A Paradox of Fates
Author: Rebecca Hefner
Publisher: Reading Goddess Press, LLC
Release Date: February 25, 2020
Series: Prevent the Past #1
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian Romance
Eventually, Marie skipped up to them, her imperfect smile threatening to blind them with its joy. “Your men are such good boys, Hunter,” she said, setting the large pot on the ground and rising to pat his cheek affectionately.
“Now, tell me, young man,” she continued, scowling up at Hunter, “you’ve had several minutes to ask this beautiful young woman to dance. She even put on makeup tonight, which is something less probable than the moon sprouting wings and flying away. Are you going to squander this opportunity? I pegged you to be smarter than that.”
Lainey’s face enflamed with a thousand sparks of heat, and she wanted to melt into the ground. Marie was always meddling, and although it was well-intentioned, it was also highly annoying at times.
“Marie,” Lainey said, vowing to keep her voice calm and free of the extreme embarrassment she was suddenly experiencing. “I’m not in the mood to dance. Captain Rhodes has been in the field all day, and I’m sure he’s exhausted.”
“Actually,” Hunter said, smiling down at Marie, “I haven’t danced in a long time. I’ve already pissed Dr. Randolph off several times”—he spared Lainey a sheepish glance—“and don’t want to fan the flames by stepping on her feet.”
“Oh, nonsense,” Marie replied, waving her hand through the air. “Lainey doesn’t mind refreshing your memory. She’s actually a wonderful dancer. Isn’t that right, Lainey?” The woman grinned up at her expectantly, and Lainey wondered if attempted murder was still a crime since the desire to strangle the woman was high on her list at the moment.
“Of course, I don’t mind,” she said through gritted teeth, “but as I said, Captain Rhodes is tired. I don’t want to tax him any further.”
“Wow, she must be some dancer,” he said to Marie from behind his hand, which he’d lifted to his cheek to feign the appearance of speaking secretly to her. “How much energy does she expend while dancing?”
“Oh, for god’s sake,” Lainey said, giving them both an exasperated glare. “Fine, come on then.” Setting her now-empty glass on the ground, she encircled Hunter’s wrist and pulled him toward where the others were dancing.
“Have fun!” Marie said, waving to them with laughter in her eyes. Looking over her shoulder, Lainey gave her a death glare, causing the woman to emit several more lingering cackles.
When they approached the stump near the rear of the hub where everyone was dancing, Hunter slid his palm to hers and grabbed her hand. Pulling her toward the showers, he said, “At least let me set my drink down. I know you’re anxious to dance with me, but give me a sec.”
Lainey snatched her hand from his grip, furious Marie had maneuvered her into this situation. Once he’d set his cup on one of the ledges near the outdoor showers, he sauntered toward her, lips curved in an ultra-sexy smile. She noticed he’d changed into jeans and a black t-shirt and now sported sneakers instead of army boots.
Determined to appear unfazed, she let him slide his arm around her waist and fit his hand in hers. Resting her free hand atop his shoulder, she felt him begin to sway.
“Wow, you’re pissed. Is Marie always this good at manipulating people? I might need to recruit her for witness interrogation.”
Lainey breathed an unexpected laugh. “She’d be an asset, for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as tough as Marie.”
Willing her body to relax, she moved in tandem with his strong frame. “You’re not a bad dancer,” she said.
“That doesn’t mean I’m good either.” The whites of his teeth flashed in the moonlight, and Lainey begrudgingly admitted he was extremely attractive. “You’re passable.”
She squelched the urge to roll her eyes at his teasing. “Thanks,” she muttered.
“How’s it going with the Sphere?” he asked.
Inhaling deeply, she shook her head. “Not great. I swear, Zach and I have calculated every possible equation to make it work. At this point, I’m beginning to lose hope.”
“You can’t,” he said, the tone of his voice so sure, so encouraging. “There’s something happening here, Elaine. I feel it.”
The words combined with the musky scent of his skin, sandalwood and cedar, sent a jolt of arousal through her veins. As the wine pulsed through her blood, and she swayed with his warm body, the words didn’t compute inside her brain.
“Feel what?” she asked.
“That you’re going to get the hunk of junk to work,” he said, giving her a reassuring grin. “Kara said I was born with a sixth sense. She believed in psychics and horoscopes and all that jazz. Not sure if it’s true, but I do listen to my gut, and it’s kept me alive this long. Now it’s telling me, you’re going to whip that contraption’s ass in gear.”
Nothing to douse your arousal like the mention of a man’s long-dead beloved wife, Lainey thought. Instantly feeling like an idiot, she cleared her throat.
“That’s a nice story. I hope it’s true.”
“It is,” he said, squeezing her hand as they danced.
Lainey bore into him, unable to look away. The orbs of gray gave way to tiny flecks of silver and black. They seemed…endless. Would he look at her that deeply if they made love? Would she get lost in the depths of his eyes and become unable to cling to the practicality that kept peace in her measured life? Worried at the turn of her thoughts, she abruptly stopped moving.
“Elaine?” he asked.
“I, um…” Glancing around, she withdrew from him, needing to separate her body from the heat of his. “I need more wine. Thanks for the dance.” Uncaring that she probably looked like a stupid teenager with an unrequited crush, she fled to her chamber inside the hub, needing a break from the reverie. It seemed everyone on the compound was able to let go and live a little. Everyone but her.
About the Book:
One woman bred to save the world…
Dr. Elaine “Lainey” Randolph was born with one sole purpose: to prevent the past. With her brilliant mind and unwavering spirit, she works tirelessly to solve the equations that will finally unlock the mystery of time travel. Then, she will leave the post-apocalyptic future her grandfather created and travel back in time to prevent his calamitous actions.
When handsome military captain Hunter Rhodes appears at Lainey’s remote scientific hub, he offers her protection. But there are strings attached to the mysterious soldier’s proffer, and Lainey finds herself wary of the man who stokes unwelcome longing and desire in her unemotional heart. For Lainey is a scientist, obdurate and dispassionate toward the notion of romantic love.
As Lainey’s band of ragtag scientists and loyal soldiers endeavor to escape the dystopian future, the evil New Establishment threatens to destroy them all. In their unpredictable timeline, the nefarious regime has become all-powerful and will stop at nothing to ensure complete world domination…
About the Author:
Rebecca Hefner grew up in Western NC and now calls the Hudson River of NYC home. In her youth, she would sneak into her mother’s bedroom and raid the bookshelf, falling in love with the stories of Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts and other authors of that era. Years later, that love of a good romance, with lots of great characters and conflicts, has extended to her other favorite authors such as JR Ward and Lisa Kleypas. Also a huge Game of Thrones and Star Wars fan, she loves an epic fantasy and a surprise twist (Luke, he IS your father).
Rebecca published her first book in November of 2018. Before that, she had an extensive twelve-year medical device sales career, where she fought to shatter the glass ceiling in a Corporate America world dominated by men. After saving up for years, she left her established career to follow the long, winding and scary path of becoming a full-time author.