Book Title: Harpy Trickery (D’Vaire, Book 34)
Author and Publisher: Jessamyn Kingley
Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations
Release Date: January 26, 2023
Genre/s: MM Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Trope/s: Fated mates
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 90 300 words
The book does not end on a cliffhanger.
Amazon Series Link
The ruler of the sprites meets a proud, but wayward harpy. Will their love survive a little trickery?
At eighteen, Warrior Chieftain Kitlivri Cyrrien of the Sprite Grove gained his title. On a dark night, Kitlivri lost his parents, sister, and nearly his entire population thanks to a horrid wizard potion. The Draconises took in him and his brothers, and Kitlivri gradually healed. Now he is a talented businessman, and the sprites have expanded by three dozen. Honored to be the Warrior Chieftain, Kitlivri does not want to give up his important role in Draconis Enterprises, but he believes it’s a necessity.
Jace Pagonis is a proud harpy, but he chafes at his people’s antiquated rules. When Jace isn’t arguing with his mother—the leader of the harpies—he’s sneaking around to improve his archery skills. Weapons and tricks are forbidden to harpy men but are necessary for the women, who are responsible for the men’s survival. Desperate to convince his mother to join the Council, Jace creeps out of his village one night to explore.
Two weeks into his fact-finding mission, Jace meets Kitlivri and is stunned to discover that Fate has selected them as mates. Jace misses home, but he cannot leave Kitlivri, nor does he want to explain to the courageous sprite that he’s the bratty son of the harpy ruler. Jace throws himself into life as Kitlivri’s other half and co-leader of the sprites, but weaves tales to avoid the truth. However, secrets never stay hidden for long, and Jace must face his lies or risk losing Kitlivri forever.
Jace scratched his head and tried to make sense of their conversation. “You want to bind our souls for eternity but be just friends for now?”
“Is that such a horrible thing? We did already agree not to rush intimacy.”
“Yes, but you also mentioned you were interested in kisses. I’m confused,” Jace said. “I’m not against going slow, I just want to make sure I understand. I don’t want to do or say the wrong thing. I’ve spent my entire life disappointing people with my inability to fall in line with their expectations. I’d like to avoid that in the future.”
“I don’t have a strict timeline in my head of when I think we should move from friends to lovers or whatever. As we get to know one another, I think we will figure it out.”
“I understand,” Jace said. “Perhaps it’s something we can discuss in the future.”
“Communication is definitely key to a good matebond.”
Although Jace understood Kitlivri had experienced tremendous loss, it was deflating to think they were entering another lie. Among harpies, there was no bargaining with Fate when it came to her choices for a person. Fate chose mates and leaders, and she guided the decisions of her chosen. This was honored without question.
Though Jace flaunted his mother’s rules, his parents had a love that was indisputable. His older sister had her other half too and was rarely seen without the woman Fate had picked for her.
The rebellious part of Jace that wanted to forge his own path should’ve applauded Kitlivri’s desire to ensure that what Fate did aligned with his desires for his life. Instead, Jace wondered if the Warrior Chieftain was already displeased by him.
A voice in his head told him he was being unfair and should pay more heed to Kitlivri’s words about his devastated family, so Jace set aside his unkind feelings. Kitlivri was scared, and it was Jace’s role to support him, not question his motives.
“Yes, it is,” Jace said and somehow managed not to cringe since he’d already told lies and half-truths to Kitlivri. Jace wasn’t proud of his dishonesty, his unkind thoughts about Kitlivri’s desire to take their relationship slowly, or himself, in the general sense. It wasn’t until Jace had left his mother’s village that he’d understood how little confidence he truly had, and he was clueless about how to mend himself.
“I’m sorry I’ve upset you.”
“No, you haven’t,” Jace said. “I assure you I’m fine with moving slow. I’m upsetting myself by being foolish, and I understand why caring for someone must terrify you. Thank you for being courageous enough to share that with me. In time, I hope to offer you the same honesty.”
“Love is scary, but I’m already committed to being your best friend.”
The closest thing Jace had to a friend was his father, and Zephyr’s priority was, understandably, his mate.
“I’ve never had a best friend. I’d like to be yours,” said Jace.
“We might even find that we like each other.”
Jace grinned. “You have a growing list of attributes, Kit.”
“As do you.”
“Are you ready to do this matebond thing now?” Jace asked.
“I’m nervous, but yes.”
“Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one.”
Kitlivri held out his hand, and Jace didn’t hesitate to take it. “Did I thank you for agreeing to nearly every D’Vaire tradition?”
“Excuse me? I agreed to them all. You’re the one who was worried some of the feather markings on my skin would disappear if we did those tattoo-like mating marks,” Jace argued.
“I’m a fan of your feathers. Are you okay with sharing a bedroom with me tonight? I’d rather it be no one’s business but our own that we’re postponing intimacy.”
“I think I can handle my desire to ravish you.”
“I’m hoping I have the same ability to resist you,” Kitlivri said. “You are captivating.”
“Not a horrible thing to hear from a handsome man.”
“Am I allowed to call you that too, or will it offend you?” Kitlivri asked.
“As long as you see me as more than the face Fate gave me, you may comment on it as much as you like.”
“Or I could compliment you on other features.”
“I might be harpy enough to enjoy them too.”
“Jace, will you be my mate today?” Kitlivri asked.
“Yes. Yes, I will.”
Jace’s future was a blurry road with no destination in sight, but Fate had given him someone to travel it with, and he would do his best to rise to the challenges ahead.
About the Author
Jessamyn Kingley has published over thirty titles and refuses to pick a favorite among them. With an extraordinary passion for her characters, she enthusiastically adds tales to her D’Vaire series and avidly re-reads them whenever her schedule allows. After decades living in the Washington, DC area, she now resides in Nevada with her husband and their three spoiled cats. When she is not writing or adding new ideas to her beloved notebooks, she is gaming with family and friends.
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