Award-winning author Jenna Ives writes contemporary and science-fiction romance. She’s my guest today!
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Thanks for hosting me today, Laurel!

A little known fact about me: When I was eleven years old, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. But since I get sick on roller coasters, I figured space travel wasn’t really a viable career option, so I became a sci-fi author instead! (Not at age eleven, of course, although I did actually write my first action adventure story at age eleven, which was published in my elementary school newsletter…)

I write sci-fi romances with high stakes and lots of conflict. I particularly enjoy dropping my two main characters into an impossible situation, and then watch the sparks fly as they try to resist falling in love!

That’s exactly what happens in the first book of my new series The Tau Cetus Chronicles, which is called Programmed To Please.

Here’s the blurb:

Very human Tau Cetus police agent Jai Turner is sent undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex robot in order to bring down the planet’s most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex. The police have never been able to get close to Callex, and Jai’s assignment is to uncover information on his illicit weapons dealings that will lead to his conviction.

Reclusive arms dealer Marque Callex only accepts an invitation from Beautiful Dolls because with his deadly line of work – and the dangerous secrets he’s keeping – he can’t afford to let a real woman into his life. But neither Jai nor Marque are what they seem, and their week together has consequences neither expect.


Programmed To Please is a HOLT Medallion merit award-winner, and if the premise sounds interesting to you, here’s a short excerpt:

“Turner, I’m sending you undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex toy.”

Police agent Jai Turner stared at her boss, Commander Talis Rainey, convinced she couldn’t possibly have heard him right. She and her partner, Leith Wyatt, had been called into his office at the end of their duty shift, and she was in no mood for a joke.

She shifted tiredly on her feet in front of his desk. “Sir?”

For an answer, Rainey leaned forward in his chair and pushed a button on the console on his desk. “Send in Mr. Carron.”

A minute later, a short man stood in the doorway. His eyes darted around nervously before taking an apparently reluctant step into the room. He was such a stereotype that Jai felt herself stiffen. Thick glasses… hair askew… frankly, all he needed was a lab coat with a pocket protector to complete the picture. Savant. Adept. Carbon-copier.

Maybe her boss hadn’t been making a joke.

Rainey cleared his throat. “This is Anson Carron. The creator of Beautiful Dolls.”

If the abrupt and impersonal introduction annoyed their guest, he didn’t show it. His eyes had locked on Jai, and were scanning her up and down in a way that felt decidedly intimate despite the generic, navy blue one-piece uniform that she and everyone else on the Tau Cetus police force wore.

“Yes,” he murmured. “I suppose I can work with this.”

This,” Rainey said hotly, “is Jai Turner, one of my best agents. She’s human.”

The little man seemed lost in his own train of thought. “She meets his prime criteria. Of course, it would be better if I could see her without her clothes on before I make a final assessment.”

What? Jai stiffened even more. “Commander!”

Rainey let out a loud sigh, then glanced at Jai and the two men. “Sit. All of you.”

The three of them took the hard chairs arrayed around Rainey’s desk. Jai crossed her arms and legs defensively, and even Wyatt turned his chair around to straddle it. It was obvious neither one of them anticipated liking whatever the Commander might be about to say.

Rainey ran a hand through his grey-black hair and looked at the partners. “Before I start, I have one thing to say to you. Marque Callex.”

Jai gasped. “What?

That changed everything. The infamous name had both her and Wyatt leaning forward in their chairs, now eagerly waiting for Rainey’s next words.

“You know how long we’ve been trying to get close to this guy. We may now have a chance, albeit by a very unconventional route.” Rainey nodded toward their guest. “A month ago, Mr. Carron here ran afoul of the law. And in an effort to save his neck – and his very lucrative business – he suggested a unique proposal in return for us not pursuing charges against him.”

“What kind of proposal?” Wyatt asked.

