The Deadly Reckonings is the first book in an all-new epic adventure fantasy series called The Tribes of Feralis.
If you like animalistic worlds, daring heroes, fierce heroines, edge-of-your-seat adventure, heartbreaking romance, and enough twists and turns to leave you wondering what on earth (or not on earth...on Feralis!) just happened, this is the series for you.
An animalistic world. A forbidden passion. A brutal contest.
The old Alpha's time is coming to an end, and the Deadly Reckonings are swiftly approaching. The victor of these brutal trials will become the new Alpha and rule over the four allied tribes of Feralis.
Devlin, a young man with the animal aspect of a golden lion, dreams of shaping a better world and taking control from the power-hungry clutches of the cruel and dominating Reptilia.
Riva, a princess of the exiled Skylarian tribe, is doomed to be bound to her father’s preferred suitor.
Their worlds collide and Devlin’s animal immediately recognises her for what she is - his true mate.
But their tribes are enemies. They should never have met. Their love is forbidden.
Follow Devlin as he faces the Deadly Reckonings, testing his nature and limits against other competitors, merciless monsters, perilous terrain, and his own desperate hopes.
Can he be victorious and claim the status of Alpha? Can he dare to reach for a woman who does not belong to him?
Or will a mortal foe, a misfit sister, and even fate itself stand in his way?
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Devlin considered her. She sounded sane enough, even though he had to strain to catch her meaning and had the disturbing feeling she was laughing at him. Her comment drew his gaze to her garment. Still wet, it clung to the delicate curves of her body, which he couldn’t help but admire. This time, when his eyes came back to rest on hers, he caught a blush rise up into her cheeks, contrasting starkly with her milk-pale skin. The effect was ingénue and radiant and Devlin was taken off guard for a second time. The features he’d prematurely considered bizarre and disturbing, he was led to concede, were, in their own way, astonishingly beautiful.
She shivered, whether from cold or his intense regard He couldn’t be sure. She dropped her hand. He suddenly realised how thoughtless he’d been. Here she was dripping wet and clearly chilled, and all he’d done was gawp at her like a mindless idiot! The problem was, he didn’t even have a cloak to offer her, as all his clothes were as wet as hers.
“You’re cold,” he said. “Do you have anything dry to wear?”
Her eyes widened in surprise with these, the first of his words to her. She perhaps found his accent as odd as hers was to him. She shook her head.
He laughed. “Funny that,” he said, looking down at himself. “Neither have I!”
She began to laugh along with him. This made him feel good. When they stopped, he couldn’t stop himself from staring at her again. She nervously turned her head away, looking toward the forest, as if considering flight after all. He frowned. What sort of woman was she and where had she come from?
“You’re not from around here, are you?” he asked. She shook her head again.
Devlin still thought she might be some kind of madwoman, but she was clearly in need of a meal as well as a change of clothes, seeing how skinny she was. Perhaps she had taken his fishing rod with a view to fishing for herself. But why was no one protecting her or looking after her? One thing was certain: he couldn’t leave her out here alone. She was far too young and defenceless.
“Why don’t I take you to my home, so we can both change out of these wet things and have something warm to eat? Gone are my chances of catching a fish for breakfast, but we have some oatmeal and my sister should have something that will fit you.”
She shook her head in alarm and backed away from him.
Her reaction to his offer confused him, but then what had he expected? She wasn’t exactly normal by any stretch.
“It’s very kind of you,” she said slowly, recognising the need
to do so, given their disparate ways of speaking, “but I’m fine. I’ll just be on my way.”
“And where might that be? Where do you live?” When she didn’t respond, he pressed: “Have you run away from home?” This seemed to him the only logical explanation for her silence and solitary state.
She bit her lip and lowered her head, which he interpreted as an affirmation.
“You can’t stay out here on your own, you know. It’s dangerous.”
Her head came up at that and she challenged, “I’ve made it on my own this far.”
He raised an eyebrow. “And how far is that?”
“Farther than you’ll ever know.” She began to walk away from him.
He followed, continuing to harangue her, exasperated by her reluctance to accept help and shelter. All his protective instincts were suddenly kicking in. Even his cat seemed oddly agitated and anxious to assist her.
“How are you going to eat? I’ve got the fishing tackle, remember. How do you think you’re going to survive?”
She turned to him. “Are you offering to give me your fishing device back?”
He growled in frustration at her then, and his face briefly assumed its cat-like form.
Stunned, she stumbled back, her eyes large with fright. “I don’t need your help!” she shouted. “Leave me alone!” She turned and ran, clearly keen to put as much distance between them as possible.
Surely, she must have witnessed a man in his animal form before? Or had she? He had no idea of her background or where she was from. He must have given her a good scare. He thought about letting her go. But he was too concerned by her stubborn refusal to acknowledge the perils of her situation. She reminded
him of someone; she reminded him of his sister. Kyra didn’t listen to him either and could be as hard-headed as a rock about accepting she was female and needed nurturing. The thought of his little sister, who thought she was so self-sufficient but still needed him in so many ways, persuaded him to persevere. He just needed to adopt a different strategy.
