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Archive for 'Science Fiction Romance'



Cynthia Sax:  Provoking Odium and Beauty and The Beast
Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

My favorite romance trope of all time is Beauty and The Beast.

One love interest is scarred and surly and believes they are unlovable. The other love interest is beautiful and optimistic and is bursting with love.

They are complete opposites, yet they work. They’re magical together.

I can read this trope again and again, whether it is the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale version or a steamy paranormal romance with a beast shifter in the beast role.

And I write this trope again and again. Each couple (or more) is different because each character is different. They have different histories, different traumas, different ways of withdrawing or hiding themselves from their unique worlds.

Often the beasts in my stories are the heroes. I tend to put myself in the place of the heroine when I read or write and my fantasy is being with the beast.

In Provoking Odium, my latest Cyborg Romance, however, the human heroine claims that role.

Briella is nicknamed Beast for several reasons. She appears fearless, taking on missions deemed too dangerous by others. She is a skilled pilot, a “beast” in the air. No one can fly a freighter through space like she can. She is also scarred, both physically and emotionally. Having been rejected in the past, she now pushes other beings away. She doesn’t allow anyone to get close to her…in any way.

Odium, in contrast, is physically perfect. He’s a cyborg, and they don’t manufacture unsightly cyborgs. (grins) He isn’t, what I would view as, optimistic or sunny in temperament. But he does have quite a few friends and most beings like him.

He wants to claim Briella as his female more than he has ever wanted anything or anyone else. She is his genetic match, and she is also his soul mate.

She’d realize that IF she stopped avoiding him. Odium is persistent and he is determined to care for Briella and protect her. He’s willing to give up his lifespan to do that.

What is your favorite Beauty And The Beast romance?

Provoking Odium

A Beautiful Cyborg

While accompanying his leader on a mission, Odium, an E Model cyborg, hears a distress call over the communication lines. The voice on that message makes his circuits surge with energy and all his systems light up. He has to respond to the mysterious female, would risk his lifespan and the lifespans of everyone on board their ship to protect her.

A Human Female Others Call Beast

Briella gained her nickname due to her flying abilities, her fearlessness, and her scarred countenance. Her verbal-only relationship with the sexy cyborg who answers her distress call is a steamy yet short-lived fantasy. His kind is physically perfect, and she is…not. He will uncover that truth when…if they survive the attack upon her freighter.

***

Provoking Odium is a STANDALONE Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.

It features a human female intent on remaining mysterious, a cyborg warrior determined to uncover her identity, and an enemy seeking to destroy them both before they have the opportunity to meet.

Buy Today:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09NRXGLFW
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09NRXGLFW
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B09NRXGLFW
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/provoking-odium/id1605490349
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/provoking-odium-cynthia-sax/1140894003
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/provoking-odium
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1127119

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured on TV, in Star Magazine, and numerous top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com.
Website:  http://cynthiasax.com/
Newsletter:   http://cynthiasax.com/newsletter/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cynthiasax/
Twitter:  @CynthiaSax
Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

NO TENDER MERCY is out! Plus, Open Contests!
Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

I have a new release! It’s sexy, features an ex-Army vampire, and it’s set in post-apocalyptical Texas! What more could you want? Oh right, did I tell you it’s sexy? And not terribly long if you’re looking for a quick afternoon read. Did I mention it’s FREE in KU Unlimited?

I hope you’ll give the story a read, and if you have time, review it. Readers trust other readers…

No Tender Mercy

No Tender Mercy

Read an excerpt | Order your copy here!

Open Contests

  1. We’re Dead Horse! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  2. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! (Contests–Multiple Prizes!) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. I love Saturday! Plus, a Puzzle-Contest and More Open Contests! — Win an Amazon gift card!
Cynthia Sax: Seizing Power and Arrogant Heroes
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

I LOVE arrogant romance heroes. I love how they usually start the story thinking they know everything. They are certain they are all powerful, all knowing, are never wrong.

Then they meet their love interests.

The love interests don’t bow to their arrogance. They push back. That confuses the heroes, knocks them a bit off balance. The heroes try to reassert their control over everything and everyone. The love interests aren’t having it. They put the heroes in their place, humbling them, sometimes making them grovel.

