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He crossed dimensions to claim her as his queen—but her reign may destroy his world.
Adrienne Backett wants two simple little things this spring break: rest and relaxation. After nearly four years of slaving away for her college education, she deserves a holiday. What she gets is pulled into another dimension by a man who claims she’s his rightful queen.
Malik, King of Ulan, has until his birthday to find his bride or he must forfeit his throne. When a spell reveals her location, he will do anything, even cross dimensions, to claim her as his own.
As if fending off a lusty king isn’t enough of a headache, Adrienne finds herself a pawn in a rival monarch’s plot to bring Malik’s world to its knees. But is the real danger being stuck in the middle of a power struggle between rival kingdoms? Or the damage Malik could do to her heart?
Warning: This title contains adult language (cursing), talking animals, violence, and scenes of near rape.
|A Bron Universe Novel|
|Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Themes: Mainstream, Interracial, Multicultural, Alternate Earth/Universe
Cover Art: Anne Cain
|eBook ISBN: 978-1-59998-523-7
eBook Price: $5.50/US
Word Count: 94,000
Pub. Date: 10 July 2007
|Print ISBN: 978-1-59998-757-6
Print Price: $16.00/US
Page Count: 320
Pub. Date: 27 May 2008
“Impressive.” He came forward and placed his hand on Adrienne’s cheek. He smiled. “I would expect no less from my future queen.”
Adrienne felt proud. Her annoyance with Malik’s presence changed the second he touched her. She could have pulled away but decided not to, a small concession since he’d given in to her the day before—albeit to save his palace.
His touch was light and it didn’t seem like he would do more. She looked up at him. His eyes mirrored the pride she felt.
Malik was proud.
The emotion she felt was his. Knowing he was pleased with her tiny accomplishment made her happy—in a little kid kind of way. Any praise was good praise, no matter whom it came from.
Malik cupped her chin and moved closer. Her breathing sped up. Lust replaced pride. It slunk along her skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps on her arms.
A muted crash made Adrienne jump in surprise. She stepped away from Malik, then looked around for the source of the sound. A three-feet-tall vase in the farthest corner of the room sat at a diagonal because the base had cracked when it hit the ground.
“I didn’t mean to break that one. It was actually kind of pretty.” Adrienne had forgotten about it. Floating the tiny blue vase for hours on end bored her so she had decided to split her attention between the blue one and the three-foot one without letting Mushira know. Hani had noticed but kept quiet.
Though Adrienne’s concentration had slipped, the blue vase continued to float. That made her feel a little better.
“That is why I said to limit your activities, Highness,” Mushira scolded lightly.
“The damage is minimal. A construction mage can fix it easily,” Hani said.
“I don’t want to bother them.”
“It is no bother for them to do their job, my lady,” Malik said. “Nimat, see to it.”
Nimat curtsied, then left the room.
“Speaking of bothering people…” Adrienne said, looking at Malik. She plucked the small vase out of the air before it became a victim of her wayward concentration. Its muffled laughter grew louder. The joke started off cute, now how did she shut it off?
“I promise you will only have to suffer my presence for a short time,” Malik said. He smiled when she rolled her eyes at him.
Adrienne sat in the window seat, then continued with her levitation practice. “I’d rather not be bothered at all. I’d also rather be back on Earth.” She spared him a glance, then turned her attention back to the vase. “But we both know what I want isn’t your first concern.”
Malik had prepared for this. He joined Adrienne on the window seat. It was wide enough to accommodate them both without him touching her, and he knew she wanted it that way.
“Your life here will not be as fearsome as you think, my lady. Beyond myself and our personal guards, there are many mages and warriors who are prepared to stand between you and harm.”
“Were these the same mages and warriors who stood between your parents and harm?”
Malik didn’t take offense. He knew Adrienne would lash out at him. He had prepared for physical, magickal and verbal abuse before he decided to visit her.
“No. Those charged with my parents’ protection were executed for failing in their task.”
“Makes you take your job more seriously when your life is hanging in the balance, too, huh?”
“Exactly, my lady,” Malik agreed in a cold voice.