Easily catching up to her, ignoring the little gasps of distress she emitted when she realised he was back, he ran alongside her and said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you like that.”
She did not respond but just carried on running, turning her head to cast accusing glances at him, eyes still wide with alarm.
“Please,” he persisted. “Please don’t run away. You have nothing to fear from me, I promise.”
He kept with her, smiling at her whenever she glanced his way until she must have realised that she would achieve nothing but exhaustion by continuing. She finally stopped running, frustration seeming to have superseded fear, and glared at him.
“Why do you keep following me?” she demanded. He smiled at her again.
“Look, as I’ve already tried to tell you, you’re not safe on your own around here. Who knows what monsters you might bump into?”
She must have caught his teasing as he saw her lips twitch a little at his words. “No, who knows?” she repeated. “Mad, persistent cat men for one!”
Devlin laughed. The girl smiled tentatively back at him. He was surprised by the surge of joy from his cat. It seemed even his cat wanted to please her. He much preferred this smiling girl to the frightened one.
“Come back with me, even if only for the fishing rod, if you still want the stupid thing. You need it more than I do and I can easily make another one.”
This was not exactly true, as he had spent some time sourcing the right type of wood and cord, taking pride in his efforts and resourcefulness, as he gradually improved upon its strength and pliability.
He offered his hand, replicating her own gesture from earlier. She looked down at it warily. Then she looked up into his face. He could see her eyes roving over his features, as if checking for signs of the cat he had unwisely exposed earlier. He felt the blood rush to his face at her scrutiny. By the Creator, surely he wasn’t blushing now?
She must have seen something she approved of as she slipped her hand into his. His cat purred in appreciation. The warmth from her grip seemed to spread like some kind of contagious burn all over his body. They walked back to the lakeside, Devlin feeling strangely lightheaded.
When they got there, Devlin reluctantly released her hand and went to retrieve his rod and line. He came back toward her, holding it out to her. It was then that he realised she was crying. Why was she crying? Perhaps her emotions were as cockeyed as his own. Whatever the cause, his heart flipped on him and, before he could stop himself, he’d dropped the rod and pulled her into his arms.
She stiffened in surprise but then slowly settled against him, like a small, nervous animal.
Devlin stroked her long, damp tresses in a gesture of comfort and, as she nestled her head against his chest, he felt her release a pent-up breath, half sob, half sigh. Devlin experienced an unexpected rush of hot satisfaction as her body warmed against him and their hearts slowed in time to each other’s beat.
When she pushed away from him, he loosened his grip but, in doing so, felt the oddest sensation from within. His animal, already curiously roused and usually so placid in peaceful moments, protested strongly. When she lifted her head away from his chest, the proximity of her fascinating face and compelling scent overwhelmed him. He wasn’t sure if it was he or the cat who governed his next move. His mouth was covering hers before she could make a sound in objection.
As he deepened the kiss and she submitted, Devlin felt himself losing control. The taste of her was like nothing he had ever known, leaving his human essence weak with gluttony and his cat crazed.
He tore himself away from her, feeling slightly unhinged. His cat had attempted to dominate him, in a way that he hadn’t experienced since his turning. He shook with the shock of it. How close had he come to allowing his primitive nature to possess him? He realised that he didn’t even know this girl’s name.
He stepped away from her as if she was on fire and, maybe for him, she was. Her hair was certainly the colour of flames, he thought, as he watched some stray dry strands dance and then settle back around her alluring face. Perhaps he should have taken heed of the warning. Red in nature always meant stay away.
“Who are you?” he whispered.
She answered shakily. “My name is Riva. What did you just do to me?”
Devlin almost laughed. What had he done to her? What had she done to him? “It’s called a kiss,” he said. “It was just a kiss,” he repeated, as if to convince himself, as well as her, of that fact.
About the Authors
We are twin sisters and we come from Bolton, a friendly town in Lancashire, UK. We would love to tell you about all the unusual jobs we have had and the wacky adventures we had on our way to becoming authors, since that is what other authors seem to do in these bios. Unfortunately, we are somewhat lacking in that respect. However, our birth was very eventful as neither our mother nor the midwives attending realised that she was having twins until just after Rebecca was born! Our aim is to make our writing as surprising and marvellous as that!
We have always loved escaping into the limitless worlds of the written word and remember first writing stories to each to other as very young children in old exercise books. We self-published our first books, thrilling suspense duology, Dark Betrayal and Dark Secrets. We are thrilled to be with Odyssey Books for our latest labour of love, epic, romantic fantasy trilogy, The Tribes of Feralis.
If you come to read about the animalistic world we have created, you may gather that we are "cat people". We grew up with a lovely little tabby who was an intrinsic part of our childhood. Now Rebecca has a socially awkward but loving female cat called Maisie and Victoria has two beautiful, big, ever-hungry male cats called Bert and Ernie!
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