Galactic Nuptials Book One
Galactic Nuptials finds mates for species living in the Federation of Planets. They offer monetary incentives to lure young women into leaving their home planets to find love. Each prospective mate has ninety days to decide if their new home is right for them.
Caleigh Davis is struggling to raise her younger brother alone. The last thing she expects is for him to sign her name to a contract with a mail-order bride agency.
Andon and Tarik of the Castir Clan have tried to lure a mate to their home on Kilara twice before. Tarik doesn’t want to risk his heart a third time, so Andon doesn’t tell him when he contracts with Galactic Nuptials for a wife from Earth.
With so much deception, can the three of them find love before Caleigh’s trial period runs out?
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A small white paper lying on the floor caught her attention. “Kevin!” When he didn’t answer she dropped the empty containers onto the table and started down the hall. “Kevin, get in here.”
Continued silence told her he wasn’t home. For the past six years, since her mother’s death, she’d had the responsibility of raising her younger brother. Their father had walked out before Kevin was born, and they hadn’t heard from him since. She’d given up her plans for college and settled into a receptionist’s job to support him. Taking a deep breath, she turned back toward the living room and grimaced. She was tired of coming home to chaos. The day Kevin turned eighteen she was going to make some hard decisions.
Caleigh was closing up the garbage bag when she heard the front door open. Grimly, she tied off the bag and hurried to confront her wayward sibling. She found him in the living room where he’d collapsed onto the sofa and switched on the television. Stubbornly, she walked over and turned off the movie he’d begun to watch.
“Hey, I’m watching that.”
“Did you have a party here today?” she asked.
Kevin snorted. “No, I’d hardly call having Benny over a party.”
“You told me you were going on a couple of job interviews today. What happened?”
“We went, and then we got hungry so we came here for some lunch.” He shrugged. “Nobody ever hires you the same day you apply. They always say they’ll call you.”
“I cleaned up quite a little picnic here. Who bought lunch?”
Kevin looked over at the dark television screen. “Benny treated us.”
Caleigh narrowed her eyes. “You’re lying, baby brother.” She pulled the receipt out of her pocket and threw it toward him. “You forgot to get rid of this.” Her fists clenched at her sides as she watched him grab for the small white paper. “How dare you use my credit card without asking?”
“You told me to use it if I needed it. Wasn’t that why you left it in the kitchen drawer?”
“For emergencies only, Kevin. I hardly think feeding your deadbeat friends falls into that category.” She held the credit card up in her hand. “Don’t bother to look for it again because I’m keeping it with me from now on.”
“Fine, take your damn card. I’ll get my own.”
She smirked, shaking her head. “I think you’ll find a job is a prerequisite for getting credit.” Sighing, she moved away as he turned the television back on. Ignoring him, she walked over and picked up the mail. Flipping through the envelopes her heart sank. There were so many bills and so little money. Her salary barely covered the payments and their small apartment.
She pulled one of the envelopes out that caught her eye. “Galactic Nuptials,” she mumbled. “What the hell is this?” Frowning, she checked again to make sure her name was on the front before she ripped it open and scanned the letter inside. Smothering a laugh, she read through it a second time more thoroughly.
“What is it?” Kevin asked, turning down the volume on the television.
Shaking her head, Caleigh grinned at him. “A mistake.” She glanced down at the letter. “Dear Ms. Davis. It’s our pleasure to inform you that your application to Galactic Nuptials has been approved, and a possible mate has been found. All that is necessary to move forward in meeting your life-mate is to schedule an interview and the mandatory medical physical. Please call our office at the number listed below to set up an appointment as soon as possible. We look forward to working with you to place you with your ideal life’s mate. Sincerely, Tarooka Meekers, Galactic Nuptials.” She tossed the letter in the trash pile. “What a screwup!”
“They approved it,” Kevin cried. He jumped off the couch and rushed to grab up the letter.
Caleigh narrowed her eyes. “What do you know about this?”
“We’re gonna be rich, sister dear.” He threw the letter down and grabbed Caleigh up in a bear hug, swinging her around.
“Put me down, right now.” Caleigh struggled to get free. “What have you done, Kevin?”
“Brought us in a load of money, for starters.” He picked up the envelope the letter came in. “Did you see this?” He pulled out a small card she’d overlooked. “They even sent a picture of your ideal mate.”
Caleigh ignored the picture in his hand. “What do you mean you’ve brought us in a load of money?” She could feel a knot forming in her stomach and knew that she wouldn’t like whatever he had to say.
“I mean a load of money. This place offers cash incentives for women to travel to other planets and marry guys.” He gave her a big grin. “They give a down payment and then you get the balance of the money after you spend three months with the guy.”
“I’m supposed to marry some alien so you can get a bunch of money?” she asked, incredulous.
He slapped his hands together and rubbed them back and forth. “That’s the beauty of this deal. You only have to stay the three months. After that, if things don’t work out, you can come home and keep the down payment. You just don’t get the extra payments. It’s like a dowry.” He took her by the shoulders and stared into her eyes. “It’s twenty-five thousand credits, Caleigh, just for three months of your life.”
“Are you insane? You want me to be a space bride?”
Kevin snorted. “Space bride? What a term. You make it sound like I’m marrying you off to a little green man.”
She growled. “Hello? You want me to leave Earth on a spaceship and travel to another planet to marry an alien man, green or not. No matter how you look at it, it makes me a space bride, and I’m not doing it.”