by: Silver Milan
Series: Dragons of Midnight
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2017
When newly turned lion shifter Ariel stumbles into the realm of the dragon shifters, she catches the eye of the dangerously attractive dragon king, Jett, and the pair is swept up in a maelstrom of magic and forbidden passion.
Ariel, a newly turned lion shifter, stumbles into the subterranean city of Midnight, home of the dragon shifters. Alone and vulnerable, she catches the eye of the dangerously attractive dragon king. Jett. He charms her and promises help, but can she trust him? After all, he is the King of the Dragons. Why would such a powerful man come to the aid of a common girl?
When Jett realizes Ariel has no one, he vows to protect her, as the girl has been turned against her will in dragon territory. He plans not only to shield her, but to hunt down the very outlaw who hurt her.
But Jett soon finds himself growing attached to his quirky yet beautiful lion shifter. He begins a dangerous game with her, skirting the razor's edge of passion. He must take care because if he surrenders to his desire, he will forfeit not only his throne, but perhaps both of their lives.
Note: This book contains explicit love scenes and is intended for mature readers who like their paranormal romance on the steamier side. Inside you'll find sexy dragons, strong women, and kick-ass magic.
Ariel stared into the darkness. She could see a surprisingly good distance inside, thanks to her enhanced vision. Nothing stood out to her, and the terminus of the passage was lost to the murk. The darkness seemed welcoming, somehow.
It seemed safe to turn her back on the cave, and she did so, gazing out from the precipice to survey the valley in front of her. Ordinarily, she would have thought the wide, tree-filled expanse so beautiful. She loved nature and hiking. It was one of the reasons she had come out here in the first place.
But she felt nothing now, only emptiness. She wondered if she would ever be able to appreciate such beauty again, given what she had become.
She glanced at the cave once more. Again, she felt drawn to it, but she shook her head.
Not going inside.
Though she was incredibly upset, she didn't have a death wish. There might be a bear or something sleeping inside. Or maybe a dragon, like that stupid sign had said. Wouldn't surprise her anymore, not in the least: she was being hunted by lions who could become humans, after all. And she was one of those lions.
For now, all she wanted was to get away from those hunters. She would stay here for a few hours, long enough to be sure the animals had gone away. And then she would climb back down and get the hell out of here.
And what then? Well, she figured she would have to live out the rest of her days in the woods. It would be a solitary life, away from the technology that drove modern society. She would have to give up all her friends and family.
Maybe she could get a sat-phone or something, so she could still talk to her family occasionally. But she couldn't return, at least not until she could get the beast inside of her under control. That was something she doubted would ever be possible. Then again, moments ago she had exerted her will on the lioness and prevented her from ripping out of her skin. That was something, at least. A reason to hope.
She sat down on the precipice and settled in for a long wait. She decided she would stay here until nightfall. That would be the best time to retreat, since her beast operated best in the dark.
But so do the other lions, she reminded herself.
Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. Well, she'd sit here for a while, and make up her mind on what she wanted to do.
Maybe a minute passed before she heard a voice behind her. "Well hello."
Ariel spun in fright; when she saw the man standing at the cave mouth, she momentarily forgot all fear, forgot where she was and how she got there, and instead simply stared, spellbound.
Standing in front of the cave entrance towered the most beautiful man she had ever seen. He had to be at least six and a half feet tall. He was too gorgeous to be a model. Too breathtaking to be a movie star. She got butterflies in her stomach just looking at him. Where to begin? His hair… oh yes, his hair. It was as if someone had taken several bars of gold and melted them down to form the bouncy curls that fell around that spectacular face. His eyes were a fiery gold like his hair, almost unnaturally so. They were almond-shaped and beguiling, shining with intelligence.
His broad, bold nose jutted aristocratically from his face, perfect in every way. The plump lips of his chiseled, sensuous mouth had such gorgeous curves—if any lips were created for kissing, it was those. He had a strong, aristocratic jaw that matched his nose, and blemish-free, smooth bronze skin.
