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Shifters of Black Isle by Lorelei Moone Tour

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SHIFTERS OF BLACK ISLE COMPLETE COLLECTION

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #1-4
Publication Date: September 16, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, Novellas, Boxed Set

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SYNOPSIS

With death lurking at every corner, love becomes more important than ever.

With the threat of war hanging above their heads at all times, the fierce warriors of Black Isle are used to the idea that all they hold dear could be destroyed at any moment. They work hard to survive and celebrate harder.

Shifters of various types must band together to defeat their numerous enemies, yet they never forget that life and love is precious and to grab happiness wherever they can find it. After all, any given day could be their last.

Claimed by the King

When a young human woman is offered up as a human sacrifice to the mysterious inhabitants of the Black Isles, she assumes she’ll be a slave and life as she knows it will be over. She’s half correct. Her life will change completely, but King Broc, who claims her as his mate, isn’t the brutish captor she expected him to be.

The Soldier and the Siren

The Merfolk are the Isles’ natural enemy; have been for generations. When General Teaq comes across a mermaid inside Black Isle territory, he knows he must capture her. But there’s something about the mysterious woman that gives him pause. Their respective peoples are at war, but hate is the last thing on their minds.

A Dragon’s Treasure

The Isles are on the brink of war, and newly appointed general, Rhea, knows she must summon her secret weapon. The dragon that slumbers underneath the castle is their only hope to defeat the vast numbers of enemy fighters headed to their shores. But dragons are fickle creatures. Will she be able to reason with him and convince him to support her cause?

The Warlock’s Conquest

Ever since Ferris’ sister was taken by the barbarians that live on the Black Isles, he’s been planning his revenge. Years later, he’s finally leading a troop of warriors to liberate her, only to discover that perhaps he’s been on the wrong side of this conflict all along.

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EXCERPTS

A DRAGON’S TREASURE by Lorelei Moone

“I’ve been expecting you.” 

Rhea had already been holding her breath, or else it would have been taken away by the sheer majesty of the dragon’s voice. Behind her and Kelly, the door creaked yet again as the fearful guard secured it behind them.

“I am General Rhea, commander of the armies of Black Isle. I’m here to offer you your freedom, in exchange for your help in defeating our common enemy, King Weiland of the Deep.”

The voice laughed. “I have but one enemy, and he’s already in here with me inside this cell.” 

Rhea’s heart started to pound and grabbed for the sword on her hip. Oh hell, he thinks we’re a threat.

Kelly, on the other hand, did not flinch at all. She took a step forward, even. 

“This is your queen speaking. Why don’t you come into the light so we can speak properly?”

Rhea shot a surprised look in her direction. She had some guts, this witch. 

“Be careful, Broc will never forgive me if you get burned to a crisp on my watch,” Rhea warned. 

Kelly turned and smiled briefly as her presence entered Rhea’s mind. I’m not sensing any hostility. Treating him as an enemy will only make this negotiation harder.

Rhea grudgingly remembered the discussion they’d had about her so-called leadership style. She wasn’t about to let Kelly’s opinions change how she dealt with her soldiers, but this was uncharted territory. Nobody alive today had ever interacted with a dragon before, and Kelly’s powers did provide certain insights Rhea did not have. 

“Please come out.” Rhea rephrased Kelly’s earlier request. “We mean you no harm.”

Laughter erupted from the darkness. “Well, that’s a relief.” 

Rhea’s fears turned to frustration. Kelly might not have sensed hostility, but Rhea did not need mind reading skills to pick up on the arrogance in the dragon’s words.

Still, they’d made progress. There was movement in the shadows. 

Rhea held her breath as she waited for the dragon to reveal himself. 

What she saw shocked her greatly. She had expected scales and talons and a pair of great big wings. But she saw none of that. In front of the two women stood an ordinary man. 

Well, perhaps not entirely ordinary.

He had been down here in this dark hole, asleep, for hundreds of years; even the Elders could not be sure exactly how long. Without reprise, without even nourishment. And yet, before them stood a young man in excellent physical shape.

His features were flawless, even boyish. His body… it rivalled even the fittest fighters on the Isles, with one major difference. There was not a single mark, not even a smudge of dirt on him.

