Runaway Dragonette Dragon Planet Romance Book 1
by Lynne Murray
Genre: Paranormal Romance
When the Dragon King demands that Princess Verity choose a romantic partner from 26 dragon shapeshifters, she’s not allowed to say, “No.” But she has to.
Verity must escape her father’s romance plans for her, but it won’t be easy with cameras broadcasting her every move and the whole Dragon Planet watching.
Meanwhile on Earth, Ryan, a tech industry millionaire, loves dragons more than anything in the real world. He has moved back to his home town to run a dragon-centered bookstore. When a portal misfire lands Verity in Ryan’s store, the attraction is instant and irresistible.
Ryan jumps at the chance to compete to win Verity’s hand. The Dragon King allows it. He doesn’t expect a computer nerd human to survive a competition with fire-breathing dragonshifters.
Can Ryan win the dragon princess's hand by defeating a pack of hulking, jealous, firebreathing dragon men who don’t play fair? Will Verity be able to save her true mate from death by dragon fire?
“WILL YOU ACCEPT this nose ring?” Verity repeated it over and over under her breath as she stood on the paving stones of the castle courtyard. Twenty-six dragon shapeshifter suitors would soon arrive. The Earth reality TV videos showed human bachelors and bachelorettes handing out roses to those who would continue on the journey towards finding mates. But roses would confuse the dragon bachelors. In dragon form, they might eat the flowers, thorns and all and then belch fire. However, gold in any form got all the dragons’ attention big time.
Verity’s curves, prized on the Dragon Planet, were on ample display as she stood in her human form. She wore a sparkling ice-blue gown that matched her eyes. Her dress artfully molded to her in front, open nearly down to her waist and cut almost as low clinging to her backside, although her long black hair covered most of the skin revealed in back. Verity didn’t shiver from the cold, despite the thin fabric. Her dragon blood ran hot. Any trembling was completely due to nerves.
“Will you accept this nose ring?” she muttered again. It was a simple enough phase but she just might mess it up.
Torches burned in the courtyard in front of the quaint old castle. It was a historic site, not a working fortress, a confection of towers and spires perched on a remote mountainside. Lights from the village at the foot of the mountain twinkled in the darkness below. Verity would stay here for the next nine weeks.
Modern lighting illuminated the center of the courtyard where Verity would greet each bachelor dragon in turn as he arrived. Cameramen, sound crew, and assistant producers circled around the edges of the courtyard. The whole planet was watching. Her every word and move were being recorded.
Tonight, Verity was The Dragonette, a bachelorette shapeshifter on a Journey to Love. She was also the Dragon King’s daughter. She stiffened her spine. She took a deep breath of the pine scented air carried by the breeze up from the forests below.
Each of the bachelor dragons would introduce himself as he arrived. The camera crew roamed around her, waiting for the men to arrive.
Verity’s father, King Harrenholtz, was a big fan of reality television shows from Earth. The Dragon Planet had a dwindling shapeshifter population. The ruler had decided that a television show would promote mating.
“We’re gathering together the best of the best young dragons from every corner of the planet, Verity,” the king told her. “All in one place for you to choose from. It’s one-stop-shopping as they say on Earth. You’ll be able to start nesting immediately, and I hope to see those baby dragons soon.”
Verity had no answer to this.
“We know your unusual interest in conversation and culture and—um, ideas, Verity,” The king’s tone indicated that these pursuits were useless at best, but he was willing to indulge her eccentric tastes. “So we made sure to include some men who are artistic or...well, I don’t know, clever. These dragons are the best of the best. Your hatchlings will raise the intelligence level of the whole species. So enjoy the journey and find me a son-in-law.”
Like she had a choice.
But simple, straightforward Verity, was planning her escape. Everyone knew she was pathetically bad at the basic dragon skill of planning and executing devious strategies. And she didn’t have a detailed plan. More like the ghost of a hope. This dating show had thrown everything into chaos. She needed to stay alert and look for her chance.
