CLAIMED BY THE KING
by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle, #1 Publication Date: July 20, 2018 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, BBW, Novella, Standalone
Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.
Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.
The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.
Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.
When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.
Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.
EXCLUSIVE RELEASE EXCERPT- CLAIMED BY THE KINGBroc held on to his sword tightly, the leather of his gloves creaking loudly under his powerful grip. He could hear it, despite the screeching winds and waves battering the wooden boat. Although they were at peace with the men of West Hythe, one could never be too careful. Every eight years, the humans had held up their end of the bargain, though. They had left a suitable young woman behind on the shore near their villages, and nobody had stayed behind to watch the giants’ arrival or possibly interfere. In any case, the timing of this exchange was carefully thought out: nights on the Northern Sea were always foggy this time of year. If anyone had stayed behind, they would have to be very nearby indeed to be able to see a thing. Looking around the wooden longship, Broc could see a lot of his people were much more excited about tonight's festivities than he was. Their chatter was even louder than the rhythmic drum setting the speed for the rowers. He hated to have to do this; to tear a young girl away from the only life she had known and take her to the Isles against her will. Sadly there was no other way to ensure the survival of their bloodline; without this tradition, Broc’s people might become even extinct. After the Great War, many of their number had fallen. Outnumbered, and overpowered by the sorcerers who had sided with humankind, their kind had retreated to the Black Isles and left the mainland to be ruled by men. However, their reduced numbers had meant that they would need fresh blood to replenish their line. One can only interbreed for so long before things start to go wrong and madness sets in. He had seen it happen with his own two eyes.If he squinted, he could just about see the shore through the dense fog. Luckily, his people had a lot better vision than the humans, meaning they could safely navigate the treacherous waters around Hythe Bay to collect the latest addition to their clan. Broc had first pick, as was tradition. There was no way he could get out of it either. He'd been king of the Black Mountain and surrounding isles for seven years, ever since his father had sailed off into the next realm. It was time to start thinking about an heir, whether he liked it or not. "Wonder what this one's going to be like," Rhea next to him remarked, her tone sharp with spite. Her comment was a reference to the trouble they’d had last time. Transitions could be difficult. He glanced over at the strong young princess, his cousin twice removed, as she stared darkly over the water leading to the coast. It was obvious she'd wanted to be his queen, but it wasn't meant to be. A union between them would have been forbidden, in any case. They were too closely related. And they even shared the same animal form. Broc had always aimed to be a fair ruler; he could not make an exception to such an important rule for himself. The consequences would be too severe; the islanders’ mating rules existed for a reason. A king must do everything within his power to ensure a healthy heir is produced. In his case this had meant taking a human as his bride instead of the relative he’d grown up with. Although he hadn’t made his intentions about this Reaping public yet, Rhea had guessed. And she had made it a point to openly express her displeasure. Shortly before the keel of their ship threatened to hit ground, Teaq, Broc's half-brother and commander of the Black Isle armies, gave the order to steady the oars and drop anchor. Impeccable timing as always. Broc observed as Rhea and Teaq shared a dark look. It was obvious they each disapproved of tonight’s goings on for their own reasons. "There she is," Teaq spat, unable to disguise his disgust. His tone rubbed Broc the wrong way. It wasn’t the girl’s fault she had been sent to them as an offering in the Reaping. And what exactly had sparked Teaq’s dislike of human females, Broc had not yet understood. "Remember, she will be shown the respect deserving of any citizen of the Black Isles," Broc spoke in a low, determined tone. Teaq’s jaw tensed, but he did not respond. "Yes, my king." Rhea averted her eyes from the shore and retreated to the back of the ship to stand watch over the waters behind them. As commander of the royal guard, it was her duty to ensure Broc wasn’t ambushed. “Just remember what we discussed,” Teaq grumbled. “These are troubled times. The last thing we need is further complications within our own walls.” Broc nodded. When their father had conducted the last