Rena and the Alien Warrior by Jessica Coulter Smith #CoverReveal #aliens #scifi #RomanceBooks @kitcatjms @changelingpress

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Maybe love was all they’d been missing in order to heal.

AlienWarrior Final

Rena was captured at the age of fifteen and sold as a slave to the highest bidder. Despite the abuse she’s suffered, she counts herself lucky that no one has ever touched her intimately. When she angers her current owner, and he gives her to a purple alien as a gift, she isn’t sure if this next stage of her life will be a blessing or a curse. After five years as a captive, she’s too beaten to believe she’ll have a happily-ever-after. Who could ever fall in love with a woman as badly damaged as her?

Beren has avoided females at all costs. His scarred body and damaged ear don’t make for a very handsome male. When his commander, Ryx, brings a human female on board their ship, Beren is curious yet cautious. Like him, Rena has wounds on both the outside and inside. For the first time, Beren wonders if maybe there’s a female after all who will look past his exterior to see his warrior heart, and not someone broken and pitiful.

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Publisher: Changeling Press
www.changelingpress.com
Cover Artist: Karen Fox

 

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#NewRelease OFFERED TO THE CYBORG by Jessica Coulter Smith @kitcatjms @changelingpress #scifi #cyborg #Aliens

CyCon_BannerSMALL

 

Offered to the Cyborg

Series: Cy-Con #2
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Genres: Science Fiction Romance, Alien Encounters, Cyber Punk

 

One look in her eyes and he wanted her. One taste and he knew he was never letting her go.

 

CyCon2Cover

When the Zelranian cyborg’s ship The Sphinx is attacked by a reptilian race called the Meori, Wrylack is the only cyborg left standing. Forced onto the Meori vessel, his skills as a medic are demanded in exchange for his life. But any plans Wrylack may have had to escape died the moment he laid eyes on Shaylee, the human female slave in the Meori med bay. Even injured, she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And when the Meori realize they can use her to control Wrylack, they are only too pleased to give her to him.

Shaylee has only known pain and suffering all her life. First on Earth, passed around the foster care system, and later as a slave to one alien after another. No one has ever touched her with kindness, has ever cared what happened to her. When the sexy purple cyborg with the strange eyes and gentle touch says she’s his, Shaylee is almost scared to hope that her life is changing. But the big male isn’t interested in owning her as a slave. He wants a mate!

Releasing March 2nd at Changeling Press

Releasing March 9th at:
Amazon / BN / iTunes / Kobo

Excerpt

The ship grew quiet and Wrylack tried to communicate with his fellow cyborgs, but no one was responding. He feared they’d all been killed, which meant the Meori would come for him next, once they realized he was on board. He could hear the clang of boots coming down the corridor and braced himself. When the doors to the med bay slid open, he stared at the green and gold aliens, with their serpent-like eyes and tongues.

They looked him over, laughing when they saw the scalpel clutched in his hand. Two held ion blasters pointed at him, and he knew there was no way he was taking them out. Not on his own and only armed with the scalpel.

The three Meori in front hardly had a scratch on them, but the ones in back were pooling blood on the floor. Wrylack tried not to smile at the sight. It seemed his brothers had fought hard, even if they hadn’t been victorious. Would they kill him now too?

“The healer thinks to fight us,” the larger one up front said.

Little did they know he could kick their asses, if it weren’t for the unfair advantage of the blasters in their hands. He might be enhanced, but he wasn’t indestructible. Going into a blaster fight with nothing more than a scalpel would get him killed.

“Where’s my crew?” Wrylack asked.

The alien shrugged. “Alive, but incapacitated.”

Why hadn’t they killed everyone? What was it they wanted?

“And your plan for us?” Wrylack asked.

The alien smiled, his pointed teeth showing. “The others will be dropped at Alpha9, for a fee of course, and we’re commandeering this ship. You, however…” The alien looked him over again. “We need a medic. Ours died and since your cyborg brothers did some damage, my crew will need to be tended. Serve us well and you will be rewarded.”

