The House of Royals series is getting a facelift! Stay tuned over the next few days, as we explore each of the first four books in The House of Royals series. There will be an excerpt from each book and prizes to win, including a Keary Taylor eBook of your choice, a signed Keary Taylor paperback of your choice, and two Amazon gift cards!
Every town has its history and skeletons, but Silent Bend, Mississippi’s are darker than most. Ruled from the shadows by the House—the immortal Born and their aging, enslaved Bitten—everyone knows not to go out after dark and that the police will never look into crimes involving blood.
Alivia Ryan didn’t know the man who claims to be her father through a will even existed until she inherits the Conrath plantation. Instead of the sleepy house she expects, she finds a mansion and a staff who look at her with fear in their eyes.
Ian Ward tried to kill Alivia the first time they met, and then insisted he train her to defend herself against the House, who he claims will try to manipulate and take her in for their own political reasons. And the growing attraction between them will threaten their lives—Ian is a sworn enemy of the House.
In Silent Bend, people disappear, the threat of a demented King and the legend of his resurrecting Queen hang over everyone’s heads, and proving loyalty means far more than blood. You’d better watch who you trust in this town…
HOUSE OF ROYALS is currently free to download!
“What are you doing here?” he hisses, pulling me close. His lips tickle my ear. His hand on my waist slips low and his fingers dig into my skin just a little.
The breath catches in my chest and every nerve ending in my body goes crazy. The music surges, and this night suddenly feels too big for me to breathe.
“I’m not lying down and taking a fate I didn’t ask for,” I manage. My fingers cling hard to Ian’s shoulder. I can feel the muscles beneath his clothes tense and tighten. And suddenly I’m back to the days at his cabin, when he’d come walking out of the shower with only a towel and I pretended not to look. I know what his bare skin looks like, and suddenly I’m craving another glimpse.
“They won’t care about a show of good faith,” he says. “Do you have any idea what this party is even for?”
My silence is his answer.
“They throw this party once a year and offer massive amounts of alcohol so that people won’t remember the blackouts that come from behind fed on.”
My eyes dart to that door at the back of the room. The blood on the woman’s shoulder. The blood in the corner of the man’s mouth.
“They’re feeding on the party attendees,” I say.
Ian nods. His scratchy cheek brushes mine. “The bite numbs and makes you forget, but people tend to realize they blacked out. A party like this with this much booze, you brush it off. It’s the one time a year they feed freely upon the townspeople. It’s the only way to keep people from asking too many questions.”
It’s terrifying and horrifying, and I’m suddenly wondering if the man was asking me to dance as my turn to be fed upon.
“It’s bad, but I have to do something Ian,” I breathe.
“Walking into the fire isn’t the way to do it,” he whispers into my ear.
I back away just slightly, just so I can look into his eyes. There’s intensity there. Enough of it to melt me clean through.
“It isn’t your job to protect me,” I say quietly as my eyes drift down to his mouth. “I saw you that night. You were supposed to be sleeping. But you were watching over me. You can’t keep doing that.”
“I can’t seem to help it,” he says as his brows furrow.
The music starts to swell toward the end. It’s the last song of the night. Everyone seems to know it. I can feel it. Surging and surging, pushing me to an unknown finish.
“I have to do this,” I say. I start to step away from Ian, toward the Royals that aren’t Royals. “I won’t be pushed around.”
“Stay,” he breathes.
“I can’t.” I take one step back, turning away from Ian.
“Liv, don’t,” Ian pleads. “Just look at me.” Not too gently, he pulls me back toward him.
And suddenly his arms are around me, pulling my center to his and our bodies explode in human passion as they collide and his mouth is on mine. And all the fighting and training and bantering we’ve been doing climaxes into something I can’t explain and don’t ever want to come to a conclusion.
Ian’s lips part and so do mine. Even as his breath gathers to say things I can’t do. “Just leave with me. Now. Just walk away.”
I give him one final kiss, feeling more alive than I ever have before, yet feeling like a sinking ship. And I pull away. Because I know I cannot give him what he wants.
“I have to do this, and you have to let me.” A million emotions are running rampant in me and I’m not prepared to deal with a single one.
Because Ian and I have been circling one another in close orbit. We have gravitational pull on each other that can’t be explained by logic and reason. And I’ve always known, from the moment Ian decided not to kill me, that one day we would collide.
Sometimes fate deals you the horrible and the incredible. We can’t run from either.
I take a step away from him, but Ian holds onto my hand. I take another step, and millimeter by millimeter, our fingers slip apart. Then I’m gone, and Ian is still standing there in the middle of the ballroom, watching me run into the middle of a pack of wolves.
Keary Taylor is the USA TODAY bestselling author of over a dozen novels. She grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now splits her time between a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest and Utah, with her husband and their two children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.
In 2009, after being rejected by over 100 literary agents, Keary decided to give self-publishing a try. Since that side of the industry had yet to really blossom, Keary had a lot of learning to do since she didn’t know anyone else who was self-publishing and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. But she continued to better her work and her means of publishing and it paid off in a big way. She hit the USA TODAY bestsellers list in 2016. In 2011, she was listed in The Wall Street Journal as a “Self-Published Bestseller;” every one of her books has made it into a top 100 category, and her books have had over a million downloads. She now makes a very good living continuing to self-publish.