Reaping ritual, the girl had found it incredibly difficult to adjust to her new surroundings. For some time it was feared they’d lose her to madness, but thankfully she had recovered and integrated into their way of life some months later. They’d instituted a new rule; the newcomer would not be fully introduced into their ways until she had obviously adjusted to her new circumstances. Teaq had wanted for things to go much further; including keeping the girl on house arrest for the first month; something Broc had vehemently disagreed with. As king, the final decision had obviously been his. They would keep her in the dark, figuratively, but she would be as free as any of the other inhabitants of the Black Isles. At least as far as her movements within the castle on Black Mountain were concerned. Still, it was for the best to be cautious. She did not need to know the truth about everything from the start. Humans did not handle it well when their views of the world were challenged. “I wish you’d reconsider and at least let me put a watch on her. We do not know of her intentions,” Teaq added. Broc scoffed. Her intentions. This was just going to be some unfortunate girl who thought she was being sent to her death. Just like the last ones. Lately Teaq had grown more and more paranoid. They had enough to worry about with the threats from further out at sea. As long as the humans continued to hold up their end of the truce, their peace would hold. “Alright. That’s enough of that,” Broc said. “We’ve laid down the rules already. But I won’t have her treated as a prisoner under my rule. Let’s get on with what we came here to do.” The many dozen or so soldiers onboard held their heads bowed as Broc strode past towards the port beam, which was by now perfectly lined up with the shoreline. Teaq signaled the all clear and jumped over the side, landing squarely on his feet in the waist-deep water. Broc followed. They were back on track, but this wasn’t the end of that particular discussion; Broc was certain of it. Teaq’s stubbornness was in part because as the older brother he’d always expected to get first right to the throne. He wasn’t good at following orders. Too bad for him that their father, the late King Ryk, hadn't seen it that way. They had fought it out just like in the old days. Hand-to-hand combat. Obviously, it was Broc’s victory that had earned him the honor of ruling over the Black Isles. Whether Teaq liked it or not. The salty water of the Northern Sea was close to freezing, but Broc—as well as the rest of his clan—were used to it. They were much better suited to cold temperatures than humans were. Despite the saltiness in the air, Broc could smell the human from across the stony beach. Her scent was sweet, almost floral, with a hint of something sharp. Fear, perhaps. His inner beast stirred. A new sort of sensation came over him. Although he hadn’t even seen her yet, he knew how this Reaping was going to end. She would be his. And she would give him his much awaited heir. It was a bittersweet prospect. The poor girl had no idea what was in store for her.
ABOUT LORELEI MOONE
Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.
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Alpha Squad: Friends & Foes
by Lorelei Moone Alpha Squad #2 Publication Date: April 7, 2017 Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Shifters
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Alpha Squad has received its very first assignment and recruit Adam King is excited to jump head-first into the action. When the team arrive in the shifter refugee camp in Sevenoaks to investigate some attacks on the local population, the evidence seems clear: the attacker they are looking for is a shifter. And one in particular keeps popping up in suspicious circumstances; Felicity Weir, who works in the camp. There’s just one catch: Adam’s inner bear insists that Felicity is his mate. Now, he’s torn. How can he help make Alpha Squad’s first mission a success, when he can’t endanger the woman who appears to be their prime suspect? Bear shifter Felicity Weir has been looking after the shifter refugees camping near Sevenoaks ever since they started streaming in from Europe some months ago. She is determined to serve, to help these displaced people build a new home and future for themselves. Then the attacks began and the mood in Sevenoaks grew more and more hostile toward these newcomers, and by proxy, against her. First it was livestock that turned up dead in the local villages, soon after, human victims started to turn up. All the evidence points toward the refugees, but Felicity cannot accept that one of her kind would be capable of such violence. She has no choice but to take matters into her hands and investigate the deaths herself. With Alpha Squad and the local police hot on their heels, Felicity and Adam must join forces. Will they be able to prove her innocence before public opinion is irreparably poisoned against the shifters, and their chances for a happy future together are destroyed?
