Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prince of Asteria by Tanya Korval

Available on Amazon

UN translator Lucy Snow sneaks into an embassy party... and meets Prince Jagor, heir to the throne of Asteria. He's mysterious, charming and supremely powerful, and soon their encounter is spinning out of control in one of the embassy bedrooms. Lucy knows her life has changed forever, but their initial tryst isn't enough for the prince: he offers her a job as his personal aide. Dare she accept a position with a man who knows exactly how to dominate her: a man she must address as 'Your Highness'?

This is a 14,000 word novella. Here's an extract.


We stood there for a second, just looking at each other. I had time to really look at him now, and notice things like how strong his hands looked. Or the way his pecs curved under his tailored white shirt. Or the way the dark shadow of his stubble shone black in the warm light from the bedside lamps: again, I found myself thinking of an animal. If I kissed him, it would brush against me: would it be scratchy? It looked almost soft.

Why was I thinking about kissing him?

It occurred to me that we were both in a very dangerous situation here. Alone in a room with a closed door and the lights romantically low. If anyone should come in it was going to take a lot of explaining to convince them it was innocent.

Is it innocent? I asked myself. What the hell is going on here?

I was very aware of the closed door, and his possible reasons for closing it.

‘I should go,’ I said suddenly.

He just stared at me, the way a cat will stare at a mouse. My heart was thumping so hard in my chest, I was sure he must be able to hear it.

‘I really think I should go,’ I said. I tried to say it firmly, but my voice quavered. It wasn’t fear: or if it was fear, it wasn’t him I was scared of.

He gave me another one of those looks. Then he took a step towards me.

All I had to do was walk to the door and leave. Why was that so hard? But my legs felt like concrete, even my arms hanging limply by my sides. He took another step towards me, and now he was close enough that I could smell his aftershave. It was like nothing else I’d ever smelled: not like one of the scents you buy at a store, all alcohol and chemical scent. This was like open spaces and cold, hard rock and the wind: if the outdoors had a smell, this was it.

‘I really think…‘ I started firmly, and then trailed off.

He put one huge hand beneath my chin and used the edge of it, very gently, to tilt my face up to his.

‘Don’t think,’ he said softly. I only realized afterwards that he’d said it in Asterian, because as soon as he’d said it he was kissing me.

His lips were so warm on mine, sending a jolt of heat rocketing down through my chest, blossoming in the very core of me. His chin was brushing mine, and his stubble grazed me. It was rough, but it felt good. He was bending down slightly to reach me, and I suddenly became aware that I was stretching up to meet him, my lips flowering open. I was kissing him back.

His breath was hot against me as he parted his lips, his tongue greedily seeking mine. It was the first time I’d been kissed in months. His hands were in my hair, stroking through the soft strands, his palms warm against my temples. Little shocks of pleasure were darting down through my body from everywhere he touched me, heading straight to my groin. He was starting something inside me, something primal and out of control, so strong it scared me.

He broke the kiss and leaned back from me. The loss of his touch was like a physical pain.

‘Tell me you want me to stop,’ he told me: and he said it in English, not in Asterian, so there was no danger of me misunderstanding.

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