Warrior Rogue

 
  • Publisher: Orange Grove Press
  • Series: The Drift Lords Series , 2
  • Release Date: November 13, 2020
  • Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
  • Available Formats: eBook and Paperback
  • Digital: 978-1-952886-14-0
  • Paperback: 978-1-61217-739-7

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A fashion designer and a space warrior race to fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world.

A fashion designer and a space warrior race to fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world in this paranormal fantasy romance.

Fashion designer Jennifer Dyhr’s world turns upside down when she hires a hunky actor for her video game commercial. No sooner do they board an aircraft and take off when they’re assaulted mid-air by alien invaders. Even more dangerous are the man’s sensual caresses that ignite the embers in her heart.

When space ops warrior Paz Hadar falls through a spatial rift onto Jen’s film set, he soon realizes she is essential to his mission. Not only must he protect her, but his success depends upon her special powers. As they struggle to stay one step ahead of the enemy, he discovers that fighting his attraction to the lovely Jen is as much a challenge as keeping them both alive.

Finalist in the 2014 Carolyn Reader’s Choice Awards
Finalist in the Reader’s Crown Awards by RomCon®

Warrior Rogue was originally published by The Wild Rose Press. This Author’s Edition has been updated with added bonus materials. Cover Design by The Killion Group, Inc.


Awards & Accolades:

RomConWarrior Rogue Contest Finalist


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Reviews

“This is an exciting read set in a rich, detailed, and fascinating world peopled with interesting characters. The author mixes aliens, heroes from space, Norse mythology and creatures from that mythology to create a fast-paced read with a dash of romance.” Llaph, Coffee Time Romance

“Like all alien invasions, it’s a race against time before Earth is invaded. But this time around we find Norse mythology playing a huge role. I loved the infusing between this and the epic alien scenario. It brings elegant splendor to the plot. Highly recommend this epic adventure filled with passion and drama.” 5 Stars! Janine Fourie, Eclipse Reviews

“Rips in the space fabric, special powers, and naked men, oh my! This is a book you will devour in one fell swoop! Nancy J. Cohen has created a very realistic world with characters you cannot help but love.” 4 Stars! Samantha Martin, Faerie Tale Books

“This book has everything and it’s all good. Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, etc., all rolled up into one neat package that keeps you on the edge of your seat. There’s a good dose of humor and passion with a satisfying ending. What really appealed to me was the present-day setting. Highly recommended for all fiction readers.” Haley’s Comments

“You have aliens, interstellar heroes, mythology, dragons, demons, and demi-gods all rolled into one. Most of the story is fast-paced action, but there is a nice dose of romance thrown in. It all managed to work well together.” Jessica Loves Books

“Cohen’s futuristic, paranormal romance series blends aspects of science fiction with magic and mythology then tops it off with steamy sexy scenes that are so hot you will need a fan and a mint julep drink to cool off…I love the Drift Lords so much I dream of having one of my own.” 4 Stars! Robin T, Manic Readers

“Nancy Cohen’s futuristic, paranormal romance is brilliantly executed. The storyline drew me in hook, line, and sinker.” Muddy Rose Reviews

“Paz and Jen spent much of their journey alone together, really getting to know each other. It made their courtship sweeter and more organic. It had a Romancing the Stone feel to it that I really liked.” 4 Stars! Judith Cauthan, Musings and Ramblings

“Fantabulous book! I really enjoyed this unusual mix of sf and fantasy romance. Both main characters were interesting and grew during the book. The pace of book was excellent, the secondary characters were well-done and distinctive. I will look for more books by this author.” Michele Callahan, RomCon®

“This story is another marvelous mix of myth and magic with everyday people suddenly deep in not-everyday action, adventure and sexy romance.” Sally’s Reviews

“This series is a combination of sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, action and steamy romance. Each book stands alone but is part of a larger story. I love the characters. The story grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let go.” 5 Stars! WiLoveBooks 

“Warrior Rogue is an exciting, wild ride, sometimes like Romancing the Stone with exotic locations and flamboyant characters, and sometimes like Rumpelstiltskin with the Dwarf Smitty turning bricks into gold…This is science fiction soap opera at its finest. It is sometimes absurd but an always charming story. In fact, at one point, Jen asks Paz if his plan doesn’t sound a bit absurd, and he fires back with, ‘We’re on a magic ship that unfolded from your pocket. We met a dwarf who turned a nail into gold, a serpent who swallowed us then spit us out, and a dog who changed into a man. Oh, not to mention a dragon who’s afraid of water. What would you call those?’ I would call those fantastic characters in a fantastic story, what I have come to expect from this fantastic author.” Sally’s Reviews

