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The Empire's Edge (paperback) by Kelly McCrady

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    LEAH INDASELY, daughter of the First House, expects to wed an old friend of equal rank. Instead, the king makes her a decoy to find an insurgent out to stage a coup, and arranges Leah’s cover—marriage to an aloof army captain. Leah plans to return home when her assignment is finished, the marriage annulled.

    Driven by desire to earn status, not have it handed to him, JEREN VASSAL reluctantly joins his high-born bride at the altar, knowing marriage is necessary to his new commission. Yet Leah, full of grace and intelligence, sparks thoughts of home and family, a life beyond that of a soldier.

    Now an old enemy threatens to rise again. Questions of loyalty force Leah and Jeren to unite, to find a solution to the disappearance of the realm’s dragons, and pacify a vengeful neighboring culture. First they must find the source of unrest inside their kingdom, and despite offering their honor on false pretense, they begin an unexpected slide toward love.

    (Pages 302) Spicy
    Print ISBN: 1-60154-884-2

    Excerpt:

    “We come from different worlds, my lady, and you are very young.”

    Spine stiffened, she bristled, her posture rivaling a queen’s. “Captain, you are a most unmannered beast.”

    He guffawed. “Lady Indasely, you aren’t at court anymore.”

    “Ah!” Her hand shot between them, one finger raised. “Lady Vassal.”

    The arm motion exposed the curving top of her bosom, and a hint of humor flashed around her mouth. His lust flared.

    “That’s right,” he said, voice a husky growl. “My wife.” He drew her against him. This time he gave her no chance to turn away.

    Leah was the perfect height, solid in his grasp. He pressed his lips to her mouth. Moist and hot, plump and present, her lips slid under his, quivered under the pressure as he sucked and nipped.

    She leaned away at first, stiff and unyielding as woven sisal. In moments, she began to kiss him back, her reaction slow but bitterly, sharply sweet, like molasses. Her bones melted between his arms and her delicate hands slid around his ribs, flat along his back.

    Winding one hand in her loose, damp hair, he used the other to press her backside closer.

    Tensing suddenly, she broke contact. Her breasts, exposed above her bodice, gave away her labored breathing, her flush showing the effects of the heat between them.

    He said, “Go ahead and draft a message and I’ll sign it and send it off to him.”

    She blinked. “Him?”

    “The king. Your vegetables.”

    “Oh.” Fingers playing across her reddened lips, she retreated. “Yes. I’ll…do that. Good night.”

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The Empire's Edge (paperback)

The Empire's Edge (paperback)

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