He took her against her will…
Now they’re on the run. Maxim, the Colonel and leader of the eastern states of the old United States, and Iolanthe, the Pure he wants for his own, must leave the Citadel after a Resistance attack. Forced together by circumstance, the tumultuous battle of lust that started long ago can’t be ignored any longer.
Tiberius, second in command to the Colonel, is faced with restoring civility to the battle-torn Citadel. Instead he finds complication in the form of a woman from the Resistance. Sophie drives him wild. She may also be a spy. But when her children go missing, Tiberius steps in to help, as he is unable to let Sophie go.
As the tension between the two nations heat up, so do the passions between the Pure and the men that want them. Does giving into their demands mean losing everything? Is freedom worth the price of passion? Both Pure must face new decisions, and as the battle around them darkens, will they let choice sway them? Or limitation hold them back?
This is book two in the Colonel’s Conquest series and does not include a HEA. Although, there will be a HEA by the series conclusion.
Publisher’s Note: This dark dystopian romance is not a wine and flowers romance. The men are warriors and the women are owned. Take the ride if you dare, you’ll be glad you did. This sci-fi story contains elements of danger, suspense, mystery, power exchange, non-consent, adult themes and possible triggers.
Iolanthe wasn’t foolish, for she knew she still had one more card to play to win her traitorous game: that prized virginity. Give it to the Colonel and he might save Zahir’s life. She forced a smile onto her face. The expression covering his face sliced her into bloody ribbons, a rueful scythe. His smile was the same as hers, calculated and bold.
To her chagrin and dismay, the Colonel pulled her into his embrace, his massive body eclipsing hers and making her puny wish to overthrow him seem small. “Iolanthe,” he said, leaning in, his mouth nearly touching her earlobe. “Don’t you think I know what you’re up to? The prey never outsmarts their predator.”
He chuckled, his eyes showing amusement, tiny lines crinkling the edges. He wasn’t a handsome man, but when he genuinely smiled, he looked almost approachable. She had learned by now that such appearances were false, just as false as trivial words could be. A frown opened on her face as she hung limp and restless in his grip, her plan to cajole him into doing her will, backfiring against her.
“You don’t have to act so smug.”
He laughed again, a warm, rich sound in the plain and cavernous room. But there wasn’t anything in his expression that spoke of true joy. Mercurially, he taunted her. He wanted her to feel comfortable so that he could rip her to shreds, to annihilate her. She pressed her lips together. Fuming.
“Enough talk,” he said.
Iolanthe’s face fell. Of course, just as she assumed. He’d been toying with her, and as his hands plowed into the mass of her hair, tilting her head back so that her face looked up to his, she fought to hide the fear and the surge of desire that he’d always instilled in her. They were two sides of a coin, after all. Life and death. Pain to redemption.
Stammering, she said, “I thought you said I should sleep.”
“And you will,” he said soothingly, though she doubted he truly intended for her to rest at all whenever he was around. “After you convince me of how much you want the soldier’s life. Nothing but honesty and truth between us now, Iolanthe.”
Nothing about his possessive gesture reassured her. Nothing about the fire in his eyes consoled. His eyes lied.
“The truth?” She couldn’t meet his gaze. “The truth is, we both know I’m not here in your home by my own free will, Colonel.”
His mouth tensed. As if he found disgust in her, or perhaps by her effusive words, he let her go. He stepped back, his hands clasped easily behind his back. He gave a look that was deceptively benign, yet coldly indifferent. Iolanthe lowered her eyes, glaring at the floor, darting her glance up to his face every once in a while. He examined her circumspectly, as she did with him, as he silently paced around her. His question startled her, as he stopped his motion and stood in front of her.
“What is your bargain?” he asked, making her gasp at his astuteness. “I know you want to ask something of me, or you wouldn’t have that desperate look on your face.”
“I have only the one thing to offer,” she said, hesitantly answering.
His smile was lupine, dangerously dark. “Yes. But I own that already, don’t I?”
Her voice snapped out peevishly. “So why are we discussing anything? I don’t have anything else!”
“Oh, my precious Iolanthe. You do.” His fingers stroked her hair away from her flushed face. “Obedience isn’t such a high price to pay for your lover’s life, is it? Or your loyalty? Perhaps that exclusive devotion you foolishly give to others before me.”
“You ask a lot of me,” she said, turning her head to the side.
“I could ask for a hell of a lot more,” he said.