On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.
Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…
King Edric himself.
“I see the way you look at her, Edric. Your eyes follow her, you dance the longest dances with her, and now, you’re sending her presents. I’ve known you too long not to know that this is unlike you. You’re not Kael. You don’t fraternize with the Affiliates who parade themselves in front of you, hoping for a scrap of your time. Yet here you are with this Cyrene. What is she to you?” Daufina asked.
At her question, Edric paced the long room. She watched him through the silence and wondered what he was thinking.
“You told me once that you would inform me if you wanted to take a mistress—”
“I do not want to take a mistress,” Edric snapped.
Daufina straightened in surprise. He never raised his voice with her.
“I apologize,” he said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“Just talk to me.”
“Would you believe me if I said that I didn’t want anything to do with her?” His eyes were pleading.
“No,” Daufina admitted.
“No,” he agreed. “No, I wouldn’t either. I keep telling myself that I’m acting like a fool, Daufina, but then I see her again.” He stroked his chin as he tried to find the words. “She has this pull. When I’m with her, the throne slips away, and I’m just a man with a beautiful woman. It both intrigues and terrifies me.” He splayed his hands before him. “I can never be anything but the king…but when I’m with her, I want to be.”
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.