He was perfect. 

Rhea couldn’t stop staring at him, until she realized he was smirking at her. 

“I must have been asleep a long time,” Saras spoke. “I see they have girl soldiers now. Interesting.” 

The mockery in his tone pissed Rhea off immediately. 

“A little respect would be nice. After all, we’re offering to let you out of here,” she hissed. 

Saras laughed again. He was even more gorgeous now, infuriatingly so.

“If I wanted out of here, I would have left a long time ago, dear.” 

Rhea stepped forward, her hand still gripping the General’s Sword. “You’ll address me as General Rhea. Not dear, darling, sweetheart, or any other such nonsense.” 

Kelly’s mind infiltrated Rhea’s again for a moment. 

It might be best to play along with his game, Kelly suggested.

Rhea frowned. What game is that? 

He’s been down here on his own a long time. Plus, he’s from a different time. We can’t expect him to know the rules as they are now. If he wants to play, let him.

Rhea folded her arms and sighed. So her esteemed queen wanted her to allow him to treat her as a mere piece of meat. Charming. She preferred to try a different tactic. “Here’s the thing. We’re at war and our weapons alone cannot defeat the enemy.” 

Saras took a couple of steps forward, until he was standing right in front of Rhea. He gazed down into her eyes for a moment. 

“So? What does that have to do with me?”

She didn’t want it to, but his presence shook her. He was within her reach. She would just need to reach out for him. Smooth, sculpted flesh, a feast for the eyes, and so much more. 

And his eyes… For a body so young in appearance, his eyes reflected the sorrow of a thousand lifetimes. She couldn’t stand looking at them for too long.

“Your powers could turn the tide for us. If you’ll help us,” Rhea spoke. Her voice sounded just a bit thinner and breathier than she would have wanted it to.

“And what’s in it for me?” he asked. The corner of his mouth rose in a subtle grin as he glanced down at her lips.

“Your freedom. A full pardon from the king,” Rhea said.

Saras shook his head. “You said that already. Plus, the king isn’t here. Why should I trust a word you speak?”

“I speak for my husband, the king,” Kelly spoke up. “What is it you want?” 

Saras glanced over at the queen, then back at Rhea, his expression thoughtful. Then he abruptly turned away and slowly walked back toward the darkest part of the cell again. “I’m not interested. This isn’t my war.” 

Rhea couldn’t believe his reaction. “Like it or not, you live on these Isles just as we do. If Black Mountain falls…” Rhea couldn’t bring herself to complete that thought. It wasn’t a matter of if but rather, when. 

When Black Mountain falls… 

Saras paused with his back turned. “Let them come. It makes no difference to me. Their weapons couldn’t even scratch me if they tried.”

Just like that, Rhea was furious again. “There must be something. Something that’ll change your mind?” Rhea called after him.

“Now that you mention it.” He looked over his shoulder back at her. “I might do it for a kiss from you, beautiful.” 

Rhea was aghast. “How dare you speak to me like that! I’ve fought men bigger and stronger than you for less!” 

Saras chuckled, then vanished into the darkness. “I very much doubt that. Good luck, General Rhea. With the war, and everything.”  

Rhea shook with anger. She ought to go after him, teach him a lesson. Kelly placed her hand on Rhea’s arm, which infuriated her further, so she shook it off.

Uri said it wouldn’t be easy, didn’t he? Let’s give him some time to think it over. Another day in the hole might make him see the benefits of what we’re offering, Kelly suggested.

Rhea scowled. “Guard, open the door! We’re leaving.”

“Farewell, Rhea and Kelly of Black Mountain,” Saras spoke.

Rhea shook her head in frustration as the two of them left in silence. Through the iron door and the brass covered door, as well as the gate. 

“That went relatively well,” Kelly mumbled.

Rhea shot her a furious look. “How on earth did that go well?”

Kelly shrugged. “At least he didn’t attack us. It was a discourse, not a fight.”

Rhea scoffed. “If you say so.” 

“So what are you going to do?” Kelly asked. “Will you consider his demand?”

Rhea just stared at her blankly. How presumptuous of Kelly to assume that she’d discuss her strategy with a witch. Especially when it concerned something so personal and intimate.