She had tried once before to run away from her father’s castle and the fate of being chained to a nest for a life of egg laying like a prize hen. Her escape attempt had ended in disaster. She wouldn’t let herself think about it. Her mind and body had been numb ever since.
The king was convinced that she had learned her lesson and wouldn’t try again. But Verity had grimly determined never to be in any dragon’s power ever again. She trusted no one to help. She wasn’t even sure she could do it. But Verity planned to watch for an opening to break out of her gilded cage before it was too late.
FOR YEARS, RYAN Ryan Mason had honestly only cared about three things—business, love, and dragons. The first two were gone. He sold the software company that had made him a millionaire. The woman he loved, Deborah, had left him when she realized he wasn’t staying on in Silicon Valley to chase the next big trend. Now he was back to the one thing that had always sustained him—dragons.
Ryan and his best friend Harvey had survived years of bullying with the help of dragons. Their small town of Miner’s Creek didn’t have a junior high or high school, so Ryan and Harvey were the new kids at the school in the nearest big town. They were instant targets. Ryan was tall and skinny, a growth spurt at age thirteen brought him some height, but he was lanky and clumsy—not ever a jock. Harvey was short, fat, and swarthy with glasses and dark curly hair that seemed oily no matter how often he washed it. He was built like a bulldog and he never met a sport he didn’t hate. From the first day of junior high, both of them got shoved and punched when they walked through the halls. All the other kids either ignored them or laughed at them. When everyone else excluded them, Ryan and Harvey were happiest as loners, the weird kids at school. They spent endless hours on their shared obsession with dragons and dragon lore. The power of dragons was real to them.
The bus back to Miner’s Springs stopped on the highway ten blocks from the junior high school. That was the place where the bullies showed up and started throwing rocks at them. Usually Ryan and Harvey just walked on as quickly as possible. Running was a bad idea, falling and getting kicked was the worst.
One day, a tall, skinny girl with red hair and freckles came out of an alleyway and stopped beside them. Without a word, she picked up a rock that had hit Harvey and launched it back at the boy who had thrown it. Not only did the rock hit the boy, he cried out. Before any of the four kids trailing Ryan and Harvey could react, the girl spotted another rock, bent down, picked it up and launched it at the ringleader of the bullies. It nailed him. That rock drew blood and the girl made a sound that was soft enough that only Ryan and Harvey heard it. A faint, but scary growl.
“She’s crazy, let’s go,” the head bully said. They retreated down a side street.
“Thanks for doing that,” Ryan said.
The three of them just stood there for a moment. The red-haired girl had green eyes, clear as bottle glass. Finally, she smiled.
“That was amazing,” Harvey said. “Are you like a baseball pitcher?”
The girl shook her head. “No.”
“Maybe you’re a ninja or something?” Ryan asked.
He meant it as a flattering joke, but Bridget pondered and finally said. “Don’t know what that is.”
How was that possible? Now that there were no rocks flying, the boys could tell she was about their own age.
“Ninjas are really cool,” Harvey said. “Not as cool as dragons, but close.”
The girl looked at him sharply. Then she nodded and seemed to accept it as a compliment.
They introduced themselves.
“I’m Bridget,” the girl said with an odd accent. “Bridget Green.”
Ryan and Harvey exchanged a glance. They agreed “not her real name” as plainly as if they had said it.
“What school do you go to?” Harvey asked.
“You’re home schooled?” Ryan asked. “Wow.”
“Also cool,” Harvey said.
Bridget didn’t answer. The school bus stopped on the main road up ahead. She turned up another alley and vanished behind the houses that lined it.
After that, she showed up and walked with them after school every day. The bullies called them “The Three Stooges” and followed them from a distance yelling insults, but they didn’t throw rocks again. The three friends ignored them.
Bridget brought the boys to meet her mother where they lived in a trailer outside of town on a few acres that they had turned into a big garden where they seemed to grow most of their own food. Mrs. Green spoke no English, but welcomed them with a shy smile and offered them amazingly tasty cooked snacks.
