed and a tall, lanky blonde offered him a tentative smile. “Hi.”

She was beautiful, by any standards, and he could certainly see why the Consortium would have wanted her. At least 5’10”, the woman had high cheekbones, soft, porcelain white youthful skin and bright green eyes. 

He looked over the rest of the group. Two of the others were brunettes, tall like the first and the fourth was a creamy skinned African American. Janel took the initiative and made the introductions.

“Jake, this is Terry, Jenna, Sally and Alexia,” she said, indicating each in turn.

Terry was the blonde, Jenna and Sally the brunettes, leaving the African American, Alexia. The four women gave him tentative waves and he turned to Janel. “Where did they come from?”

She smiled, moving into the newly revealed room. She began picking up scattered bits of clothing from the floor. “They boarded in Penom,” she said, bundling the tattered remains under one arm as she went. “My sister ship, the Urmish rescued them from a caravan near the Tenturan system. They couldn’t make Alcantian space for any plausible reason, so,” she let the indication hang in the air. She stepped back to the side wall. “You girls get some rest. You’ll be safe soon.”

Now, everything made sense. Why she hadn’t been able to stay on Earth, why she’d been forced to bring him along, beyond just the healing of his shoulder!

“You had to meet them, didn’t you?”

She smiled and nodded slowly. “Yes. The Urmish had to continue on and the only time we could meet in Penom without raising any eyebrows, was when we did.”

She pressed the button on the wall and the holograph reappeared. Janel wrapped the bundle tighter under her arm and headed out of the hold. “I wanted you to see them Jake because I have a favor to ask.”

He stopped, turning her to face him as he spoke. “You want me to see the safely to Earth right?”

She chuckled, shaking her head. “No, the Alcantian’s will do that. What I want from you is to help them once you get home to find their families and re-acclimate to Earth.”

“But can’t you just wipe their memories? Like you would have done to me?”

She shook her head. “No, that’s not the way we typically do things. I want them to remember, they need to remember. They’ve had enough alterations done already. Help them, when you get back, come up with plausible explanations for their disappearances. Give them back the lives that were taken if you can. If you can’t, help them to build new ones.”

With that said, she turned and walked away, leaving him standing there. He didn’t follow. He needed a moment to assimilate it all.

Janel was turning out to be an entirely different person than he’d originally thought. Despite her words of a couple of days ago, she wasn’t bitter in the slightest about her youth. No, she was a much stronger, much better person than he’d given her credit for. She was risking her life, and from the sounds of it, her very soul to help women like the ones he’d just seen. Maybe not with every cargo run she made, but certainly when it counted the most.

He wondered if he’d have had the strength to survive what she had. Would he have been able to cope? Been able to deal with having his mind fucked with, having his entire life erased? He’d had a good, happy one – at least until Stella’s death – and the thought of losing those memories, losing those happy times made him shudder.

Janel’s early years hadn’t been so pleasant. No thanks to him, mind you, but still, she had wanted it back; had fought so hard against the alterations to her personality that it had only taken his face to break through it.
His face…

Wow…that was a big chunk of humility to swallow! She’d said it was only a close resemblance, but still, it was a pill that thumped its way down his throat instead of sliding smoothly.

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