(also available on Amazon UK, All Romance, Kobo, and Apple iTunes
Sharona women and barbarian Lahon men maintain separate lives until libidinal fever strikes, and the women are forced to mate. Stricken by a mysterious terminal illness, Sharona Princess Reena jumps at the chance to accompany a cousin on her mating journey so she can at least see a Lahon before she dies.
Garat, leader of the Lahon, hates the Sharona because of the woman who birthed and killed his son years ago. Now that a massive earthquake has left his people with precious little water, he has the perfect excuse to exact revenge by driving the Sharona from their homeland and taking what the Lahon need. When he encounters Reena on the mating journey he takes her hostage to force the Sharona to capitulate to his demands, but finds himself drawn to her instead. As his desire rises, lust for revenge wanes.
But after what he’s done, can he convince her of the evil that lives in the palace in time to save her life?
Being dead wasn’t supposed to hurt.
Gravity funneled to a point and pressed on Reena’s chest. Hard. She struggled against the weight. Even her head was immobilized. She tried to scream, but something covered her mouth and nose. A gust of air whooshed into her lungs. And out. Rhythmic pressure on her chest again.
“Reeeenaaaa.” A keening cry penetrated the inky fog.
Harsh light pierced her eyelids.
Her throat spasmed, and then she was choking, coughing. “Oh thank Goddess!” someone cried.
Hands gripped her body, rolled her. From her stomach, from her lungs, through her mouth and nose, she spewed volumes of liquid. Water. Noxious herb mixture. She retched and coughed until her exhausted body couldn’t heave anymore.
She ached. Chest. Stomach. Ribs.
Reena opened her eyes.
Carinda crouched over her. Behind her, Honna wrung her hands and sobbed. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I panicked, and I froze.”
“I’m not dead,” Reena said in amazement. She’d lived with illness for so long, she’d assumed she’d able to embrace the darkness when it came for her. But she hadn’t been ready. Giddy relief settled over her. Not today.
“No.” A smile trembled on Carinda’s lips. Water dripped from her hair and drenched her gray robe. She was wetter than before she’d left.
Disoriented, Reena focused on the mundane. “I told you to get some dry clothing.”
“I did, Princess. I rushed to the palace, changed, and raced back to find you drowning. I jumped in and pulled you out.”
“You pulled me out?” Reena shifted her gaze from Carinda to her cousin. Other than Honna’s face, dampened by big, fat tears, she was dry. She looked at the guard again. “How? You can’t swim.”
“I do not like the water, and I don’t swim well.” She squeezed her eyes shut and then opened them. “By the time I could get to you, you were not moving and were turning blue.” A tear trickled to merge with the water droplets on her face. “I feared you were dead, but I initiated emergency breathing procedures.”
“Thank Goddess you did. You saved my life.” For another day, anyway. She struggled to a sitting position.
Carinda looked at Honna. “What happened? Why didn’t you do something? You were just standing there.”
copyright 2015 Cara Bristol
Cara Bristol continues to evolve, adding new subgenres of erotic romance to her repertoire. She has written spanking romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and science fiction romance. No matter what the genre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently resides in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling. Visit her site, twitter, or follow on Facebook.