There’s something so steamy about bringing a powerful man to his knees. (bites knuckles)

Those scenes, when written deliciously well, are re-reads for me. They are my happy places to mentally go when the world is…well… (waves at everything happening). If an arrogant hero can find humility, there is hope everyone can change, can become kinder, more generous people.

Power, the dark-eyed hero of my newest cyborg romance Seizing Power, is one of the most arrogant heroes I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. He is the self-appointed leader of the Cyborg Council, which says it all. The cyborg warrior gave himself the role.

Power is merely one being on a council, yet his decisions are usually upheld. Because he’s intelligent, skilled in strategy, and he’s often unfortunately right.

He’s often right but not always.

Eirene Ours, his soon-to-be love interest, knows Power is wrong about one critical, life-endangering decision, a decision that could kill every cyborg in existence. She has been pushing back on it for solar cycles (for years), escalating the matter until it has reached its breaking point.

Having been taught strength respects strength, she has also built a formidable army of warriors, all loyal to her. She has formed allies with influential beings. Thousands of warships are under her control.

Eirene Ours is Power’s equal. He doesn’t yet appreciate that she has the ability, the willpower, the strategic thinking to bring him to his knees, but he will soon come to that realization. And it will be GLORIOUS.

Who is your favorite arrogant romance hero? What is your favorite grovel scene?

(And YES, this will be a grovel scene in Seizing Power.)

Seizing Power

This cyborg believes he’s in control.

Power is the self-appointed leader of the cyborg council. Other members might debate situations. He makes the ultimate decisions.

When a threat to Homeland is revealed, he takes command of a fleet and ventures to the edge of cyborg-controlled space to investigate. He finds a rebellion led by a mysterious upstart he calls Cadet.

The plan Power derives is simple—he’ll quickly quash the uprising and teach its leader a lesson the warrior will never forget.

NO ONE challenges his authority.

Eirene Ours might be called a cadet by Power but she is NOT his subordinate. She is the arrogant E Model’s genetic match.

For much of her mature lifespan, she has desired the male, yearning for his dark-eyed gaze, craving his sure hands, longing for his respect.

That esteem was never granted. And Eirene Ours can no longer wait to earn it. There’s an external threat to their kind, a danger that might destroy them all.

Having lured Power to her home terrain, she now plans to use everything within her means — her fists, her daggers, her ship-destroying missiles — to pound that truth into her stubborn warrior’s thick metal skull.

The future of every cyborg is at stake. She can’t fail them.

Power will believe her. Or he will die.

Seizing Power is an enemies-to-lovers Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.

It features an epic battle between two equally strong cyborg leaders, plans that go terribly yet passionately wrong, and a love that will shake the entire universe.

Buy Now:
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09HT5RMH8
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09HT5RMH8
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09HT5RMH8
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/seizing-power/id1589084775
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seizing-power-cynthia-sax/1140305634
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seizing-power-2
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1108292

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured on TV, in Star Magazine, and numerous top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com
Website:  http://cynthiasax.com/
Newsletter:   http://cynthiasax.com/newsletter/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cynthiasax/
Twitter:  @CynthiaSax
Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

K.S. Trenten: Once Upon a Symposium
Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

One of the most striking features of Plato’s classic The Symposium is Alcibaides’s entrance. It’s been edited out of televised versions due to its blatant and unapologetic homoeroticism. Alcibiades confesses his devotion to Socrates. This devotion developed after Socrates turned down his advances. In doing so, Socrates impressed Alcibiades with his desire for a deeper love, a deeper wisdom than what an attractive young man could provide with his body. Alcibiades decided to chase after Socrates from that point on, pursuing the love and wisdom embodied by the man in pursuit of them.

I’ve always been fascinated by the eternal chase, the various forms it can take. This struck me as a profoundly deep one.

Perhaps with the discomfort of a modern reader with deep matters, I made a joke out of it. I pictured Socrates with Phaedrus and Timeus in space a bit like the protagonist of Mystery Science Theater. Alcibiades would be chasing them across the universe, showing his devotion to Socrates in oddball ways, like attacking the places Socrates visited.

