Friday, September 02, 2011

Queens of Merab: Nuriel's Cougar by Violet Summers

The Queens of Merab: Nuriel's Cougar

by Violet Summers
Cover art: Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-688-1
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Ménage, Shapeshifters
Series: The Queens of Merab 2
Length: Novella
Page Count: 79

On the world of Merab, women rule, while men wield the magic. But what once was an equal exchange of power has been corrupted, as many of Merab's women succumb to the lure of dictatorship and their men rebel -- violently. Nuriel, Crown Princess of Zirah, knows this firsthand. Kidnapped and tortured by the rebels, it was only with the love and protection of Wolf Lord Ze'ev, her First Consort, that Nuriel began to live again. Now the time has come for her to take her Second Consort, a Lord from the Feline Lands.
Ze'ev gave her protection. Cougar Lord Kefir offers her joy, something Nuriel hasn't felt in far too long. The Consorts' newfound happiness is threatened, though, by the increasing violence of the Rebellion. Can Nuriel find the strength to face her fears before it's too late for the Feline Lands -- and all of Zirah?
The Queens of Merab: Nuriel's Cougar
Violet Summers
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Violet Summers

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Ze'ev knew the moment they left the Great Wolf lands and entered those of the Feline ones. His nose began to twitch with the smell of the creatures. The lush, deep forest gave way to the arid-looking mountains. The bright sun beat down upon them as rocks, jagged and smooth, rose from ground. They'd soon enter Pride City and come face to face with the wretched animals allowed to roam free throughout the land.
A rumble sounded deep in his chest. Nuriel, who was sitting in front of him on the horse, laughed. "Ze'ev, we've barely crossed the border and already you begin to growl."
He wrapped one hand around her waist. "You can't trust the Cats. They are too sly and cunning for their own good. And I won't allow them to take advantage of your good heart."
She grasped his hand firmly, bringing it to her soft lips. "I assure you, Consort, I have no intention of choosing a husband who will try to take advantage of me."
Ze'ev thought he hid his flinch at the idea of sharing his Princess with another fairly well, but when Nuriel pressed another kiss to his palm, he realized that he'd failed miserably. The only thing to do was hide it under some bluster.
"That may be, but I still don't trust them. I imagine they are getting ready for our arrival with great fanfare. It's their specialty. Shower you with attention then sink their claws in."
Nuriel swung her head around, her blue eyes boring into his very soul. "Ze'ev, I realize it's a natural thing for you to not like the felines, but I'm asking you to control your wolf. And I'm asking you to trust me."
He leaned forward, pressing a light kiss to her forehead. "I do trust you, Princess. I only trust you."
She sighed but turned back to face the uneven road leading to Pride City. "We can't hide in the woods forever, love. Let's go."
He did as his wife bid and set the horse back on its way. The last several days of their journey had brought them closer. She'd managed to do what he never dreamed possible, melt the ice surrounding his heart. In truth he was scared, scared of sharing her with a damn cat. He'd known going into the marriage he would be sharing her with three others. What he hadn't counted on was the burning jealousy he experienced at the very idea of another man touching her.
He'd get over it at some point. He didn't have any choice. He only hoped that his beautiful wife would continue to be as understanding as she was now.
* * *
Nuriel worried her bottom lip between her teeth, trying to figure out how to make Ze'ev feel more secure. They were growing closer with every passing day and she didn't want to take a step back, but it was paramount she find her second Consort among the feline people. The power that swept through her when she became one with the canines of Zirah had drawn her closer to her lands and to her people. The connection, now unbreakable, also acted as a healing balm to her weary spirit, and she longed to have the same with the felines.
This leg of their journey would test her and Ze'ev. She leaned back into her husband's warmth. Even with the sun high and full, she was chilled to the bone. It was a feeling she hadn't been able to shake since Storm, the insane former Healer from the Rayne Lands, had abducted her. She hadn't been able to shake it, except when she was wrapped within the Wolf Lord's strong embrace. Her nerves were getting the better of her, she realized with irritation. She was the Crown Princess of Zirah, and she needed to pull herself together to face the high-strung Felines.
Nuriel and Ze'ev rode flanked by a group of heavily armed guards. Darmon took her safety seriously and expressed his concern over the fact that Storm had not been apprehended. The fact that she'd seen his reflection in her bath water doubled the worry her security forces grappled with. Nuriel would make sure that Darmon always held a position within her court even if he chose not to remain with her after her Marriage Tour ended...

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