Book Title: Heart of the High King (D’Vaire, Book 19)
Author: Jessamyn Kingley
Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations
Release Date: September 3, 2020
Genre/s: M/M Urban Fantasy Romance
Trope/s: Fated mates
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Honoring Fate demands unbreakable courage.
High King Aleksander D’Vairedraconis prefers the comforts of home, rarely leaving his estate. While forthright by nature, his sexuality is a secret Aleksander guards—even his best friend is unaware. With the possibility of his mate showing up at his large estate in Arizona next to impossible, Aleksander focuses on family and building more wealth to allow them to flourish.
Duke Rafferty Kestledraconis is new to the Council of Sorcery and Shifters and is learning what he can about this fresh start. His life revolves around pleasing his royal father and brothers, and he rarely explores past their plot of land. Unable to refute an order given by his king, he travels with his eldest sibling to the remote D’Vaire sanctuary, where to his bewilderment, he discovers that his mate is the only High King in the dragon realm.
Aleksander and Rafferty are ill-prepared for the reality of being mates and unready to take the final step of being fully joined, but together, they slowly build something worth protecting. Circumstances soon spin out of control, testing their fortitude and straining their wills. In the end, they must cling to hope if they want to be together—it will take everything that rests in the hearts of the High Kings to honor the call of Fate.
Aleksander stood out on his deck with his other half in another eye-searing outfit of mismatched reds and greens, and it was awkward. During lunch, the man who Fate had chosen for Aleksander hadn’t said a word while he sat across from him at one of the round slabs of wood to the side of the kitchen. Instead, he savored every bite of his meal. Rafferty was undoubtedly a foodie who liked to languish over good taste. Quite the opposite of Dra’Kaedan who was also silent whenever he had a fork in his hand, but that was because he was shoveling it in at the speed of light.
Aleksander hadn’t missed the small smile that played around Rafferty’s mouth as he found something that pleased his palate. When he was finished, Rafferty had gazed longingly at the island where the buffet was set out, but Sullivan gave him a sharp look. With that scowl that drove Aleksander nuts plastered on his sexy face, Rafferty waited patiently for the entire group to finish.
After taking his plate to the dishwasher, Aleksander had invited Rafferty outside. Now that they had some semblance of privacy, neither of them knew what to do about it. Time continued to stretch out uneasily, which made Aleksander nervous, so he just went with the first thing that popped into his head.
“What do you say we shift and fly? You can see the entire land that way.”
For a split second, there was excitement in his dark eyes; then a frown appeared. “I need to talk to Sullivan first.”
“Before you can shift?”
Rafferty waved a hand randomly in the air. “It’s a whole thing. Being a black dragon…well, it’s complicated. He’s just inside. Give me a minute.”
Wondering what in the world he was talking about, Aleksander waited patiently until Rafferty re-appeared. “Well?”
“It’s cool. Sullivan said it was better to do it here, actually.”
“Are you going to explain that?”
“I told you, it’s complicated. My dragon makes people uncomfortable, which I don’t enjoy. But it’s like Sullivan said, it’s a been a while for me and if I don’t, I might get sick again.”
“I get human shit like colds and flus regularly. Could you turn around or something?”
“No need,” Aleksander told him and lifted an arm to point in the general direction of one of the additions they’d put on the house. “There’s a changing room over there. You can put your things in a cubby and shift right outside. As soon as I see your dragon, I’ll do the same, okay? And hey, I have a dragon that makes people uncomfortable too. I get it, but if you allowed your beast out frequently, you wouldn’t get sick.”
“It’s just to the right?”
Holding back his sigh, Aleksander nodded. Rafferty strolled to it, and Aleksander noticed for the first time the way he hunched slightly, as if he wanted to make himself appear smaller. Odd behavior for a below-average height dragon, and Aleksander wondered about his home life. Kendrick didn’t have positive things to say about them barring Sullivan, who he admittedly didn’t know that well.
Barely down that train of thought, Aleksander spied a gorgeous black dragon trotting out from the other side of the changing room. His scales were more matte than shiny, which was unusual. The former emperor and current Reverent Knight, Drystan, was the only other dragon known to Aleksander that lacked a bright sheen. It was a testament to the diversity Fate gave them, he thought as Aleksander strode over his land.
Inside the little space for shifting, Rafferty’s clothes were carefully folded in a slot nearly in the corner, Aleksander noted as he stripped to skin. Walking out into the warmth of the early afternoon heat, Aleksander took only seconds to morph into the largest beast in dragonkind. There’d only been pain for the first year or so as his body finally acclimated to the extremeness. With a small run on sturdy legs, Aleksander took flight while Rafferty did the same only a few feet away.
Pleasure swept over him as he soared upward. Not only was he always happy to be in the air, it was the first time both man and dragon enjoyed it with their mate. He let out a burst of fire in celebration, his long tail whipping upward so he could barrel roll in excitement as Rafferty responded with flames of his own. While their human counterparts were struggling to find their common ground, the instinctive natures of their dragons already understood what a gift they were to each other. It was for Aleksander the first sign that this was going to work and that Fate hadn’t made a mistake with him and Rafferty.
About the Author
Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.
Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.
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