Wrylack could read between the lines. Service would be required regardless, if he wanted to live. He would imagine the reward would be his freedom. What they didn’t know was that the moment he’d laid eyes on them, he’d hacked into the telecommunications system and had the computer send a message to the commanders on Xpashta, with their present location and who had taken command of the ship. It wouldn’t be long before the cyborgs’ other ships were on their way to lend aid. He only hoped it wouldn’t be too late.

One of the Meori gripped his arm tight, making the nerves in his arm go numb and the scalpel fell from his hand, clattering to the floor. Wrylack allowed himself to be dragged through the ship and taken aboard the Meori vessel. He wasn’t stupid enough to think he could take on two ships himself, which meant he had to follow orders and stay alive until backup arrived. The ship was much larger than The Sphinx and had probably once been a luxury liner, judging by the artwork on the walls and the dense carpet under his feet. Slave females of all races shuffled down the hallways and gathered in open rooms. Some were dressed in transparent tunics and he knew they were breeding stock. The thought made him ill.

When they reached medical, Wrylack was shoved inside and he froze at the sight before him. Two human females lay dead, the sheets covering them stained with blood, with a third huddled in the corner, her eyes wide in fright. Blood dripped down her arm and her clothes were torn. Anger welled inside of him and he turned to snarl at the Meori who had dragged him on board.

“You attacked innocent females?”

The Meori shrugged. “When we purchased them, we didn’t realize they wouldn’t be sexually compatible. Their master was raving about how good it felt to fuck them. We stopped a male from mounting the third when the first two died.”

Wrylack was horrified and sickened. Moving slowly, he approached the female in the corner. He knelt in front of her and used his cybernetic eyes to scan her. Aside from some bruising and the bite mark on her shoulder, she seemed to be healthy. All of her organs were in good working order, and he was thankful to note she wasn’t pregnant. Judging by the scarring in her womb, even if the Meori hadn’t been able to breed with her, someone had been successful at some point. The haunted look in her eyes spoke of someone who had lived this life for a while. His heart ached for her, imagining the horrors she’d probably faced as a slave.

Wrylack pulled aside her slave tunic and studied the bite. It was deep and the tissue around it was badly bruised. The Meori who had tried to mount her had likely bitten her to hold her in place. Wrylack hoped she’d fought like hell. No one deserved the fate of being a breeder, especially to the Meori. He stood quickly and rummaged through the cabinets until he found what he needed. With a tube of livron gel in his hand, he sank to his haunches in front of her again. Wrylack squeezed the gel onto his fingers and spread it over her wound. She flinched at his touch, but didn’t lash out at him. He knew the gel would cool the angry wound first, then numb it within minutes. If applied regularly, the wound would seal in a few days.

“My name’s Wrylack and I’m a medic,” he told her. “I’m going to help you.”

“She’s useless,” the Meori said. “No sense in treating her. We’re just going to toss her out an airlock. I can’t take the chance that she would sell right away when we reach Alpha9 and I don’t intend to stay there long. She’s a waste of space.”

Wrylack growled and glared at the Meori. “You’re not tossing her out an airlock.”

The Meori rocked back on his heels. “You seem rather fond of her.”

“She’s a helpless female.” Wrylack wasn’t about to admit that he thought she was the most beautiful female he’d ever seen. Looking into her eyes, he wanted to be her hero. But he was just as much a captive right as she was. But then, if they’d met under other circumstances, how likely was it that she’d have let a cyborg get anywhere near her? Especially him with his strange-looking eyes.

“And females are precious to your people, aren’t they?” the Meori asked slyly. Wrylack wasn’t certain he liked the look on the Meori’s face. “Do what we say, and you can keep her. Consider her your reward for good behavior.”

