18+ "This book begins with a bang. And just keeps going. (It's 3:00 AM so my brain is throwing out automatic weaponry vs revolver analogies, but since I know almost nothing of guns this could end up nonsensical.)" Lissa, Goodreads
Release Date: September 26th, 2018
Four cords of power. Three trials. Two soul-crushing secrets.
For Lera, training has never been so hard. With the males’ power roaring in her veins and River’s cold demand that she master the magic before the third trial, something has to give. Worse still, River is keeping something from her. Something about his past and Lunos’s future.
For River and Coal, the past must stay buried. Though one male’s nightmare sits on a throne and the other’s hides in his soul, they are equally unprepared for Lera’s startling determination to undress the truth.
But when Mors’s Emperor Jawrar makes a play for Lunos, neither Lera’s fledgling magic nor the males’ old wounds can remain untouched—not if their world is to survive.
TRIAL OF THREE is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, third in the Amazon bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series.
“Throwing apples?” Shade says, picking up the fallen fruit and holding it out toward me.
When I reach for it, he pulls the apple up and out of my reach, a corner of his mouth lifting. “Much better,” he murmurs. “I’d forgotten just how short you really—”
My toes push me up of their own accord, my head tipping back to meet Shade’s lowering mouth. Large, soft lips cover mine as muscled arms brush my shoulders, my arms, my—
I squeak as Shade tosses the apple into Sprite’s stall and grips my hips. Lifting me easily, the male brings my face even with his and deepens the kiss. With no ground beneath my feet, I wrap my legs around Shade’s hard waist, feeling his low growl all the way through my core.
The smell of earth fresh from rain fills me, soothing the jagged, stinging wounds in my heart. Mate. Shade’s wolf is my mate, and the two of us . . . My body folds perfectly into his, alive and fulfilled in a way that only the shifter can offer.
This isn’t what I came here for. Isn’t something I should like. Isn’t right.
“I will count to three.” Coal swallows, his arms now trembling with the effort of holding rock-still above me. “And by the time I’m done, you are going to be out of this room. If you are not . . . then I imagine you will be a great deal more sore in the morning. Because I am a breath away from showing you exactly what happens when my control falters. And we both know that is not what you want.”
Stars. What do I want? I can’t think. Can barely breathe. I should get out of this room, run as fast as I can. Never look back. My body pulses, the throbbing in my chest sliding lower with each dizzying breath. My thighs quiver. My body defying my mind, as I defy Coal’s words.
“One,” Coal says.
I draw a breath, my gaze skittering across him. Large and powerful and dark. Raw.
“In case you’ve not worked it out, my room is warded to contain sound. No one will hear your screams.” Coal’s words are cold and hard.
My sex aches. My mind searches for escape. I brace my hands on the bed—the path to the door is wide open to me. Not for long, but for now.
Coal follows my gaze, nodding approvingly. Yes, his flashing eyes tell me. Yes, go. Leave. RUN. “Two.”
I wrap my hands around my shoulders, snuggling into Tye’s pine-and-citrus scent. “I don’t know why it feels so different from Shade,” I confess before catching myself. Between coupling with Shade and now with Coal, I’m not sure where I stand with Tye.
“Of course it feels different.” Tye snorts. “You’d likely feel uncomfortable walking into the supper hall naked, though that little seems a problem at other times, aye?”
My cheeks flush and Tye chuckles softly, running a knuckle down my cheek in a way that sends a blaze of heat down to my toes. Maybe he does want me. Between all the teasing and lack of follow-up, the confusion is starting to eat at me. Ask. I should just ask. I make my voice light despite my suddenly pounding heart. “If you are maneuvering to drag me into a bedchamber for the sake of testing Autumn’s theory, you should just confess now.”
The male stiffens, the sudden hurt flashing in his face almost too quick to catch. “I never confess to anything, lass,” he says with a wink. “It’s safer for me that way.”
I catch Tye’s arm before he can pull away, the humor leaving my voice. “What did I say?”
“Tye.” I pause, an unwelcome feeling now burning in the pit of my stomach. “Do you . . . do you not want me that way?” I ask quietly.
He pulls his arm back, his hands going into his pockets. His usually sparkling green eyes are opaque, the angles of his beautiful face carefully expressionless. “If by that way you mean as a curiosity or a training aid or a bloody toy, then no, lass. I don’t.”
My breath catches. I open my mouth to protest, but Tye shakes his head. For a split second I see a whole new male behind the forever-amused mask, a whole life and past that I know nothing about. For a split second, Tye seems all of his five centuries old.
Leaning forward, he brushes a soft kiss over my lips. “We’ll know when it’s time, lass,” he whispers into my ear. “And it isn’t just yet.” The mask of mischief is back on his face before I can respond, and he pokes my newly healed ribs. “Let’s get back to the suite. Autumn was cleaning when I left, and if there is a greater sign of trouble than that, I’ve yet to learn it.”
“While I am offering confessions,” River says, his gray eyes flashing, focusing on mine with thunderous intensity. “There is one other lie that I feel the need to correct.” Without waiting for a response, River lowers his mouth to mine, his fresh scent drifting around my body in a caress. As one warm palm moves to cup the back of my head, his tongue opens my lips.
I gasp as River claims my mouth, pressing into me so thoroughly that I feel the pounding of his heart echo through my flesh. His tongue dances and twists against mine, marking its territory with a visceral need that leaves no room for doubt of what he wants. Of how much he wants it.
My heart jumps. I press back against River’s kiss, the pressure of his lips waking my body, pulling a moan from me before I can stop it. River growls against my mouth, the hand on the back of my head tangling in my hair until I can no more escape his kiss than I can give up breathing.
And stars, I do not want to escape it. Not with my thighs tingling, an ache starting low in my belly. When River pulls away, leaving my lips swollen and empty, my breath hitches from the loss. “What was”—I struggle to remember the start of this conversation—“what was the other lie?”
“When I asked to couple with you,” River says quietly. “I said I wanted you for prudence’s sake. That wasn’t true.” He leans down, biting my lip and groaning softly at my gasp of arousal. His hardness presses into me. “I want you because I want you. And I want to prove it.”
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About the author:
Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.
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