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Mechele Armstrong
Settler's Mine 1: The Rivals

Publisher · Loose Id
Release Date · July 2007
eBook ISBN · 978-1-59632-494-7
Print ISBN-10 · 1596328150
Print ISBN-13 · 978-1596328150
Genre · SF/Futuristic
Length · Novel Plus

Orion and Balt, rival bounty hunters, unexpectedly meet up on Settler's Mine to bring in a woman, Layla, whose retrieval will set up the finder for life. It's a race to see who will find her first.

Layla, who's not what she appears, is hiding in plain sight, but it takes a while for them to recognize her. When they do, they are stunned to find their heartstones glowing, marking them all as mates. All three of them.

Now Orion and Balt must learn to work together if there is any hope of saving Layla from both a rich, ruthless man and their government. They must also learn to accept each other as the threesome they were always meant to be.

Welcome to Settler's Mine, where rivals become mates...


Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices, m/m/f ménage.

Settler's Mine 1: The Rivals

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Reviews and Awards

5 Enchantments! "I was shocked at how addicted I've become with this book. It caught me by surprise at how amazing the storyline is. And also how much I love the banter and romance between these characters. This story will definitely keep you intrigued to the very end. The readers will be captivated and just as anxious as me, waiting restlessly for the next book in this amazing new series.

Ms. Armstrong, author of the "BloodLines" series, bring us a new book soon to become a smash hit series. Once again, Ms. Armstrong brings us another captivating tale of romance, suspense and plenty of action."
—Anya, Enchanting Reviews

5 Nymphs! "Mechele Armstrong has written a wonderful story filled with action, hot erotic scenes, and characters that make you drool, laugh, and smile. The Rivals was a wonderful change from the normal polyamorous stories, and I'm looking forward to the next book in this fascinating series."
—Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs

4 Stars! "Two bounty hunters after the same woman are the catalyst for a rollicking planetary adventure. Vibrant characters, witty dialogue and dangerous situations will have you laughing one minute and biting your nails the next. The passion between the characters provides some very steamy sex scenes, including M/M, M/F/M, oral, anal and double penetration. Armstrong's tale succeeds as an entertaining start to a new series."
—Gail Pruszkowski, Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

4 Stars and O Rating! "What a great story Settler's Mine 1: The Rivals turned out to be. The idea of heartstones pulsing with light when a truly mated couple finds each other was both creative and fantastic. What I would not give to own a heartstone and actually have it work. Orion and Balt handled the situation of being mated head on, as they did everything else in life. Their relationship started off a little tricky, but having Layla there to diffuse any uprising was beneficial. The characters were likable and it was easy for me to relate to the personal and professional drama that made up the story. [...] It had intense dreams, sexual gratification, exciting action and an overall great plot. I'm more than pleased that I had the opportunity to read such a fabulous story and I anxiously await the next installment. Congratulations to Ms. Armstrong on a job well done."
—Suni Farrar, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

"Mechele Armstrong creates a sizzling jaunt into space. I think this story is incredible, and I look forward to more in the future."
—Rosemary, Joyfully Reviewed

4 Angels! "First, let me say that Settler's Mine 1: The Rivals is an intense story with sexual tension thick enough to cut with a knife! Ms. Armstrong's universe is diverse and entertaining complete with alien species, technology and magical heartstones... basically a blast to read about. [...] I for one am anxiously awaiting the next in the series hoping for more interesting species, mates and of course sizzling sex."
—Trang, Fallen Angel Reviews

FAR Recommended Read4 Blue Ribbons! "Thrilling action and heated passion are found in Mechele Armstrong's latest science fiction romance, THE RIVALS, the first book in the new series called, SETTLER'S MINE. Wonderfully compelling characters share an amazing chemistry and burn up the pages in this fascinating erotic adventure. Suspense builds, leading to some amazing action as danger surrounds the three main characters."
—Anita, Romance Junkies

5 Enchantments! "I was shocked at how addicted I've become with this book. It caught me by surprise at how amazing the storyline is. And also how much I love the banter and romance between these characters. This story will definitely keep you intrigued to the very end. The readers will be captivated and will be just as anxious as me, waiting restlessly for the next book in this amazing new series.