“A clever one, as it turns out.” Rainey smirked. “Mr. Carron agreed to send an… invitation… to Marque Callex, in the guise of offering ‘a select number of high-powered businessmen’ the chance to sample the latest model of Beautiful Doll for free, in exchange for their feedback on the product. In reality, Callex was the only person to get this invitation.”

Jai’s mouth set in a disgusted line. “And he accepted.”

“He did,” Rainey confirmed. “It was a gamble, but it paid off. In this supposed ‘latest model,’ clients are able to customize their girl. Callex filled out the form specifying the criteria of his ideal Beautiful Doll, and now all we have to do is fulfill his requirements.” The Commander gave Jai a pointed stare. “With you.”

Jai’s eyes went wide. “You want me to impersonate a sexbot?”

“He’s requested certain specifics,” Anson Carron spoke up. “Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Lean, athletic build.”

Jai let out a relieved breath. “Well, that rules me out. I’m brown-haired and brown-eyed.”

“Easily fixed,” her boss pointed out. “You fit the most important characteristic: athletic build. We can’t fake that, but we can correct the other things with hair dye and contact lenses.”

Jai leaned forward in her chair. “Sir, do you really believe a man who can have any model of girl he wants, would pick a B-cup and not a triple-D? For a sexbot? Come on, Commander. Are you sure Callex is even serious about this?”

Rainey stroked his chin thoughtfully, and then shrugged. “Well, we’ll have our answer on Monday if he shows up at the Beautiful Dolls boudoir. Until then, prepping you for the assignment is the way we’re going to proceed. That is, if you’re agreeable.”

Jai scowled. There was absolutely no way she was going to volunteer for this. Have sex on command? Not a chance. Not even to bring down a man they’d long been after for suspected weapons smuggling. Besides, she could never pass for a sexbot. She had a heartbeat, for goodness sake!

Rainey sighed into the stubborn silence. “Do I really need to play the Joran Breaux card with either of you?”

A spark of anger shot through Jai, even as she heard Wyatt shift uncomfortably on his chair. Joran was the second – and definitely much more personal – reason they were after Marque Callex. Joran had been sent in to infiltrate Callex Industries from the inside, to discover how one of the government’s top weapons contractors was secretly diverting arms to militant countries. Joran’s cover as an employee had seemed secure until two months ago, when the police force had lost contact with him on the very day he’d scheduled a meeting with Marque Callex. Three weeks later, Joran’s body had turned up – in pieces – in a recycling center a hundred clicks away.

Joran had been Wyatt’s partner before Jai.

Jai would relish the chance to avenge the death of a fellow Tau Cetus agent, but was becoming a sex slave really the best way to do it?

Rainey scowled. “You know how long we’ve been trying to get to Marque Callex. This may be our best chance. But if you’re not up to it, Turner, I’ll find another female agent with athletic build who’s more committed to her job.”

Crap. Now Rainey was doubting Jai’s dedication to the force. Silence stretched in the room while Jai considered her options. Her very limited options. As in, none.

“I’ll do it.”

“What?”

Jai’s mouth set into a mulish line. What real choice did she have? Marque Callex needed to be stopped.

“I said I’ll do it. If this is our best – and possibly only – chance to get to him, then I’m in.”


Programmed To Please is the first in a trilogy of Tau Cetus Chronicles. If it sounds like a fun read to you, here are some buy links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Programmed-Ple...

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/progr...

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/prog...

KOBO: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebo...

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...

I love to connect with readers and other authors! Hit me up one of these ways: website: http://www.jennaives.com/ ; email: jenna@jennaives.com; blog: http://fierceromance.blogspot.com/ ; Twitter @JennaIvesAuthor; or on Facebook or Goodreads!

Thanks so much to Laurel for hosting me today!

Jenna
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Published on July 23, 2016 06:05 • 416 views • Tags: guest-blog, jenna-ives, programmed-to-please, sci-fi, sfr
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message 1: by Leigh (new)

Leigh Court I LOVED this book! Enemies-to-lovers in an emotional roller coaster of a story :) And the twist at the end was surprising but also deeply satisfying. 5 stars!

Leigh


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