The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders—until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge . . .
Jepp has been the heart of the queen’s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince’s bed.
But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader—and Jepp’s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral’s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives—and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him . . .
Praise for The Mark of the Tala
“Magnificent…a richly detailed fantasy world.” —RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars, Top Pick
“Well written and swooningly romantic.” —Library Journal, starred review
The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.
Andi doesn't mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she'd thought was no more than legend--until he claims her as its queen.
In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn't know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.
For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .
Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.
Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…
Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive. . .
Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?
Praise for The Twelve Kingdoms
"Well-written and swooningly romantic." —Library Journal, starred review
"Will captivate you from beginning to end with a richly detailed fantasy world."
—RT Book Reviews
Magic has broken free over the Twelve Kingdoms. The population is beset by shapeshifters and portents, landscapes that migrate, uncanny allies who are not quite human…and enemies eager to take advantage of the chaos.
Dafne Mailloux is no adventurer--she's a librarian. But the High Queen trusts Dafne's ability with languages, her way of winnowing the useful facts from a dusty scroll, and even more important, the subtlety and guile that three decades under the thumb of a tyrant taught her.
Dafne never thought to need those skills again. But she accepts her duty. Until her journey drops her into the arms of a barbarian king. He speaks no tongue she knows but that of power, yet he recognizes his captive as a valuable pawn. Dafne must submit to a wedding of alliance, becoming a prisoner-queen in a court she does not understand. If she is to save herself and her country, she will have to learn to read the heart of a wild stranger. And there are more secrets written there than even Dafne could suspect…
Praise for The Mark of the Tala
"Magnificent…a richly detailed fantasy world." --RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars, Top Pick
"Well written and swooningly romantic." --Library Journal, starred review
With her secrets uncovered and her power-mad brother bent on her execution, Princess Oria has no sanctuary left. Her bid to make herself and her new barbarian husband rulers of walled Bára has failed. She and Lonen have no choice but to flee through the leagues of brutal desert between her home and his—certain death for a sorceress, and only a bit slower than the blade.
A Race Against Time
At the mercy of a husband barely more than a stranger, Oria must war with her fears and her desires. Wild desert magic buffets her; her husband’s touch allures and burns. Lonen is pushed to the brink, sure he’s doomed his proud bride and all too aware of the restless, ruthless pursuit that follows…
A Danger Beyond Death…
Can Oria trust a savage warrior, now that her strength has vanished? Can Lonen choose her against the future of his people? Alone together in the wastes, Lonen and Oria must forge a bond based on more than lust and power, or neither will survive the test…
An Unquiet Heart
Alone in her tower, Princess Oria has spent too long studying her people’s barbarian enemies, the Destrye—and neglected the search for calm that will control her magic and release her to society. Her restlessness makes meditation hopeless and her fragility renders human companionship unbearable. Oria is near giving up. Then the Destrye attack, and her people’s lives depend on her handling of their prince…
A Fight Without Hope
When the cornered Destrye decided to strike back, Lonen never thought he’d live through the battle, let alone demand justice as a conqueror. And yet he must keep up his guard against the sorceress who speaks for the city. Oria’s people are devious, her claims of ignorance absurd. The frank honesty her eyes promise could be just one more layer of deception.
A Savage Bargain
Fighting for time and trust, Oria and Lonen have one final sacrifice to choose… before an even greater threat consumes them all.
Princess Oria has one chance to keep her word and stop her brother’s reign of terror: She must become queen. All she has to do is marry first. And marry Lonen, the barbarian king who defeated her city bare weeks ago, who can never join her in a marriage of minds, who can never even touch her—no matter how badly she wants him to.
A Fragile Bond
To rule is to suffer, but Lonen never thought his marriage would become a torment. Still, he’s a resourceful man. He can play the brute conqueror for Oria’s faceless officials and bide his time with his wife. And as he coaxes secrets from Oria, he may yet change their fate…
An Impossible Demand
With deception layering on deception, Lonen and Oria must claim the throne and brazen out the doubters. Failure means death— for them and their people.