I mentioned this in a joking way on social media. It was A. Catherine Noon who said, “You should do it!”

Encouragement caused inspiration to flower, made me determined to give it the chance to flower. I sat down at the Peet’s Coffee in San Ramon between games at DunDraCon 2016. I’d brought my beloved Penguin classics copy from 1990 of The Symposium, the one I’d used for a core class at Cowell College, the University of California at Santa Cruz.

I started to read, remembering how much The Symposium enchanted and maddened me. Plato had such a low opinion of women, yet I was the one responding to his words, his mythology centuries later. Why couldn’t a group of women have an equally deep, intellectually arousing conversation about love?

Before long, my own symposium was in full swing. The guests were all women, only the word ‘women’ was no longer fashionable in the Intergalactic Democracy, a curious matriarchy that was an inverse of Ancient Athens. It was also a strangely magical place where food could appear on your plate, taking on the symbolic form of your words. At least it could in Agathea’s star cluster. Guests could get to the symposium just by thinking about why they wanted to go, why they wanted to accept Agathea’s invitation. Agathea, the host, could feed upon the passion within her guests’ words of love. They brought a blush to her otherwise pale cheeks.

Everything I found wondrous and frightening about technology, social media, and mythology came together in A Symposium in Space. This fear and wonder found a voice in Phaedra, my main character. In search of herself, she found love and rekindled love in surprising places.

Not that A Symposium in Space ever lost its core idea. Alcibiades became Alkibiadea, the dashing pirate queen. She’d be chasing Sokrat, my female version of Socrates across the universe in the company of Phaedra and Phaedra’s newfound spaceship, the Timea. Alkibiadea would crash my symposium as Alcibiades crashed the symposium centuries before.

My story became a science fiction tale, a fantasy, an homage to a literary classic, a crossover joke, and a Young Adult coming-of-age story all at once. No wonder it’s so hard to classify as a genre. No wonder it’s so hard to market. No wonder it holds a very special place in my heart.

Large parts of this story concern women having thought-provoking conversations. Whether they’re being pursued by space pirates or rediscovering each other as their host drinks deep of their passions at a dinner party, these women always have something important to say and to hear.

These conversations are both my homage and my comeback to Plato in all his eloquence and misogyny. They’re meant to entertain as well as inspire.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

A Symposium in Space

Phaedra and her lover, Pausania, are invited to a dinner party. Only this won’t be like any party Phaedra has ever been to. Nor does Pausania want her to go. But Phaedra is determined, even if she has to find her own way to this symposium in space.

A fateful encounter with the spaceship of her dreams and the wandering philosopher, Sokrat, lead Phaedra to a unique gathering of individuals where thoughts of love are offered up…and consumed.

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136

Follow me at…

The Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration: http://inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com
Livejournal: http://cauldronkeeper.livejournal.com
Dreamwidth: rhodrymavelyne.dreamwidth.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhodrymavelyne
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14876500.K_S_Trenten?from_search=true
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kstrenten
Nine Star Press Author Page: https://ninestarpress.com/authors/k-s-trenten/

D’Arcy Arden: The Fourth State of Matter
Monday, December 27th, 2021

When I started writing The Fourth State of Matter, I intended for it to be a poly relationship between a human and two alien characters. However, as I was coming up with the characters I ran into a problem. I couldn’t decide how to design the aliens.

My writing process is usually to start by drawing the characters first. If I can draw them that means I can envision them clearly enough to write about them. I went through several different designs for the aliens, and eventually whittled it down to three different ones.

Then, as I was debating which of the three designs to discard, a thought occurred to me. Why do I have to choose at all?

And so, my ménage à trois became a ménage à quatre.

The Fourth State of Matter is a story that explores the intricacies of an atypical relationship. These characters proudly rebel against the norm, but that doesn’t mean they are free from conflict. There is plenty of drama to be found, both internally and externally. From personal conflicts of self-worth to government agents trying to split our main characters apart, this story features a little of everything.