Keep her? Wrylack hesitated and glanced down at the female. Her hair was black as pitch and hung in long curls down to her ass. The elfin face that peered up at him had eyes a beautiful lavender, a color he’d never seen on a human before. The female’s skin was pale as ivory and had felt soft when he’d administered the gel to her wound. He lowered himself in front of her again, bracing his fist on the floor, and leaning in close. She didn’t shrink away or seem scared of him.

Her gaze met his, steady. When he reached for her, smoothing her hair back from her face, she didn’t so much as flinch.

“Do you know what I am?” he asked.

“No,” she said softly.

“I’m a Zelranian cyborg.”

“Is that why your eyes are so different?” she asked. “They’re beautiful when they glow. Why do they only glow sometimes?”

Her voice was soft and mesmerizing, much like her.

“My eyes are cybernetic, along with my lungs and heart. My eyes glow when I’m doing a scan to check for injuries. I’m different, even from my people. Does that frighten you?” he asked.

Her gaze strayed to the Meori in the doorway before returning to him. There was a question in her eyes that she didn’t seem to want to voice. The Meori had mentioned her previous owner had used for her sex, and the Meori had intended the same. It stood to reason she would wonder if he would hurt her if they were intimate.

“I won’t harm you,” Wrylack assured her. “Unlike the Meori, Zelranians are compatible with humans.”

Her cheeks flushed but she held his gaze.

“If they throw you out of the airlock, you’ll die,” Wrylack said. “Space is cold and your organs will begin to freeze, assuming you don’t die from asphyxiation first. I won’t force you to be mine, but it’s the only way I can save you.”

It hadn’t occurred to him until that moment that maybe she would prefer death. It saddened him to think she might feel that way, but there was something in her eyes that said she was a fighter.

“I’m Shaylee.” She smiled softly, seeming to accept that she was his now.

“Shaylee.” Wrylack reached for her again, smoothing his fingers down her cheek. “I will treat you well, this I promise.”

If you missed book one, Rescued by the Cyborg, you can get it here!

 

About the Author

Jess Feb 2018

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child writing her first stories in crayon. Today she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words /Marry me!’ pop out of his mouth – and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

Jessica firmly believes that love will find you at the right time, even if Mr. Right is literally out of this world. She’s often gazed at the stars and wondered what, or who, else might be out there. Who’s to say that hunky model on the hottest romance bestseller isn’t really from some far off galaxy? Maybe that blue Martian you saw at Halloween wasn’t really in costume. After all, there’s an awful lot of space out there for us to be the only ones living in it.

Jessica loves to hear from her readers! You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at jessicacoultersmith.com.

Want to be notified of new releases or special discounts? Sign up for her newsletter!

 

Throwback Thursday: The Perfect Woman by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod #scifi #BDSM #Interracial #TBT

What does it take to create the perfect woman? A Dom, his enemy, and an unholy union.

 

The Perfect Woman by Shara  Azod

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Marteeka Karland
Genres: Science Fiction, Futuristic, BDSM, Interracial, Multiple Partners

Earth of the future is a super conforming, sexually repressed version of itself. Dr. Xan Milford, for one, is tired of never being able to find satisfaction with a sexual partner. He’s a sexual Dominant in need of a submissive. Unfortunately, society prohibits any sexual behavior The Authority considers to be “deviant.” A D/s relationship just doesn’t quite fit in with accepted sexual practices.

So, the good doctor creates what he considers to be the perfect woman. She’s a sexual submissive who craves only to please him. Lilith has been created to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Even after an accident forces him to rush her programming, she comes to life in flawless perfection.

But The Authority knows all and sends their most trusted guardian to retrieve the abomination and her creator. Too bad Lilith has other ideas…

Buy from Changeling Press, Amazon, or B&N

 

Praise for The Perfect Woman

“I loved the way Ms. Karland and Ms. Azod’s unique environment, and situation were a breath of fresh air in romance. She wove a beautiful web of details and emotions that placed me in the scene and had me asking what I would do in that situation. For fans of Science Fiction, this is a must read.”

