Alien warrior Benyon’s bonding tattoos flare when he meets single mom Zoriah. According to the Treaty, she’s his for the taking. But he still has his honor—he’ll woo her first, and lift his sword to prove he is a worthy mate.

Fierce, protective, willing to stand up to an enemy threatening her children, Benyon unexpectedly ignites Zoriah’s every buried desire.

Six feet of blue, rippled muscle? Sign her up.

It’s not that simple though. Accepting the bond means leaving Earth forever, and when she arrives on his home planet, the locals don’t believe she is truly his bonded mate.

To protect her, Benyon will have to repudiate their bond. She should run . . . but he’ll never let her go and not everything is as it seems. . .



“You want passion. Fire.”

His hand lashed out, fingers threading through her loose hair. His eyes were steady, the kind of merciless regard leaving no room for her to pretend to misunderstand.

“You have something I want. I have something you need. Bonds are often based on far less.”

She licked her lips. “What is it I have?”

She wasn’t silly—she knew he wasn’t talking about some romance novel raging lust over her mom bod. And how had the conversation leaped to. . .what was a bond?

“A family.”

The answer rocked her. “But you can have children.”

Something flashed in his eyes. “Yes. But I want these children. And we can have more.”


He smiled, a slow, sensual expression that kindled an answering heat. “The usual way.”

Zoriah didn’t appreciate the amusement. At least he was aware they’d have to do more than kiss to make a baby. “You don’t even like me.”

His brow rose. “What is there not to like? You’re strong—you’ve raised three fine children without a male. You’re young still, and womanly.” He made a vague gesture with his hands that should have insulted her, but didn’t.

“I’m not stupid enough to say that isn’t enough for marriage.” Because it was. He was right. Many failed marriages were based on more—and many successful marriages were based on less. If she filled a genuine vacancy, and he professed he could tolerate her in bed…

“I—have to think.”

“I’ve let you do enough thinking.” He stepped closer, silver eyes ringed in violet. “I thought if I showed my respect, I would win you. But you want more than respect, don’t you, Zoriah?”

“I—what?” She drew on his training, controlled the stutter in her voice. “What do you mean? Of course, I want respect.”

He clucked his tongue, shaking his head. “You do—but you have a warrior’s spirit. You want me to fight for you—to prove my worth.”

She scowled. “Now that’s just ridiculous. I had one husband who liked to get in trouble, I certainly don’t—”

“That’s not what I meant.”

The hand in her hair tightened, drawing her inexorably to him. Zoriah’s hands splayed on his chest, nothing but the thin barrier of flimsy cloth between her body and his—his obviously aroused body. The hard, heavy length of him pushed against her middle. The violet in his eyes nearly drowned the silver.

She licked her lips. “What did you mean?”

His head lowered and he nipped at her lips, unsheathing the sharp incisors. She yelped as he drew a drop of blood, then suckled the tiny wound.

“I’ve been polite, undemanding. Nice.”

It had been a nice change, a man with manners who treated her courteously. But the more her body roused, the more she just wanted him to throw her against a wall and. . .Zoriah bit her lip, finally understanding the source of her temper.

Was it really because she was horny and he hadn’t done anything about it? Really?

She sniffed. “Well, I just don’t see how any relationship can work long term if there isn’t any chemistry.”

He laughed. A full-bodied, uninhibited sound of sheer mirth. “Zo-ahr-aya, no chemistry? Complain about no chemistry after I’ve made you scream. Again.”

“You know, I think you’re all talk and courtly chivalry, and no action.” She poked his chest, hard. “And I don’t know if I like being seen as the means to a ready-made family because you have the bug to settle down. Unfortunate for that, the woman comes with the package.”

She poked him again, harder, digging her nail into his pec. He grabbed the offending digit, a string of alien words spilling from his mouth.

Benyon didn’t swear. She didn’t even think he knew swear words. Benyon certainly didn’t do things like slam her against the wall with the face of a man intent on devouring, whether she said yes or no.

“One chance to say no,” he said softly. “One.”

“Are you insane? Of course I’m not saying no.”

