Hers To Command
Verdantia Series Book One
Patricia A. Knight
Genre: ♂♀♂ Erotic Romance, Sci-fi/futuristic
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Date of Publication: 6/4/2013
Number of pages: 193
Word Count: 73,428
Conte Camliel Aristos deTano, Ari, has long spurned the marriage forced upon him. Princess Fleur Constante, his contractual bride and the beautiful future queen, though young and inexperienced, is willing to risk everything – including her own sanity – to save her planet.
The inhabitants of the sentient planet, Verdantia, are poised on the precipice of extinction following a brutal invasion by an off-world, nomadic horde. Verdantia’s capital, Sylvan Mintoth, must have its failing energy shield restored, or the planet is doomed. The Elders know the shield can draw energy from only one thing—a very arduous and grueling coupling of two specific people pre-chosen by the planet, Herself, and promised by prearranged marriage contract.
Verdantia draws strength from the duo, but the sentient planet whispers to Ari that a third is necessary – Ari’s aide de camp, Visconte Doral deLorion, an angelically handsome, skilled assassin who silently surrendered his heart to Ari long ago.
The trio struggles to make this surprising partnership harmonious, pushing through pride, scars of past abuse, fears of inexperience and distrust. To save Verdantia, they must overcome their individual weaknesses and realize their full potential. Only the tetriarch and their combined synergy, can harness Verdantia’s immense power to shield its citizens from invasion.
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/sRt_mpFuenc
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About the Author:
Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas surrounded by her horses, dogs and the best man on the face of the earth – oh yeah, and the most enormous bullfrogs you will ever see. Word to the wise: don’t swim in the pool after dark.
Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page: https://www.facebook.com/patricia.knight.71619
It was perhaps an hour later when her guard tapped lightly. “Your Highness.”
“Conte DeTano is here.”
“Please admit him.” She watched from her seat on the chaise as Ari strode into the room.
“Conte,” she smiled. “Please, sit.”
“I prefer to stand if it is the same to you, Your Highness,” he replied curtly.
“It is not. I dislike having you loom over me like a bomb about to explode.”
A laugh startled from his lips and he smiled as he sat down in the chair Patricio had vacated.
He is so handsome when he smiles.
“My second-in-command sent me some troublesome news today. I am out of sorts. I didn’t mean to direct my temper at you, Your Highness.”
“Apology accepted. I would like it very much if you would call me Fleur. You did before.”
“Yes, well. Being balls-deep between your legs creates a certain intimacy,” Ari said with a wicked grin. “If that is your wish, Your Highness, Fleur, it is.”
Heat crept up her cheeks. He says the most unexpected things. Taking a deep breath, she regrouped, handing Ari the scroll. “Tell me about this.”
He scanned carefully as he unrolled the stiff parchment. He stopped midway, then rolled it back up. With a soft chime of medallions, he re-tied the ribbons, placing it on a low table beside him. “What is it you wish to know?”
Oh dear. She studied his austere expression, trying to decide on a diplomatic way to start. “Why is marrying me so distasteful that you would flee the planet for fifteen years?” She winced inwardly. Tactful, Fleur—very subtle.
Ari’s eyes narrowed and his fingers started drumming on the arms of the chair. He rose and paced to the window, then stood looking out.
“It was not the thought of marriage to you that was distasteful. What was distasteful was the thought of a marriage to anyone based solely on my genetics. It is how you breed animals, not people. I am not a stud horse to be bred to Patricio’s favorite mare.” His back stiffened. “My apologies. I did not mean…”
“Please, Ari, sit down,” she interrupted. Patricio’s ‘mare’? Ouch.
“I prefer to stand,” he responded curtly, not moving from the window.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation. “I am not used to speaking to someone’s backside half-way across the room. Will you at least turn around?”
A smile flickered. He turned. “I didn’t want to ‘loom’.” Laughter lurked in his eyes, and a half-smile turned his lips.
He really is quite extraordinary. A soft laugh escaped her. “Thank you.”
He nodded and folded his arms across his chest, then crossed his legs at the ankles as he leaned back onto the windowsill. The heavy muscles of his arms and chest stretched his black knit sweater, and the black leather leggings tucked into his over-the-knee boots left little for her to imagine. Such a handsome man.
Something about the way his eyes explored her body sent heat up and down her spine then straight to her lady-parts. She remembered the weight of him as he lay atop her. She remembered looking up into his gold-flecked eyes, feeling his mobile lips caressing her cheeks, feeling the rough brush of his beard on her tender inner skin as he—mind on present business, Fleur!
“Ahem,” she cleared her throat. “So, have you given this contract any further thought? Do you still find it so distasteful?” Oh, by the gods, Fleur, show some subtlety. What is wrong with you?
“Why? Are you going to ask me to marry you?” He eyed her dispassionately.
She held his gaze steadily. How did this conversation get away from me? “Not today.”
“Good.” He looked at the timekeeper on her table. “Your Highness, I am very short on time. I will continue this discussion with you another day.” He started toward her door.
“You haven’t answered my question, sir!”
“Yes. No,” he tossed over his shoulder as he left the room.
Argggh! She slumped back onto the couch. Yes? No? What? She replayed their conversation.
Have you given this contract further thought? “Yes.” Do you still find it so distasteful? “No.”
Her mouth gradually developed a delighted smile.