“That’s none of your business.”

Curious… When the door to his cell opened, Saras had not been sure if he was waking or dreaming. He wasn’t even sure what had woken him up, except a persistent feeling that it was time.

And boy, had he been rewarded for his efforts. 

Not one beauty, but two of them. Women of nobility, even. A queen, with radiant red hair, outdone only by the fine clothes she wore. She was pretty in her own right, but it wasn’t she who had enchanted him.

No, it was the other one. Rhea. She’d said she was the General of Black Isles’ armies. Whether he believed that, he wasn’t sure. Maybe things had changed a lot since he had gone underground.

Back in the day, females were not enlisted in the army. 

Why any man would stand by and watch the fairer sex get slain in battle, he did not know. He wasn’t noble or chivalrous, but even he would lay down his own life in her stead. 

Rhea. Dressed in a tight armored bodice and knee high boots. Her outfit was clearly designed to allow for maximum movement and flexibility. It left little to the imagination; still, his imagination was working harder than ever.

She would fuel many a dream. In fact, ever since she had unexpectedly stumbled into his cell, Saras couldn’t think of anyone else. Not even his love, Gillian. Was Rhea to be his new love? Was this finally a sign from the Gods that his crimes had been forgiven and he was offered a second chance?

Of course he hadn’t accepted her terms. He was least interested in fighting a war. 

Perhaps it was a mistake to dismiss her so quickly. If she was going to be his redemption, he couldn’t make use of it down here. All he could do here was drift in and out of consciousness, dreaming now of a new woman. 

The trouble with dreams was that they had a pesky habit of returning to the same events that had haunted him for so long. Fire and smoke sullied the image of beautiful Rhea. He had to keep on reminding himself that that hadn’t happened yet. 

But it so very easily could, though. If he wasn’t careful, he could hurt her, even kill her too. 

And then what? Dream of the event for eons to come, full of regret over yet another senseless death? Like he had been doing all this time for Gillian? 

Perhaps it was better to stay here. The dreams would come and torment him, of course. But they were just dreams in this case. She would be safe from him as long as he was here. 

Saras reasoned and argued with himself on this. Round and round in circles, his mind went. And it kept on arriving at the same two conclusions: as long as he was locked up, she was safe from him. And yet, he wanted her. He yearned for her so badly it made his bones hurt. 

What was a lonely dragon to do? 

 

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

She got her start writing bear shifters in the well received Scottish Werebear series (2015-2016), and its spin-off, Alpha Squad (2016-2017). To binge-read these today, make sure to buy the boxed set collections. Additionally, she’s written of vampires in her Vampires of London series (2016-2017), and has just begun her foray into paranormal fantasy romance with the Shifters of Black Isle series (2018-2019).

Most of her titles are also available in print as well as audio, so you can enjoy them in your favourite format.

Lorelei also writes contemporary / erotic romance as L. Moone.

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THE WARLOCK’S CONQUEST, A Magical Shifter Fantasy Romance by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle,
CLAIMED BY THE KING by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle, #1 Publication Date: July
CLAIMED BY THE KING by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle, #1 Publication Date: July
CLAIMED BY THE KING by Lorelei Moone Shifters of Black Isle, #1 Publication Date: July

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THE WARLOCK’S CONQUEST – Blitz

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THE WARLOCK’S CONQUEST, A Magical Shifter Fantasy Romance

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #4
Publication Date: April 19, 2019
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, Paranormal, Novella, Standalone

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SYNOPSIS

He would have his revenge. Nothing and no one could stop him.
Ferris has spent the better part of six years training and preparing for vengeance. The barbarians who abducted his sister so long ago would pay for their sins in blood. With the help of his magic, he’d avenge her honor, and wipe out the Black Isles once and for all. It’s all so clear, until he starts to wonder if he’s fighting for the wrong side.

She knows she must kill him. So why does she hesitate?
As right hand woman to the General, Eryn plays an important role in the defense of the Black Isles and its people. When a ship full of human mainlanders is spotted in their territory, she knows they must strike the enemy hard. War will tear the Isles apart if the warlock on-board the ship isn’t stopped. Only, she can’t bring herself to do the needful… He has put her under his spell.