EXCERPT:Felicity wasn't sure what woke her up. It wasn't a noise, but a sensation or a presence. She blinked a few times and stared at the ceiling. There it was again. A tug in her chest which told her she wasn't alone. It wasn't a bad feeling; it was reassuring and warm, like a cozy blanket to keep the cold out. A smile formed on her lips. It was Adam. Felicity got up and made her way through the living room straight to the front door. There he was. "Hi," she said, and opened the door wide. "I didn't disturb you, did I?" he asked. She shook her head. "You came just at the right time." Felicity stepped aside and watched him enter. There was something different about him now. He was a mess of feelings and thoughts, making it hard for Felicity to focus on any one of them. "What's going on?" she asked. How did you know where I live? Of course, she didn't mind him turning up here, but that didn't make her less curious. Adam turned and fiddled with his vest, retrieving a familiar looking notepad and holding it up in her direction. "I got this off the detective," Adam said in a matter-of-fact tone. Felicity took the notepad and studied it carefully. A rare glimpse into the inner workings of the mind of her main enemy on the police force. "You stole this?" she said. She wasn't even sure she wanted to know the exact circumstances under which he obtained it. Adam shrugged. "Borrowed it. I was hoping to get insight into the police investigation. They're not exactly telling us anything." Felicity frowned. "No? I thought Alpha Squad was collaborating with the police." "Yeah, we thought so too. It's a rather one-sided affair." If that was the case, then why was he here sharing the detective's notes with her and not with his team mates…? There's something you're not telling me. Adam pressed his lips together. I'm sorry. Felicity stepped up to him and rested her hand on his arm. What is it? "I'm off the team. At least for now. The major wants to avoid any appearance of impropriety." Felicity sank down onto the sofa, her hands tightening around the notepad. Now what? Adam sat down next to her and took her hand. A jolt of electricity passed from his skin into hers; at least that was the nearest description to how it felt. I'm so sorry. But no matter what, we'll figure things out together. Felicity closed her eyes and tried to think. But all that achieved was to flood her mind with imagery of their kiss in the woods. How did shifter couples achieve anything at all, when the intense attraction between them overwhelmed everything else, even rational thought? "It'll be okay, right?" Felicity mumbled. "I know it will." Adam wrapped his arm around her and held her close. She could hear his heartbeat so clearly. How it had sped up the moment they touched and continued to hammer away at a feverish pace now that she was safely tucked in his embrace. Perhaps this was the right thing to do. Perhaps they owed it to themselves as well as each other to blow off some steam, so that they could dive into the investigation with renewed vigor and focus. That was her justification to satisfy her mind anyway. Her heart and body didn't care to rationalize; they just wanted to act. Adam sensed the change in her; of course he did. Such was their connection. He scooped her up off the couch and carried her through the short hallway into the bedroom. It was a mess; the bed wasn't made and laundry was piled up on the chair that stood by the wardrobe. Felicity might have felt awkward about the state of the room with anyone else, but not with Adam. He hadn't even noticed it. His eyes were fixed on hers.
ABOUT LORELEI MOONELorelei Moone is an up-and-coming author of paranormal romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family. Website • Facebook • Twitter •
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A Painful Dilemma by Lorelei Moone Scottish Werebear #5 Publication Date: May 25, 2016 Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, BBW
PURCHASE (#FREE with #KindleUnlimited): AmazonSynopsis: Henry Weston can’t take it anymore. Lately, his job with the Alliance seems to be less about protecting shifters from their enemies, and more about surveilling his own people and making sure they don’t break any Alliance rules. This is not what he signed up for, so it’s time for him to make a change. There’s only one problem: his mate and colleague Margaret isn’t on board at all, in fact they can’t seem to agree on anything lately. Meanwhile, Alliance leader Adrian Blacke’s new assistant, Gail McPherson is having similar trouble adjusting to her job. The ideals that made her join the Alliance don’t match up with her day-to-day reality and she yearns for something else. When the two of them meet, sparks fly, and they even start to hear each other’s thoughts, like only true mates can. But Henry already has a mate whom he wants to remain loyal to, despite their disagreements. If Henry and Gail can’t be lovers, at least they can be allies in a new cause: forming a New Alliance. What ensues is a battle between sense and emotion; loyalty and fate. This paranormal romance novella is the fifth in the Scottish Werebear series. For the best experience, readers are advised to read the series in order.
