Hello everyone! Today I have fellow author and good friend Tali Spencer visiting me! She's here to talk about her latest release Dangerous Beauty from Resplendence Press.
So, come on in, grab a seat, and join us while Tali spins her tale of a crazy old king. :)
Tali Spencer Guest Blog post Dangerous Beauty – Psycho King
Thanks, Michelle, for having me over again for a visit. I’m promoting my newest release, Dangerous Beauty, a M/M fantasy romance, but first I want to talk about something fun. My villain.
Every novel needs a good villain, and sometimes that villain is right under the character’s nose.
One of the themes in my new novel, Dangerous Beauty, is family—in particular main character Endre’s dysfunctional relationship with his father. Readers of Captive Heart, the first book in the series, already know King Lukacz is unstable. Readers of this book will realize it within the first two chapters. The man Endre struggles so valiantly to love and honor is out of his mind.
Endre and his family are imperial captives of the Uttoran emperor. Although they’re not living in a dungeon, they aren’t happy and King Lukacz undertakes a plot to gain their freedom. Endre is central to that plot because he serves as his father’s messenger and is pretending to be a lover of men so he can meet his contact openly at Uttoran parties. Only one problem: Endre really is interested in men and his activity releases long buried desires—desires his father would abhor.
Over the course of the book, the evidence of his father’s lost grip on reality piles up until even Endre can’t sugarcoat the truth. Here are a few things about dear old Dad Endre should have picked up on:
10. Arranges inappropriate marriages for his children without telling them.
9. Mumbles a lot about being betrayed by ungrateful children.
8. Tells his son to submit to unwanted suitors because HE’s short of cash.
7. Writes long, incendiary letters to the man who conquered his country, complaining about the luxurious villa, too much good food, and the sexual habits of his captors.
6. Decides those he loves would be better off dead than as captives, but never talks about killing himself.
5. Thinks nothing about having his son wear a ball-strangling cock cuff for carrying messages.
4. Enjoys forcing his attentions on all women in sight, because he can.
3. Strangles his daughter because a man he doesn’t approve of wants her.
2. Sends his gay son to a monastery to be blinded and have his tongue torn out.
1. Thinks having his heir kidnap the princess of a powerful neighbor is a GOOD idea.
With that background, here’s the blurb and a fun excerpt from Dangerous Beauty. Though part of a series, the novel stands perfectly well on its own.
Once the Kordeun family ruled Sebboy…now they are imperial captives of the Uttoran Emperor. Devout and studious, Endre Kordeun loves his family and will do anything to free them, even if that means pretending he’s gay so he can pass messages to his father’s shady allies. With his golden good looks and a beautiful male courtesan posing as his lover, Endre finds Uttor’s decadent society more than willing to believe his ruse.
But when a passionate kiss from a dark, gorgeous man unlocks feelings Endre had been hiding even from himself, lies start to unravel. Arshad, prince of Tabar, is Endre’s match in every way…including a shared love for science and celestial mechanics. Going forward with his charade will be dangerous, and not only because he might be discovered. In that event, even his own father would kill him. How much is Endre willing to risk for love?
He’d just finished washing himself when the door opened and his father entered. His father never gave him the courtesy of knocking first. Endre looked up in surprise because always before the old man had waited until morning instead of greeting his return.
White-haired, his handsome face bearing deeper lines than he’d had when he’d ruled Sebboy as king, Lukacz lifted the book and retrieved the message. He fingered the folded paper before speaking. “Did you read it?”
“I never read them.”
Endre threw aside his towel and quickly wrapped a length of fresh linen between his legs and about his hips. Early on, he had looked at one of the messages and found it incomprehensible, written in code. He didn’t even have a clear idea what his father’s communications were meant to accomplish. The one time he’d balked and demanded to be told before setting foot in another Uttoran house, his father had accused him of betraying him just like his sister had, capitulating to the enemy, abandoning his country and his family—of abandoning his god. There had been no way to reason with his father, no way for Endre to heal the breach except to vow his love, prove his obedience. Things had improved after that. His mother had stopped crying, and Imre had stopped scowling at him and saying he’d broken their father’s heart. Things were fine as long as he kept going out at night to meet with Yanni at parties where men had good reason to be alone with other men.
His father’s mouth narrowed. “The paper’s damp.” He sniffed it. “This time you spilled seed, didn’t you? Is that pretty pagan whore becoming more attractive?”
“No. Another man found me alone and took advantage. I had my clothes on.” Endre kept his voice steady. There was no point in lying because someone, either the guards or whatever shadowy figure Yanni reported to, might inform his father of the truth.
“But you spilled. Like a whore.”
“You think I wanted to?” He’d known his father would find out, hadn’t he? Known it would come to sick accusations. “He took me by surprise, treated me the way he would any other man at such a party! What are men supposed to think, seeing me in such places, with such people? You’re making a joke of me. I don’t want to do any of this!”
“Keep your voice down!”
His father’s iron tone stopped Endre cold. The Sebboyan royal family was captive, even in this, their supposed home. His father’s ice blue eyes blazed with a warning he knew better than to dismiss.
He lowered his voice. “I’m not going back. Send Imre next time.”
“To what purpose? No one will believe it of him. You, they already believe. You’ve gotten good at the part. Indeed, if you’re moaning and spilling among them, they’ll believe you all the more. Have you given them your cock yet or sucked one of theirs?”
Fuck you. He couldn’t say that to his father, though. His father and his king. A man he honored and loved. Pain that Lukacz should think so little of him as to suggest he would offer himself as a whore to his country’s conquerors knotted his gut. “No. I just go there, pretend with Yanni, get the message and come back.” Until this night, that had been his pattern.
“You won’t need to do this much longer,” his father said, his coldness softening to something warmer. Lukacz paused to assess his son’s body. “Don’t let them use you. They would do so just to shame me. If they fuck my children, the way their emperor fucks your sister, they fuck me. They spit on our family, on me. They tarnish my reputation. Remember that, and our god’s law.”
“Always, sire,” he said.
“Have you prayed today?”
He had, this morning with the priest, as was his habit. “Yes.”
“Do so again. Now that you have exposed your weakness by allowing one of those creatures to rub against you and spilling your seed, your soul is even more soiled than your flesh. Your shame stains us all. Expunge yourself with an hour of prayer for forgiveness.”
“Tomorrow, come to my study after you perform your morning penance. And visit your mother and sisters. We will all of us soon welcome the end of our ordeal.”
His father tucked the folded paper into his jacket collar and left the room without waiting for an answer. Everyone around him knew the only answer possible was obedience.
Thanks for your warm welcome, Michelle! I’ll leave some links for anyone who wishes to contact me. I’m pretty easy to find.
My Amazon.com author page.
My Goodreads author page.
I'm on Facebook
And my email: firstname.lastname@example.org