Title: Royal Directive
Genre: Sci-fi Romance, discipline elements by agreement
Buy Link: Blushing Books
Koriana had thought she’d escaped her father’s hold over her life and that of the Ruling Council of Arronda when she’d joined the Intergalatic Peace Mission over two years ago. But now as the ship heads back to her home planet, her father has sent a royal directive to the ship’s commander. A strong, dominant man who is not only her Commander but also her lover. And a man with whom she has shared very little of her past and family history. This directive over a Royal Decree she opposed could destroy her new life.
Commander Dante Zantrose has been somewhat at peace since Koriana joined his ship and became his lover. She is a worthy diplomat and strong-willed, yet she accepts his dominance in bed and with discipline. She is his woman. Yet when he receives a directive to bring her to the king of Arronda and his Ruling Council, Dante feels betrayed by the secrets she has kept from him. To learn now that she is a royal princess who dared to defy a Royal Decree and hide away on his ship all this time, angers him. Even angry and aware of what must be done, he plans to take her to the council but he will stand behind her, too. He will fight for the one woman he needs as his lifemate.
Alzamar’s eyebrow lifted again. “I believe she has met her match in you, Commander Zantrose. At least for now.”
He looked thoughtful. “I only hope during the husband interviews we will find another man, such as you, who is able to handle her.”
“Husband interviews?” Dante feared he understood what they were, waited for an explanation.
“It is tradition here for the Royal Princess to begin interviewing potential husbands upon her twenty-fifth birthday. Then the Ruling Council makes the final decision about who is worthy.” Alzamar frowned. “Koriana had become too independent, too rebellious for the Council. They had told her that the interviews were to begin early, which was about the time the Zarian visited here.”
Dante understood now. Koriana hadn’t wanted a husband of the Council’s choosing. He wasn’t sure she wanted one at all, but neither of them had talked of anything beyond their life together now. He believed she had wanted more than just a chance to travel to other worlds, she had wanted to rebel from the forced tradition of marriage. He understood that, would have felt the same way in her position. Yet it went against his long-held belief in obeying the laws of a world, the traditions would be part of that.
Even though he was troubled by opposing those laws, Dante knew his feelings for Koriana. “She is my woman, lifemate or not…wife or not.” It surprised him how strongly he felt about the matter.
He hadn’t really thought about their future before now. Usually he was with a woman for only a few months, until both grew tired of the relationship and moved on. He had trouble seeing life without Koriana, didn’t want another woman in his bed or in his life.
“Arrondian laws do not honor relationships as… as mere lovers. The Princess must marry someone with the approval of the Council,” Alzamar stated solemnly.
“I do not believe she wants to marry, nor stay on Arronda.” Dante countered; now ready to turn his ship around and head in the other direction. “She has chosen to be with me and I… I wish her to remain with me until she chooses differently.” The thought of her “choosing differently” caused a pain in his chest, around his heart.
“She doesn’t have such choices. It is her duty to marry someone the Council approves. Her life is to be lived here on Arronda.” Alzamar looked him in the eye. “I have respected you during your time as commander of the Zarian, and am aware of your reputation with the Intergalatic Mission Board. And knowing the ways of your world, I know you would be a good husband to my daughter. But…”
“But?” Dante demanded.