Walking back from the first visit Harvey and Ryan agreed that Bridget and her mom must be hiding out.
“Maybe from a violent husband or something,” Harvey said thoughtfully.
“Or something even scarier,” Ryan didn’t say Immigration, but they both thought it. “They might be in real danger,” Ryan concluded.
“Maybe we can help her,” Harvey said.
Harvey’s parents ran a cafe in Miner’s Creek. They had welcomed Ryan in when his mother died of cancer and his father all but disappeared into his job. They sent Harvey over with leftovers from the cafe and food the women couldn’t grow in their garden like bags of flour and rice, roasts, ham, frozen fish.
Harvey was the one who discovered Bridget couldn’t read or write. He and Ryan set out to teach her. She learned, but she still preferred TV.
When he went off to Stanford, Ryan kept in touch and visited when he could. But dragons and friends had taken a backseat to business. Harvey went to Sonoma State and eventually opened a bookstore in Miner’s Creek. Ryan was happy to invest in it when he started to make money from his software start up. Ryan’s inventions spawned a small, thriving company in Palo Alto.
The year the three friends turned twenty, Bridget’s mother disappeared. “Gone home,” was all Bridget would say. Harvey got closer to Bridget. As soon as Harvey graduated, the same year he started the bookstore, they got married. No one was surprised. From the day, the two had a special bond.
The girlfriend Ryan found, however, surprised everyone including Ryan. Deborah was movie star beautiful. He couldn’t believe she chose him. He was six feet tall with a mop of curly light brown hair and nice enough hazel eyes, but no one as pretty as Deborah had ever sought him out. She took over his life.
“You’re a fixer-upper boyfriend, but you definitely clean up okay,” she told him. Deborah was not at all shy about taking credit for making him the most presentable nerd possible. He treated her as he envisioned a dragon would treat a princess. After his company sold and his bank account hit eight figures, he asked Deborah to marry him and move back with him to Miner’s Springs.
She was horrified.
“A few million dollars is a good start, but why not a billion dollars?” Deborah said. She moved on to a more ambitious entrepreneur. She broke his heart, but what else was new?
Ryan sold his house in Palo Alto and headed back to Miner’s Springs. He and Harvey expanded the store Dragon Lore and More. Ryan bought the building, some acreage behind it, a house nearby and a house next door for Harvey and Bridget.
Ryan’s started to collect every scrap of information he could find on the subject of dragons. The fact that dragons were mythical creatures didn’t bother him in the slightest.
Bridget was as passionate about reality TV dating shows as Harvey and Ryan were about dragons. She was the one who found The Dragonette footage and brought it to the men’s attention.
Harvey stuck his head around the door to Ryan’s basement lair, where he spent hours every day building the Dragon Library.
“Ryan, you have got to see this. Bridget found it,” Harvey said. “Rare footage of Dragon mating rituals, dude.”
“Harvey, is this one of those ‘too much information about your marriage’ things? If that’s the case, I’m afraid to look.”
“No, seriously, it’s like those reality TV shows Bridget loves, except with dragons. I was kidding about the mating rituals, it’s not X-rated or anything. Hey, it’s got a dragon princess, Ryan, need I say more?”
“If it’s got dragons, you know I want to see it now.” Ryan said. A little embarrassed by the thrill of longing that the words “Dragon Princess” aroused in him. “Send me the link.”
Alone in the store basement, half the galaxy away from wherever it was that dragons really did rule, Ryan watched footage of most beautiful woman he had ever seen being courted by giant reptiles.
Ryan closed his mouth, it kept falling open. Harvey was kidding about the mating angle. The video was G rated. Or maybe PG 13, considering that the dragon princess wore a dress that took Ryan’s breath away.
The videos showed the princess, her name was Verity, meeting and talking to men who sometimes shifted into dragon form. The dragon shifting special effects were outstanding. Ryan was thrilled by the quality of the CGI that morphed her suitors from flying dragons to beefy bodybuilder types in a flash of light.