His thickly corded neck disappeared into the collar of a black and gold dress shirt, whose sleeves were rolled back to the elbows, revealing his muscular forearms. Black and gold tribal dragons were tattooed from wrists to elbows on each arm. The shirt did little to conceal the outline of his wide, powerful shoulders, and the hard muscles of his pecs that pressed out from beneath the fabric. She could make out the lines of a six-pack.
A designer belt cinched his lean waist, and below that he wore dark-washed, fitted jeans. Her eyes lingered on his groin, where—
Ariel blinked as she realized the brazenness of what she was doing, and the spell broke. She quickly lifted her eyes back to his face.
The beautiful man's lips were upturned in amusement.
She realized she was stark naked and quickly covered her breasts with one arm, twisting her torso away and covering her bum with her other hand. She kept her gaze on him, staring at him over one shoulder.
"What are you looking at?" she said.
"I'm looking at you," he replied defiantly. She hadn't noticed it when he spoke before, but even his voice was sexy as hell.
As she gazed at his haughty expression, the fear returned. Not of him, but for him.
"Are you one of them?" she said.
"One of who?" the man said, still smiling.
"You're obviously not a backpacker or camper," Ariel said. "You don't find many people who dress like European fashionistas in the wilderness of the Midwest."
"No, you don't," the man said hypnotically.
Then again, if he was one of the lion-men who pursued her, he would have been butt-naked, like her.
"Look, it's been a rough few days," she said. "I'm not in the mood for games."
"You seem in surprisingly good spirits to me," the man said.
She smiled fleetingly. "Call it a defense mechanism. Listen, if you're not one of them, then you're putting yourself at risk. I'm not someone you want to know. I have to get myself as far away from civilization as I can. Those lions did… something… to me. I could change at a moment's notice. You could die."
"Change?" he said.
She heard the distant roar of a lion echo from the valley below.
That triggered the beast, and the lioness in her clawed to get out. Clawed clawed clawed.
"I—" she said. But the words came out a growl. "Run," she managed to finish.
How I created the world for my Dragons of Midnight series.
I'm a big reader of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and I love the genre. I asked myself, what can I write about that will stand out from all the other paranormal romance books out there?
I came up with the idea for a dragon king falling for a lion shifter who was also secretly a witch. Basically I wanted a woman who could hold her own against a king like that, so she couldn’t be a weak character, not in abilities, or (most importantly) personality.
The ideas for the world came to me from a lot of places. Sometimes I’d be at the gym working out and then an idea would hit me and I’d quickly thumb type it into my phone. Or I’d be lying awake in the middle of the night, thinking about my story or a problem I was having with it, and then inspiration would strike and I'd quickly turn on the bedside lamp and write down my idea on the notepad I keep on my nightstand.
Over a few weeks, I fleshed out a world secretly ruled by seven kings and queens, known as the Council of Seven. Three are dragon shifters. Three vampire. And one witch.
I made the heroine’s love interest, Jett, a member of the Council of Seven. He's the king I mentioned a few paragraphs back, and he rules over the entirety of North America. He’s also a dragon shifter.
I decided that in ancient times, dragon shifters were spread across the world. Many lived in tribes, but many more lived alone in private dens. Jett and his father worked to unite those living in North America under one rule, and his father became the first of the seven secret kings. Together he and Jett built Midnight, a massive subterranean den, and invited the dragons to leave their tribes and solitary dens to live there under the king’s protection. Jett remained in the countryside, working to gather the tribes into larger dens for their own protection, and securing the allegiance of the different shifter crews. He also acted as the emissary to the other seven kings and queens who came into power across the world.
I made it so that after a war known as the Great Vampire War, his father abdicated the throne to Jett, leaving it up to him to keep the dragons of North America united, and the shifters and vampires on the continent under control.
After creating the world, I have to say it was extremely fun to play in it. My favorite scene is when Ariel sees Jett in his shifter form for the first time. She’s just blown away by his sheer magnitude, sheer beauty, and the sheer power of his dragon. And I was, too.
Thanks for reading!
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Silver Milan is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels. Publishing under different pen names since 2013, Silver has sold more than 300,000 books.
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