He has tusks and a tail and insists she’s his fated mate. She’s enticed, but determined not to get involved. Can a burly alien warrior and a single mom find love together on a planet far from Earth?
Garek: With my clan threatened, I don’t have time for romance with a pesky Earth female. Until I meet Piper. She and her youngling son are part of our planet’s new settlement. Soon, I find myself helping her plan her home and talking about odd Earthling activities. What is a square dance, and must I do it? She’s soft and lush in all the right places, and I could pick her up and carry her around with one arm. And her son… I ache to show him how to tame a mighty winged trundier. Piper may say she doesn’t need love, but I’ll do whatever it takes to win her heart.
Piper: I brought my eight-year-old son to Ferlaern to start anew–the new wild west, we’re calling this planet. The other women want romance but not me. Then I meet Garek, a seven-foot-tall, gruff warrior who’s out to steal my heart. Burned in the past, I’m afraid to trust. Never mind that he makes my son laugh for the first time in forever or that his kisses… Not going there. But when our settlement’s attacked by vicious creatures, it’ll take both of us to survive the threat.
ENTICED BY AN ALIEN WARLORD, the first novel in the Fated Mates of the Ferlaern Warriors series by bestselling alien romance author Ava Ross. Each book in this series is a standalone, full-length story which has on-the-page heat, aliens who look and act alien, a guaranteed happily ever after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
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About the Book
Enticed By an Alien Warlord
by Ava Ross
Fated Mates of the Ferlaern Warriors
May 21, 2021
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ENTICED BY AN ALIEN WARLORD
A Fated Mates of the Ferlaern Warriors Novel
© 2021 Ava Ross
“Will you mate with one of the females, Garek?” my friend, Durran, asked in a gruff voice. We stood on a ledge jutting from the top of the Woondral Cliffs, overlooking the broad valley where the Earthlings were unpacking and sorting building materials for their new settlement.
Once the other clan leaders arrived, we’d fly down for simple introductions. Tomorrow, we’d start building their square structures made of synthetic materials that might hold back the weather but wouldn’t withstand the other dangers in our world. We encouraged them to settle in our mountain village, but the Earth emissaries insisted on this wide, open valley.
I shifted my feet, stirring dusty soil beneath my boots. Caught by the wind, it scattered, making my trundier, Veskar, snort behind me. A reassuring word from me, and his brittle wings dropped back along his sides, his claws clacking on the ledge.
“I don’t know if I will mate with one,” I finally said. “It would be a challenge while they live here. I’m not even sure I want to lie with an Earthling. If I did, I want her to live in my domit. They’re comfortable, warm, and secure from threat. This plan of theirs is…”
“Odd?” Durran said with a laugh. His lips curved across his tusks, and his tail swept back and forth behind him.
“Why insist on constructing homes here? Such an exposed location.”
“They may enjoy being on display. After all, they’re female, a rarity here on Ferlaern.”
After the horror of our beloved females dying, these few precious beings would attract attention. Many males would overlook their insistence on living by themselves.
“They are vulnerable, though the duskhorde seem to be behaving,” I said.
I grumbled. Yes, so far. I had a plan for the duskhorde, though. “If they’re wise, they’ll split up among our clans and settle within our communities. Then we can get to know them and decide if any will fit.”
“Are they wise?” he asked.
I didn’t have an answer. I’ve yet to meet any of them. “It will be good to have mates and fledglings around again, but I doubt an Earthling will make my second heart start beating.”
“You mean the maelstrom?” His sharp gaze shot my way. “True bonds are forbidden if you become a warlord.”
I stood a better chance of becoming a full warlord than of finding a maelstrom mate. A maelstrom demanded time I was unsure I’d be able to give.
“No Ferlaern has achieved a maelstrom for a long time,” I said.
They became rare even before our females died. Cycles ago, something changed, and we weren’t able to determine what was different. But after that winter, no more maelstrom bonds were formed. We mated, and our females gave birth to fewer fledglings. Many died before they were fully grown.
“Our males are eager to meet them, even if there isn’t a chance for a maelstrom bond,” Durran said.
This was why we waited here before winging down to the valley for introductions. A representative from each clan would arrive soon, plus my nemesis, Skydar.
“Once I—” I bit off the words, refusing to state my thoughts.
“Once you have become a full warlord.”