Between these pages you’ll also find a great sci-fi story, steamy foursome sex scenes between a human and his three alien lovers, and a psychological exploration of what it means to be human. If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, then check out The Fourth State of Matter.

The Fourth State of Matter

Earth is dead. Humanity survives by selling the only resource available—themselves. 2689 has signed away his rights as a living being and become décor, living artwork that rich aliens use to decorate their homes. It’s a stable existence but a boring one. Until one day his owner plays host to three unexpected guests. Large, loud, and more potent than anything 2689 has ever experienced, this trio of ship-dwellers from the wrong side of the universe awakens a desire he can’t ignore.

However, blissful days of sex and companionship with Brog, Desmodian, and Xavis come to an end when 2689 discovers a plot that could land the trio in jail…or worse. 2689 will have to make a choice—stay silent and allow three innocent lives to be ruined or give up his stable life to protect the ones he loves.

Check out the trailer!

The Use of Heavy Water

And for further adventures, be on the lookout for the upcoming sequel The Use of Heavy Water. Find out more here:
https://daarden33.wixsite.com/weatheringthestorm/post/the-valence-chronicles-book-2-cover-and-title-reveal

~D’Arcy Arden

Cynthia Sax: B Free And Being The Last Of Your Kind
Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

B, the cyborg hero of B Free, my latest release, believes he is the last of his kind.

The big male isn’t alone. He isn’t isolated. B has friends, is part of a team, reports to a leader he respects.

But he knows of no other beings like him anywhere in the universe. He is the sole remaining B Model. No one else has his (very) long history, his challenges, his gifts. The other cyborgs don’t resemble him. He is unique, often stared at, and he doesn’t feel truly understood.

I think many of us have felt that way at some point in our lives.

In my previous life (grins), when I was a business babe, I’d sometimes be the only woman in rooms filled with hundreds of men. I was the center of attention in those situations and, being a private person, an extreme introvert, I really don’t like that. Men would approach me simply because I was a woman. They’d watch me. It made me uneasy.

I would watch the doors at the beginning of the event and long for another female-facing person to enter the room. When one did, stars, it was like a mini celebration in my soul. Our gazes would meet. We’d exchange grins.

Both of us would be visibly relieved. We weren’t the only ones. There was someone like us at the event, someone who understood what we were dealing with, who had the same challenges we did.

That feeling is why B, the hero of B Free, continues to monitor communications. He scans messages for any mentions of B Models, of warriors like him. If there’s a reference to his kind, he flies, sometimes halfway across the universe, to investigate the situation.

All of those searches have ended in disappointment.

Thus far.

Have you ever been in a situation where you were the only one of ‘your kind’?

B Free

B is the last remaining B Model cyborg. All of his brethren, the beings he trained with, fought with, cared deeply for, have perished.

Or so he believes.

When he intercepts a communication mentioning the existence of one of his kind, he has to investigate its source. The message could be a trap set by his enemies. He’ll take that risk if it secures him the companionship he requires to be fully functional.

What he finds is a daring brown-eyed female who activates all his systems. She proudly proclaims she’s a researcher, brandishing that information like a weapon before her. He wants to kiss the sass off her beautiful face, protect her from the dangers around them, claim her forever.

Quinn is on a quest to locate the mechanics of an early-version cyborg. She believes the information captured within that frame will give her valuable insights into the past.

When her mission goes zombie-like beings levels of wrong, she comes face-to-face with a living, breathing B Model. He has big hands, a primitive countenance, and stern hard lips crafted for kissing.

She doesn’t trust him. And she doesn’t have time to indulge her desires.

Their shared enemies are chasing them, would kill to get their precious specimens back. One minor mistake could reduce B and Quinn to a mere line in the databases of history.

B Free is a STANDALONE Cyborg SciFi Romance set in a dark, gritty, sometimes-violent universe.

It features the sole surviving B Model cyborg warrior, a courageous researcher seeking to uncover the past, and an unplanned visit to a settlement ruled by an extremely scary all-knowing, all-powerful being.

B Free is the fourth of five core stories in the Rebel Cyborgs Series.

