Troy will do whatever is necessary to earn his freedom from solitary confinement on the penal colony of Xanto, even assassinate a princess of Incendium. Being a MindBender, he has a serious advantage as a predator and thinks the princess in question doesn’t have a chance. Only one of them can survive and Troy knows who it will be—until he meets Drakina.
Royal dragon shifter Drakina has a quest of her own, to seduce her destined mate and conceive the crown prince of Incendium. Her father will free her from all other responsibilities if she completes this one task. Drakina craves her independence enough to seduce the unattractive Terran who is the Carrier of the Seed. She’s sure it will be a quick seduction—until she meets Troy.
Worlds collide when Troy and Drakina meet, and passion flares. The attraction is so powerful that they both choose to put their goals aside for one night of passion together. When their respective secrets are revealed, will the truth turn one against the other? Or will destiny allow this star-crossed pair to save each other and their unborn son?
Wyvern’s Mate is also available in audio. The audio edition is narrated by Saskia Maarleveld.
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An excerpt from Wyvern’s Mate:
THE NIGHT SKY WAS FILLED with shooting stars. There weren’t many residents here, in the smallest town on the “wrong” side of Dinosaur Provincial Park, but the local population always swelled for the Perseid Shower Festival in August. It was dark in St. Anthony, far beyond the light pollution of any metropolis, which provided the best viewing conditions for meteor enthusiasts. The festival had been held the previous Saturday, the biggest ever, but now most of the visitors had departed.
This was the night of the full moon, the least optimal time to watch the meteors, after all. Most residents had had their fill of meteors and were watching television instead. The local bar, MacEnroe’s Pub & Eatery, had closed down at midnight and the streets were empty.
By the wee hours of the morning, all four hundred and twenty residents of St. Anthony were asleep and the meteor shower illuminated the sky unobserved. No one noticed that a single larger meteor hurtled toward the earth. It streamed white fire across the sky and crashed into the badlands not far outside of town with a thunderous crash.
Even that didn’t rouse any townsfolk from their sleep.
The ball of flame rolled a distance, then stopped. The meteor was in fact a ship, a ship carrying a MindBender, the most powerful MindBender ever born in the galaxy. He had cloaked the ship in invisibility, a wasted effort since there was no one in the vicinity.
He wanted to arrive without notice.
When the ship halted, the flames were abruptly extinguished. The sphere cracked in half, revealing a seam too straight to have been naturally forged, and the lone occupant stepped out. He stretched when he stood on the ground, then surveyed his surroundings.
Didn’t it figure that they’d sent him back to Earth. Troy shook his head. The sneaky bastards. The gamblers of Xanto always kept a few aces up their sleeves. He hoped this was the only surprise, but doubted it.
He was going to win, even so.
Anything he had to do was better than being executed.
Troy had never imagined he’d return to Earth, but here he stood, on terra firma once again. He studied the town and felt surprise. Not just on his home planet, but outside the town where he’d grown up.
Two surprises in as many minutes. They really were trying to stack the odds against him.
And thanks to the High Priestess of Nimue, no one would recognize him. Was that good or bad? Troy knew that no one would believe where he had been.
There were times when he didn’t believe it himself. If it hadn’t been for the ship—which was already decomposing—and the persistent ache in his muscles from working in the mines of the penal colony of Xanto, he might have thought he’d never left St. Anthony, that he’d just taken a walk on this night in the wilderness.
But Troy knew better. He was changed. He was bitter and he was angry. His heart had turned to stone at the injustice done to him. He had one chance to make it right, to earn his freedom, and even if they stacked all the odds against him, he was going to win.
Or die trying.
It had to be better than execution.
Troy had forty-eight hours in local time to succeed in his mission. Two rotations of the Earth to kill a dragon shifter princess. A simple transaction. His life for hers.
He had no idea why anyone wanted to have the princess Drakina executed, and he didn’t particularly care. If he cared, he might not be able to finish the job. Caring was a luxury Troy couldn’t afford.
He was here and he had a job to do. He started walking.
Earth might be less developed than the other civilizations he’d come to know, but the planet itself wasn’t bad. The temperature and humidity were pleasant, the air smelled good, and the oxygen balance was excellent. The force of gravity was a little lighter than Troy had become accustomed to, but he’d get used to it again easily enough. Out here, far from most humans, it was perfect.
Funny how he hadn’t thought that when he was younger. He’d thought himself trapped and hadn’t been able to get away. As he strode toward slumbering St. Anthony, Troy appreciated what he’d left behind.
He had one chance.
He had it all planned. He’d MindBend her, disarm her, and finish the mission. His gift would mean that he’d be able to anticipate her, even read her mind. Troy would do whatever he had to do, and not regret it one bit.
He wasn’t going back to Xanto.
The gift that had gotten him off this planet would save his butt now.
When Troy reached the perimeter of St. Anthony, he was glad to be unobserved. The sight of the familiar jolted him with emotions he didn’t need to feel and he fought to be impassive again. But the Grand Hotel was just the way he remembered. MacEnroe’s Pub & Eatery where Ruby used to give him extra fries. Old man Wilcox’s garage, where he’d left his beloved Harley. His parents’ graves were in the cemetery behind the church on the far side of town. He remembered those funerals all too well. He’d gone to school over to the left and turned, haunted by happier memories. He’d ridden his bike down that trail and out to the badlands.
Some things didn’t change.
Home was home, even if he couldn’t stay.
Troy felt the hairline crack in the surface of his heart like a wound and set his jaw. It was all part of the game. They were deliberately messing with him, trying to undermine his abilities with sentiment.
The gamblers of Xanto weren’t counting on Troy’s desire to survive.
He would win.
Excerpt from Wyvern’s Mate Copyright ©2016 Deborah A. Cooke