The Mate of the Tyger Prince world continues with Bloodlines…
Mikol is now twenty-seven years old and is considered to be one of the finest generals in the Tygerian army. Just in time, too, as King Davos, after being wounded in battle is taking an extended leave of absence for a while at the insistence of his doctors and a badly shaken Blake. In the king’s absence, Prince Mikos takes over his duties as Prince Regent, and Prince Mikol has become one of the two new Battle Commanders, alongside the fearsome General Haggoz. Haggoz is to be in charge of domestic concerns, assisting the Regent, and Mikol takes on the task of dealing with the planets outside Tygeria’s solar system.
Meanwhile on a planet called Loros, the former king has died under suspicious circumstances, and the new leader has married his brother’s widowed queen. He has displaced the rightful heir, the young Prince Kalen, and is now trying to marry that prince off to one of the Tygerian princes in order to solidify an alliance. Lorian officials are shocked when Tygeria offers Prince Mikol as a mate, the heir apparent and most eligible of all the princes.
It’s a dangerous time in the Axis empire, however, as a new threat is looming on the far horizon—a confederation of planets known as The Pton have been rampaging on the northern borders of the galaxy, in some of the sparsely inhabited star systems there. The Pton are from a galaxy known to the Axis as L87, a spiral galaxy, light-years away. Little is known about the Pton, except for the fact that they’re savage, and seem to follow “a scorched earth” policy on the planets they vanquish, after their custom of burning or destroying everything in their wake. They have their sights set on Loros now, the home of Prince Mikol’s new fiancé—to either colonize it or reduce it to smoking ruins.
The once proud imperial court of Loros is seething with rumors of war and whispers of murder. Intrigue is growing daily, and threats lurk in the shadows. Tensions mount as Mikol and Kalen have their first meeting. A powerful love begins, but can they learn to trust each other and stand together against the forces that are trying to tear their worlds apart?
This is the first book in a new series, with some favorite characters from the original Mate of the Tyger Prince series making frequent appearances.
Kalen hadn’t slept all that well on the entire journey—he never did in space. The constant hum of the engines, along with the knowledge that he was suspended in a relatively small metal tube, hurtling through nothingness, incredible distances from the safety of firm soil beneath his feet, didn’t allow for deep, restful sleep, or at least not for him. Add to that his worries about his uncle and his mother and this betrothal contract, and he was far too nervous and far too stressed for sleep anyway.
As for his brilliant plan to get rid of the guards, before they’d even left on the shuttle for Belline, his uncle’s guards had known something was up. And from the moment they’d reached the Plaza, they had been suspicious and on edge. This had all seemed to Kalen like a harmless prank—a joke on the surly guards and his uncle and a way to show his contempt for both. The complete inappropriateness of it hadn’t really occurred to him. Maybe his uncle was right, after all, about him being too immature.
Yet once they were actually there on Belline, he’d been determined to enjoy himself. After the strains and pressures of the past couple of weeks since his father’s murder, Kalen threw himself into enjoying this little bit of freedom from his uncle’s constant scrutiny, and maybe even his last chance of liberty before the coming betrothal.
Because on the way to Lycanus 2, he’d finally made himself face the awful truth. His uncle’s plan to get rid of him had been rather brilliant. There wasn’t any good way out of this betrothal. Not without insulting and angering the powerful Tygerians, whose help he would need if he wanted to get rid of his uncle and free his people from Nerol’s tyranny. And that didn’t even take the Pton into account. He had to put his own wishes aside for the good of Loros, be nice and accommodating to this Prince Mikol and hope like hell for a long, protracted betrothal period.
So, he proceeded to get gloriously drunk on Belline, and because of his antipathy toward the other guards, he’d isolated them at another table. Or he did until at least one of them had taken charge. They had not given in to the excesses of the pleasure moon, and they’d known he had some plan up his sleeve and watched him like birds of prey. When he stumbled up the stairs, he was fully aware on some level that the orbs and bubbles popping all over the stairway were all because he had incautiously taken that damn white pill. He still tried desperately to ignore them and pretend he was fine. He was searching for the Jayronian girl he’d ordered, when his uncle’s guards started chasing him, he’d found himself unable to shake them no matter how hard he tried.
Kalen hadn’t realized just how fucked up he really was, until he stumbled from floor to floor, knocking on first one door and then another, being cursed at and shouted at until he forgot what he’d been seeking in the first place. Meanwhile, the hectoring guards followed him from hall to hall, like a small flock of annoying carrion birds, waiting to swoop in and feast once he finally faceplanted on the filthy carpet. The orbs and other flying objects followed him too—he left a wake of them behind him that must have been an easy trail to follow—and he was feeling hunted and a little desperate.
