Hold by Claire Kent
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romance, Science Fiction
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Amazon ♥ B & N
Find the strongest man there. Give yourself to him in return for protection. It’s the only way you’ll ever survive.
Convicted of a minor crime, Riana is sentenced to a prison planet—a dark primitive hold filled with convicts vying for power.
Her only chance of survival is with Cain, a mysterious loner who has won his territory in the prison through intelligence and brute strength. Sex is all she has to offer, so she uses it.
She’s under no delusions here. No one is ever released, and no one ever escapes. Survival is all she can hope for—until Cain.
An earlier version of this book was published under the same title and a different penname by Ellora’s Cave. It has since been substantially revised and expanded.
He’d leaned forward to cup his hands under the running water when he sucked in a sharp breath and stiffened suddenly.
Something about the way he moved told Riana something she should have known before. “Are you hurt?”
He didn’t answer. Didn’t even acknowledge the question as he leaned down toward the water again.
Instinctively, Riana got up and walked over to him. “Seriously, are you hurt? I should have asked before. Was it from the fight yesterday?”
“I’m not hurt,” he gritted out, reaching for a towel.
While he was distracted by drying his face, Riana pulled up the side of his t-shirt to expose the side he’d seem to favor a moment before. His entire side was a mass of ugly, purple bruises.
“My God. Cain. My God!”
He jerked away. “They’re bruises. Nothing to whine about.”
“They look horrible,” she said, trying to get his t-shirt pushed up more so she could see the extent of the damage. “Why didn’t you say anything? And you did all those exercises this morning. It must have hurt like hell.”
He gave her an unpleasant look. “Are you through?”
“No,” she said, too upset to even consider whether she was being wise to press her attention on him in this matter. “Can I see how bad it is?”
“I know some first aid. If you broke a rib or something—”
“I didn’t break a rib.”
But he didn’t object when she’d pushed his t-shirt up and then carefully pulled it off over his head. The bruising went from his left shoulder blade all the way down his side and forward toward his lower belly.
Riana brushed her fingers along the damage, wishing she could remember more of her medical training. “This must be why you didn’t want to fight just now.”
He tensed palpably. “I could have taken them easily.”
“I’m sure you could,” she assured him quickly. “I didn’t mean to imply you couldn’t.” She winced as she noticed a particularly dark bruise on his lower side. “But this looks terrible. Thorn did a number on you.”
Her voice had been gentle, but it was clearly the wrong thing to say—yet again. Cain stiffened and pulled away. “I promise he looks worse.” She blinked up at his closed-off face, and she realized he was still bristling with a wounded masculine ego.
Claire has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she's not writing, she teaches English at the university level.
She also writes romance novels under the penname Noelle Adams.