They’re sworn enemies, fighting for opposing teams. The battlefield is the last place where love should bloom. But as they are about to discover, passion and hate are two sides of the same coin…

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EXCLUSIVE RELEASE EXCERPT

It was unmistakably him. Eryn was instantly mesmerized by the man’s eyes.

This was the one who had attempted to read her mind as she had flown past the ship earlier, staring up at her from his cabin, assuming she wouldn’t notice.

Only, she had noticed.

Now here he stood, his sword held high, circling her in a bid to evade the aim of her bow and arrow. He wouldn’t be able to, of course. She was faster than any human. More accurate.

And she had orders to kill. All it took was one swift flick of her finger. The arrow would hit any body part of her choosing instantly.

Time seemed to stand still for her, as soldiers rushed past and clashed with the other humans. The latter were no match, of course. Every single one of her fighters had at least a foot or two on the feeble humans. But her opponent was different.

The warlock was unique.

He stood taller than his companions, with broad, muscular shoulders to match. They were about equally matched as far as height went. And he looked younger than the others, probably closer to her own age.

His blue eyes hid all sorts of sins.

But these superficial observations hadn’t shaken Eryn. As physically impressive as he was for one of his breed, Eryn had been affected by a much deeper power.

It must be his magic, she thought. And yet she felt no sign of his presence in her own mind.

Strange.

All she could do was observe him, as though she was not truly in control of her body.

Then, the spell was broken by his first move. He charged ahead and swung at her with his sword, and instantly she snapped out of her trance.

She defended herself with her bow, whipping it around to break the impact of his weapon, then swiftly flung it over her shoulder and unsheathed a blade of her own.

They danced around each other, eyes locked on, taking turns to attack and defend. But his impact lacked strength. Were humans really that much weaker? Or was he as reluctant as she was to do real damage?

Where had her hesitation come from? She didn’t have time for this!

Eryn bit her bottom lip as she swung around again. In this carefully orchestrated charade of a fight, it was her turn to strike. She’d had enough of the pretense and more importantly, she had orders to follow.

She raised her sword and aimed. He stepped aside to evade her attack, just as she suspected he’d do. In response, she changed direction mid-swing, found an opening, and brought the tip of her blade to a halt right at his throat.

It would be so easy to push a little harder and draw blood. So easy, and yet impossibly difficult. With a heavy heart she realized she couldn’t finish it. She couldn’t bring herself to kill him.

“You’d better drop that sword,” she hissed.

The man did as he was told, but his expression was as calm as it had been all along. Like this wasn’t a real fight, and he hadn’t really been defeated.

“I surrender.” As he spoke, the corner of his mouth curled up just slightly.

Was he smiling?

Eryn could not be sure. All she knew was that the longer she looked at his boyishly handsome face, the deeper she would sink. He’d given up so quickly, she couldn’t even justify carrying out Rhea’s demand here. Not in full view of her soldiers, who had been given clear orders to keep the prisoners alive.

So in a way, it was she who had lost this fight after all.

Rhea would be furious and rightly so. She was angry with herself.

A quick glance around revealed that most of the other humans had surrendered as well. If this was the sum total of the threat against the Isles, then they had nothing to worry about. As she looked back at her own prisoner, something shook Eryn to her core. His expression was so relaxed, it almost looked smug. There was something more coming.

She might regret capturing him alive before the day was over.

“Tie them up and stash them below deck, then we’ll tow the entire ship back to Black Mountain,” Eryn ordered. “Good fight, everyone!”

Her soldiers let out a loud cheer before getting to work and doing what she’d ordered. Eryn stood back and let someone else secure the ropes around the warlock’s wrists.

There was something about him that she could not understand. She wasn’t just apprehensive of his powers; it wasn’t fear she felt.

Yet she dare not touch him. Or look him in the eye for too long.

Her heart was beating just a little too fast. Her breaths had become too shallow. If she didn’t know any better, she thought it might be nerves. A funny tickle in the depths of her stomach made it hard for her to remain focused.

If she was in fact nervous, there was another, heavier feeling making things worse. A deep sadness had crept into her chest. It tore at her, and dragged her down.

It was only once he was completely out of sight that she could breathe a little more freely.