EXCERPT - A PAINFUL DILEMMAHenry hadn't wanted a fight, but things had a way of escalating between him and Maggie. "Why don't you trust me anymore?" Maggie folded her arms. "Come on; it's not like that!" Henry argued, taking a step forward to rest his hand on Maggie's arm. She pulled away just in time and shook her head. "Well, there's no other explanation. First, you go on the surveillance mission on your own, then you don't even involve me in the interrogation of that prisoner you took. Tell me, what am I supposed to think?" Henry sighed. In a way, she was right. He hadn't wanted her to come along to Gartcosh to surveil Matt's house the other day. It's not that he didn't trust her, or didn't think she'd do a good job. Actually, he expected she'd do too good a job. She would have followed Blacke's orders to the letter, so they would have ended up with three prisoners, not just one. Caroline Pratt was a given, she was a Son's collaborator after all, but Maggie would have also rounded up Matt and Leah. He and Maggie had been an item for years; Henry knew how she functioned. As for the interrogation, he just couldn't risk Caroline cracking and mentioning the pictures she'd taken. Luckily, so far she seemed to hold up quite well and not said a word. "Blacke gave me the order; it's only natural that I execute it," Henry excused his decision. He had to come clean to her about what had happened, but with Maggie in the mood she was in right now, it wasn't the right time. She'd always been hot-blooded, and not particularly easy to reason with when she was ticked off. "Did Blacke tell you not to take your partner along on the job?" Maggie demanded. Henry remained quiet. Of course, he hadn't. "I didn't think so." She was hurt, obviously. And Henry couldn't blame her. But if there was one thing he had to give her credit for, she did take her work very seriously. "Look, I didn't mean to step on your toes, but I can't have you questioning my operational decisions like this. When we're on the job, I'm in charge. That's just the way things are." "Fine!" Maggie pressed her lips together. There was nothing agreeable about her body language. "Now, shall we have breakfast? Wouldn't want to be late for work." Maggie shrugged and marched out of their bedroom. Although he'd pulled the seniority card on her, this argument was far from over. Today was going to be a long day. -- For much of the day, Maggie made it a point to steer clear of Henry, which was just as well. They weren't hiding their relationship as such, but they made it a point to always stay professional at work. Henry liked to think of himself as a fair and capable leader. His agents trusted him - most of the time, in the case of Maggie - and he ensured not to give preferential treatment to his mate. Plus, bears weren't the sharing sort. They didn't wear their hearts on their sleeve like wolves seemed to do. In his unit, one's private life was just that: private. Before lunch, Henry interrogated his latest prisoner - Caroline Pratt - some more. Nothing came out of it, just as he had come to expect from most of the Sons of Domnall members. Especially those that seemed to be authority figures of some sort were especially tight-lipped. Caroline's demeanor, as well as her role in the attempted second kidnapping of Matthew Argyle, made Henry suspect she wasn't just an informant, but perhaps a faction leader. Then again, she wasn't in the loop on a great many Sons activities at all, or she might have already known who or what Matt was. Either way, it was time to close the file on her and send her and the other prisoners across to Stirling, where the Alliance Headquarters were located. Henry wrote up a sanitized version of the events leading up to Caroline's capture, whatever little details he gathered during the interrogation, and that was that. Case closed. He'd inform Blacke's people shortly. Once that was done, he grabbed a fresh sheet of paper and started to brainstorm about something else entirely. He'd had an epiphany outside Matt's house that day, but he hadn't taken the time to really think about it in depth. If he was going to set up a movement to counter Blacke's Alliance, he couldn't just wing it.
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ABOUT LORELEI MOONELorelei Moone is an up-and-coming author of paranormal romance based in London. Her first book, Scottish Werebear: An Unexpected Affair has hit the virtual shelves on Amazon on 25 September 2015, and her second, Scottish Werebear: A Dangerous Business a month later on the 25th of October. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.