Book 1: Containing Malice
Book 2: Under Strain
Book 3: Baring Grudge
Book 4: B Free
Book 5: Seizing Power

Buy Today:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B097CJJ6B7
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B097CJJ6B7
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B097CJJ6B7
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/b-free/id1572709749
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/b-free-cynthia-sax/1139701466
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/b-free
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1089821

About Cynthia Sax

USA Today bestselling author Cynthia Sax writes steamy Cyborg, Alien and Contemporary Romances. Her stories have been featured on TV, in Star Magazine, and numerous top ten lists.

Sign up for her dirty-joke-filled monthly newsletter and visit her on the web at www.CynthiaSax.com
Newsletter:   http://cynthiasax.com/newsletter/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/cynthiasax/
Twitter:  @CynthiaSax
Blog:  http://tasteofcyn.com/

Alexa Piper: Rook’s Palace: A New Reverse Harem Series (Excerpt)
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

If you could have more than one hot boyfriend, why wouldn’t you?

This is a question Emilia finds herself confronting by the end of Rook’s Palace, but before that, she’s already had to go through a lot. Her adventure starts out with a house-sitting gig. The house is more of a fake castle, so that is weird, but she can roll with that. But then, a video game turns on by itself, and Emilia gets sucked into the game.

She knows there is a way to finish the virtual reality adventure: free a vampire prince from his tower prison. She also knows that to get there, she will have to, erm, lose some of the scant lace clothing the game provides her with. As Emilia advances in the game, she begins to understand that it is not really a game at all, but a prison designed to look like a magical palace.

The five monsters Emilia meets don’t just get under her very short skirt but also under her skin, and Emilia decides that she will free them all. It is easier said than done, because the creator of the game doesn’t want his prisoners to escape.

Rook’s Palace has plenty of action: the running kind, and the gasping and moaning kind. And of course, you won’t have to pick a favorite love interest—you get to have all the five monsters on offer.

Rook’s Palace (Her Five Monsters 1)

Release Date: Nov 12, 2021

Drawn into a video game, Emilia falls for five sexy monsters and wonders if the game is real after all.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FUGn5P
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3vmvHI2
Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3aPPw0Y
Apple: https://apple.co/3G0cEZa
Changeling: https://bit.ly/3bv88nj

Emilia is excited to start a house-sitting job, even if the house is creepy and more than a little on the odd side — as odd as the owner’s requests. When she finds an unusual gaming console, she is drawn into a lusty video game in which she crosses paths with five inhuman creatures. She is drawn to them all, but when the five men keep telling her that the game is very much not what it seems, Emilia realizes she can no longer play along.

As the path she follows offers not just desire and intense experiences but also sadness, cruelty, and hurt around every bend, Emilia’s resolve firms: she will free the five men, who tell her they are already a family, already lovers. Whatever she has grown to feel for them, she cannot let them suffer if saving them is within her power.

With the rules of a game she doesn’t understand forcing her to play along, Emilia must find a way to get to the end of the game and get everyone out — whatever the cost. The freedom of her five monsters depends on her.

Excerpt from Rook’s Place

Copyright ©2021 Alexa Piper

Another flash of silver washed over Emilia just as she was about to follow a hallway that curved to the left. The lightning dyed the way straight ahead in gray, and at the end of it, she saw a door. The door was closed, unlike all the other doors on the first floor, so Emilia decided to try it. After all, if Blakely wants the shutters of his game room closed, it makes sense he’d keep the door closed as well, she thought.

A few steps in and with her arms out in front of her, Emilia touched the door and felt for the knob. She turned. The door opened, its hinges soundless. The room she saw beyond was the game room indeed. Emilia searched for a light switch instinctively, even though light fell in through the windows, some of which had their shutters shifted open by the wind. Emilia could make out a billiard table, a card table, shelves with games, and a large television set. She stopped looking for a light switch when she saw that, because the TV gleamed faintly.

“What the…” Emilia walked toward the large screen. She was pretty sure that no one else was here besides her. “Mr. Blakely?” she said. Maybe he’d cancelled her services after all, although she would have expected him to send her an email at least. “Hello?” she said, louder.

