Kidnapped from Earth by alien slavers, Lacey had to fight her way to freedom in an inter-galactic gladiator match against the Hive, a fearsome race of psychopaths bent on destroying everything in their path. After defeating the Hive in battle, all she wants to do is return to Earth and her young daughter. But the Universe has other plans.
When Kadothian Warrior Gwarnon was young, he was told by his sadistic, manipulative mother that his Matriarch had died. His blood brother, Chel, had always insisted that she was alive, but Gwarnon had long ago given up hope. When he finds out through a twist of fate that his Matriarch is indeed alive, he is elated. At least at first. Lacey wants nothing to do with them, but Gwarnon and Chel are determined to show her that staying in the Bel’Tan Galaxy and being loved by them is her destiny.
Lacey will have to find a way to bring her worlds together, while protecting both her men and her family from an unseen enemy that is determined to destroy everything she holds dear.
It is HIGHLY suggested you read Roxy’s Warriors and Tara’s Warriors first, as there is a slight time overlap with all three books.
If you haven’t read Roxy’s Warriors and Tara’s Warriors, I suggest you do. Even though it’s not necessary it will make this book more enjoyable to see things as they occurred from those earlier books.
No one was more surprised than Gwarnon when he arrives to help with the earth women’s implants and finds his mate. Well his and Chel’s.
Unfortunately, Lacey is more concerned with getting back to Earth somehow, than in transitioning. Gwarnon and Chel are training her for the upcoming battle in the Baladium’s arena. During one of the epic verbal exchanges between Lacey and Gwarnon, Chel calls a halt, taking Lacey to another room. He felt all the hurt coming from Gwarnon and he needs Lacey to stop.
This is a favorite scene.
“I’m sorry, okay! I know fighting with Gwarnon is stupid, I know it. I know it’s screwing with my training, and that I can’t afford the distraction, but I just can’t help it!” She threw her hands up with a growl before dropping them again. “It’s just…it’s just that I can’t stand it when he gets all cold and closed off. I hate it when he does it, and I just want him to snap out of it.”
Understanding gave him another small clue to her soul as he took a seat in one of the chairs, avoiding the couch.
It would be too tempting to pull her into his lap, and that wasn’t what she needed from him.
And her needs would always come first.
“In order for you to understand Gwarnon, you must first understand his mother.” He gestured to the other chair. “You might want to have a seat for this.”
Frowning, she did as he asked, grabbing a deep purple pillow from the couch and holding it to her chest. “This is bad, isn’t it? I can feel…I mean your face is very expressive, I can see this story makes you sad.”
“It makes me incredibly sad, Lacey, and you can say what you really mean. You feel my sorrow, and that is normal and natural for bondmates.” She looked down and muttered something about not being his bondmate, but he ignored it. “Gwarnon’s mother is a sadist and what I believe you humans call a sociopath.”
Chel told Lacey about some of the mental torture Gwarnon had been subjected to at the hands of his mother, how Lady Melissi could bend people’s emotions to her will, that she was the ultimate manipulator. He briefly described all the years he’d hidden the fact that Gwarnon was his bondmate and told her about Lady Melissi convincing Gwarnon that his blood brother Jerit and Matriarch were dead. If Gwarnon believed he had no future, no Matriarch, Lady Melissi had hoped to finally crush Gwarnon’s will and make him her puppet—something she had been unable to do, even at her worst.
He told her about Gwarnon’s break from his mother’s hold, how their mate had joined the Kadothian Military, despite being one of the few Kadothian males who wasn’t expected to serve. As Lady Melissi’s only child, he could have lived a much easier life, one of leisure where he would have been treated like a prized possession and would never have to face true battle. Instead, he’d worked his way up through the ranks, going on endless combat missions, until he was recruited for a secret branch of the Kadothian military. Then, Chel told a noticeably quiet Lacey about all the good Gwarnon had done, all the personal risks he’d taken to protect people from his mother’s insanity. How they’d secured a small, isolated Territory and made it a secret safe haven for the innocents running from Lady Melissi’s wrath.
“Jesus Christmas.” Lacey looked faintly ill as she said, “Lady Melissi sounds like a monster.”
