FAE COURT OF CASAKRAINE
LORD OF DANCE & DESIRE
LORD OF DANCE & DESIRE is a new standalone slow burn, high heat secondary world Dark Fae fantasy romance!
Never catch the eye of a High Fae Lord. And if you do. . .don’t run. That will only excite the beast.
All I want is a slot in the High Lord’s ballet company. With a secret edge over the competition, I’ll get it—as long as nothing destroys my focus, and I don’t attract the wrong attention.
On this side of the realm, the rules are different and no one will save you.
The wrong attention shows up at the worst moment, and High Lord Andrei snatches me off the street, whispering filthy promises I’m not stupid enough to believe. . .but my will is no match for a powerful Fae.
I don’t know if he’s the catalyst to launch me into the glittering dance career I crave, or the monster who will drain my soul.
I don’t know if I have the strength to care.
Her dark eyes lure me in and activate my bloodline’s curse the moment I see her. Innocent but cynical, sweet but sneaky.
My fated match in a mortal, and she’s set me aflame.
The skittish Muse requires gentle wooing, and for now I can hide my hunger. As long as she is obedient.
As long as she doesn’t challenge that she is mine.
But I should have known I wasn’t the only one who saw her, and wanted.
I should have known keeping her alive, and at my side, would become a game of life and death.
WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT LORD OF DANCE & DESIRE
- Slow burn, scorching heat MMFM secondary world Fae Court Fantasy romance
- Powerful, protective, possessive High Fae hero
- Mortal, multi-racial heroine coming into power (She’s 30+)
- Found family/affection/acceptance
- Diverse, Pan, LGBTQ inclusive cast
- Dark, Medium angst, Morally Grey
- Standalone, no cliffs. First in new series of connected standalones.
- 1st person, Dual POV
- Set in the world of The Fae Prince of Everenne
EXCERPT. . .
“You’re a proud little thing, aren’t you?”
I shifted on the bench, not liking the deepening amusement in his voice. “Would you like it if everything you’ve earned was because your mother waved her hand and pulled strings behind the scenes?”
His smile vanished. “It doesn’t work like that in the Courts, little mortal.”
I’d touched a sore spot.
“What you claim you must keep by bargain or force, even with the backing of someone powerful. Eventually you must survive personal challenge, and it’s in no patron’s interest to cultivate the weak.”
“I don’t care about Court politics.” My voice sharpened, matching his. “My point is, if you don’t like the idea of politicking your way to the top, why should I? Because I’m human, because I’m female? Or because you’ve decided you want to bed me?”
The temperature in the coach heated, and not with lust.
“You’re in a mood,” he said after a long moment. He sat up and crossed his ankle over his knee, leaning back. “Have you eaten?”
My eyes widened. “You think I’m hangry?”
Andrei paused. “Han. . .gry?”
“Hungry and angry mashed up.”
“Hangry. Hangry. Hmm. English has a few interesting words. We have the same concept, of course, but no single word for it other than fool.”
His stiff expression turned quizzical. “What else would you call it when you deprive yourself of sustenance to the point of affecting your manners and ability to reason? Who does that?”
My brows slammed down. “Spoken like someone who’s never had to ration. You make it sound like a failure of intelligence. Not everyone can afford to eat whatever they want, whenever they need it.”
There’d been times, especially when I was paying for extra training, that I’d rationed low quality food to the point of dancing under the constant threat of low blood sugar.
“I’ve offended you,” he said. “My apologies. But have you eaten today?”
I frowned, looking out the window, and crossed my arms over my chest, not wanting to discuss I was still rationing. I probably could have brought some of the fruit with me though.
“Hasannah.” He sounded like he was pinching the bridge of his nose. “We discussed this. This is basic. Mathen is yours, if you tell him—never mind. I begin to understand what I’m dealing with. I’ll handle it.”
“I don’t know why you have to sound so angry,” I said, my arms tightening.
“Really?” The sarcasm in his voice almost made me turn to look at him. “I’d be ridiculed throughout the city for all time if my woman fainted from hunger. Hunger. As if I’m too oblivious or incompetent to see to something as simple as feeding her, since it’s certainly no matter of wealth.”
Oh, chàng trai, đi nào. Next time I would just lie.
“I’m not poor, I can afford to feed you, Hasannah. You will not eat me into destitution, if that’s your concern. Your hunger would also imply you either fear me too much to demand your right if I was mindless enough to need prompting, or have been conditioned to accept gross neglect.” He glared, eyes glittering with annoyance. “Or, yes, you’re somewhat stupid, and I’d rather not have that said either. If you don’t mind.”
I had a father and brothers who were stiff with old-fashioned caveman pride about taking care of their women. I couldn’t be mad at Andrei. He couldn’t help his gender.
“You shouldn’t care what people say,” I said.
“Certainly not, if you say so.” His voice warmed with temper. “And you understand enough about the Courts that you can instruct me on what should and shouldn’t concern me? You think this is about my ego?”
Fine. When he put it like that, maybe not. “Instead of getting angry at me, can you explain, please?” This time, I spoke without any of my mounting frustration.
He was silent for a time, and I turned reluctantly to look at him. Once my eyes were on his, Andrei said,
“It’s not a simple matter of male ego.” He’d calmed his voice again. “Even so insignificant a rumor, as it must seem to you, could be the basis for a challenge. Of my fitness to rule, of my place as your master.”
I strived, valiantly, to ignore the word master. It wasn’t worth re-escalating the argument.
“If I can’t take care of one little human, then another Lord will try to take what’s mine, whether it be my title or my mate.” He paused. “Is that what you want? To be seized by someone who sees you as a mark of power to be taken by force?”
I lowered my gaze to where his hand rested on his knee, his fingers restless. “Better the devil you know.”
The fingers stilled, then he laughed. “You seem so meek, and then you remind me you have claws.” A sensual note entered his smooth voice. “Will I feel those claws raking down my back soon?”
The amusement faded from his voice. “I’m preparing for challenges once it’s known I’ve taken a consort. They won’t be able to help themselves. It’s rare I give them anything they can use against me.”
I rubbed a hand over my forehead. “That’s what I’m saying. It probably won’t come up. If I don’t earn a place in the company, on my own merit, then I can’t stay in Casakraine.” I sighed. “I just don’t think this is going to work. I’d rather we agree, like civilized adults, that we’ll part ways once the showcase is over.”
Bracing myself for another protest, I looked up at Andrei—
—and pressed against the back of the coach, digging my fingers into my arms, my toes curling.
Fire filled his eyes, staining the whites, and it was as if the bones of his face had thinned, sharpened, the skin gone translucent to reveal the shimmering power beneath.
I’d become comfortable. Despite the flashes of masculine assertiveness and High Fae danger, he’d been so civilized. Kind, almost relentlessly soft-spoken.
“It seems we still have a fundamental miscommunication,” he said.
His voice sounded different.
Stripped of gentle amusement, stripped of sensual warmth, stripped of patience and all the emotions he’d infused his words with that had put me off my guard, made me think he liked me, respected me, wanted to develop a relationship based on compatibility and merged goals.
Andrei didn’t yell. He didn’t have to.
“If I was unclear before, I apologize. Though I was certain I had eliminated the possibility of doubt regarding what you are.”
I almost couldn’t breathe. Tears pricked my eyes because something primal in me was afraid.