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Like the rest of the ship, the stark white throne room held no courtiers. Luc’s footsteps on the bare floor echoed like the knock of a judge’s gavel. The walkway sloped downward toward a dais on which sat a simple wooden throne, its high back upholstered in icy turquoise. That throne and–omitted today–the unmarked silver circlet Pietas wore on state occasions were the sole outward concessions to royalty.

Sitting sideways, one leg crooked over the throne’s arm, Pietas swung his foot like a boy playing. What was he up to?

The man never sat idly on a throne in an empty room. Pomp and circumstance meant nothing to Pietas. Results. Action. Change. Those were what mattered. Which meant this was a farce.

His king wanted something and wasn’t going to ask for it outright. So much more fun to manipulate, finagle and redirect. At least, for Pietas.

When had this walkway become so long?

Luc tamped down the anxiety riling his stomach. Whatever the man wanted, he’d reveal it soon. Or, hopefully, hint enough for Luc to guess. He had a life to get back to.

The massive black panther beside the throne watched the king’s booted foot swing to and fro until Luc halted a respectful distance away. Then the cat’s focus narrowed, and the green-eyed gaze locked full attention onto Luc.

Target acquired.

 

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A Stolen Heart (Antonello Brothers Book 1) by Kayelle Allen

Cover A Stolen Heart by Kayelle Allen

Science Fiction Romance

When he rescues a half-human orphan, a glorified space pirate turned entrepreneur sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to topple the powerful Thieves’ Guild he once led.

Multiple layers of conspiracy unfold, reaching all the way to Luc’s immortal ex–the king. Behind each solved mystery looms an unseen foe, undoing the good Luc accomplishes. For the sake of this child, Luc must postpone his own freedom and master his desire for revenge or he will violate an ancient vow. Worse, he’ll put the toddler at risk.

At war with his compassion for the vulnerable child, loyalty to the king, duty to the Guild, and the bright lure of freedom he’s coveted for centuries, Luc seeks the right path. Will he choose liberty and unparalleled success, or restore the Thieves’ Guild to its former glory while overseeing the child’s training?

A hard choice for any man.

For an immortal whose inner monster can destroy on sight? Impossible.

A pirate with a monstrous past can never be trusted with an innocent child. Luc must ensure the child is protected, safe, nowhere near danger. Nowhere near him. Even if this little boy has already stolen his heart…

 

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