Title: Dragon Lords: Book One The Barbarian Prince
Author: Michelle M. Pillow
Published May 2004 New Concepts Publishing
Morrigan Blake is one of the galaxy’s premier investigative reporters. She is tough, tenacious and willing to endure any physical discomfort to get her story. Morrigan has heard a rumor that Galaxy Brides was using illegal medic units to restore their clients virginity and then selling them off to the highest bidder. A story that would make a reporters career, and Morrigan intends to be that reporter. She applies for Galaxy’s current gig at the annual Breeding Festival on the planet of Qurilixian. The fact that the royal family might be in attendance after sixty years is only icing on the cake as far as Morrigan is concerned. If she could just get one of the women to talk to her on the trip to Qurilixian and get pictures of a Royal Wedding, she would have the scoop of the century.
Unfortunately for Morrigan, instead of studying the etiquette uploads offered on the trip, she spends her time taking advantage of the many perks offered by Galaxy Brides. After all who would refuse permanent body hair removal and body enhancing lifts? She has no luck with any of her fellow Brides in discovering a virginity conspiracy but she still holds hope for pictures and interviews with one or more of the princes. She arrives with the others to be dressed in the traditional clothing for the parade of prospective brides minus the critical information about the wedding ceremony itself and about the culture and laws of the Qurilixians. After a night of drugged confusion and unfulfilled desire she finds herself married to Ualan, the man she now plans on leaving. She hopes he will just leave, will be gone without her as well.
Ualan is one of four Princes of Qurilixian. He and his younger brothers attend the annual Breeding Festival. They had all been raised to trust in their gods and the mystical powers around them. Warriors in their prime, they are accustomed to a male dominated society and have not given any consideration to the fact that the brides that their planet lacks are from different social backgrounds. It is time they married and they join their subjects, masked and identities hidden, to have their life mates chosen for them. It mattered not to the crystals if you were prince or pauper. If your mate was chosen and she in turn chooses you by removing your mask and crushing your crystal, your fates are bonded forever. His excitement and joy at the glowing of his crystal when Morrigan passes is underlined with confusion at her contrary ways after she accepts him in the traditional manner.
Ualan cannot understand his beautiful and passionate bride. She blows hot and cold and refuses to commit to their marriage even after she accepts him in front of their entire kingdom according to Qurilixian law. First she tries to leave him, then she indentures herself to him, a step he cannot undo without royal pardon by not only his parents but all his brothers. Morrigan is maddening, frustrating, and irritating. Now his slave, she cannot cook or clean or do anything to please him. She does not seem to know that once she had crushed his crystal, their lives and their emotions were bonded. He can feel her desire for him but he can also feel her frustration and sadness. He is either going to gain her acceptance or strangle her. He works out some of his ire on the training fields with his brothers and with sage advice from his mother, seeks to win his bride again before she can place herself in a position where they cannot work out their problems.
Michelle has created a world where all is not as it appears. Her first journey into the futuristic genre is an unqualified success. The planet Qurilixian is a male dominated warrior society where men rule supreme over their women. The Princes have learned that their mates chosen for them are strong willed, tough women who can hold their own and demand what they think is their due from their royal grooms. Ualan and his brothers are going to have to win their mates along with discovering who amongst their enemies is trying to rid them of their maddening brides. Poison, kidnapping, espionage and political intrigue may well topple the Dragon Lords before love conquers all.
Dragon Lords: The Barbarian Prince seethes with sexual tension, conspiracy and intrigue. As secrets are discovered on both sides, Morrigan and Ualan must choose not only to love one another, they must choose to trust each other before they break each others hearts and the kingdom of the Dragon Lords is forever lost. Dragon Lords: The Barbarian Prince is available now at New Concepts Publishing. If you love new worlds, hot sensual romance with dominant but tender males blended with intrigue, this book is for you. I couldn’t put it down until the last word was read and found myself glad that there are three more princes whose stories will take me back to Qurilixian.