All he’d wanted that evening was some fun—a distraction from his life and maybe a dalliance with a companion for the evening. To have someone look at him with at least a semblance of affection, even if it was something he’d had to pay for. He wanted, for one night, to be more than someone who was standing in the way, his very existence an inconvenience to be bypassed and gotten rid of.
Then he’d knocked on this last door and perhaps the best-looking person he’d ever seen in his life had answered. He was thunderstruck when he saw him, and he was still at a loss for words.
He was a Tygerian and unlike anyone he’d ever seen before. He was massive for one thing—really tall, with the kind of hard muscles that came from constant training and fighting. He’d known that about Tygerians but hadn’t seen one in the flesh in years. And it was more than that. He was so undeniably alien and otherworldly.
Kalen was standing in the door, at a loss for words, when an orb shot past him and went straight for the handsome alien, flying directly into him and bursting over his head and shoulders in a bright splash of golden liquid. The Tygerian’s long red hair, now covered in swaths of gold and his green eyes and exotically tanned skin, also dappled with splashes of gold were so beautiful after the strike that all he could do was stare. His skin was underlaid with black tiger stripes in a beautiful pattern that swooped across his cheeks. He was red and black and golden and perfect.
Then he’d growled at Kalen’s guards who had been chasing him, and for a moment or two Kalen was literally stricken with amazement. Not fear, because he knew the growl wasn’t meant for him. It had been meant to protect him, and that had meant…everything.
Kalen prided himself on being a man and a warrior, but he'd been so close to his father. He had thought of Jarrem not only as a parent, but as someone he could always, always count on to be in his corner and on his side. Someone who always had his back in a fight and who only wanted what was best for Kalen. Someone who wanted to see him not just succeed but thrive. And when that was ripped away so abruptly, so savagely, Kalen had felt…bereft. Cut off and deprived of the relationship that had been the most important one in his life. He was unmoored and drifting and scared and couldn’t seem to even decide what to do next. His own mother and his uncle had stripped even his identity away from him.
For a moment, this big Tygerian warrior had made him feel as if his safety, at least, had been restored to him.
Kalen had never been attracted to men, though he could look at a man and objectively think him handsome. But this Tygerian’s presence in the room was nothing short of glorious. It was a hypnotic, and undeniably sexual attraction he was feeling. There was a wildness about the man, and it called to Kalen like nothing ever had before. His scent was strong and masculine, yet spicy-sweet at the same time. Kalen leaned into it, and into the Tygerian, wanting to get closer if he could and figure out what this attraction could possibly mean.
That’s when the Tygerian wrapped a hand around the back of his head and gently drew him in for a shocking kiss. Kalen was startled at first and froze in his arms immediately. The man looked down at him with one eyebrow arched, questioning him or perhaps wondering if Kalen were playing some kind of game. He wasn’t forcing him or trying to hurt him, but this was Belline, and Kalen had banged on the man’s door at an obscenely late hour and then insisted on coming inside. Gods, what must he think?
The alien looked down at him as if giving him a chance to object. But when no objections were forthcoming, he lowered his head again and took Kalen’s mouth with his. When their lips touched, it was like an electric shock ran right through Kalen. Gods, this must be all the liquor he’d drunk, or maybe the white pill, because nothing else explained it or even came close. This was a man kissing him, and he wasn’t attracted to men. Was he? Was he?
Strange and unfamiliar feelings were jolting through him, and he was in no shape to figure out what they meant. The Tygerian pulled away, caught him by the chin and gazed down into his eyes. “Are you all right?” he asked gently, a flush of arousal staining his flawless cheeks.
Kalen’s mouth had actually tingled under the Tygerian’s soft, lush lips, and being wrapped in this man’s arms had been frightening, but also thrilling and exhilarating. The Tygerian was taking charge, which wasn’t what Kalen would have ever imagined he’d ever want…but oh gods, it had thrilled him. Or at least some parts of him were still thrilled.
One part in particular. His cock was hard enough to pound nails.
He’d been so full of indecision for so long, trying to decide if he should act or not. If his mother was part of all this or not. If he should fight his uncle or if he should just give in, and if he did fight, was it right to risk his people’s lives that way? His uncle was ruthless, and Kalen had little doubt he would use those weapons he’d threatened against their own population. Innocent people would die. But if he didn’t fight, he was truly lost.