— Shyla, Romancing the Book

 

#CoverReveal – Offered to the Cyborg by Jessica Coulter Smith @kitcatjms #scifi #aliens #cyborg

CyCon2Cover

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Karen Fox
Genres: Science Fiction Romance, Futuristic, Cyber-Punk,
Alien Encounter, Silver Fox (Older Man/Younger Woman)

One look in her eyes and he wanted her. One taste and he knew he was never letting her go.

When the Zelranian cyborg’s ship The Sphinx is attacked by a reptilian race called the Meori, Wrylack is the only cyborg left standing. Forced onto the Meori vessel, his skills as a medic are demanded in exchange for his life. But any plans Wrylack may have had to escape died the moment he laid eyes on Shaylee, the human female slave in the Meori med bay. Even injured, she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And when the Meori realize they can use her to control Wrylack, they are only too pleased to give her to him.

Shaylee has only known pain and suffering all her life. First on Earth, passed around the foster care system, and later as a slave to one alien after another. No one has ever touched her with kindness, has ever cared what happened to her. When the sexy purple cyborg with the strange eyes and gentle touch says she’s his, Shaylee is almost scared to hope that her life is changing. But the big male isn’t interested in owning her as a slave. He wants a mate!

Releasing at Changeling Press March 2, 2018
Releasing at Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and Kobo March 9, 2018

Want to be notified when this book is available?  Sign-up for Jessica’s newsletter!

 

Throwback Thursday: Untaming Delilah by @ashlynn_monroe #PNR #scifi #NewAdult #werewolves #TBT

The need to possess Delilah controls Mick, but he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

 

Untaming Delilah (Destined Mates 1) by Ashlynn  Monroe

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, New Adult, Dark Desire, Alien Encounters
Length: novella

Delilah’s rare medical disorder has made her a virtual prisoner of her guardian, Doctor Peter Amun, and the drug he created to keep her alive. She spends much of her time alone, buried in Gothic romance novels. But she often feels a strange connection — as if someone’s watching her.

Mick’s uncle has kept him locked in the old dungeon-like basement of the hospital since he was a teenager, but his consciousness can escape the hell of his existence for a time as he sees thru the eyes of the one woman he cannot live without. Delilah stirs what’s left of the man left inside the beast Mick has become. Delilah’s blood is an addiction he cannot escape — his body burns every time he feeds.

When a stranger joins forces with them to put a stop to Doctor Amun’s experiments, Mick is forced to accept a bond he doesn’t fully understand. The need to possess Delilah controls Mick, but the urge to protect her from what he has become fills him with bitter rage. He knows he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Buy at Changeling Press, Amazon, B&N, or Kobo

 

Praise for Untaming Delilah

“This one kept me on my toes. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The author’s writing was great all the way through. Del and Mick were easy to love. I can’t wait to read the second book. If it’s as good as this one, I will be one happy reader!”

— 5 Stars from Lindsey, DRC Promotions

Spotlight: Paralyzer (2nd edition) by Marteeka Karland #PNR #scifi

Driven by something more than magic or chemistry, Starla and Tygor must fight for their love.

 

2nd Edition Paralyzer (Spaceport) by Marteeka  Karland

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Bryan Keller
Genres: Futuristic, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Starla, a Paralyzer Mage of the Vastus, has been assigned to be bodyguard to, of all people, a rock star. After an attempt on Tygor Gold’s life, she finds herself on Spaceport Adana as, in her mind, a glorified babysitter. What she doesn’t realize is she is but a pawn in the greater scheme of things.

Tygor has his own magic and reasons for not joining the Vastus as a Mage. When his magic and Starla’s collide, the results are more than even the Vastus could have predicted. Driven by something more than magic, more than chemistry, the two must find a way to exist together…

And to survive.

