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ANNOUNCEMENT: The Gryphon King’s Consort, by Jenn Burke

The Gryphon King's Consort

QSFer Jenn Burke has a new MM fantasy book out:

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast-or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

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Excerpt

THE KING died on a Friday.

It wasn’t expected—there was no long illness or slow decline in general health. One moment he was as active and spry as a gryphon of nine hundred years could expect to be, enjoying some stunt flying in the open spaces of northern Québec—or so Eirian had heard. The next, the entire kingdom of gryphons, spirits, dragons, and the other mythos races was in mourning.

And Eirian found himself on a plane headed to Montréal not thirty-six hours after the inauspicious event.

Although he mourned with the rest of the kingdom, the Council told him to pack his bags, that Crown Prince Luca had decided to forego the interview portion of the consort selection process and chose Eirian based on the Council’s interview conducted some months earlier. He’d expected the selection process to take at least a year and the wedding to happen another handful of years down the road. It would have given him plenty of time to prepare and plenty of time to adjust to becoming the king’s consort.

That plans had changed spoke to how uncertain the future seemed and the potential for political instability. The kingdom loved Luca, and from the murmurs Eirian heard before he boarded the plane, everyone believed he would be a good king. But it hurt to lose King Arran so suddenly, so tragically. Gryphons weren’t supposed to die unexpectedly except in times of war, and even then, bringing down a gryphon was not a simple task. Many couldn’t comprehend how an accident had stolen their beloved king.

Eirian gripped the armrest as the plane jolted forcefully enough to remind him he was in a metal tube hurtling through the clouds at an insane speed. As though he could forget.

Mother, he hated planes. Give him an open sky and his own wings any day. Alas, flying from Vancouver to Montréal under his own power would take time they didn’t have. Luca’s coronation—and their marriage—was set for the next day.

“You’re going to rip the seat to pieces,” his bond brother, Keefe, murmured as he leaned close.

“Then they should build them better. Or avoid turbulence altogether.” Eirian sighed and concentrated on relaxing his fingers. “How much longer?”

“About fifteen minutes less than when you last asked me.” Keefe patted Eirian’s hand and retrieved a People magazine from his bag. “Here. Did you read this interview with His Highness?”

Eirian wrinkled his nose. “Those interviews are usually full of nonsense.”

Keefe made a noncommittal sound. “Sometimes. But this one is pretty good. If you spend fifteen minutes reading it, we’ll be fifteen minutes closer.”

“Fine,” Eirian said with a groan. Anything to distract himself. He should have brought his laptop in his carry-on, but they were in such a rush to get out the door for the last-minute flight that he packed it in his luggage. He absently pushed his glasses up on his nose and dove into the article.

The pictures were the highlight. No one could argue that his soon-to-be husband wasn’t handsome in his human form. His olive skin all but glowed. He kept his thick dark brown hair longish—to right above his collar. Eirian suspected it was to camouflage his slightly too large and prominent ears—and that minor imperfection and the vulnerability he exhibited trying to mask it were among the things that made Eirian eager to become his consort. Another was Luca’s unwavering desire to be a good king, which was evident in every interview he gave. Like all gryphons, Luca’s eyes were a shade of amber brown, more golden than dark, but they never looked truly warm in any picture Eirian had seen. Circumstances or personality?

Luca knew how to pose to his best advantage. The photographer had caught him in a casual, contemplative moment, leaning against a neat russet-colored barn as he looked off into the distance. He wore ruggedly casual clothing—dark jeans with heavy leather boots topped with an off-white cable-knit fisherman’s sweater and an artfully battered brown leather jacket. The quality of the clothes was apparent in the way they hugged his body.

No… handsome didn’t quite go far enough.


Author Bio

Jenn BurkeJenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of The Gryphon King’s Consort from Dreamspinner Press and the co-author of the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press. She’s also the author of Her Sexy Sentinel, a paranormal romance from Entangled Publishing.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

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