Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Jenn Burke who is joining us today to share an exclusive excerpt of her new release “The Gryphon King’s Consort , part of Dreamspinner Press’, Dreamspun beyond series.
Jenn also brought along a giveaway to participate in.
Welcome Jenn 🙂
Thanks so much to Love Bytes for hosting me today on The Gryphon King’s Consort blog tour. I thought I’d share an excerpt that happens shortly after Eirian is injured in a competition at the annual gryphon gathering. Luca is much less forgiving than Eirian, but Eirian hopes to soften him a little. I hope you enjoy!
“Pardon me, Your Majesty, Your Highness, but the prisoner awaits your judgment.”
Eirian’s laughter died. “Prisoner?” One look to his side informed him that, although Eirian might be surprised, Luca was not.
All levity had fled Luca’s expression. “I said I would handle it this evening, Orel.”
“Some of the other councillors have said they’re concerned that you aren’t addressing the issue in a timely enough manner.”
Eirian sat up. “What issue? Did something happen while—” He broke off and looked at Luca. “This prisoner is not my opponent from the obstacle course, is it?”
Orel and Luca shared a look, and Orel cleared his throat gently. “His name is Grego.”
“Luca, it was a match. Injuries happen.”
“He purposely pulled you with him as he fell. Everyone saw it,” Luca said.
“You are my consort. My prince. That he forgot that, even for a moment—”
“It was a match!”
“One that you should have never engaged in.” Luca leaped to his feet, paced away a few steps, and turned back to face Eirian. “You do not have that luxury any longer, endangering yourself for foolish reasons.”
“Competing for a contract is not foolish.”
“But it was something I had already told you that I did not want you to do.”
Eirian leaned back into the lounger and tried to exude nonchalance despite his rising temper. Sometimes it helped to keep the anger at bay if he simply ignored its existence. “We’ve established that you do not own me.”
Luca stared at him, and the muscle in his jaw flexed—a sign, Eirian realized, that Luca was holding on to his control with mental talons. “He hurt you.”
“But not permanently,” Eirian assured him, his voice soft. “Let his punishment reflect that. There’s no need for a trial or any audience here, Luca. Simply order that he be banned from the Intermingle for… five years. That seems reasonable, I think. Orel?”
“I—yes, Your Highness.” Orel dipped his chin in acknowledgment. “I believe so.”
After a moment Luca nodded. “We’ll discuss the specifics later this afternoon,” he said to Orel.
“Yes, Your Majesty.” With a quick bow, Orel turned and headed off to carry out Luca’s orders.
Luca returned to his lounger and sat on the edge. Eirian sat beside him.
“I should not be so affected by the memory,” Luca murmured. “Particularly since you’re sitting here beside me, clearly healthy and hale. As you said, he didn’t permanently injure you, and you are mostly to blame for it, since you put yourself in the situation to begin with.”
Eirian pressed his shoulder to Luca’s, wordlessly admitting his guilt.
“But I cannot forget the vision of you lying so still,” Luca continued, his voice even softer. “It made me think of Arran—” His voice broke and disappeared.
Eirian turned, wrapped his arms around Luca, and held him tight. “I thought you didn’t go with the king on that last trip.”
“I didn’t,” Luca said, his breath warm against Eirian’s neck. “But reality has never stopped imagination, has it? It wasn’t so much the actual image of you lying there, but the thought of… of losing someone else.”
Eirian stiffened. “Were you and Arran…?”
“Mother no. Not only did he prefer female company, he was well into his seventh century when I was chosen as crown prince. We were friends—best friends—and he was my mentor, always there for me, but never more than that. Never lovers.” Luca sighed. “But I miss him.”
“I’m honored that you would worry for me the same as you worried for him.”
Luca drew back, and Eirian saw that the anger in his expression had drained completely away. “I think you would have liked him. I’m positive he would have liked you.” One corner of his mouth quirked upward. “He would have applauded your ability to talk me down.”
“Not something he mastered?”
“Oh, he did. After about fifty years.” Luca pressed a kiss to Eirian’s cheek. “Come. I seem to recall the bath in our suite is big enough for two.”
“Shall we test it to be sure?” Eirian grinned and rose as Luca did. Before he could step away, though, Eirian gently tugged on his hand. “Thank you,” he said quietly.
Luca gave him a quizzical look. “For?”
“Listening to me. Allowing me to have some input.” Eirian took a deep breath. “That’s important to me, that you accept my counsel.”
Luca shifted his hand so he could intertwine their fingers. “It’s important to me that you give it.” He lifted their joined hands and kissed Eirian’s knuckles. “Come. Our bath awaits.”
The Gryphon King’s Consort
Love takes flight.
The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.
Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.
Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.
Jenn is the author of The Gryphon King’s Consort from Dreamspinner Press and the co-author of the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press. She’s also the author of Her Sexy Sentinel, a paranormal romance from Entangled Publishing.
She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.
Thank you so much for joining me on The Gryphon King’s Consort blog tour. Enter for your chance to win one of two $25 store credits for Dreamspinner Press!
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