Sci-fi fans rejoice! There's an exciting and steamy new series of books from Patricia A. Knight that you don't want to miss. Keep reading to learn more about the first book in the series, Hers To Command, through my review and an enticing excerpt and then plan on buying your own copy of this enthralling story.
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.
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.
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Kobo
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
In a futuristic society at war, battling against those who have decimated their female population, comes a battle-weary warlord tasked with saving the capital of Verdantia alongside one of the few remaining women capable of seeing the job done. Conte Ari DeTano has been called away from the battlefield to mate with Princess Fleur so their sexual energy can refuel the crystals keeping Verdantia safe and productive from the Haarb invaders. An unexpected connection forms between them beyond a duty planned for them from infancy that puts their burgeoning relationship in jeopardy from the nefarious plans the Haarbs have planned. Also entering this dangerous mix of love and war is Ari's loyal second-in-command Doral who harbors feelings for Ari himself and would do anything to keep him safe. Long held myths point to an unbelievably powerful Tetriarch that these three individuals are manipulated into that will benefit all if they put aside egos and fears long enough to do what's right. In doing so they might just find an unexpectedly satisfying HEA.
This story is highly erotic as this land runs on the sexual energy created by their royalty and their genetically chosen consorts. This leads to numerous hot and heavy sexual interludes including ménage, m/m, and heterosexual play too. These interludes are nicely spaced throughout the story though to allow meaningful character development. We don't know much about the quiet and deadly Doral early on but his sad and scarred past soon comes to light and made me admire him all the more for the depravities he's endured in an attempt to save his family. His perceived failure in saving them has led to a longing for love and acceptance which he finally finds in this unconventional marriage.
Mix in intriguing political shenanigans as the Haarbs manipulate behind the scenes to try to take control of the Verdantians to further their profitable drug and slave trade and you have action-packed scenes detailing treachery and the bloodthirsty fall-out of it. Both Ari and Doral are masters at war and politics and are just the support Fleur needs upon her Coronation. Both men are strong and loyal and will do whatever necessary to keep Verdantia free. Ari was at one time a careless youth just looking for fun but now realizes the importance of home and family and strives to be the best leader he can be. As Fleur is young and still learning though she'll need their support and guidance which she readily acknowledges. Fleur is strong-willed but not arrogant in her thinking as she'll accept help wherever necessary to do what's best for her people. The leader of the Haarb, Krakoll, is a truly vile creature willing to commit heinous acts to get ahead and manipulates many to achieve his plan. This leads to many heart-pounding scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat hoping his plan will fail.
This is an exciting start to what promises to be a thrilling and erotic sci-fi series. The world-building is vividly depicted though I wish the training and purpose of the magisters was a bit clearer. Along with an appealing main trio of characters comes an enticing cast of secondary characters, and the return of characters believed dead, to lend themselves to many more promising stories courtesy of Ms. Knight's deft literary talent. Sci-fi fans take note and be sure to add this author to your must-read list.
My rating for this is a B+
*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
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.
I love to hear from my readers and can be reached at http://www.trollriverpub.
com/ or http://www. patriciaaknight.com
Check out my latest “Hunk of the Day,” book releases, contests and other fun stuff on my face book page: https://www.facebook.