Buy at Changeling Press, Amazon, B&N, Itunes, or Kobo

Excerpt

As she rounded the perimeter of The Haze, the bar on Spaceport Adana the band had played for the last three days, Starla had to push her way through the undulating, screaming crowd. The noise beat into her brain, and bodies pressed against her. For a moment, she lost sight of both Tygor and her next checkpoint.

Making her way through the crowd as she set watchful spells proved more difficult than she’d originally thought, but she made steady progress forward. Once she reached the bar, she ignored the bartender and hopped up to sit on the end of the bar, craning her neck to see around the crowd, looking for possible threats. Why in the damned universe this man chose to put himself out in the open if he was so worried about his own safety was beyond her.

Hiring a woman to protect him? It was an image Starla found hard to buy. He was a man who always seemed to be in control. She shrugged. Oh, well. Who was she to complain? Tygor was the hottest man she’d ever seen. Sometimes she had to shake herself to keep from staring. Sometimes, she almost reached out and touched him.

She sighed as her thoughts turned inward, trying to escape the noise. The mind spells she’d set throughout the crowd would alert her if anything were amiss. This was a mentally exhausting mission and once she confronted Tygor Gold and forced him out of the limelight, things would get worse. She didn’t have any choice. Keeping up with the group’s exhaustive schedule for even two weeks had weakened her mentally and physically, though it galled her to admit it. She needed sleep. She needed to get Darkest Knight off the stage and away from places like Spaceport Adana.

As she contemplated exactly how to accomplish this, her thoughts were interrupted when one of her spells exploded in the crowd, forcing everyone away from the stage. Immediately, Starla jumped to her feet on the bar and launched herself in the general direction of the stage. Her heart was pounding, but her training took over, and she blocked out everything but what her spells and her own senses fed her. Her eyes were firmly fixed on Tygor. Her top priority was to get him out of danger.

She hadn’t yet determined where the threat originated from, but her other spells spoke directly to her mind, being her eyes and ears in all directions.

There. Behind one of the speakers.

Sniper.

That he’d made it so far into the bar alarmed Starla greatly, but she’d have to think about that later. He was aiming at Tygor, using the singer’s confusion to his advantage.

Starla focused on getting to Tygor and taking him down. It was imperative she give the gunman another target. She was confident enough in her own magical shields to make herself that target.

Tygor looked all around him, his stance ready for battle. She vaguely registered this as she hit him in the midsection with her shoulder, effectively taking his place in the sniper’s line of fire.

There was a quiet little zing zing as the porcelain projectiles launched from the gun, and Starla felt like someone had thumped her in the shoulder and back with a mining rod. She lost all feeling in her right arm, rendering her gun hand useless. Whipping her head around, she caught sight of the assailant. Their gazes locked. Got you.

The gunman’s eyes widened a fraction before the full effect of her power struck him. His gun fell from his spasming hands before he went completely and utterly still.

Letting the full effect of her spell take hold of the would-be killer for about thirty seconds, Starla knew the terror she had spawned in the man. She was a Paralyzer. A rare and unique talent even among the Vastus. She could stun her prey for a few seconds, or render them completely immobile. She had control of every muscle in their bodies — voluntary and involuntary muscles alike. This time, she’d paralyzed the man’s respiratory system, but not his heart. She had never stopped someone’s heart, and hoped she never had to use her gift to such extremes. But when she wanted to make an impression on her prey and show them exactly what she was capable of, this was the best way.

Struggling to her feet, she stumbled to the man, never taking her gaze from him. “You aren’t going to die today. Not yet, anyway. I only want you to understand what I can do. If left in your present state, you would expire. Slow and painful though it would be.” She gave him an evil smile, as if she’d enjoy watching just that. “I have the ability to stop your heart, but I would prefer to bring you to the authorities unharmed. You should know, however, that if you give me any grief whatsoever, I have no qualms about simply killing you and being done with it.” She released her hold on him, allowing the now red-faced man to breathe. “Do we understand each other?”

