Dark One’s Mistress
by Aldrea Alien
Genre: NA Gothic Romance
Release Date: October 31st 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
For centuries, the people have lived under the protection of their so-called Dark Lord. Now, with news of his death reaching the quiet village of Everdark, rumour whispers that his son, Lucias, is hunting for a mistress to beget him an heir.
Clara doesn’t put much stock in village gossip, until she finds herself forcibly taken to the Lord’s fortress. Escape is not easy. She has no way out and, against a man with magic, little chance of fighting back. But the Lords are still men and the death of Lucias’ father is proof that they die just the same. And yet, if Lucias dies heirless, his army will be free to terrorise the land.
Such is the goal of Lenora of Ne’ermore, an old enemy and ex-prisoner of the kingdom. She is sending a man to slaughter Lucias and, to ensure there’s no chance of an heir, his mistress must die as well.
Caught between regaining her freedom or losing it for the good of the kingdom, Clara struggles to decide her path before certain death breaches the gates.
An errant tussock, pinned under her other foot, wrapped over her boot. Shuffling along the ground to free herself, she’d almost gotten the toe free when her ankle gave, dropping her face-first onto grass still wet with dew. Rolling unto her back, intent on appraising her throbbing ankle, she slowly became aware of beginning the cold and subtle glide downhill. Her speed increasing with the incline.
Clara scrabbled at the ground, tearing up fistfuls of grass and dirt as she tumbled and slid down the mountainside. One tuft held long enough to slow her down. Another brought her to a stop. She clung to the fragile strands, carefully trying to get her legs under her.
The blades released with a sudden and loud rip, throwing her into a clump of bushes waiting on the slope below.
Hurling the underhanded grass to the ground, she glared up at the towers. Her fingers ached and her knees, no doubt scraped, stung. She wouldn’t have felt less sore if someone had whipped her. Granted there’d be more bleeding, but not by much. It’s all his fault! If only he’d let her be, as he’d done with the others. She didn’t want to be anyone’s mistress, let alone his.
Branches snagged on her hair and clothes as she struggled to free herself. Gritting her teeth, she plucked at them, snapping off what she couldn’t remove to be dealt with later. In any case, Katharina was a far better fit for such a life than her. If he’d just deigned to look at the woman instead of stopping at Clara, he would’ve seen it too.
The steady thud of hooves marching along hard ground reached her over the muted rustle and creaking of branches. Halting all movement, she waited for the sound to fade, hoping the plainness of her skirts would blend with the bushes.
“Quite the tumble you took there.” The owner to the smug voice soon came into view as Lucias nudged the horse to stand before her. He leant forward, an arm resting on the black beast’s neck. “Are you whole?”
Clara glared up at the man. Whilst she’d been attempting to flee, he’d come after her on horseback. And, judging by the sweat-free coat of the animal, quite calmly. The nerve.
About the Author
Mother. Animal lover. Vampire. Fangirl.
Aldrea Alien is a New Zealand author of romantic speculative fiction of varying heat levels.
She grew up on a small farm out the back blocks of a place known as Wainuiomata alongside a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person (especially the cats). She spent a great deal of her childhood riding horses, whilst the rest of her time was consumed with reading every fantasy book she could get her hands on and concocting ideas about a little planet known as Thardrandia. This would prove to be the start of The Rogue King Saga as, come her twelfth year, she discovered there was a book inside her.
Aldrea now lives in Upper Hutt, on yet another small farm with a less hectic, but still egotistical, group of animals (cats will be cats). She still hasn’t yet found an off switch to give her an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind, a list that grows bigger every year with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first. It’s a lot of people for one head.
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