“Absolutely. To protect his mind and soul from that monster while growing up, Gwarnon learned the less reaction he gave his mother, the less she would torment him. He learned to wall himself off from everything, to feel nothing in order to survive Lady Melissi’s court. Nothing can penetrate the wall he built around himself if he doesn’t allow it. And there are very, very few that get to see the true Gwarnon. With most people, he is as cold and unfeeling as the robot you call him. There are very, very few that have seen him smile—like you have. That have heard him laugh—like you have. Those are the most precious gifts Gwarnon could give you, and those are your gifts to properly cherish…or lose.” He gave her a moment to think about what he’d said before he lowered his voice to a softer tone. “I know you don’t mean to truly hurt Gwarnon when you trash talk him, but you wound him nonetheless. It brings back memories of his mother’s court that he would rather not ever remember.”
Lacey sagged back into her chair, holding the pillow so tight, her knuckles turned white. “Fucking shit, I feel horrible. I didn’t mean to hurt him like that. I was just joking with him. I didn’t know he’d been abused.”
“Just joking?” Chel arched a brow as he laced his fingers together and stared at her. “You were not using him as an outlet for your frustration?”
She gave a dry chuckle and shifted uncomfortably. “You know, my drill instructor used to look at me like that when I did something particularly stupid. Yeah, I won’t bother lying, ‘cause I have a feeling you could tell. I might have taken a little bit of my frustration out on y’all, but I didn’t know Gwarnon would take it personally. I…” Tears shimmered in her gaze for a moment before she blinked them away. “I didn’t know. God, I’m such a bitch. Seriously, I am the last person that would want to bully someone else, hurt them like that, ever.”
“I believe you.” He wanted to reach out and hug away her miserable expression, but he held himself back. “Gwarnon is an exceptional man, alyah, and I swear to you he will be an amazing husband. I know our culture is hard for you to understand without the full knowledge of a crystal implant, but trust me when I say Gwarnon is one of the best men you will ever meet. Despite having been raised in such a corrupt court, he managed to come out with his honor and sense of compassion intact. He sacrifices everything to keep the people his mother rules safe, pretending in public to be under her sway, so he can buy them protection.”
Lacey drummed her fingers on the arm of the chair, her lips thinning out into a frown. “If she’s such an evil person, why don’t they arrest her or whatever?”
“It is extremely complicated, but suffice to say Lady Melissi is powerful, and she uses that power to protect herself. Plus, one of her husbands has precognition. He gets glimpses of the future that further allow her to avoid detection and punishment. Not to mention all the people she has blackmailed, bribed, and bought over the centuries.”
“She sounds like the evil Queen in a fairytale.”
“I am not sure what a fairytale is, but Lady Melissi would indeed make a good evil queen in one of our epic sagas.”
Lacey chewed on her pink lower lip for a moment, distracting him with the desire to kiss her. “And, if I bonded you guys, she’d be like—my mother-in-law? Yikes.”
Mayburn, Ann. Lacey’s Warriors (Bondmates Book 6) (pp. 69-73). Honey Mountain Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Lacey’s apology also begins her transition, which is a good thing since she will need every advantage once she and Roxy are in the arena.
She doesn’t know that her mother and daughter are both on Kadothia, and they only know she is a prisoner of the NevShoo and scheduled to fight an unknown opponent.
Their opponent is the Hive and they win spectacularly. Then things get complicated as more than one group would see Lacey dead, and of course there’s Gwanon’s evil mother.
However there is a spectacular reunion, a trial and so much more in this romantic, exotic and sensual book. Once again I am surprised my kindle didn’t melt from the heat coming off the pages.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Ann!
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With over forty published books, Ann is Queen of the Castle to her husband and three sons in the mountains of West Virginia. In her past lives she’s been an Import Broker, a Communications Specialist, a US Navy Civilian Contractor, a Bartender/Waitress, and an actor at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. She also spent a summer touring with the Grateful Dead-though she will deny to her children that it ever happened.
From a young age Ann has had a love affair with books would read everything she could get her hands on. As Ann grew older, and her hormones kicked in, she discovered bodice ripping Fabio-esque romance novels. They were great at first, but she soon grew tired of the endless stories with a big wonderful emotional buildup to really short and crappy sex. Never a big fan of purple prose, throbbing spears of fleshy pleasure and wet honey pots make her giggle, she sought out books that gave the sex scenes in the story just as much detail and plot as everything else-without using cringe worthy euphemisms. This led her to the wonderful world of Erotic Romance, and she’s never looked back.
Now Ann spends her days trying to tune out cartoons playing in the background to get into her ‘sexy space’ and has accepted that her Muse has a severe case of ADD.
Ann loves to talk with her fans, as long as they realize she’s weird, and that sarcasm doesn’t translate well via text.