What completely captivated Ryan the dragon princess, Verity. She must be an actress. She was tall and full figured, voluptuous enough to tickle his fantasies, unlike the usual starving film actresses. The ice blue gown she wore left little to the imagination. At the same time Ryan’s fantasies started working overtime. He froze the video several times to let his eyes explore her curves and contemplate the few areas the dress didn’t cover.
The storyline suggested that Verity was herself a shapeshifter, but so far she stayed in human form. He had no complaints, he enjoyed looking at her human form. Her face was heart-shaped, her lips inviting. The sheet of jet black hair down her back seemed to invite stroking. Most amazing were her pale blue eyes, lit with a fire of intelligence. When the camera moved in close, something in her eyes seemed to reach out of the screen into his heart and beg him to rescue her from the mumbling platitudes of the hyper-muscular dragon men who stood in front of her and told her she was beautiful. Most of them said they wanted to get to know her better.
As absurd as it sounded, Ryan wanted to get to know her better. He knew that a beautiful actress in a strange little science fiction video parody would be unlikely to be hot to meet a small bookstore owner. His only claim to fame was once inventing some software and getting paid well for it. Not exactly knight in shining armor credentials, as his experience with Deborah had taught him.
Still, when the footage was done and he had played it back two or three times—okay, five or ten times—he looked for the credits. There were none. He called Harvey.
“Where did Bridget find this?”
“She won’t say,” Harvey said. “I’ll ask her, but she’s not saying. She’s in one of her cat-that-swallowed-the-cream moods. I never argue when Bridget gets it into her head to surprise me.”
“I never argue with Bridget about anything. Do you think she’d tell me if I begged?”
“That’s my usual tactic with Bridget. I’m just happy she married me. After the number Deborah did on you, I wish we could find a good woman like that for you.”
“I’m holding out for a dragon princess,” Ryan said with a laugh. “Seriously, dude, I’ve got to find the rest of it. I’m kind of hooked already.” Ryan but he wasn’t about to give up because there was no instant answer. He kept searching all over the web and couldn’t find any trace of the video. None of his connections in the world of dragon lore had heard of it at all.
Harvey called back and told him. “Bridget’s still teasing me, but she said this is just part of week one, of a nine-week show broadcast on DPN, the Dragon Planet Network.”
“What? If there’s a Dragon Planet Network how come we haven’t heard of it? I’d pay a lot to subscribe to that, wouldn’t you?”
“Absolutely, but you know Bridget. She’ll tell me when she’s ready.”
“Well. If she finds a way to get tickets to the Dragon Planet, tell her I’m ready to go any time. Seriously, if you find anything about it, anything at all, let me know,” Ryan told him. “I need to see the whole thing.”
“Sure thing, dude, Dragons Rule,” Harvey said.
“Dragons Forever,” Ryan replied automatically. What he really wanted was to meet the woman in the film. True, she was an indie film actress, not a real dragon shifter. He couldn’t explain why he felt he had to meet her.
All he could do was sit sad, alone, and obsessed with dragons. Okay, he could add “horny” to that list. What else was new?
Bachelor Dragon Blues Dragon Planet Romance Book 2
Can the love of an Earth woman save a dragonshifter from the ticking time bomb inside?
The Dragon Planet hails Jevrath as a war hero for a military action that wounded him. No one knows that spy bots invaded his wound during the battle. They track his every move. They can kill him at will. The only threat Jevrath knows about is the Dragon King’s vow to force him into a planetary romance show, to publicly select a dragonshifter mate. Jevrath refuses and heads for Earth for a vacation. Then Beth, a human woman, walks through the door of the resort bar and his world will never be the same.
Beth’s dream is to work with endangered species, but who knew they would be so sizzling hot? She needs a weekend away from her lab tech job and her lecherous boss. When she walks into the resort bar and sees tall, dark, commanding Jevrath, her dreams seem about to come true—along with her worst nightmares. She can have a lab of her own on the Dragon Planet, if she pretends to go along with the televised romance show. But her desires for Jevrath go dangerously beyond pretending.
