Living on the dark mining planet of Kleedan, I saw only a bleak future. I sold my body to the men of Avalere, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to do more. Desperate, willing to sacrifice anything to feed my mother and sister, I pretended to be one of the pure women of The Circle trained to be mated to the warriors. In so doing, I tricked the formidable Duke into marrying me. He must never learn of my deception, or my family and I are doomed.
I scorned the very idea of “love,” only agreeing to the utilitarian institution of marriage to better serve my people. I did my duty and claimed a woman, drawn to her beauty and purity. It was not long after the marriage ceremony I discovered her lie. She will pay dearly for deceiving me. Marked by me, she will learn to call me master.
Note: This book is a somewhat dark BDSM novel containing the spanking of adult women. Please don’t purchase this book if these elements offend you.
EXCERPT 1: As if I am in battle, I can see all with perfect clarity and vision, every hair on the head of my enemy, my peripheral vision noting every move and pulse throbbing in the veins of my foes, my senses hyper-focused.
Suddenly, I do not stand merely in front of a circle of dancing women. Now, there is only one.
Dark, raven black hair crowns her head, her eyes a dark chocolate brown. Something tells me I know her, but I have not. I would not forget her. The long, waves of hair flow to her waist, unadorned like the others. I would have remembered her full, lush body, nor her creamy thighs, bare as she dances like an enchantress, her small feet moving in time to the music.
Aldric speaks beside me. “There were six,” he says. “And now there are seven. The perfect number. When did the seventh enter? I did not see.”
Centuries of tradition have taught us nothing more than superstition? There is no perfect number. But perhaps there is a perfect woman, and she stands now before me.
His words and the crowd fade away as the raven-haired woman draws near.
I have lost control of my senses. The music seems louder, the lights brighter, as she stands in front of me. Her eyes are bright, not submissive like those of the women who approached before, but vibrant and defiant. She does not welcome me to take her. She does not offer herself to me. She challenges me to do so.
Do not mistake caution for generosity.
He wishes to keep his eye on me, not to grant me permission to wander about as I see fit. I will observe my new husband and learn his manners and habits. I am torn, though. Part of me dislikes his serious, authoritarian demeanor, but another part of me yearns for it. The sun filters through thick tree branches, landing on my husband’s bare back. The dark markings of the Hisrach somehow cause stirrings within me. Am I attracted to him because I’ve been bedded by this warrior, this man of strength and passion? I gaze up at him surreptitiously, hoping he does not notice. I look upon his hardened muscles, the roughness of his long beard and the hair upon his chest, the way he carries himself as if he fears no one and nothing. The heat of desire snakes its way through my belly and thighs.
I remember how he grasped my hair and guided my mouth to please him. I can still feel the burn of his stinging palm upon my naked skin. This man is fierce but protective, and the warrior appeals to my basest desires.
“Why do you stare, woman?” he asks with a frown.
My cheeks flush as I look down and try to pull my hand from his, but he holds firm. “I-I am not staring,” I protest.
He halts, right here in the middle of the forest, and I’m not sure if it’s the shade that makes me shiver or his austerity. His blue eyes fix on mine, narrowed. “Have you not yet surmised what happens if you lie, Svali?” he asks. “I’ve punished you once for your dishonesty, and now you lie about the simplest fact. You are wedded to me, and your body responds to me. I can feel it in your grip, hear it in your voice, and smell it on you.”
I gasp. “Smell what?” I ask, trying to tug my hand away from his, my jaw clenched in anger. The nerve!
He yanks my hand, pulling me to him, and delivers one sharp swat to my backside. I squeal and pull away, but he tugs again, until my body lies flush against the hardened planes of his chest. His fingers thread through the hair at my nape, twisting, and he pulls, just hard enough to make my mouth gape open, a flurry of arousal racing through my chest. His eyes fix on mine, the blue darkening in the shade of the forest, storm clouds beneath furrowed brows.
“Smell what?” he repeats, leaning down to whisper in my ear. “You know not, my sweet? As a warrior of the highest order, I can detect the scent of your emotions. On you, I smell fear. I also detect anger. It pours through your limbs. I can see it in the clenching of your jaw and flash of your eyes. But, no, lovely. That is not what I detect above all.” His whiskers scrape along my bare skin, and I gasp as the flick of his tongue on my neck causes slithering desire to tingle between my legs. “Arousal permeates you. You wear it like a fragrance.”
“Yes, woman,” I say, my impatience growing. “Your name, please.”
Her eyes flit from mine as she looks toward the forest. Her reluctance to tell me her alerts my instincts. What is she hiding? Have I been enchanted?
When she answers, her eyes do not meet mine. “Trina,” she says.
The woman lies.
My grip on her hand tightens. Her eyes shift, and she will not look at me when I but ask her name? Her voice falters a bit when she speaks. I will find her name, and she will learn I value both obedience and honesty. My hands yearn to grip her dark hair and pull, eliciting truth from her. How dare she lie to me? But I must maintain my composure.
“And yours?” she asks.
I wait until she looks at me, allowing her to see my stern look before I reply. “My name is Idan,” I tell her. “But you will call me ‘my lord’ unless bidden to do otherwise.”
She blinks, her eyes narrow, and then she acquiesces with the faintest nod. “Yes, my lord,” she says.
She will learn I am her master before daybreak.
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BIO AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Jane is a bestselling erotic romance author in multiple genres, including contemporary, historical, sci-fi, and fantasy. She pens stern but loving alpha heroes, feisty heroines, and emotion-driven happily ever afters. Jane is a hopeless romantic who loves the ocean, her houseful of children, her awesome husband, chocolate, coffee, and sexy romance.
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