Emilia looked around, and finally spotted the light panel, higher up than she’d tried. She hit the switch, and the light that filled the room left no shadows for anyone to hide within them. The TV, though, was definitely on.

“Maybe the thunderstorm got you to work?” Emilia said and walked toward it. As she did, she noticed blinking lights from the shelf underneath it. There were several gaming consoles there, new ones she was familiar with. But those weren’t the ones that blinked at her, no.

The console that had caught Emilia’s attention was an oval design, smooth silver. She touched the casing, and found that it was warm, polished metal rather than plastic, with a smaller oval display set in the middle. As soon as her fingers brushed against the console, the display lit up with words.

“Play me? Huh,” Emilia said. “You’re strange. How do I play you?” she asked. There was no controller anywhere that she could see. The other wireless ones were neatly lined up beneath their respective console, but this oddity…

The screen brightened, and the words play me blinked at Emilia.

“Right. I want to.” She turned to look around. On the table behind her, on the chairs, there was no controller in sight either, nor did her search reveal one behind the cushions. Shrugging, Emilia hit the screen on the console. She felt the slight give of a button. “Ah.”

The television set flickered to life, and a suitably eerie voice echoed to Emilia from hidden speakers.

“Welcome to the Rook’s Palace,” said a male narrator. On the screen, the camera was following a path through a thicket of trees. It wound toward a castle that rose like a waking dragon in the distance.

“Wow, this looks super HD,” Emilia said. She pulled one of the floor cushions stacked to the right of the TV toward her and sat down cross-legged.

“Brave traveler, you have chosen to walk the paths to the palace, but beware,” said the narrator. “These paths are full of the pleasures of the flesh, and none that walk them may escape the lust and desire of those who call the palace their home.

“Traveler, should you choose to continue, there is a mission you must carry out.” The screen washed out, the scene shifting from the outdoors to a room. It could have been a room right here in Blakely’s castle. As the camera did a slow turn, Emilia gasped a little as a tall, dark-haired figure came into view. At that exact moment, the man turned and looked at the camera, almost as if he’d heard Emilia’s gasp. His dark hair ran down his back, and he wore what was probably supposed to be some sort of stylized Victorian garb. The pants were tight enough to show off muscular legs, and the pressed white shirt with the silver buttons — half of which were undone — showed a broad chest and a narrow waist. The man, whose hair trailed down to the small of his back and half hid his face, looked straight at the camera. His eyes were the color of amethyst, and a wild emotion stirred in their depth for a second before the man shut it down.

“Lord Radovan, the vampire prince, has been hidden away in the palace’s highest tower. Traveler, if you dare, it is your mission to free Lord Radovan from his captivity.”

Emilia wanted to look at this strange vampire prince more. The video quality was good, uncannily so, everything looked real. It was almost like all she had to do was reach out her hand, and she’d be able to touch the amethyst-eyed vampire prince.

Emilia lifted her right hand, but before she could actually try reaching for the vampire, the camera moved. It went for a window and flew straight out, down toward a hedge maze.

“The palace grounds are full of riddles and challenges. Those who guard the path and the palace will not be assuaged by anything less than taking pleasure in your body, Traveler,” the narrator said. “They will demand you give yourself to them, and if they have no mouth or know not how to use it, they will take pleasure on you regardless, split you open and fill you with their need.”

Emilia felt like she should be taking notes for her chat room work. This was good enough to make warmth run down her spine, to make her shift a little on her floor cushion.

“Traveler, if you wish to proceed to the Rook’s Palace, you must consent now to have your body used. On the path to the Palace, your body will be your token. If you dare not, you may turn back, though you will never know what pleasures hide behind these walls. If you consent, your pleasure will end only once Lord Radovan is set free from his tower.”

The maze opened up to the path again, and the camera rushed back to the spot it had first been in, the one with trees to either side of it. Words wrote themselves across the screen.

“Traveler, do you consent?” it read. “Say yes, and proceed. Say no, and never return.”

Once more, Emilia looked for a controller. The button she’d pushed on the console had gone dark now. She looked back up at the screen…

About Alexa Piper

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them.

Connect with Alexa: https://linktr.ee/AlexaPiper