Can the devotion of a dragon man sustain Beth in the face of 26 firebreathing dragon women who don’t mind killing for love?
AS SHE GAVE her short, reddish blonde hair one last brush, Beth faced the fact that this vacation might not be so much fun on her own. She sorely missed her best friend.
Valerie was the fun friend, Beth was the shy one
Beth put off as long as possible the moment when she would brave the place alone. She had dressed in her favorite thrift store silk blouse—green to bring out her eyes. The jeans were tight enough to show off her butt for those interested. Beth had learned her lesson. She was naturally shy, but she had learned not to bother talking to anyone not enthusiastic about her curves. Hanging out with Valerie was a lesson in how not to be a doormat.
Beth and Valerie met at college. They were the two hardest working people in the dorm. No one who knew them expected them to become friends, which was total BS. Aside from serious study habits, both were blessed with abundant figures. The first thing they shared was a brainstorm session on where to find the best, cheapest, plus-sized clothes. Then there was that chip on the shoulder thing. They both had that for different reasons.
Valerie was biracial, her mother black and her father white. It took a while before she confided in Beth that she had both an academic scholarship and some affirmative action grants that came with a built-in defensive attitude.
“I have earned every single advantage I’ve been given.” she said fiercely I’ve got no time for people who want to tear me down.”
Beth grew up poor, white and rural. The minute she opened her mouth some people heard her accent and lowered their expectations. She wasn’t ashamed of where she came from, but she had to work twice as hard to get respect. She put her head down and refused to give up till they caved. So far, they always had. Everyone but her family.
Every call home ended with her mother suggesting that Beth find a nice man with a decent job and stop killing herself working so hard so she wouldn’t “end up a lonely old woman.”
The girls’ weekends had been Valerie’s idea when they moved to different states after college. But Valerie was in Oakland this weekend at her grandmother’s funeral. Beth almost regretted following her friend’s advice to go ahead and go to the resort on her own. Valerie had planned this trip. It wasn’t fair that she couldn’t enjoy it. It was hard to summon up a Vacation Beth attitude without Vacation Valerie’s encouragement.
As she walked down to the hotel bar, Beth promised herself that she could leave after one drink if she felt uncomfortable. She decided she would enjoy the time off, even if she ended up alone with a pizza and the hotel’s pay per view. She squared her shoulders, took a deep breath and headed for the hotel bar.
Then she walked into the bar and stopped moving, breathing, everything at the masculine perfection before her. She couldn’t help but stare.
He was tall, at least six feet four, with a solid, powerful body and a commanding air. She could have sworn that he turned in his seat towards her the instant she walked in. Beth flushed a little when she met his eyes, so unexpectedly blue against his olive-toned skin. It took an effort of will to keep from staring too long. His eyes promised pure mischief. His hair was black and his face was strong rather than handsome. A lighter-colored narrow scar traced the edge of his cheek all the way up to the hairline. She wanted to run her hand along the side of his face. No. Girls like her didn’t match up with bad boy, I-command-the-room types like him.
So, she made herself examine the floor, polished bar, even as she felt the force of that tall, dark man’s attention. She went to claim a bar stool across the room from him. he examined the wall of liquor bottles behind the bar as if it contained the secrets of the universe. Blue—1800 Tequila, Grey Goose Vodka, Bombay Sapphire Gin. Why was she hesitating? Probably because she felt like rushing to his side. She forced herself to look away from the Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Darn it, what would Valerie do? Probably sashay up to him and say something funny. But Beth couldn’t make her legs move, let alone come up with a smart remark. She sipped her root beer.
JEVRATH PRIDED HIMSELF on narrowly escaping having his love-life turned into a planetary joke. The entire Dragon Planet now called him a hero. All because of what he did when he was escorting a group of half-dragons through a portal. An explosion followed by fifty seconds of horrific action that seemed like a lifetime. The media called it the Battle of Cygnus Corridor 44X. Catchy name, Jevrath wanted to snort in ridicule every time he heard it. There hadn’t been a visible enemy. The battle was to patch up the portal wall before they were all sucked out into space and to keep as many of his men alive as he could.
