Less Than Perfect
Release Date: 10/28/13
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Mikayla’s read every book in her collection of post-apocalyptic novels at least twice. She thinks she’s prepared for aliens taking over Earth. She’s not.
Nor is she prepared for the attention of a good-looking refugee named Reg.
All Mikayla and Reg want is a safe place to see out the end of the world, hidden away from the aliens that call themselves The People, but cities of the depopulated United States not infested with The People are rife with gangs, the detritus of civilization and disease.
On a mission to restock their supplies, Mikayla and Reg are captured by The People and prepared for the procedure that will make them perfect, but no longer quite human. In order to escape, they need to rely on each other…if Mikayla can trust a man who seems too good to be true.
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Lips twisting, I studied Reg’s face for the space of a breath. He had irregularly regular features.
Masculine, all angles and planes, a slightly crooked nose, mouth touch too narrow, ears on the large side. His dark-brown hair flopped across his forehead in an endearing manner and he had dark lashes and a square jaw lined with three or four days’ growth. A handsome man, by all accounts, by the sum of his parts. Not like them, who were regularly regular, all pleasing in their perfection and not quite real.
“Did you think about taking their deal?” I asked.
Reg began to shake his head, then paused. “I guess I did, for a second.”
His honesty plucked at something in my chest. I liked that he was able to admit a fault. It made him real.
His blue gaze swept over my face. It didn’t feel as if he lingered on my freckles, or tried to count them.
“What about you?” he asked.
Heat crept across my cheeks, partly at his scrutiny, mostly because I didn’t know if I could be as honest.
The People offered perfection. Anyone who joined them could be rebuilt from their toes to their hair follicles. They had a cure for baldness, and tinea. There was a price for those perfect bodies, though, something out of a macabre gothic horror novel. Perfection cost no more and no less than a soul. No one noticed the difference at first. I think they were happy.
I had considered accepting the bargain; most of us did, even if only for a minute. When I thought of those skirts that should stop above my knee, the blouses with boatnecks that bared a hint of cleavage, legs long enough to look sexy in heels, I thought about trading up. Taking a job with The People, giving them myself for perfection.
Lifting my shoulders in a small, not quite careless shrug, I offered an affirmative sound and looked away. Don’t know why I felt so embarrassed; shame had little place after the collapse of civilization.
Here we were, unwashed, tired, and hungry, walking from A to B with nothing but four backpacks and a box of books.
An arm brushed mine in a less-than-gentle nudge and I looked up.
“Smile for me, Mickey.”
A wobbly smile tried to overtake my lips. I fought against it, then gave in.
Reg’s lips curved in return. “That’s better,” he said. “Your face is made for smiling.”
Not sure when he decided that, but I liked the idea that he’d been studying my face as intently as I had his. My smile widened. So did his.
About the Author:
If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly Jensen lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter. When she’s not busy being a mom, Kelly spends her time volunteering at the local library, playing video games, and studying Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido and Tang Soo Do.
Less Than Perfect is her first book.