Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good Guys or Bad Boys?

It's the question many romance readers and writers alike ask themselves when they start a new book. Do they want the heroine to end up with the firefighter, cop, knight in shining armor, nice guy next door? Or would she only find happiness with someone a little darker?

And that was the dilemma I had while writing Assassin Queen. She's going to be queen. It's in the title. So, if she marries, her husband would be king. Everybody wants a good king, right? But at the same time, she's been on the run for a decade. In order to survive, she's had to surround herself with murders and thieves. She's had to sharpen her wit and cunningness until they were both razor sharp. They've kept her alive these last ten years. Would she be truly happy with a boy scout? Would he accept her and the things she's had to do to stay alive?

In some ways her love life is every bit as twisted and dark as the political path she's been forced to walk. So will she end up with the knight she'd once promised herself to or the dark mage who makes her heart race?


   He spit on the sand near her feet. “Already you’ve changed.”
   “I will not tolerate this abuse.” She pointed a dagger at his heart to emphasize her words.
“And I haven’t changed.”
   “You want to go home for vengeance. You want the walls to run with his blood and your
people to finally have to admit they chose the wrong side.”
   Her blood heated with pleasure at the picture his image painted.
   “You are an assassin at heart. You live for the thrill of dispensing justice with your own
hands and following your own moral code. Yet five minutes after you’ve made your decision,
you’re already speaking the language of diplomacy and sugarcoating your desires.”
   Her heart stopped as he leaned forward. He was going to kiss her. She could feel it in her
soul. But that wasn’t the scary part. What terrified her was how badly she longed for it to
happen. When he stopped a mere breath away from her, she actually whimpered with desire.
   “I would follow you through the gates of hell without a backward glance.”
   His warm breath fluttered across her skin and made her shiver.
   “But only the true you. The assassin. And there are a million and one deaths I am prepared
to watch you die. It is the nature of who we are. But I refuse to watch your spirit be cannibalized
until you are nothing but a pale shadow of the woman who once held my allegiance.”
   “I have been the Assassin Princess for ten years now.” She ran her fingertips over the
stubble on his chin and gasped at the raw hunger that emanated from him. “But she is no more.”
   “Now I am the Assassin Queen. Help me take my kingdom back. Help me find justice for
the ten years I was sentenced to exile for the crime of being another man’s child.”
   His teeth reflected a glint of moonlight as he smiled. “Aye. That I will do. I serve at the
pleasure of the Assassin Queen.”
   He ran the pad of his thumb over her cheek and then stepped back. “But if I see you’re
fading into a life of politics, I will kill you myself.”
   She laughed. “If you can take me in a fair battle, I deserve to die.”
   “In all the years we’ve fought side by side, have you ever seen me fight fair?”
   He turned and walked into the night before she had a chance to answer.


At sixteen Lilavati was banished from her mother’s kingdom by her stepfather. She was the rightful heir, but with the queen carrying a new child she had to choose between exile or death. Instead of facing the executioner, she fled in the middle of the night like a common thief—leaving behind everyone and everything she ever loved, including the dashing knight who’d stolen her young heart, Naresh.

Now, ten years later, Lilavati isn’t the naive, helpless princess she’d once been. Life on the run has hardened her. It’s also given her time to formulate a plan to take back the kingdom that should be hers and access to criminals, assassins, and a ruthless spell-caster named Kirin who can make that plan a reality. If she can keep the sorcerer focused on the goal and not the ill-advised attraction between them, that is. When she hears of her mother’s death, she knows it’s time to act. She will have everything that is rightfully hers. But she’s not the only one that’s changed since her departure. Her once strong kingdom is dying. It needs a savor not a conqueror.

Kirin agreed to work with Lilavati because he enjoys being near the aloof princess. He’s drawn to her confidence and determination. But when she starts using that determination to keep him at a distance, he’s not nearly so fond of the attribute. A promise she made to another ten years ago is keeping her out of his bed. When he discovers her knight in shining armor is married and has kids, though, all bets are off. But no matter how many times he shares her bed, it’s not enough. He’ll have to figure out a way to make the princess surrender her heart. It’s not going to be easy with his reputation. But if he can save her kingdom, he might have a shot.

Assassin Queen will be out in March 2015! Follow me on Facebook and add the book to your Goodreads shelf so you don't miss the release.


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