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.
“We weren’t expecting anyone but Duke Sullivan, Your Grace,” Aleksander said and closed his eyes at his inanity. If he wanted the type of matebond that was so highly valued within the Council and his family, he was not off to the best start.
“Your Highness, I apologize,” Rafferty responded in a deep, gravelly voice that curled Aleksander’s toes. The D’Vaire king would be happy to listen to him talk day and night. It was hard to hold on to fear when he was so pleased with Fate’s choice, which was rather ironic, since he’d been insisting for centuries that he didn’t want a mate at all. I guess it’s different when he walks through the door, Aleksander thought. “My brother insisted.”
“I think in light of the circumstances, you can forgo the title business.”
“What do you mean, Your Highness?”
Lowering his head and staring into black eyes full of emotions he couldn’t read, Aleksander studied the handsome planes of his face as he contemplated how best to react. “You are my mate, Rafferty.”
“I had a good friend who used to called me Rafe. She died some months ago, and I still miss her,” he said, then scowled, which made Aleksander’s belly flop in arousal. “I don’t know why I just told you that.”
“Are you going to pretend that we aren’t mates?”
“Are you sure we are?”
“Yes, I am, Rafferty.”
“I don’t think you understand, though. I can’t be gay.”
“It’s okay, my family doesn’t know I am yet either. I have to tell them, though. At least the immediate members. We don’t have secrets in this house if we can help it. They aren’t going to take it well. I’ve kept it a secret a long time.”
“My brother can’t find out.”
“Kendrick? He hasn’t had any issue with the many gay men in the house.”
“Not that one. I hardly know him. I mean Duke Sullivan. In fact, we should leave right away in case he figures it out. My family doesn’t have any tolerance.”
“So, you’ve kept it a secret because you’re afraid of how they’ll react?”
Rafferty rubbed a hand over his face. “I don’t know.”
“Okay, I’m sorry. We don’t need to get into all this right now. Like you, I’m freaking out, and this is going to mean a lot of changes for us both.”
“I think I should leave.”
“You just got here.”
His expression grew pained as he threw his arms out. “I don’t know what to do. I need to go.”
“Give me your phone.”
With a questioning glance, Rafferty dug into his pocket and fished out the device, which he handed to Aleksander. It only took a few moments for Aleksander to punch his contact information into Rafferty’s phone and put his mate’s into his. “Now we can text each other, okay?”
“Can I leave now? I should go.”
“What about Kendrick? Aren’t you here to visit him?”
“Yeah, I guess. I mean, yes…Sullivan made me come.”
It was odd that the more flustered Rafferty grew, the calmer Aleksander felt. The dragon in front of him had to figure out how to tell a family that had no tolerance that he was gay. For Aleksander, he had the same secret, but there was no real question of how the D’Vaires would react. There wasn’t a single person in his home who didn’t have the utmost respect for the diversity Fate enjoyed creating in her people.
“Hey, it’s going to be okay. You don’t have to do anything right now or tell anyone about us. We’ll have to figure this out, and I can assure you that there is no reason to rush.”
“I have absolutely no idea what to say to you.”
“Go back to your hotel and take a deep breath. We won’t say anything to Sullivan. You two can enjoy hanging out with Kendrick until you head home. I meant what I said, Rafferty. I will not pressure you. I just need you to know that I’m going to tell my family who you truly are to me. In time, we’ll know if Fate was right about us.”
Rafferty licked his lips, which Aleksander tried very hard not to notice, then bit his bottom one. There was tension in every line of his body, and Aleksander wanted to figure out a way to calm him, but they’d just met. With no idea what the right words were or if a relationship between them was eventually possible, Aleksander was still pleased by the man in front of him. Only Fate knew if he was going to ever be more to him than a sexy voice and a handsome face. As if he could read the troubled thoughts plaguing Aleksander and wished to unsteady him further, Rafferty spun on one giant white sneaker and walked out of Worth’s office into his own.
“That went well,” Aleksander muttered aloud to the empty room.
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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