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

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SHIFTER PLANET: THE RETURN by D.B. Reynolds Shifter Planet, #2 Publication Date: October 14, 2019
BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic

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CLAIMED BY THE KING – Freebie Sale

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CLAIMED BY THE KING

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #1
Publication Date: July 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, Novella, Standalone

#FREE! MARCH 1-3!

SYNOPSIS

Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.

Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.

The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.

Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.

When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.

Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter NewsletterGoodreadsBookbubAmazon Author Profile

OUT OF CONTROL by Toni J. Strawn Publication Date: October 14, 2019 Genres: Adult, Entangled:
SHIFTER PLANET: THE RETURN by D.B. Reynolds Shifter Planet, #2 Publication Date: October 14, 2019
BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic

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CLAIMED BY THE KING by Lorelei Moone – Blog Tour

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CLAIMED BY THE KING

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #1
Publication Date: July 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, BBW, Novella, Standalone

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AVAILABLE NOW!

CLAIMED BY THE KING teaser 1

SYNOPSIS

Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.

Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.

The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.

Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.

When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.

Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.

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CLAIMED BY THE KING teaser 2

ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

WebsiteFacebookTwitter NewsletterGoodreadsBookbubAmazon Author Profile

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

OUT OF CONTROL by Toni J. Strawn Publication Date: October 14, 2019 Genres: Adult, Entangled:
SHIFTER PLANET: THE RETURN by D.B. Reynolds Shifter Planet, #2 Publication Date: October 14, 2019
BENI by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #4 Publication Date: October 7, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic
CHRIS by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3 Publication Date: September 2, 2019 Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic

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CLAIMED BY THE KING by Lorelei Moone-Release Blitz

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CLAIMED BY THE KING

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #1
Publication Date: July 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, BBW, Novella, Standalone

CLAIMED BY THE KING cover

AVAILABLE NOW!

CLAIMED BY THE KING teaser 1

SYNOPSIS

Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.

Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.

The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.

Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.

When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.

Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.

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CLAIMED BY THE KING teaser 2

EXCLUSIVE RELEASE EXCERPT- CLAIMED BY THE KING

Broc held on to his sword tightly, the leather of his gloves creaking loudly under his powerful grip. He could hear it, despite the screeching winds and waves battering the wooden boat.

Although they were at peace with the men of West Hythe, one could never be too careful.

Every eight years, the humans had held up their end of the bargain, though. They had left a suitable young woman behind on the shore near their villages, and nobody had stayed behind to watch the giants’ arrival or possibly interfere.

In any case, the timing of this exchange was carefully thought out: nights on the Northern Sea were always foggy this time of year. If anyone had stayed behind, they would have to be very nearby indeed to be able to see a thing.
Looking around the wooden longship, Broc could see a lot of his people were much more excited about tonight’s festivities than he was. Their chatter was even louder than the rhythmic drum setting the speed for the rowers.
He hated to have to do this; to tear a young girl away from the only life she had known and take her to the Isles against her will. Sadly there was no other way to ensure the survival of their bloodline; without this tradition, Broc’s people might become even extinct.
After the Great War, many of their number had fallen. Outnumbered, and overpowered by the sorcerers who had sided with humankind, their kind had retreated to the Black Isles and left the mainland to be ruled by men. However, their reduced numbers had meant that they would need fresh blood to replenish their line.

One can only interbreed for so long before things start to go wrong and madness sets in.

He had seen it happen with his own two eyes.
If he squinted, he could just about see the shore through the dense fog. Luckily, his people had a lot better vision than the humans, meaning they could safely navigate the treacherous waters around Hythe Bay to collect the latest addition to their clan.

Broc had first pick, as was tradition.

There was no way he could get out of it either. He’d been king of the Black Mountain and surrounding isles for seven years, ever since his father had sailed off into the next realm.

It was time to start thinking about an heir, whether he liked it or not.
“Wonder what this one’s going to be like,” Rhea next to him remarked, her tone sharp with spite. Her comment was a reference to the trouble they’d had last time. Transitions could be difficult.
He glanced over at the strong young princess, his cousin twice removed, as she stared darkly over the water leading to the coast. It was obvious she’d wanted to be his queen, but it wasn’t meant to be. A union between them would have been forbidden, in any case.