His wounds had healed, but the injuries were deep enough and laced with enough scar tissue on his back and shoulder to make him slower at shifting into dragon form. He was no longer tireless when flying. The doctors had decreed that now he was not fit for the kind of military service he had done before. He was discharged with honor. He tried to ignore the shadows that seemed to show up with occasional sparks right at the corner of his eye. When he whipped his head around to focus on them, they disappeared. The military eye doctor told him, it might be lingering damage to his optic nerve during the explosion or from the few seconds he was exposed to the vacuum of space. Or it might be something else. In other words, no one knew
So, what was he going to do with the rest of his life?
Right now, he planned to get laid.
Ironically the Dragon Planet’s ruler had tried to recruit him for stud service. Jevrath managed not to use those words to the king, but that was what it looked like to him. He was supposed to play the hero in search of a mate on a dating game show televised for the whole planet’s amusement.
Jevrath had accepted the decorative medal in a public ceremony, mainly to honor the soldiers who had lost their lives in that brief, violent encounter. But throwing his personal life open to cameras and planetwide scrutiny was off the table. When he refused the King, Jevrath tried to be as diplomatic as possible, which wasn’t too diplomatic. Fortunately, his hero status gave him the clout to say no and make it stick.
Jevrath had given up on the idea of finding a true mate, if such a thing even existed. He’d never met anyone whose entire physical chemistry had melded with a mate. A few years earlier he had imagined that he had courted a dragonshifter woman. She seemed to care about him for a little while. But when he went back to his military unit, she had made it very clear she wouldn’t be waiting when he returned. She hadn’t contacted him throughout the time he spent in the hospital recovering from his injuries. He got the message.
He had no intention of getting hurt like that again. He came to this resort on Earth hunting for an evening’s entertainment, preferably an encounter that wouldn’t last past dawn.
Earth was a Forbidden Zone, closed to visitors. Jevrath had a pass to come and go, but very few humans knew that dragon shifters, or any alien species, existed.
Perfect for pure sensual pleasure, no pressure.
In this resort, things moved on the slow side. Jevrath was fine with that. The women he saw here so far didn’t interest him anyway. It puzzled him that so much attention was being paid to a couple of half-starved females with plastic bulbs implanted in their chests.
Then she walked in. Then the girl with reddish blond hair and the curves that didn’t stop.
The sight of her literally took his breath away. Her scent rolled over him like a fresh breeze sweeping into the room. He took a deep breath. The aroma reminded him of the sweet tang of the yellow flowers that grew on the mountain tops of the islands of his clan’s home. Even from across the room a hot rush of arousal seized him and he reminded himself to move carefully. Every fiber of his being told him that she wanted him too, but he couldn’t trust himself and he hated that unfamiliar feeling. Something in him suggested that any other woman would be an unacceptable compromise. For the first time in his life he feared losing control if this woman rejected him.
Billionaire Dragon's Secretary Dragon Planet Romance Book 3
Jill is kidnapped by a lying, cheating dragonshifter and stuck on the Dragon Planet. Romance with a dragon is the last thing on her mind. She only wants to earn enough to pay for a ticket back to Earth, but her billionaire dragon shifter boss sets her senses on fire, and he’s trying to give her every reason to stay. Targon, “the Gold Whisperer,” fiercely guards his heart and his hoard until his new secretary, Jill arrives. Instantly he recognizes her as his True Mate. How can a dragonshifter convince an angry Earth woman to trust him when he doesn’t trust himself?
NO ONE WARNED Jill about lying, cheating dragonshifters until it was too late. How can you warn someone about something that doesn’t exist? Dragons belonged in story books and movies not in major urban centers. Okay, there were a few other red flags to warn her that Ray was dangerous. Unfortunately, like a true predator, he hit her blind spot.
