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Vessel of Power by Michelle O'Leary

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  • Lia must stop the elemental prince at all costs. Prince Destin is searching for the Vessel of Power, an object containing the might of the gods. His soulless father will use it to destroy their world, starting with her family. Lia will do whatever it takes to protect the Vessel, except she can’t seem to end this magnetic prince of fire.

    Destin won’t let anything stand in his way, even a gorgeous changeling with mayhem on her mind. He’s determined to prove his worth as son and heir by retrieving the Vessel for his father. Lia challenges him at every turn, but he burns whenever he’s near this tantalizing changeling.

    Torn between loyalty to family and desire for one another, Destin and Lia struggle to find the right path. Can they save their world and each other? Will finding the Vessel bind them together or drive them apart forever?

    Rating: Spicy
    Page Count: 386
    Word Count: 99655
    978-1-5092-1134-0 Paperback
    978-1-5092-1135-7 Digital

    Excerpt

    This is it.

    Heart thumping hard, Eylee’ai slipped over the rail of the ship, flowing into the shadows like a piece of liquid darkness. She kept her skin black as the night and body supple but shifted her hands into long talons, hard enough to rip out a man’s heart.

    Or a prince’s.

    Eyes fixed on her prey, she slunk closer, concealing herself behind barrels. Three men formed a triangle on the deck, one of them the elemental prince. She knew the prince by description but didn’t recognize the other two. If she was fast enough, they wouldn’t matter. All she needed was time to get her claws in the prince’s throat. After that, her death was an acceptable price for the safety of her family, if it was the gods’ will.

    She drew a deep breath, eyes flicking over the trio, seeking the best approach. For my mother and sister, she thought. May the gods preserve them. Her muscles drew taut, thrumming with violent purpose. She’d never taken a life before, but with so much riding on it she wouldn’t hesitate. She could not hesitate.

    The prince’s voice rose, ringing with steel and cold fury. “Is that a challenge, Uncle?”

    She hesitated.

    Did he say uncle? Mother of All, two royals? The gods must not be feeling merciful. She stared from one to the other, wondering if she could take them both.

    The older man raised his voice to match his nephew’s. “If a challenge is what it takes to teach you respect, boy, then so be it!”

    The third man stepped between the combatants, holding up a hand to each. Anxiety edged his features as he looked from one to the other, his voice low and careful. “Wait, please, let’s not be hasty. May I speak with you, cousin?”

    Three royals? Eylee’ai sent a glare to the heavens, wondering what she’d done to deserve this twist of fate. On the other hand, the two younger men were moving toward her, coming within easier reach. Her muscles tensed and teeth sharpened. Shifting back into the shadows, she went still, poised for a lethal leap as they approached.

    “Soul brother,” the cousin said with low urgency, “don’t do this. He’s been baiting you since he came aboard. He wants a fight, wants to remove your claim. With you gone—”

    “For gods’ sake, Rune, I’m not daft.” The prince’s stony features eased with a hint of amusement. “Uncle Storm wouldn’t know subtle if it struck him between the eyes.”

    “Right,” Rune muttered with a wry tilt of his head. “No king of cleverness, that one. So why take his challenge?”

    “Uncle Storm’s aboard to root out all I know about the Vessel, and then find it first. I can’t have that. He has to go.”

    “But a fight, Des?” Rune asked, expression growing anxious again. “Why risk it?”

    “No risk. I won’t lose. And it’s good reason to keep him off my ship.”

    “There’s always a risk! He’s—”

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Vessel of Power

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