Frost and Flame (Gods of War)

By: Gena Showalter

Once upon a time, kings and queens from across the galaxies searched for new worlds to inhabit, and other species to rule. These greedy royals sent armed legions into battle. Millions died, the newly discovered planets destroyed. While the heartless monarchs thrilled as they watched these bloodthirsty battles, they inherited little more than wastelands.

Wanting to continue their games and master new worlds, they agreed to a contest—the All War. Each sovereign would send one warrior to any newly discovered territory. Their best warrior. That territory would be their playground...and their battlefield. One champion would take everything, and all losers would die.

Throughout the centuries, one unspoken edict has remained the same. Do not fall in love with a local.

“Love? Never again. My heart is made of vengeance and hate.”

—Bane of Adwaeweth

“I’ve warred with fibromyalgia and lupus for years. Tame some big, bad beasty-boy? Watch me.”

—Nola Lee


The Realm of Adwaeweth

1026 AA (After Alliance)

BANE OF ADWAEWETH ignored his instincts to dominate his woman—always he ignored his instincts—and rolled to his back, the expected position for an Adwaewethian male. Not just expected, but enforced by law.

Would the pleasure be greater on top? Bane had broached the subject with Meredith once, only once, but she’d had no interest, so he’d dropped it. Most days, he told himself he didn’t care. Some days he believed it.

Bathed in candlelight, Meredith rose to her knees, straddled him and sank down on his throbbing erection. The pleasure!

Head tipping backward, spine arching, Meredith moaned with rapture and began to ride him. Sweat glistened on her golden skin, and desire hooded her golden eyes. So beautiful. So strong and brave.

Meredith was the love of his life. Not too long ago, they’d recited vows in front of royals and peers alike, forever binding their futures. Only in death shall we part.

When she braced her hands on his calves and whipped her hips, his mind blanked...only to come back to life with a single thought. More. Releasing a strangled groan, he clasped her waist to control her motions. Up and down. Faster. Harder. Just the way she liked.

“Bane. It’s so good.” Short flaxen curls danced around her gorgeous face.

Harder still. Faster and faster. She loved his ferocity. But then, he’d always gravitated to warrior women. The ones courageous enough to rush into battle at his side.

Meredith offered more than physical resilience, though. A treasure inside and out, she had become his only refuge in a brutal, bloody eternity.

A shrill voice suddenly blasted through his mind. —Stop what you’re doing and come to Hivetta. Shirtless! I might as well enjoy the view as we discuss queendom business. And hurry!—

Bane jerked. Only one person ever communicated with him via telepathy. Queen Aveline the Great, chosen by fate and imbued with preternatural powers. My master and tormentor.

Like all queens and princesses in the ruling class, Aveline could speak telepathically with her people, heal swiftly and teleport; she also had a special power all her own: the ability to drain a life force with only a touch.

Meredith continued to ride him, unaware of his distraction.

He replied to the queen, I’m busy. Can this wait an hour? Foolish question. He knew Aveline well. They’d been childhood sweethearts, until the once kind and considerate royal had grown into a cruel and selfish queen. Now, her impatience knew no bounds. Or thirty—twenty—ten minutes, just ten.

He didn’t wish to leave his wife unsatisfied.

—You have five minutes. Fail to appear before me, and I’ll make your bride a widow. Ticktock.—

Aveline never uttered empty threats.

In his four centuries of life, Bane had watched six different princesses ascend to power. No matter how sweet the female, something dark and insidious always infected her during the coronation ceremony, a violent process known as the Blood Rite. Swirling golden runes would appear on her skin, an eternal brand that somehow torched anything good and right, creating an entitled, self-indulgent, intemperate entity with no moral compass.

“I’m sorry, love,” he grated, already losing his...edge. “I must go. The queen has commanded my presence.”

Top Books