The “hidden gem” of a restaurant he had taken her to turned out to be a portal to the Dragon Planet. Guards had taken her date into custody and Jill found herself talking to a sympathetic woman named Leona.
He was lying about everything.
A wave of anger swept over her. “What a fool I am.”
Leona leaned forward and patted her arm. “This man is a predator. One of his skills is very careful observation of his target. He might have been watching you for several days before he approached you.”
“I did get the feeling he was trying to show off how rich he was,” Jill said. “I figured he was exaggerating. But he was so funny and sweet. And frankly, so smoking hot.” Now she felt her face flushing in embarrassment. “I thought what harm can there be in sharing a meal?” Jill glanced at Ray, still arguing with the guards. “He did try to give me a necklace. It looked like solid gold. Of course, I refused. Wow, jewelry on the first date, I’m not for sale.”
“Good. Taking that necklace would have given him control over your mind. Think of it as similar to a date rape drug.”
“Oh my god.” A chill ran down Jill’s spine. Suddenly she felt the full force of how narrow her escape was and how uncertain her future. “He apologized so sincerely. Is he dangerous?”
Leona consulted a small tablet. “According to our records, Rayghir is suspected of taking advantage of women but he always stays just inside of our law.”
“Thank you for saving me.” Suddenly all Jill wanted was to get away. She stood up. “I’d better go home now. I can call a cab from outside, or maybe even walk, it’s not far to the bus.” She started back toward the entrance. But one of the men in gray came running back to block her.
“Sorry, we can’t let you go out that way,” he said gruffly. “The portal is already sealed. We’re on our planet now.”
Leona came up beside her. “That’s the problem.” Leona sighed. “Once you entered this portal with him, you arrived on the Dragon Planet. You can’t just turn around and return from where you entered. The destination has to be programmed in advance and we need to get authorization to program it.”
“And he’s authorized?”
“Rayghir’s travel privileges aren’t restricted. What he does is horrible, but technically here.”
“What can I do?” Jill’s eyes filled with tears.
“Don’t worry, we’ll help you get back, but we have to follow the rules.”
“Rayghir!” One of the men in gray yelled.
A bright light illuminated the whole room. Jill saw her date, Rayghir, suddenly shift into an enormous, gleaming black dragon.
TARGON OF THE Sky Rim Clan had a taste for Earth women. He was a genius at managing dragon wealth. He was tall with short-cut pale blond hair, and the kind of imposing good looks that attracted attention from female dragonshifters. Yet he avoided the mating wars.
Courting a shapeshifting dragon woman was bizarrely complicated. He had no time, or interest in the clan politics, the endless fertility tests. The “You show me your assets, I’ll show you mine” dance made him cringe. He got enough of that at work.
Relationships with human women from Earth were simpler, but dangerous. They had caused him grief before.
Targon openly displayed some of his personal hoard as a taste of the power of his clan. The unspoken suggestion was that such treasures might come to his clients as well. The same was true of the secretaries. The clients could enjoy their attention, but no touching. He brought in a new one every week or two to keep everyone from getting attached.
Some of Targon’s clients joked that he was sampling the women’s favors and discarding them.
Bitter experience had taught him to keep his distance, his desires under control.
Once. Just once Targon had fallen for an Earth woman. That painful memory helped him get a grip on the slightest suggestion of emotion. He had come way too close to killing that woman.
Lynne Murray was born in Illinois and grew up in transit Texas, Alaska, Florida, Washington state, and Southern California due to her father's work with the military.
Lynne writes the kind of books she loves to read. Those usually feature a lot of action, quirky characters and supernatural attitude. She just might read anything that isn't tied down, but some of the books that have to be restrained also make it onto her list. Her favorite authors include Illona Andrews, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, Kim Hamilton, Terry Pratchett and T.H. White.
She now lives and writes and stares out the window at the ocean in San Francisco with a group of rescue cats, who rescue her right back with heroic feats of purring.