Mechele Armstrong, author of "Bloodlines", bring us a new book soon to become a smash hit series. Once again, Ms. Armstrong brings us another captivating tale of romance, suspense and plenty of action."
—Anya, Enchanting Reviews

4 ½ Lips "I found myself by turns at the edge of my seat, flushed from passion and heart-broken by the suspense, passion and love that these three share. From the very beginning I got a clear sense of the budding love and passion between Layla, Orion and Balt and it was very satisfying to see them come together in such explosive passion as a true ménage. The Rivals is a great beginning for a series and I hope we get to see more of this universe. Get yourself The Rivals when you go shopping, you will find this wonderful universe and the characters irresistible!"
—Bella, Two Lips Reviews

"THE RIVALS is a fantastic example of what can come about when an author is skilled at blending action, adventure, danger and erotic romance in a world of sci-fi. This book demonstrates perfectly why series are great things, you get to know a lot more about the characters and the world they live in and there's no end-of-book disappointment that it's all over. Way to go Mechele!"
—Lori Ann, RRTErotic


Excerpt

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Copyright © 2007 Mechele Armstrong

Reaching Balt's quarters, he knocked on the door.

"Who is it?" Balt's voice sounded as if it were nails pounding on metal.

"Me." That would annoy the other man.

Balt opened the door. "Who the fuck is me?"

"As if you wouldn't know my voice." Orion pushed into the room.

Balt locked the door behind him. His quarters were carved out of the rock of mine, just as all the rooms were. Incandescent lights hung out of the stone ceiling. Balt's quarters were deeper within the mine and chillier as a result.

Balt reached over to pat his ass. "True. I'd know it anywhere." He patted Orion's right cheek.

The cheek clenched under Balt's hand. Things seemed slick between the cheeks from the earlier screwing. Good sensations spiraled through Orion as he remembered. Now their encounter would be with Layla. They had time and would show her they could be together. Anticipation rolled through him.

"If I didn't, all I'd have to do is ask to see your cock. I'd know that anywhere." Balt waggled his brows at Orion, who turned as if he were going to pull his cock out.

Orion stopped when his gaze turned to Layla.

She sat on the bed, her legs folded up under her. Her padding had disappeared. She held her head in a regal arc as though she were royalty.

Damn if the bed wasn't bigger than his or Layla's.

"Goddess. You look pleased with yourself." He couldn't take his eyes from her.

She did, looking as though shadows had lifted from her face.

And her eyes met his.

Purple eyes.

Captivating eyes, which held both men in their stead. The slight hint of sadness, which had never seemed to leave them, had diminished.

They'd banished her sorrow for a little while. Good. It might return but at least they had this time together.

She'd taken off all the vestiges of Besela to become Layla. The Layla who was their mate. The only thing that remained of her disguise was the make-up she'd used, which would last a few weeks more. He still couldn't get over the elaborateness of the Coronian look she'd possessed.

His gaze swept across her, taking in the beauty who would soon be his banquet. She would be a delicacy to Balt and he would savor. She wore a tunic dress, which matched her eyes and must be one of her own instead of Besela's because it fit her though she wasn't wearing padding anymore. Her stance grew more prideful as she noticed his admiration.

"I like you without the padding."

"I like me, too. Just myself. Without any disguises. I'm hardly used to it, though." A shy smile graced her lips. "I'm glad you do, too."

Had she still worried he wouldn't like her looks because he'd been attracted to her as Besela? It was the woman under the looks he wanted. They were the trimmings on such a wonderful package. He admired her strength and fire. He'd reassured her once. Time to do it again. "I do."

She brushed a hand lightly through her hair. "What now?"

Orion moved to her side. "Whatever you want, love." He took her hand and kissed it, lingering over her sweet taste and scent. His tongue grazed the pad between her thumb and forefinger. He nipped it. His tongue licked across the spot. Her hand jerked with a shiver, but she didn't pull it back. He released it as his tongue reached back where it had started. That was only the beginning. He'd taste all of her before he was through. He couldn't wait.

"Well…" She bit her lip, scraping her teeth across it. "I think both of you are wearing way too many clothes."

That they were. All of them. And getting naked seemed as if it were a fine idea.

"I like the way she thinks." Balt reached up to the top of his shirt.

"Ah, but I think you two should undress each other. Since you've worked out all the kinks."

Orion heard the bedspread rustle as she moved around on the mattress. He chanced to look and saw her kick her legs out from under her to recline on her side. He wanted to run his tongue down her side. She looked delectable.

Balt's arms dropped away from his shirt. "You don't want all my kinks out. They're way too much fun."

Orion moved over toward Balt. "I'd have to agree on his kink. Let's keep those. For fun." He couldn't wait to see Balt unveiled. Hard to believe it hadn't been that long since the shuttle. Orion wanted him again, along with his desires for Layla. And this time, they'd all get what they wanted.

"Whatever. Just get undressed." Her voice lilted upward as if in expectation.

It was a test. A test to see if they could actually work together to be with her.

Orion would pass it.


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