He collapsed on the floor, nodding twice, breathing hard. Satisfied, Starla motioned to two rapidly approaching security officers to take the man away. She turned back to Tygor, her body starting to feel the effects of the gunshots.

When she did, she slammed into a massive, hard chest and cringed at the pain the jarring caused her.

“Your instructions were not to go after my assailant under any circumstances. Can you not follow even the simplest of orders?” He didn’t sound like a man who was grateful she’d just saved his life.

About the Author

Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.

Want to see what’s up with Marteeka? Check out her website at www.marteekakarland.com or join her Yahoo! group at marteekakarland-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Marteeka always welcomes e-mail from her readers. You can reach her at mkarland@gmail.com. Check out Marteeka’s blog here: marteekakarland.blogspot.com.

Spotlight: His to Command by @ashlynn_monroe #DarkFantasy #PNR #scifi

Look-alike. When nothing, not even your face, belongs to you, how do you find the courage to say no?…

 

His to Command (Commanded 1) by Ashlynn  Monroe

Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover Artist: Angela Knight
Genres: Paranormal, Dark Fantasy, Science Fiction, Alternate Universe

A nameless orphan growing up as a servant in the king’s household, Brisa learned to survive by adapting. Her closeness in age to Princess Val’Trea put her in place as the princess’s lady maiden, her most trusted personal servant, but Brisa’s look-alike appearance makes her Val’Trea’s commanded stand-in.

Ka’Sen, Prince of Planets, Leader of the Union of Worlds, can have anything he wants, except magic. The sacred home world turned from technology during the great exodus and saved the dying planet by finding magic. Those on Rosrel protect the mystical forces from outsiders. Ka’Sen knows such power would quell his enemies and cement his father’s legacy. He must convince the Rosrel princess to become his wife and give him a child of magic.

Brisa never dreamed the princess would command her to wed on her behalf. When nothing, not even your face, belongs to you, how do you find the courage to say no?

Buy at Changeling Press, Amazon, B&N, iTunes, or Kobo

Excerpt

When all the girls, even Meglena, were sleeping, Brisa stood and left as quietly as she could. Twilight’s orange sunset was burning off into the gray light before nightfall. The stones were damp under her feet and the cold reached through the thin fabric of her slippers. Some houses were still dark, but most had the warm light of hearth fires lit. The shops were closed as the villagers tucked in for the night. Brisa hurried through the village to find Lee. He was a good man. He would help.

“Hey,” called the baker’s son. “Safety in the sleeping hours.”

Brisa stumbled over to him and gave him a nod. “Safe sleep to you, as well.”

He nodded back. “Take this to Meglena, please.” He handed her a wrapped loaf.

She tried to hide her grin. They’d be a good match, this chubby, ruddy-faced boy, and her friend. He had a promising future. “I will. Thank you. Have you seen Lee?”

“He’s over at the tavern. Cards.”

She’d heard of his skill, but she’d never been inside the tavern. “Could you ask him to come see me at the temple?”

The boy laughed. “My father would kill me for going in there. Den of reprobates he calls it. Sorry.”

She shrugged. “Thank you for your kindness to Meglena. She is my heart sister.”

He nodded. “You have done many things I would call kindness concerning our village. My gifting food to a pretty girl is purely selfish.” He grinned broadly. “But I’m sure you already know I wish to court her.”

She sensed he was asking her permission, even though she had no right to expect it. The gesture made her like him even more. “You can court her, and if she’s smart, she’ll let you.”

His face reddened brighter than its naturally jolly color.

Brisa put her hand on his shoulder. “I’ll see she knows who to thank for the gift. She’s a bit under the weather, but when she feels better, I’m sure she’ll come see you.”

“Under the weather? What ails her?” His concern was intense and proved his feelings.

“It’s fever. Please keep this between us. You know how illness panics. I need Lee to help me get them wood to stay warm.”

“They’re all sick?” Now he sounded worried for more than just Meglena.