“When Paz awakens in another country, he can’t imagine how he got there. A man is terrorizing a village and he has to stop him. Jen can’t believe the actor who stumbles onto the set naked, but they have to get the shot. She realizes he is hurt and volunteers to take him to the hospital for treatment. After that, everything changes. They are chased by strange beings and their plane goes down. Paz and Jen both need to get to Florida, but it is a rough, roundabout trip. Who can they trust?” Julia David’s Reviews

 

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Excerpt


2013 by Nancy J. Cohen

Chapter One

“If he doesn’t show up in the next ten minutes, I’ll kill him.” Jennifer Dyhr paced back and forth on the Tokyo film set for a video game commercial. Their lead actor, Keith Monroe, was more than an hour overdue. What could have happened to him?

“I called his hotel room.” Sandi tapped her pen on the clipboard cradled in her arm. Dressed in a prim suit, she looked more like a schoolteacher than a fashion designer’s assistant. “He didn’t answer, so I left a message. Ditto for his cell.”

“The jerk. You’d think he would be more reliable.” Jen tucked a stray hair behind her ear. Her twist was coming undone, same as her composure.

“It’s the producer’s problem, not yours.”

“Oh, yeah? Who else could we get to look the part of a vengeful Norse god?” She waved a hand.

“If you recall, I’m the one who recommended Keith for the role. I wouldn’t have won this project without him.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. Like, your costumes have nothing to do with Keith’s no show.”

Sandi’s calm tone failed to reassure her. “The producer might not see it that way. He’ll lump us Americans together and blame me for Keith’s behavior.”

“Oh, come on, Jen. He’s lucky to have you. You’re the best in the field.”

“True.” Jen squared her shoulders. Inspired by visions from the past, she’d made her mark on the fashion industry and garnered numerous awards for her designs based on Viking influence. She’d become as much a celebrity as the stars who wore her garments.

Nonetheless, Jen had yet to introduce her line overseas. If she wanted her company to expand, she needed gigs like this one to show she could compete in the global marketplace.

“I hope Keith wasn’t in an accident.” Her heart raced at the thought. “Maybe we should call the hospitals.”

“You can suggest that to Mr. Nakamura.” Sandi bobbed her head in a warning nod.

Jen braced herself as the director hurried over. A lanky man with black hair, Mr. Nakamura wore a perpetual scowl and his tense posture like a seasoned samurai.

“Keith Monroe is passed out drunk in his hotel room,” the translator interpreted after a rapid-fire dialogue by the director. A boyish-faced youth, Akeno had confided to Jen his wish to work on the film crew someday.

“You’re kidding,” Jen blurted before remembering her place. “I mean, I’m so sorry. Please accept my apologies for Keith’s irresponsible behavior.”

She bowed her head in deference, expecting a tongue-lashing in response. Her Japanese associates would need someone to take the blame. Jen only hoped this snag wouldn’t damage the reputation she’d worked so hard to build.

“The producer has already called the casting office for a replacement,” Akeno said after another spate of dialogue from his employer, whose irate tone matched his angry eyes.

“We need a guy with the right build,” she reminded them. “Blond hair and blue eyes would be a bonus.”

While they waited for the stand-in actor to arrive, Jen inspected the stitching on her costumes.

“Jen, this woman’s seam is splitting.” Sandi indicated one of the extras portraying a villager.

Jen cursed under her breath. “Did she sit down? I told her not to bend. This shift barely fits around her hips.”

She grabbed a needle and thread from her kit as the director herded everyone to take their places on set. The storyline involved a barbarian ravaging a peaceful village until a Norse god appeared to battle him.

It amazed her how the sound stage looked like a real Viking town with thatched roof houses spewing smoke from holes in the roofs, vendors lining a busy market street, and wood planked walkways leading toward a fake pier rimmed with barrels of wine.

The village street bustled with action as actors walked through their paces and chatted amongst themselves. She could almost smell the sheep dung and wood smoke.

Uh, oh. Her visions often started with a sensory impression. Quickly, Jen wrapped up her repair and stashed away her kit. Reality receded as a white haze swept into her mind.

When her eyes focused again, she was strolling down the village street in the distant past.

