What is your favorite characteristic in Tess? What about Shade?
It’s always so hard to pick just one of anything, but I’ll do my best! Hopefully, having trouble deciding is evidence of well-rounded characters with several admirable traits 😉 Tess Bailey is our captain, rebel heroine…and a thief. She steals from those who have too much in order to provide for those who don’t have enough, but her primary goal is to accumulate vaccinations for populations, especially children, that don’t have access to the galaxy’s undersupplied “cure-all” inoculations, which are hoarded by the oppressive ruling regime and distributed only to soldiers and the wealthy elite. Tess is loyal, capable, compassionate, and determined, but I think the trait I like most about her is her selflessness. Here’s a little snippet from Nightchaser to illustrate that.
“There are more people searching for our Tess than for a ghost,” Shiori said, looking across the table at Fiona but not quite hitting her mark. Her milky eyes landed somewhere between Fiona and me.
“Exactly,” Jaxon agreed, turning a pointed look my way. His expression regained only enough life to look satisfied that Shiori had helped prove his point. “People everywhere—looking for Tess.”
Well, I doubted that Shade Ganavan, Space Rogue, was one of them. And I hardly thought Tess was that important. The great rebel wheel was full of cogs, and I hardly signified. At most, I was worth a lethal injection, and the Overseer had plenty of those.
That said, I didn’t want to get caught. But I also wouldn’t stop doing what I needed to do just because I feared the possible consequences. Fear was something I could accept. Abandoning the galaxy to a group of despots was not.
I don’t see Tess as a character who runs recklessly into danger. She’s not careless or rash. She knows exactly what she’s doing and how serious the consequences are if she gets caught. Yet she persists in battling to improve the lives of others while also fighting to bring down a heartless empire, despite the danger to herself. She’s a rebel to the core, and all rebellions are built on a group of people for whom the end result outweighs the individual. That’s Tess. Of course, she doesn’t want to get caught, but she also won’t stop. The bigger picture is what counts.
As for Shade… I must admit that this hero stole a piece of my heart. I love how conflicted he is, with his heart catching fire and freezing all at once because of Tess coming into his life and putting him in the position of having to make a very tough choice. Shade has so many qualities I like in a romance hero. He’s mature but also a funny flirt. He’s strong, skilled, and smart. He’s protective and responsible. But what I like most about him is that he’s an understated alpha. To demonstrate that, I’ve selected a snippet about Shade through Tess’s eyes.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I did some limbering up. He was fast and smooth, undeniably strong and fit. Shade seemed pretty easygoing overall, but there was obviously a born warrior underneath. Or one of those alpha animals. There was an innate dominance about him that he didn’t really show off, but that he didn’t downplay, either. It was just there, a part of him.
And he threw a wicked right hook.
I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the wrong side of him in a fight that wasn’t just for some training fun. There was no doubt about it; he would kick my ass. I was no pushover, as I’d had to prove a time or ten on the Mile when Jax hadn’t been around, and I could get the jump on someone when I tried, but my strong suits were blending in, getting in and out of places undetected, and giving the galactic goons the slippery runaround.
Shade moved into kicks, and even just for warm-up, the strong pivot of his bottom foot and the hard snap of his kicking leg made his roundhouse look lethal to me. Cage fighting had been outlawed, but it still happened on some of the seedier spacedocks, and Shade Ganavan could probably have made a fortune at it—as long as he didn’t mind having a few of his features rearranged.
Shade could obviously be as big a bruiser as his punching bag, but I wasn’t worried about him using his strength against me. My thoughts just kept veering off in other directions—like how much safer every day might feel with him watching my back.
Tess and Shade complement each other in many ways, but they’re also very different people with different and sometimes conflicting goals. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing how their two strong personalities come together in Nightchaser.
Thank you for inviting me to Fresh Fiction. And thanks for reading!
Captain Tess Bailey and her crew of Robin Hood-like thieves
are desperate and on the run. Pursued by a vicious military
general who wants them dead or alive, Tess has to decide if
she can trust Shade Ganavan, a tall, dark and arrogant
stranger with ambiguous motivations.
Shade Ganavan had oodles of arrogance, oodles of charm, and
oodles of something that made me want to kick him in the nuts.
What Tess and Shade don’t know about each other might get
them killed…unless they can set aside their differences
and learn to trust each other―while ignoring their
Shade swallowed the bad taste in his mouth. Two hundred
million. He could buy back his birthright and live like a
king forever on that.
Captain T. Bailey.
Beautiful. Ballsy. And Brave.
A wanted criminal.
Indecision clawed at his chest. He knew where she was.
The easiest nab and grab of his life was waiting for him. He
could land two hundred million in his account. Double that
if she still had the goods.
About Amanda Bouchet
Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.
Her first novel, A Promise of Fire, won several Romance Writers of America chapter contests, including the Orange Rose Contest and the paranormal category of the prestigious Golden Pen.
A French master’s graduate and former English teacher, Amanda lives in Paris, France. She met her husband while studying abroad, and the family now includes two bilingual children who will soon be correcting her French.