Adrienne tapped the small vase. An identical vase appeared next to it, but this one darker. She plucked the lid off and it started to cry. Water dripped over the rim. She replaced the lid quickly, then asked, “How about I make everyone’s job simpler and never leave my room? Protecting me would be much easier if I’m always in one place.”
“So would attacking you,” he snapped. Malik regretted his words the second they left his mouth. Adrienne’s control on the vases faltered. He caught them—one in each hand—before they hit the ground. “I did not mean to say that, my lady. Forgive me.”
He held out the vases. He wanted to tell Adrienne how proud he was of her ability to not only animate the vases but to conjure another into being. She had no formal training and yet wielded magicks most mages had to spend decades learning to control. Only her imagination limited her abilities, the same as him.
Knowing she wouldn’t want his compliments stayed his praise. She wanted his absence. He couldn’t give it to her. “There is no danger here,” he offered, instead. “I have learned from my parents’ mistakes and do not rely solely on magicks. I have endeavored, in my years as ruler, to make this palace as safe as possible for your arrival.”
“So what? Even if the palace is safe, what about the rest of the world? I’m a prisoner here. If you really want to keep me safe, send me home, Malik.” She took the vases from him, then bent to place them on the floor.
Malik’s eyes narrowed. He kept his silence until Adrienne straightened and looked at him. “Need I remind you of your attack, my lady? I had not thought you would forget it so easily,” he said in a cool voice.
“Yes,” she agreed, “let’s talk about that. Because, God knows, when you aren’t winning an argument, bringing up the stupidity of the other party is a sure-fire way to win.” She held up a hand. “Spare me.”
She looked out the window.
“Then allow me to speak of more pleasant things.”
Malik smiled when she gave him a dismissive wave. She may not wish to be a queen, but she already conducted herself like one. In time, she would realize what Malik already knew. They were two of a kind and meant to be together.
"Adrienne is a fantastic exploration of a magical universe full of intrigue, supremacy and creative characters... I was held spellbound through the complete narrative."
~ Rosemary, Joyfully Reviewed
"...highly intense and truly entertaining. The emotions portrayed by not only the main characters but also the many secondary ones, are ones you can relate too... You will be hard pressed to put this book down even for a moment, as you will become so caught up in the magic, betrayals, danger and treachery that makes this book a definite keeper."
~ Margo Arthur, The Romance Studio
"ADRIENNE has plenty of everything in it. It has magic, romance, action, mystery and whole of a lot more... I can truly say that you too will love, ADRIENNE."
~ Veronica, Strictly Romance Reviews
4.5 Stars! Reviewer's Choice Award!
"D. Renee Bagby delivers a wonderfully written fantasy that takes you to new realms. Wonderful characters take you to new heights of fantasy, not to mention passion. Time well spent on this wonderful book."
~ Renee Kautz, Historical Romance Club Reviews
"Adrienne may be whisked away to another dimension, but she's a down-to-earth heroine that you'll have no trouble relating to. Although this is a fantasy, the well-defined multicultural characters tackle some real-life issues... and all ends well."
~ Gail Pruszkowski, Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine Issue July 2008
"Comedy, romance, danger, conflict between hero and heroine runs throughout the book. This is fantasy fiction at it's best. This was very well written. I loved it!"
~ Writegrrl, Associated Content Book Reviews
"Let D. Renee Bagby transport you into a fascinating new world in Adrienne. There you will find intrigue, swordplay, and magic enough to delight any paranormal lover!"
~ Mandy, Rogues and Romance Reviews
"...a highly intensified novel. You can truly relate to the characters, and more importantly to their emotions... The novel also flowed absolutely wonderful, and you just have to continue reading to see just where these two will go, as well as what is on the next page..."
~ Denise Kivett, ParaNormal Romance.org
"ADRIENNE is an exquisite example of world building, and D. Renee Bagby kept this reader on the edge of her seat... The writing is superb, the action is almost non-stop... I was biting my nails in reaction to all the perils, betrayals, danger, treachery, hope and joy that are such integral parts of this splendid romance. Get it, read it, keep it."
~ Vi Janaway, Romance Reviews Today
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