When I wrote At the Mercy of Her Pleasure, I started it with a Fagin-style master thief in mind. His name was Luc Saint-Cyr and he would be the kingpin that everyone feared. Stories would revolve around his students, with him being the glue that held the stories together. In the first book, the two main characters would be brothers, Senth and Khyff Antonello.
After I started writing it, I hit upon the idea of making it a romance. The first would feature the younger brother, Senth, and the sequel would be about Khyff. Each brother would find the heroine he needed.
The Fagin character faded into the background. However, each time I wrote Luc into a scene, my critique group would ask when Luc would get his story. I had no story planned for him at all, so put it out of my mind. Luc had other plans. The more I wrote about him, the more I liked him. He surprised me at every turn, acting like the bad guy in one scene, but the good guy in another. An enigma. I could not figure him out.
I wrote him as I saw him, however, and by the end of the story, I was beginning to think there might be more to him than I thought. As I got to the very end of the story, literally the last page, I saw a huge twist I could throw into the plot that would not only bring Luc into the next book, but also set him up to have his own story.
I wrote it. Luc has since been in every story set in the Tarthian Empire. He changed completely from the way I originally saw him and became a complex creature with his own unique backstory and life. So much more than I conceived him to be. It paid to listen to my critique partners, but even more to listen to my characters.
The book has been a critical success. One reviewer wrote, “I wish I could recommend reading this book, but I must instead recommend reading it twice. The ending is a serious twist that throws everything into a different light.” Another said, “Think you know what’ll happen next? No way. It’s by Kayelle.”
I’ve tried to live up to those reviews and my own promise to readers in every book since. I promise a great roller coaster ride of a story that brings excitement, fun, and takes readers in directions they didn’t expect.
After I finished the two books in the Antonello Brothers series, I saw an opportunity to bring in a third brother older than both Senth and Khyff. Guess what? He has a strong pre-existing relationship with Luc Saint-Cyr. Who knew? It will be a surprise to everyone when it’s revealed. I’m plotting that one now.
At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
Antonello Brothers 1: a Scifi Romance
Hired to steal back a prototype taken by the imperial armada, Senth Antonello retrieves it, but his brother is kidnapped to force Senth to surrender the device.
Now he has to rescue his brother, outsmart the armada, and keep the item out of imperial hands. All doable, except for one small problem. He must do it in the company of NarrAy Jorlan, a genetically altered woman whose pheromones could enhance the mission or crumble it into dust with a single siren kiss.
He’s a thief. She’s a soldier. Do opposites attract? Oh, mercy!
Genre: Military science fiction romance set in a dystopian world.
Heat level: PG13 – sweet romance with a kick
Book length: 59,650 words (full novel)
Publisher: Romance Lives Forever Books
Series: Antonello Brothers (standalone books)
The sequel for this book is For Women Only.
The prequel to the series is Bro (and it’s free on my website).
Excerpt from At the Mercy of Her Pleasure
In this scene, Senth and NarrAy have just met. She’s considering whether to hire him to help her steal back the designs for a prototype her murdered parents designed. Because she’s a Better, an enhanced human with addictive pheromones, she’s not permitted to touch anyone skin-to-skin. Senth puts on gloves and prepares to shake her hand. All her life, she has been isolated from touch, so this moment is important to her.
NarrAy offered her hand. She’d practiced this with her father as a girl. “A gentleman doesn’t try to overpower a lady’s hand, NarrAy. But he isn’t afraid to be firm either.”
She held his gloved hand between both of hers. “I can see you’re a gentleman, Mr. Antonello.”
His cheeks reddened. “Just Senth, ma’am.”
She squeezed Senth’s hand. “And I’m NarrAy. Never Ms. Jorlan, nor ma’am. Not on this job. Understood?”
He met her gaze. “Does that mean you want me?” He blushed again and glanced down at their still-joined hands. “For the job, I mean.”
She bit back a laugh. What an innocent. “So long as we’re clear on who’s in charge.”
“When it comes to theft, NarrAy, I am. For everything else, you are, in every way.”
You have no idea. He had never once tried to look at her body. Maybe this dress will be okay after all.
“Come sit.” She gestured toward an adjacent room. “Let’s talk business.”
About Kayelle Allen
Kayelle is a best-selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.
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