Book Four in the Verdantian Series
Patricia A Knight
Genre: Adult, Sci/Fi, Fantasy Romance 18+
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Number of pages: 360
Word Count: 90,637
Cover Artist: Skylar Faith
A prince from the Nyth Uchel mountains … a healer from the Oshtech desert …
Scornfully rejected by her desert lover and uncertain of her place in the world, Adonia traveled a perilous road to the fabled mountain-city of Nyth Uchel. She came to heal the sick and dying, but in the arms of highborn prince, Hel, Adonia found the answer to saving herself.
Descended from nobility, once great kings of Verdantia, Hel willingly bore the burden of his dying city and its people on his shoulders. Watching helplessly as a malingering evil attacked the very soil under his feet, he crushed his pride to summon help. He’d been staggered to discover the answer to saving his city and perhaps all Verdantia might lie behind a heavy fall of chocolate hair and shy brown eyes.
As their entire planet faces an encroaching black death, two seemingly disparate individuals forge a partnership of love and sacrifice that will alter their future forever. All of Verdantia will be tested.
Stand alone. Not a cliff-hanger. HEA 360 pages. M/F, Mild D/s themes, light spanking, and an over-sexed but sensitive prince with a hero complex.
Quotes from the book:
“Yes. I know all about soul-wraiths.” Ramsey frowned. “How did you avoid them in the past?”
“Set a perimeter of energized diaman crystal. That will keep them at bay.” Hel smiled without humor. “I have the diaman crystal in my saddle pack. I lack a sexual partner to energize them. I had intended to return with a magistra but a magister will work as well. Care to volunteer?”
“Only if I top,” Ramsey snapped.
“You’d have to kill me first,” returned Hel.
Steffania took a breath. Ram cut her off. “No. I don’t share you, Vixen.”
Fear of the unknown almost froze Adonia’s tongue, but she was the obvious answer. She could do this. The opportunity would never present itself again. “I’ll be your partner.”
He would have seduced her into the erotic world his particular carnality demanded and reveled in the passionate response he knew he could draw from her. She would submit to him gladly. The Goddess had created her for it. The woman gloried in serving.
Sadly, his world was not that world any longer. Brutal practicality stripped his relationships of any niceties and turned sex into another duty performed for those who looked to him for protection.
Steffania shook her head in mock sorrow. “I’ve heard it said people never grow up. They merely learn how to behave in front of others.” She leaned over and whispered loudly, “Ramsey has done neither.”
"It’s a delicious contradiction. He is never more wholly mine than when I am under his total control, in complete service to him.”
A third male crossed his arms over his chest and with a low rumble of laughter, relaxed his stance. “DeHelios. Ha! The last time I saw you, you sprawled unconscious in a shrub leaving a lovely piece of horseflesh in need of an owner.”
Hel studied the speaker. He knew that laconic drawl—but its owner was a criminal with no love for Verdantian nobility. What was this man doing here? “Ramsey DeKieran, you nefarious thief! You owe me the price of that fine horse. You fell on me from a tree, you coward. I never had a chance.”
Ramsey snorted. “Still an egotistical ass. You should be grateful I took only the horse. Your head is still nicely attached.” He caught the eyes of the other two men. “Gentlemen, that tower of smelly fur is ‘Hel’. You may know him by a different name. The Haarb called him bás dtost—the silent death.” Ramsey rolled his eyes.
Hel raised his lip in a snarl at Ramsey’s mockery. “Such illustrious company, DeKieran. Your status in the world seems to have risen—but then it could hardly have fallen lower.”
Ramsey grunted. “Unlikely, eh? You may address me as Lord DeKieran, Fifteenth Earl of House DeKieran, and the striking redhead preparing to unman you from ten feet away is my wife, Lieutenant Colonel Steffania Rickard of the Queen’s Blue Daggers. Be careful with your words, Hel. My vixen is wicked with a throwing knife and takes insults to me personally.”
Hel arched an eyebrow in surprise and nodded at the glorious redhead measuring him with amused golden eyes. “Ma’am, my condolences on your marriage. I assume you had no choice.”
Character Name: “Hel” or Prince DeHelios if you must be formal.”
I’m certain I didn’t look like much when Adonia first saw me. I had been living wild for some years. She tells me I improved after she cut my hair and shaved off my beard.
Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
My worst quality? It depends upon who you ask, I suppose. For the love of Her, don’t ask Ramsey DeKieran. His answer would probably singe your ears. It would certainly be unprintable. Others tell me that I am arrogant. As for my best quality? I will die to defend those I am responsible for.
What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
I am approachable. I’m not some prince isolated in an ivory tower who wishes nothing to do with his people. I care about all those who reside in Nyth Uchel. No one is too low to approach me.
What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
It not all that much of a secret, but I would prefer my first name not be bandied about for obvious reasons. You don’t know my first name? Good. Don’t ask.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing my Adonia. I fear that more than death.
What do you want more than anything?
A normal life with a loving woman and a throng of children creating chaos in the palace.
What is your relationship status?
I consider myself very, very married.
How would you describe your sense of fashion?
Non-existent. Though I have a very good idea of how I would like to see Adonia attired. The woman dresses in rags. I instructed her maid to burn her old clothing, but I’m not certain Adonia didn’t save them somehow. On the other hand, she has a pair of gold stiletto sandals that should be banned for the thoughts they incited in me. Of course, they were all she wore at the time.
How much of a rebel are you?
I don’t see myself as a rebel. I have always been a dutiful son to our Great Mother and servant to my people.
What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
If I could restore Nyth Uchel and Torre Bianca to the state they were in prior to the Haarb invasion, I would consider that an achievement that no other could surpass.
What is your idea of happiness?
Sitting down to the family dining table, a table that has held the dinners for the DeHelios family for hundreds of years, with a wife and children of my own.
What is your current state of mind?
At the moment, I am trying to regain it. The last few months have been somewhat … tumultuous.
What is your most treasured possession?
What is your most marked characteristic?
What is it that you, most dislike?
Treachery. Selfishness. Cowardice.
Which living person do you, most despise?
This is a silly question. Those I despise no longer live.
What is your greatest regret?
That I couldn’t prevent the death of my children. That I didn’t ask Queen Constante for help sooner ... but then I wouldn’t have met Adonia, so I suppose I don’t regret that after all.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
I rarely think about things like this. These are questions better answered by women. I like Ramsey DeKieran. Whatever qualities he has, I like. Of course, half the time I would cheerfully kill him, but I’d still choose him at my back in a pitched battle.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Big tits and a curvaceous ass? And you are a fool if you believe that. Look at my woman. She is everything I most like.
Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
I don’t have time for fiction. I deal with real, everyday, heroes and heroines, the greatest of whom is my wife.
Which living person do you most admire?
I have answered this question in a thousand different ways. The answer will always be Adonia.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would be a better husband. I would be a better friend.
What is your motto?
Primum, ut serviatis It means “the first to serve”.
Patricia A. Knight is the pen name for an eternal romantic who lives in Dallas, Texas with her horses, Italian Greyhounds, "Gidget the Rescue Chihuahua"—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.
She loves to hear from readers and can be reached online