They were too closely related. And they even shared the same animal form.

Broc had always aimed to be a fair ruler; he could not make an exception to such an important rule for himself. The consequences would be too severe; the islanders’ mating rules existed for a reason.
A king must do everything within his power to ensure a healthy heir is produced. In his case this had meant taking a human as his bride instead of the relative he’d grown up with. Although he hadn’t made his intentions about this Reaping public yet, Rhea had guessed. And she had made it a point to openly express her displeasure.
Shortly before the keel of their ship threatened to hit ground, Teaq, Broc’s half-brother and commander of the Black Isle armies, gave the order to steady the oars and drop anchor. Impeccable timing as always.

Broc observed as Rhea and Teaq shared a dark look. It was obvious they each disapproved of tonight’s goings on for their own reasons.
“There she is,” Teaq spat, unable to disguise his disgust.

His tone rubbed Broc the wrong way. It wasn’t the girl’s fault she had been sent to them as an offering in the Reaping. And what exactly had sparked Teaq’s dislike of human females, Broc had not yet understood.
“Remember, she will be shown the respect deserving of any citizen of the Black Isles,” Broc spoke in a low, determined tone.

Teaq’s jaw tensed, but he did not respond.
“Yes, my king.” Rhea averted her eyes from the shore and retreated to the back of the ship to stand watch over the waters behind them. As commander of the royal guard, it was her duty to ensure Broc wasn’t ambushed.

“Just remember what we discussed,” Teaq grumbled. “These are troubled times. The last thing we need is further complications within our own walls.”

Broc nodded.

When their father had conducted the last Reaping ritual, the girl had found it incredibly difficult to adjust to her new surroundings. For some time it was feared they’d lose her to madness, but thankfully she had recovered and integrated into their way of life some months later.

They’d instituted a new rule; the newcomer would not be fully introduced into their ways until she had obviously adjusted to her new circumstances. Teaq had wanted for things to go much further; including keeping the girl on house arrest for the first month; something Broc had vehemently disagreed with. As king, the final decision had obviously been his.

They would keep her in the dark, figuratively, but she would be as free as any of the other inhabitants of the Black Isles. At least as far as her movements within the castle on Black Mountain were concerned.

Still, it was for the best to be cautious. She did not need to know the truth about everything from the start. Humans did not handle it well when their views of the world were challenged.
“I wish you’d reconsider and at least let me put a watch on her. We do not know of her intentions,” Teaq added.

Broc scoffed. Her intentions. This was just going to be some unfortunate girl who thought she was being sent to her death.

Just like the last ones.

Lately Teaq had grown more and more paranoid. They had enough to worry about with the threats from further out at sea. As long as the humans continued to hold up their end of the truce, their peace would hold.

“Alright. That’s enough of that,” Broc said. “We’ve laid down the rules already. But I won’t have her treated as a prisoner under my rule. Let’s get on with what we came here to do.”

The many dozen or so soldiers onboard held their heads bowed as Broc strode past towards the port beam, which was by now perfectly lined up with the shoreline.
Teaq signaled the all clear and jumped over the side, landing squarely on his feet in the waist-deep water. Broc followed.

They were back on track, but this wasn’t the end of that particular discussion; Broc was certain of it. Teaq’s stubbornness was in part because as the older brother he’d always expected to get first right to the throne. He wasn’t good at following orders.

Too bad for him that their father, the late King Ryk, hadn’t seen it that way. They had fought it out just like in the old days. Hand-to-hand combat.

Obviously, it was Broc’s victory that had earned him the honor of ruling over the Black Isles. Whether Teaq liked it or not.

The salty water of the Northern Sea was close to freezing, but Broc—as well as the rest of his clan—were used to it. They were much better suited to cold temperatures than humans were.

Despite the saltiness in the air, Broc could smell the human from across the stony beach. Her scent was sweet, almost floral, with a hint of something sharp. Fear, perhaps.

His inner beast stirred. A new sort of sensation came over him. Although he hadn’t even seen her yet, he knew how this Reaping was going to end. She would be his. And she would give him his much awaited heir. It was a bittersweet prospect.

The poor girl had no idea what was in store for her.

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

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