Publication date: April 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
There is nothing in life that eighteen year old Zara craves more than her freedom. Stolen from her home in Cadrebia at the age of eight, Zara has spent more years than she cared to admit as a slave to the Tankadesh courts. Her days are filled with protecting the princess, while she spends nights entertaining the king and his officials with her mastery of weapons. Any spare moment in between, she plots escape.
Yet her hopes for freedom come to a crashing halt when a stranger arrives bearing the mark of her assigned lifemate, and he threatens war if she isn’t turned over into his care. But a lifemate is not part of the plan. Her dreams, of choosing her own path and being the master of her own will, weaken as her Moon seeks to claim his Sun.
Is it possible that this stranger, with gentle blue eyes and a ready smile, didn’t come to be her new master? That there could be more to his tale?
Zara soon finds that neither her captivity nor her parents’ deaths were mere random attacks. And by returning to Cadrebia, she may have put the future of the royal line—and her Moon—in jeopardy. While Zara breathes in her first taste of freedom, her enemies move in, seeking to rob Cadrebia of its blessed prophecy.
To keep what she holds dear, Zara must rise above the pain and uncertainty to claim the lifemate assigned to her, or more than her freedom will be stolen this time.
“What’s going on here?” Dareh dismounted from his horse and with long purposeful strides worked his way toward them. His green eyes blazed. His jaw was set. Zara would hear about this later, but for now she would welcome his rescue.
The captain of the guard surveyed the scene. He closed his eyes briefly—probably praying for patience not to strangle her—and clamped a hand on her shoulder.
“I swear, Zara,” Dareh whispered low into her ear. “You attract trouble like a siren.”
She opened her mouth with a rebuttal, but Dareh narrowed his eyes, silencing her on the spot.
“Get to the palace before you’re recognized by my men. If Melchior learns you’ve been outside the palace walls you’ll spend the night in the flogging yard. Go. Take Essie with you. I’ll sort things out here.”
Zara opened her mouth once more, but a prickling over her palm stopped the words from flowing. Heat traced the lines of her mark. Goosebumps dotted her flesh. She shivered despite the heat from the desert sun. Oh, no. Please, no.
“May I be of some assistance?”
She jerked at the rich baritone that came from behind her. The world fell away in that moment. The merchants cursing over their loss were gone. Dareh’s men waving or shouting at the crowd gathered around them—gone. Even poor Essie, standing with her jaw dangling like a loon, faded.
Zara’s senses zoned in on the man behind her. She curled her fingers to close over the crescent shaped mark that had begun to throb. Her mind screamed for her to run. Her heart was all but having a seizure. But her feet somehow managed to turn her stunned body.
Pale blue eyes were the first thing she noticed. They reminded her of the moon with a ring of dark night around them. Sun-kissed skin followed with a splash of scruff along a strong jaw. Deep brown locks fell over his forehead and touched the tips of his ears.
“Hello, my Sun.” Full lips curved into a smile, revealing perfect teeth. And just like that, all their hopeful plans for escape blew away like grains of sand on the desert floor.
Her heart crumpled.
Would she ever be free?
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com
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