Zanar has made himself a home on Earth, where he owns Stardust Bar, popular with both aliens and humans. There's only one thing missing from Zanar 's life. Despite his best efforts to impress the human females he meets, he's still without a mate. At the age of twenty-six, it isn't dire for him to pair off and start a family just yet, but he's lonely and ready to settle down. The last thing he expects is for Celeste to come into his life and turn it upside down.
Celeste is back on Earth, after having been abducted by an alien race five years ago. She's spent those years as a slave on the planet Vaaden, where she had a precious daughter with her owner, Pynder. But when Pynder dies suddenly, his parents swoop in and snatch Sophie from Celeste's arms before banishing her from their world. Celeste will do anything to get her daughter back, but falling in love with a bartender -- or anyone else -- was never part of the plan.
Praise for Celeste and the Alien Bartender (Intergalactic Brides 8)
"I love Zanar's patience with Celeste. He was playing a long game and willing to do whatever was necessary to see Celeste smile. I loved hat their courtship was slow and steady. Both Celeste and Zanar were developing feelings that grew from a budding friendship. Zanar was willing to listen to and respect Celeste’s fears. Ms. Smith understood that even under the worst circumstances love could blossom."
-- 5 Stars from Redz, Redz World Reviews
"What starts as a friendship deepens quite quickly into a hot romance. This book is a great read... It has a great plot and goes from sweet to RED HOT."
-- 4 Stars from Nikki, Sensuous Reviews
"This was a great Sci-Fi/ Fantasy romance. The way that Jessica Coulter Smith was able to bring the characters to life in my imagination had me hanging on every word until the end. The best part of this short romance was the emotions and amazing characters. I loved Zanar the sexy alien bartender."
-- 4 Stars from Tulip, Long and Short Reviews
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Celeste and the Alien Bartender (Intergalactic Brides 8)
Jessica Coulter Smith
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2017 Jessica Coulter Smith
Celeste tried to rest, but no matter how tired she was, sleep just wouldn't come. She slipped her shoes on, grabbed her room key, and headed downstairs to see about one of those limos. She wasn't sure where she was going, but now that she finally had the ability to leave her quarters, she was anxious to see more of the world she hadn't been a part of for so long.
There were two limos parked at the curb when she stepped out front of the hotel. Both drivers glanced her way then continued watching the door. If they hadn't been told about her, she wasn't sure she could convince them to give her a ride. Her people skills were a little rusty, but she approached the closest driver.
"Excuse me," she said. "Could I get a ride?"
He frowned down at her. "The limos are for Terran use only. You'll have to call a cab."
Celeste chewed her bottom lip. "Thrace said I would have use of the limos. I was just hoping to take a ride and see the city a little."
He gazed at her in curiosity. "You're the woman who was taken captive by the Vaadens?"
The driver cleared his throat and opened the back door of his car. "My apologies. I'll take you wherever you want to go."
She slid into the backseat and looked around as the door closed. She'd never ridden in a limo before. Before she'd been captured, she'd led a comfortable life, but not one that gave her enough money to ride around in limos. She hadn't even ridden in one for her high school prom.
The lights of the city were mesmerizing, and she drank everything in as they slowly prowled around the city. She didn't have a destination in mind, but when she saw the Stardust bar, she asked the driver to stop.
"This is the Terran owned bar, right?" she asked.
"Yes, miss. It's owned by Zanar."
"I think I'd like to get out, but I don't know how long I'll be."
"Take your time. I'll park at the end of the block."
She thanked him and got out of the car, tugging at her clothes and wondering if they were nice enough to go to a bar. When she stepped inside, the music made her ears ring, but she was thankful to see there wasn't a haze of smoke in the room. Celeste approached the bar and felt a little mesmerized by the alien behind the counter. He was tall, easily as tall as Thrace, and built just as well. His hair fell in waves to his shoulders and the light reflecting off it made it look blue-black.
The male smiled as he approached. "What can I get for you?"
"I'm not sure. I haven't had a mixed drink before, but alcohol would be welcome."
His eyebrows rose. "Well, I'm honored that I get to make the first one. Do you like fruity things?"
"I make something called a Calypso Splasher that I think you might like. It's not that heavy on alcohol and has a lot of fruit juice in it."
"That sounds good."
"Do you want me to run a tab for you?" he asked.
"Um, the council said..." Her cheeks flushed. She hated sounding like a charity case. "The council said my meals and drinks would be covered at any Terran owned facilities."
Understanding lit his eyes. "You're the one who was recently returned to Earth from Vaaden. Why don't you come have a seat at the end of the bar so I can make sure you aren't bothered?"
She looked at the empty stool at the far end and made her way toward it. As she slid onto the seat, she realized that it was a little quieter on this end of the bar. Her ears were going to need a break before long unless they turned down the music. She wasn't used to much noise, and her senses were on overload in the Stardust.
The bartender slid a drink in front of her with a smile. "Can I get you anything else? Are you hungry? The kitchen is still open, and my cook makes a mean cheeseburger."
Her stomach rumbled. "That sounds really good if you're sure it's no trouble."
"No trouble at all." He winked at her and went to the window behind by the bar to place her order.
Even though he hadn't introduced himself, she wondered if he was the owner, Zanar. He seemed friendly, and she hoped she'd get to visit with him some more. If there was one thing she could use right now, it was friends. Celeste finished her drink, and as Zanar put her plate in front of her, he gave her a second Calypso Splasher. The alcohol was making her feel a little lightheaded, and she knew that two was going to be her limit.
The music was starting to make her head pound, or maybe the alcohol was partly to blame. Either way, she knew she couldn't stay much longer. True to his word, Zanar had kept the men away from her, for which she was very grateful. The last thing she wanted to deal with were drunks trying to hit on her. When she finished her meal and her drink she waved to Zanar.
"Heading out already?" he asked.
"The noise is a little much for me. I'm not used to being around people or music. It's been a long time since I've even heard music."
He nodded. "I can turn the music down, but it will still be pretty loud in here. Give me a minute, and I'll walk you out. I'm assuming there's a limo waiting for you?"
"Yes. The driver said he'd park down the street."
"Not that this is a bad part of town, but I'd feel better if you'd let me walk you to the limo."
"Thank you. But can you leave the bar?"
"I'll get my cook to keep an eye on the place."
He stepped over to the window behind the bar and spoke with a man in a white apron. When he returned, he came to the end of the bar and helped her off the stool, curving an arm around her waist as he led her through the crowd and out onto the sidewalk. It felt nice having his arm around her. Tingles shot through her, something she hadn't felt before, not even with Pynder. She'd grown to care for Pynder, maybe even love him on some level, but she'd never felt so aware of him as she was of Zanar...