Pleasure that destroys all thought. Love that shatters all barriers.
Outlawed Realm, Book 2
Once a sex slave marked for termination, Lukan was miracu- lously liberated from E4’s Pleasure Palace, where E2’s fine, upstanding rulers secretly indulge their cravings for every imaginable vice. But freedom is not enough.
He left his heart behind with Arez. Within her fragrant, heated caress, he knew everything denied him. Rapture, contentment, tenderness…and love. Desperate to have her back in his arms, he embarks on a dangerous mission to deliver his untamed temptress from the certain death she does not know awaits her.
Within her velvet cage Arez knew only carnal submission and loneliness—until Lukan. But he has disappeared, and she sens- es something different in the way the supreme ruler is using her. Then, as if Lukan felt her long- ing for his strong arms and fevered kisses, he is there to sweep her from this twilight dimension to another.
But true freedom lies just out of his grasp. To reach the last portal—and their destiny—Lukan and Arez must first outwit an army of predators that hunt them. Human, subhuman…and mon- sters.
Warning: Features a lusty guy who makes Greek gods look wimpy, and a wanton woman who lives for scorching sex. When these two get it on, watch out, they ain’t playing at lust or love.
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Day after day, Lukan came to Regina’s house, expecting Nikoli to give him the finished device, prepared to force him to do so if need be. For two weeks, the man had offered nothing but excuses. Nikoli kept asking Damir and Meelo for more materials, many of which he’d never used before. Endlessly, they discussed what he should do to make the instrument as effective as possible. They insisted it was so Lukan would come to no harm, all while he knew Arez was inching closer to death.
Lukan couldn’t stand it any longer. He circled Regina’s dining room table, agitation and worry over Arez’s safety forcing him to pace. Last night, when exhaustion finally allowed him to sleep, he’d dreamt of Arez, shackled and caged as always, naked and surprised at his return.
Her lips parted as he drew closer to her, wanting to touch her again, needing her caress as much as she required his. Lukan’s slumbering mind expected her to ask him a flood of questions, demanding to know where he’d been, why it had taken him so long to return.
Instead, she whispered, “What are you doing here? Who are you?”
His belly twisted. So much time had passed, surely she’d forgotten about him. If not, then she hated him for abandoning her to Vakar. Or she was already dead.
Abruptly, he stopped, his legs going weak, his head swimming.
“Lukan.” Damir pushed out of her chair and went to him.
He swung his hand out, keeping her away. A long time ago, he’d wanted the concern and love she now showed, and received neither. It was too late to return to that earlier time. Only Arez could give him all that he still hungered for.
“Here,” Regina said, hurrying from the kitchen. She took the empty jar of peanut butter from him and delivered a full container, no doubt believing a lack of food had caused his dizziness rather than heartache over Arez. “Eat all you want,” Regina assured. “We have plenty.”
Her kindness tonight was in stark contrast to the first days he’d come here. Then, Lukan had felt Regina staring as he ate hurriedly, grabbing whatever food he could from her table, unable to help himself. Always he feared there wouldn’t be enough, or she’d snatch the meal from him as the guards had done in the Pleasure Palace. And so he’d behaved like a man who’d known nothing but slavery and near starvation, no better than an animal created solely to be used or whipped.
Pride made him want to refuse the jar and turn his back to her. She’d never known a day of hunger. She’d never faced the prospect of someone deciding whether she would live another day or die.
“Go on,” she coaxed more softly than before.
Lukan took the food and backed away quickly, keeping himself from thanking her, refusing to show any weakness or trust. He shouldn’t even be eating. What was wrong with him? How could he feel hunger with Arez in such peril? How could he be so selfish?
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Tina Donahue is an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, and Kensington. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. Three of her erotic romances (Adored, Lush Velvet Nights, and Deep, Dark, Delicious) were named finalists in the 2011 EPIC competition. The French review site, Blue Moon reviews, chose her erotic romance Sensual Stranger as their Book of the Year 2010 (erotic category). The Golden Nib Award at Miz Love Loves Books was created specifically for Lush Velvet Nights, and two of her titles (The Yearning and Deep, Dark, Delicious) received an Award of Merit in the RWA Holt Medallion com- petition (2011 and 2012). Take Me Away and Adored both won second place in the NEC RWA contest (different years). Tina is featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. She was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company.
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