But success might mean an alliance powerful beyond imagining…
Haunted by nightmares of a black dog, sick to death of my mind-numbing career and heart-numbing fiancé, I impulsively walked out of my life—and fell into Faerie. Terrified, fascinated, I discover I possess a power I can't control: my wishes come true. After an all-too-real attack by the animal from my dreams, I wake to find myself the captive of the seductive and ruthless fae lord Rogue. In return for my rescue, he demands an extravagant price—my firstborn child, which he intends to sire himself…
With no hope of escaping this world, I must learn to harness my magic and build a new life despite the perils—including my own inexplicable and debilitating desire for Rogue. I swear I will never submit to his demands, no matter what erotic torment he subjects me to…
Fresh out of college, Christine Davis is thrilled to begin a summer internship at the prestigious Sante Fe Opera House. But on her first day, she discovers that her dream job has a dark side. Beneath the theater, a sprawling maze of passageways are rumored to be haunted. Ghostly music echoes through the halls at night. And Christy's predecessor has mysteriously disappeared. Luckily, Christy finds a friend and admirer in Roman Sanclaro, the theater's wealthy and handsome patron. He convinces her there's nothing to fear--until she hears the phantom's voice for herself. Echoing in the labrynths. Singing of a lost love. Whispering her name: Christine.
At first, Christy thinks she's hearing things. But when a tall masked man steps out of the shadows--and into her arms--she knows he's not a phantom of her imagination. He is the master of her desire. . .
Elle est son fantasme le plus absolu. Mais, pour la faire sienne, il va devoir découvrir son secret.« Je réaliserai tous tes fantasmes. Mais, d’abord, tu dois apprendre à me faire confiance. » Confiance ? Emily ne se fie à personne ! C’est la seule façon de garantir sa sécurité, et la raison pour laquelle elle a veillé à garder ses distances avec les habitants de la petite île brumeuse de la côte Est où elle a trouvé refuge sous une fausse identité. Pourtant, face à Fox Mullins, son nouveau – et très séduisant – voisin, elle sent un enivrant mélange de peur et d’excitation la gagner. Cet homme éveille en elle un désir primitif. Quelque chose de puissant, de sombre... et de libérateur. Car, elle le devine, si elle s’abandonne à lui, il lui permettra d’oublier – pour quelques heures du moins – le secret qui ne la quitte jamais... Ton désir, mon plaisirPour se trouver, il faut parfois se perdre d’abord...Se soumettre à un homme qui contrôlerait son corps et son plaisir... Amber sait exactement ce qu’elle attend d’un amant : qu’il la guide sur ce chemin inconnu dont elle pressent qu’il la comblera. Et, dans ses rêves nocturnes, c’est toujours le même homme qui la soumet à son emprise – Alexander Knight, son patron au délicieux accent britannique. Un fantasme stupide. Car non seulement Alexander lui témoigne une réserve glaciale, mais encore elle a trop travaillé pour se faire une place dans le monde très fermé de la finance pour tout gâcher sur un coup de tête. Pourtant, le jour où elle surprend dans le regard d’Alexander une dangereuse étincelle d’intérêt et de désir mêlés, toutes les bonnes résolutions d’Amber s’effondrent... Ton emprise, mon destinDans son regard, elle se sent désirée. Dans ses bras, vivante.« Quand vous êtes-vous amusée pour la dernière fois ? » Sous le regard perçant de Ryan Black, Tina sent une colère folle l’envahir. Comment cet homme peut-il imaginer une seule seconde que lui offrir son corps, se soumettre totalement à sa volonté pour qu’il fasse d’elle ce que bon lui semble, puisse être pour elle de l’ « amusement » ? C’est dégradant, dangereux et... étonnamment excitant. Car, malgré elle, Tina ne peut retenir un frisson en entendant cette voix chaude et rauque lui murmurer des propositions indécentes à l’oreille. Des promesses qui devraient la choquer, mais lui donnent plutôt l’impression qu’elle était comme endormie depuis des années, et que cet homme pourrait être celui qui la réveillera...
Qu’elles soient innocentes ou torrides, les nuits passées dans les bras d’un homme défendu – un ami trop beau pour le rester, un inconnu au charme trouble – transportent celles qui osent succomber...
Bryony a craqué pour Rafael de Luca, mais son amant a quitté son lit sans un mot d’adieu...
Kelly s’est abandonnée dans les bras de Ryan Beardsley, puis elle a fui, bien trop loin de lui...
Ashley s’est offerte à Devon Carter, avant de découvrir sa trahison...
Pippa s’est jetée au cou de Cameron Hollingsworth, et n’a pas tardé à regretter ce moment d’égarement...
Elles ont bravé l’interdit, elles ont cédé à la tentation. Car tout le monde sait que c’est dans le secret des nuits que naissent les plus grandes passions...
A propos de l’auteur :
Etoile montante de la romance érotique, Maya Banks nous fait également vibrer par ses romances contemporaines, sensuelles − et toujours passionnées ! Ses romans figurent sur les listes des best-sellers du New York Times et d’USA Today. Une consécration pour cette amoureuse des livres, qui aime par-dessus tout offrir à ses lectrices des personnages hors du commun.