“Then, and only then, will I consider a mate. I’m as eager as any other male to see my seed take root in a female. Our race will die without younglings.”
New blood would revive our clans.
“What are your thoughts?” I asked. “Will you seek a mate if your second heart doesn’t beat for one of the females?”
He said nothing for a long while, and I glanced his way, taking in the scars on his otherwise segmented, bronze skin. The lines cutting through his neck, face, and chest—courtesy of a duskhorde attack—gave him an appearance some found shocking. “I would love to raise a fledgling or two.” There was no denying the longing in his voice. His spine stiffened. “I doubt one will have me. Many will seek their attention. None will spare me a glance.”
I grunted, unsure how to respond to that statement. As a warrior, few could compete with Durran. He was second only to his father in his clan, a position with considerable power. Ferlaern females would see his scars as proof of his ability to protect her and their young. Would Earthlings feel differently?
“Are you nervous about the melding tomorrow?” Durran asked, studying my face.
I kept my expression neutral. “Why should I be?”
“You’ve led your clan since your father’s death, but he didn’t grant you his powldron. Others try to take the leadership away from you.”
Skydar, he meant, not others. Just one male fought each cycle to usurp me.
“I will trust fate in this,” I said, keeping any hint of concern from my voice. “If the powldron doesn’t choose me, so be it.” While my father’s decision to grant his powldron to me or take it to his grave was his to make, it still burned in my gut that he denied me this honor. “I was young when he died.” Immature. I could hardly blame him for not granting his powldron to a male of only sixteen cycles. A family powldron assured succession. Him insisting on being buried with it left us floundering. Leaderless.
“You rose through the ranks and claimed leadership regardless,” Durran said.
“I had no choice.” The words left a bitter taint on my tongue.
He huffed. “There is always a choice.”
“Not for me.” I yanked my gaze from his perceptive one before he read my true thoughts. I did worry this recently discovered powldron wouldn’t meld with me. How could I hold onto my leadership without one? I proved myself in combat each cycle, but our traditions had to be followed. Without a powldron, I was a leader, not a full warlord. Leaders were forced to fight for their right to rule each cycle. Warlords reigned until death.
However… A warlord was not allowed to form a maelstrom bond. If his second heart beat for one female, he must either spurn her or relinquish the powldron. A warlord could only mate to ensure his or her succession.
A flicker in the sky showed seven Ferlaern winging our way. The flap of wings resounded as the flight of trundiers approached. They circled overheard, their beasts shrieking challenges to ours who flicked out their wings and arched their spines.
We mounted our trundiers and lifted off. Veskar snapped and snarled at Skydar’s beast, but a nudge of my heels made him back down. A winged battle would not impress the Earthlings.
Skydar nodded curtly, but his gaze was trained on the activity below us. “You did not approach,” he stated with an edge of warning in his voice.
“Brother, please,” a soft voice said from behind him. Skydar’s sister, Meriwee, eased her mount higher than Skydar’s. I’ve always enjoyed her company. She was a true friend, unlike Skydar. “You know Garek wouldn’t go near them, not until we all arrived.” He accused me of what he’d do himself, as was his way. Meriwee’s soft purple gaze met mine, and her tail swept back and forth, brushing against the firm exoskeleton of her trundier. The siblings were complete opposites; Skydar grumpy and demanding, while Meriwee was kind and thoughtful, as if she felt the need to be twice the person her brother was to make up for where he lacked.
“Enough. We go,” Skydar said, lifting his hand. His beast dove down, toward the valley.
Meriwee shook her head but took off after her brother, her lavender-streaked black hair streaming behind her.
We followed and as we drew close, the females scurried away from their partially erected canvas structures and clustered in the middle of the wide-open area.
Our trundier were the largest predators on Ferlaern, but the duskhorde rivaled them in a battle. We must be an intimidating sight, nine winged Ferlaern swooping down on them from above. We landed and dismounted, and as we approached, the females gasped. They stared with wide eyes, bumping together, sticks clutched in their hands.
Their heads barely reached my mid-chest, and I was of average height. And their body surface—it wasn’t bronzed or segmented like a Ferlaern. Their smooth outer layer looked strange on a living being. Skin, it was called, and it came in a variety of dusky colors. They had hair much like ours, though without the deep purple fire ours contained. No horns. No tusks. No tails. I sighed, unsure about this.