Her gown swished against her leather boots as she beamed a friendly smile to the blacksmith. Across the road, the fur peddler waved. She nodded him a greeting, her nose wrinkling at the smell of fish emanating from the wharf. Shivering, she drew the edges of her shawl closer together, as a stiff breeze blew off the sea.

Shrieks of surprise made her vision evaporate. A man charged into view from around the corner onto the studio set.

A naked man.

Jen stared at him, aghast. What kind of joke was this?

Lacerations marred his body, and heavens above, what a magnificent body the man had. Her glance dropped from his massive shoulders to his muscled chest and then down to his very masculine package. The glory of him stole her breath.

“Where am I? What’s happened?” His wild-eyed look and combative stance froze the actors on set.

His American accent startled Jen. Brilliant, just brilliant. Who else but their stand-in for Keith Monroe would show up with such melodrama? She should have recognized him at once from his wheat blond hair and blue eyes, but she’d been too focused on his, ah, other parts.

She fought an urge to fan herself, the heat from the spotlights raising her temperature. Or maybe that wasn’t what caused her to feel so hot all over.

The man’s gaze slammed into hers, and time stood still. The distance between them shrunk, blotting out their surroundings, until only the two of them stood facing each other on a plain where mist swirled at their feet. Their heartbeats pounded a sensual rhythm in harmony.

In her mind’s eye, she shed her clothes as a hunger she’d never known swept through her. A hunger for him.

Shaking her head, she reoriented herself. Much as she’d like to admire his physique all day long, they had to get moving. Time was money as far as the producer was concerned. This guy needed to be clothed, fast.

“Sandi, get me Keith’s costume and tell the makeup artist we need her.” Jen’s voice came out as a high-pitched squeak. She cleared her throat. “Our new stand-in has done a great job on those fake wounds, so he shouldn’t need more than a touch-up.”

Mr. Nakamura hustled over with the translator in tow. He jabbed his finger at the new guy. “You there, what is your name?”

The actor stiffened but didn’t respond. He glanced at the other crewmembers who had stopped to watch. A look of confusion spread over his face. His jaw tightened, a day’s growth of bristle adding authenticity to his role.

“What’s your name?” Jen spoke in a loud tone like people did to foreigners who could hear perfectly well but didn’t understand.

“I am Paz Hadar.” His dimples deepened as he regarded her. “Who are you?”

His slow, lazy perusal made warmth curl through her. Those devilish eyes roamed from her hair, to her rayon maxi dress, to her low-heeled sandals. A gleam of appreciation entered his expression, making her heart beat faster.

“I’m Jennifer Dyhr, the costume designer.” Jen pronounced her last name like deer. “You are inappropriately dressed, Mr. Hadar. Or undressed, I should say.”

Mr. Nakamura’s lips compressed. “Tell him he has ten minutes to get ready. I am not amused by his dramatic entrance. He is only a substitute for our star.”

Hai, Mr. Nakamura-san.”

Jen gave him a deferential bow. After he walked away, she signaled to Paz. The man sauntered over as though strolling about naked was a normal occurrence. Had he meant to disrupt the set and attract everyone’s attention?

No matter. She had to make him look like a vengeful Norse god. Standing before her, the man towered over her five foot eight frame by at least six inches.

Moisture glistened on his skin. His hair hung in damp clumps, as if he’d just come from a swim. He must have been near the studio to rush over, disrobe, and apply his makeup.

However, he’d forgotten to remove his watch. Having been so focused on his other attributes, she hadn’t noticed the fancy dial before. Further up his forearm was a broad gash. When she touched the edge, he winced as though it hurt for real. Unable to help herself, she let her fingers slide up his arm, outlining his firm bicep. He drew in a sharp breath but didn’t move.

Her glance roamed to his chest, where a tangle of golden hair tempted her to feel its texture. His scent entered her nostrils, a strange mixture of sea air and salt.

Her temples pounded. Oh, no. Afraid she’d segue into another vision, she grabbed the trousers Sandi brought over and thrust them at him.

When he just stood there, she clucked her tongue. “What’s the matter with you? Put these on. And take your watch off. It doesn’t belong in this scene.”

He plucked the pants from her fingers and pulled them on while she averted her gaze. When he muttered under his breath, she dared to look again. Poor fellow fumbled with the drawstring ties at his waist as though he didn’t know what to do with them. Good God, what planet did he come from?

She grabbed the ends, pulled tight, and tied a bow, all the while conscious of his proximity and powerful musculature.

