After the loss of a friend and false imprisonment in an Eleysian dungeon, Cyrene has no interest in destiny. Her heart was shattered, friends scattered, and her home is nothing but a pretty illusion. Even her magic won’t cooperate.
When all seems lost, she turns to the one person she never thought that she would trust:
His darkness mirrors a growing force lurking within her. A struggle she never imagined threatens to consume her. And as friends and foes begin to show their true colors, she starts questioning whether anyone is who they seem.
Time was a wily beast.
It stole. It destroyed. It healed.
Constant and immovable.
And each day brought a new morning.
Time was dependable. And only time could move the world forward.
Time had slipped away from Cyrene. It was a thief in the night, scrubbing away the hours and leaving her disoriented.
At first, all she could feel was the soft bed beneath her body. For a moment, she thought of Dean. Lying against his chest, waking in the morning with his arms wrapped tightly around her, knowing that another night had passed. Another night closer to their wedding.
Then, another second ticked by, and that memory stabbed her in the chest. There would never be another morning like that. There would never be another dawn with Dean. There would never be another moment in Eleysia. For she was bound to Byern. And always would be.
Her eyes flew open, and she scrambled across the bed in horror. Her hand touched her mouth…and Kael Dremylon’s eyes slowly opened with a lazy smile on his pretty face.
“Morning,” he said, biting back a yawn.
“What in the Creator’s name are you doing in my bed?” she all but shrieked.
“How dare you come into my quarters and share my bed with me! Do you think I have no honor? Do you think I have forgotten what you tried to do to me?”
She had woken up curled around Kael! Her leg wrapped around his. Her arm flung across his bare chest. His arms cradling her, as if he even knew what comfort was.
Now, he was staring at her as if she had gone completely insane. How could he possibly think this was okay?
“Do you know where we are?” Kael asked.
He sat up and leaned on one elbow. The sheet slipped off his body, revealing every rippling muscle. She snapped her gaze back up to his face.
“I don’t see how that matters.”
“We are on a Byern warship. This is the only room on the ship with quarters this nice. Otherwise, you can sleep below decks with the crew. Is that what you want?”
She shook her head. “Surely, there must be somewhere else. I can’t be expected to sleep here. What will everyone think?”
He laughed a bitter, rough laugh. “Now, you are concerned about this?”
“If I am to be carted back to Byern, then I should have the luxuries of an Affiliate.”
He held his hand out. “And you are afforded those luxuries.”
Cyrene opened her mouth to argue, but he cut her off.
“This is a war vessel, not a pleasure ship. We are not on procession, like the last time you had the full attention of Byern royalty in your bed,” he said viciously. “If you do not sleep with me, in my rooms, then you sleep below decks. With the crew.”
Cyrene glowered at him. Of course, he would use every advantage that he had while he had her here. And, even though she had never slept with King Edric, it still prickled her to think that everyone, including Kael, believed that she had. But, if it irritated him to consider it, then she wouldn’t contradict him.
“So, you expect me to sleep next to you the entire time I am trapped here?”
“Yes,” he said simply. “Now, if you want to roll back over and lie on me again, I won’t object.”
The Affiliate: Book 1
“With rich romance and twisty political intrigue, THE AFFILIATE is a breakneck fantasy ride that’s perfect for fans of THE SELECTION or THRONE OF GLASS.” –Susan Dennard, NYT bestselling author of TRUTHWITCH
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland–an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks.
When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…
King Edric himself.
Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series. Great for fans of Game of Thrones, Tudors, and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.
Cyrene Strohm is a Queen’s Affiliate, a high-ranking official of the court of Byern, with power and privilege to spare. But she’s also a keeper of dangerous secrets: like the fact that she holds the heart of the King, and that she possesses magic in a world where magic no longer exists.
Determined to discover what this means and how to use her newfound abilities, Cyrene sets off for the distant land of Eleysia. An island nation where Affiliates are strictly forbidden from entering.
But the journey is perilous, and the destination may mean utter ruin, as Cyrene comes to learn that everything she’s been told her whole life – about her court, her homeland, and even herself—are bound in a beautiful lie.
K.A. Linde grew up as a military brat and created fantastical stories based off of her love for Disney movies, fairy tales, and Star Wars. In her spare time, she is an avid traveler, loves reading young adult novels, and dancing. Additionally, K.A. has written more than a dozen adult novels and is a USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Lubbock, TX with her husband and two super adorable puppies.
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