One of the females caught my eye. She had a curvy build I couldn’t help noticing. My cock noticed, too, the unruly thing. Her hair rivaled the sunset, a mix of fiery red, gold, and the deepest amber. She’d pulled it up and a swatch dangled down her back in a glistening wave. A fledgling male stood in front of her like he thought she needed protection. His gaze met mine before darting to our trundiers. He eased away from the group as the female stepped toward me, her chin lifted and her spine tight.
The sway of her lush body stunned me. My mouth went dry, and my stupid cock twitched, the culier strands along the sides elongating and quivering. I shifted my pants and hoped my semi-erection wasn’t obvious. What was wrong with me? We were here for introductions, not mating.
“I’m Piper,” she said, holding out her hand. Her eyes—greener than the vetter desert—met mine. “I’m…I guess you could say I’m the current leader of our group until we hold a vote for mayor.”
I did not know what a mayor was, but I understood the baring of her blunted teeth and her outstretched hand. Earth sent a protocol manual, and I studied it in anticipation of the females’ arrival. The baring of teeth was a welcoming gesture. A hand extended was supposed to be shaken.
“Garek,” I said. My fingers engulfed hers, and as I rattled her hand, pumping it up and down to make sure I fully engaged it, she sucked in a breath.
Hell, I did, too. I caught her scent and it sunk into my skin. I found myself picturing her lying on my bed furs, completely naked, her hand extended in invitation.
Fuck. I needed to end that thought immediately.
She eased her fingers from mine and pressed them against her sides, her gaze flicking to the others as if for support.
“I’m the leader of the Suthen Clan,” I said, nudging my head back. “Also with me are representatives of the three other clans in this region, the Willen, Nulet, and Osten clans, plus a few others.” I introduced them one by one, though Meriwee hung back with her brother. “We welcome you to Ferlaern and hope you will be happy here.” I wrenched my eyes from Piper’s and scanned the rest of her group. Some stared at us blankly, others gulped and cringed. I hated that they appeared afraid. Didn’t they know we would treasure them always? “Tomorrow, we’ll start building your Earthlike village.” Hearing our intentions should help them relax.
“About that,” Piper said. She swallowed and her slender neck worked with the motion. I’d learned staring was wrong, but I couldn’t help myself. Up close, she was…lovely. Appealing. So petite and lush. I wanted to lift her into my arms and stride around with her on my shoulder. “We have additional plans for the layout,” she said in a rush.
“We’re happy to do whatever you wish.” Who wanted to start a battle with the females before they got to know us? We’d gladly construct whatever they needed.
“See, that’s the thing.” Her spine stiffened and unease flashed across her face. “We want to do more than build regular houses. We want to create a new wild west with a central gathering place, a market, and a main street.”
“What is this feral west?” I asked pleasantly.
She blinked slowly before her face cleared. “I can show you the drawings first thing tomorrow.”
“That would be helpful.” We were strong and brawny. We could construct whatever they wanted, even this…feral west.
“In between then, if you guys are able to give us a hand, could you help us set up our tents?” Her gaze scanned me and the others shuffling nearby. “We’ve got twenty-five mattresses to fill, as well. You guys are big.”
One of her auburn eyebrows lifted. “You look like you have decent lung volume.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant, but this must be a compliment. I dipped forward in a short bow, one worthy of the leader of the Earthling group. “We do have the decent volume. In all things.”
“Yeah,” she said with a twist of her lips. Lush and pink, how would they feel beneath mine? “The air mattresses will appreciate it.”
The other males eased forward, as did Meriwee.
Seeing a female among us seemed to ease the Earthlings’ tension. Who could be frightened when Meriwee gave them her sunny smile? She went around the group, shaking hands, and I began to believe things would go smoothly from now on.
Until a yelp behind me was followed by a huffing grumble.
“Noah,” Piper cried, leaping around me.
Her fledgling stood before Veskar, boldly reaching up to stroke the beast’s snout. While completely tame with me, Veskar could be aggressive with strangers.
Piper flung herself between them, her teeth bared and a snarl ripping from her throat.
Veskar snorted and reared back, his black, brittle wings extending.
He dove toward Piper.
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About the Author
AVA ROSS fell for men with unusual features when she first watched Star Wars, where alien creatures have gone mainstream. She lives in New England with her husband (who is sadly not an alien, though he is still cute in his own way), her kids, and assorted pets, including a yorkie pup and three cats.
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