“No,” she lied. “It’s just that the littles are so small. I was hoping Lee could help with the chore, that’s all.”

He let go of a breath, and his shoulders sagged. “That’s good. I’m sorry I can’t go get him for you.”

“I’m glad you are obedient to your father. On the morrow.”

“On the morrow, Lady Brisa.”

She bristled at the honorary title, but hid the reaction with a polite smile before rushing off toward the tavern.

Laughter and noise streamed out of the well lit stone building. Women of low reputation walked with men down the path, and she saw a stable boy watering the horses of a newcomer. She paused, nervous about going farther, but her littles needed her to have courage. She wasn’t a child anymore for Goddess’s sake. Straightening her shoulders, she walked ahead as if this was a normal visit for her.

Lee. Thinking of him made her smile. He’d be surprised to see her in the tavern. Lee. So reliable. Such a good friend. He’d been helping her since the beginning. He’d seen her trying to carry a little boy who was almost as tall as she was. He’d taken him from her arms and helped her get him to the temple where she’d managed to save his frozen legs. That little boy was a farm hand now, but he often brought the temple children fresh food. He knew her favorite was rabbit and always snared one for her when he came. Without Lee, she might not have been able to save him.

As they’d grown older, she’d expected him to marry, but he hadn’t. She wasn’t sure why, but his marital status mattered to her more than it had the right to. She never doubted he’d be there for her, but if he wed that would need to change.

Nervousness fluttered in her stomach as she stepped up onto the long porch and took hold of the heavy door handle to gain entrance into the drinking establishment. She’d never been inside the busy gathering place. It was not the kind of place princesses or ladies went. Lucky for her littles, she was neither.

Peering through the doorway, she tried not to be noticed, but it was clear this was a male domain. Lee. His blond head bobbed. He needed a haircut. She watched his handsome face morph into a huge smile as he threw his hand down on the table. His companions wore angry or miserable expressions. When he glanced up, he gave a double take in her direction before grabbing his mug and draining the contents. Half standing, he scraped the money in the center of the table into a pile before shoving fistfuls into his pockets.

One of the angry looking men grabbed his arm. “Hey! Give me the chance to win it back.”

Lee glared at the hand, and the man let go. Lee scowled. “Later.” He hurried over to her, guiding her out into the darkness. “That’s no place for you. I was starting to worry. Another day and I’d have stormed the castle.”

“I’m fine. It’s just been very busy.”

“I heard. A sky ruler is coming here. Never thought I’d see that. They’ve been banned for so long I’m surprised the king will allow it.”

“My mistress is excited. Considering how badly the tech worlds want magic I suspect the king needs money. Val’Trea has been getting fitted for new dresses and very focused on the attention, but I don’t think she understands why the king is lavishing so many resources on her. I believe there will be a match.”

Lee’s blue eyes narrowed. “Would she force you to leave?”

“Yes. Unless by the grace of the Mother Goddess this sky ruler doesn’t allow her to bring me. We don’t know their culture. Maybe a lady’s maiden isn’t important in his land.”

“If it comes to it, run with me. I will protect you.” His words froze in the chilly air. When he took her face in his hands, his fingers were warm despite the cold. “I refuse to lose you.”

Heat burned in her cheeks. “What are you saying?”

“I’m saying run with me. Be mine. The king has a long shadow, but every shadow is chased by the sun. We’ll find someplace, far from here, where we can live in the brightness. I want you for my wife. Don’t go back to the castle tonight.”

About the Author

Ashlynn Monroe is a busy working mom. She loves her kids and family. Her greatest joy is creating stories to entertain others, and she hopes they bring a little more romance into the world. She’s been writing since her teens for her own enjoyment but decided in her thirties to share her imagination with readers. Ashlynn enjoys biking, camping, reading, video games, and filling her home and life with love. If she’s not working or chasing children, you can find her daydreaming up her next tale of romance.

Ashlynn Monroe
Crafting Romance One Word At A Time…

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