He took her lips in a kiss unlike any other he’d offered. Unleashed, dominant, demanding she surrender her mouth for his plundering. Zoriah clung to him, the tingling in her breasts reminding her that she was still a young woman with a healthy libido. Her last emotional barrier began to crumble—the fear that maybe he didn’t really want her, but just wanted the illusion of a comfortable relationship with a human. That maybe she was exotic to him, but not real.

She couldn’t dispute the realness as he tightened his hold, slanting her head back to take full advantage. His hand roved low over her buttocks, squeezing, smashing her pelvis against his.

He tore his mouth away, lips—and teeth—trailing along her neck. “I’ll wear your brand; you will wear mine.”

It was almost a question, not quite a demand. “A brand?” Her fingers trembled against his chest as she shifted against him, restless.

“Yes.” He took her hand, hooking her fingers onto his robe. She pulled the cloth away from his chest, exposing what she’d seen before during training, but never quite so close—the swirling dots and lines of the complex tattoo he wore, a deep sapphire ink that seemed part of his skin. The tatts were pretty, but the muscles underneath the ink. . .she lifted her head, an incredible urge to run her tongue along his skin surging.

“The tattoos, Zoriah,” he said, amusement in his tone.

“You want me to look at ink when I can look at man?”

“You can look at as much of the man as you like.”

The purr in his voice rubbed all the right parts of her body, sparking all kinds of naughty thoughts. She felt as though another side of her was taking over, activated by the raw sexual energy Benyon revealed. He curved fingers around the straps of her gown.

She grabbed his wrists. “You’d better not rip this dress off me. That’s only cute in movies. I like this dress.”

His nostrils flared and he stepped away. “Then take it off.”

She felt bereft, his body heat gone, but the hot blaze of his eyes warmed her blood as she unhooked straps so the gown slid to the floor. It had come with built-in undergarments, the kind designed to look invisible, so she was naked when it pooled at her feet.

Benyon inhaled, fists clenching, and stepped forward, a lip curling back over sharp teeth.

She eyed the incisors. “Did your teeth just grow? Benyon? Benyon?”

He curved his hands under her buttocks and lifted. She wrapped legs around his waist automatically, grabbing his neck for balance. Her bare pussy pressed against him, her hips arching involuntarily.

“How do you want me, Zoriah? Slow and sweet in the bed? Hot and fast against the wall?”

Her eyes squeezed tight. “Am I a slow and sweet kind of gal?”

He moved, and her back was against a wall, his fingers deep inside her, a shocking invasion even though she clamored for possession.

She moaned as he teased her, hand moving in and out, teeth and lips on her neck. “Benyon, if we do this, if we—” She couldn’t speak, the inferno inside took away rational thought.

“Mine,” he said. “I don’t release anything I take.”

It was enough, enough to shatter her final barrier. She reached between their bodies, sliding underneath the band of his loose pants and grasping his cock. He hissed, a rattling sound deep in his chest that should have frightened her. He pushed her hand away, releasing her and her legs slid to the floor. Before she could utter a protest, he whirled her around, pushing her against the wall, hands around her breasts.

It had been awhile, but she knew with the difference in their heights, it would be sharp. “Benyon, I haven’t done this in a while.”

“I won’t hurt you.”

He plucked her nipples, kneading her flesh with a masculine enthusiasm that obviously spanned species and galaxies. Her head fell back as his cock nudged the crevice of her behind. He slid down her body, gently tapping her ankles apart so she would spread for him. And then the head of his cock teased her entrance, sliding in a bare inch then pulling out.

“Slowly, at first,” he said in her ear. “No need to rush. I’ll have you all night.”

He entered her again, this time going deeper, waiting for her body to adjust before he pulled out and then thrust back in, sheathing himself fully. Zoriah cried out. He filled her body, her pussy taut around his length, clenching as he began to move in rhythm to her eager hips.

She braced her hands against the wall, small sounds escaping her throat as he ground inside her. She stretched to her tiptoes, feeling deliciously helpless under the onslaught.

“I’ve waited weeks,” he ground out. “Imagined you in my mind, in every way. On my bed, legs spread wide for me to feast. I want all of you. Tonight, I take all of you.”