Standing so close, she had a terrible urge to feast her eyes on him. He was quite the man, and it had been a while since she’d split with her last boyfriend.

Resolutely looking into his crystalline eyes, she moistened her lips. Her throat had gone dry when she touched his skin. “I hope you’ve been briefed on your role.”

His brow furrowed. “Of course. I know what to do.”

His deep voice resonated through her like warm honey, turning her bones fluid and making her belly flip-flop.

Best to finish this as fast as possible.

She offered him a linen shirt next followed by a brick red tunic. When she’d studied what Vikings had worn, she had been pleased to learn they dyed their fabrics in bold shades. Wealthy people wore clothing trimmed in silk with gold or silver threads. These styles became the inspiration for her unique designs.

Paz donned the garments and stuffed his watch into a pants pocket. After he secured a leather belt around his waist, she gave him a cloak to fasten at his shoulder with a faux gold brooch. The cobalt color brought out the ocean blue of his eyes. He glanced at her, and she blushed to be caught staring.

She stepped away as he tugged on his boots. The makeup artist bustled over to bring some order to his unruly hair and to dab coverup on the dark shadows under his eyes. Odd that he hadn’t fixed that problem when he’d applied his fake lacerations. And was that scratch on his cheekbone starting to smear?

The director called for everyone to take their places. Jen retreated with Sandi to a spot off to the side where they could observe. Ready for any wardrobe disasters, she prayed they’d get this done in as few takes as possible.

Mr. Nakamura issued instructions, but the new guy wasn’t listening. He tensed as the pace picked up. Jen swallowed. Did he understand what his role required?

“Action,” the director yelled in the equivalent Japanese.

Lars Anderson, the Scandinavian actor hired to play the bad guy, charged onto the set wearing what accounted for full battle armor in those days: a chain mail tunic and conical helmet complete with metal eye and nose guards. He looked ferocious with his full beard, blazing eyes, and feral grin. Swinging a long-handled battle-axe, he gave a chilling war whoop.

Fake blood sprayed as he attacked the villagers. Carnage resulted. Or rather, what would appear to be carnage on screen. While the other actors screamed in mock fright, the man called Paz reached behind his back. A startled look crossed his face as though he expected to find a weapon there.

Chaos broke around him. Jen hoped he knew his moves. He was supposed to use his magical power to stop the villain dead in his tracks.

That didn’t appear to be his intention. Instead, Paz launched himself at Lars as though the hounds of hell were on his heels.

Pow, thunk, thud.

His fists and feet aimed practiced blows at his opponent.

Lars didn’t even have time to feign a defense. He raised his arms, but Paz’s punches hit home with unswerving accuracy.

Along with the cast and crew, Jen watched in fascinated horror. Were the cameras getting this? The director observed in stunned silence as his cameramen kept filming.

Paz smashed the hapless actor on the jaw. With a howl of pain mingled with surprise, Lars wheeled around. Jen’s heart leapt into her throat when Paz lunged for a stick on the ground.

Her eyes widened. Was that a yardstick? Someone must have left it there by mistake. What did Paz want with it?

Stop, she wanted to say but her mouth wouldn’t form the word. Wrong prop. And you’re playing a Norse god. You don’t need a weapon.

Paz twirled the yardstick like a staff before striking Lars at mid-thigh. The stick snapped, but Paz kept his motion flowing, following through with a kick to the same spot. Lars cried out, his legs crumpling. He went down—flat on his back.

Immediately, Paz planted a foot on Lars’s chest and pointed the broken yardstick at his throat. His arms tensed.

In another instant, he’d put a lethal vent into the guy’s trachea. What was the matter with him?

“Don’t move,” Jen hollered, recovering her voice.

Paz hesitated, stick poised in the air.

“You’re hurting him. Haven’t you filmed a fight scene before?”

“Fight scene?” Paz’s brow creased, as he regarded her with puzzlement.

Meanwhile, crew members rushed forward to break the men apart. One man put out an arm to hold Paz back, while another helped Lars to his feet.

“Where’s the first aid station? Ow, my leg.” Lars cast Paz a scathing glance. “What’s wrong with you, mate? You cudda killed me.”

Blood oozed from a cut on his bottom lip. He yanked the helmet off his head and swiped his mouth. “I’m bleeding, you idiot. If I have any marks on my face, my career is ruined. Ruined! You’ll hear from my lawyer.” With a growl, he limped backstage and out of sight.

Jen scuttled over. Could this day get any worse?

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