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The Dragon Lord's Love
Series: Book Eight High Garden Dragons
Genre: Paranormal Romance M/M
Release Date: March 9, 2022
A lonely, 4,000-year-old dragon discovers his fated mate… too bad his mate is engaged to a woman.
The endless stream of lovers, dragon lord Matías Tilly parades through his life hasn’t helped him feel less alone. Finding his fated mate should help him escape his loneliness. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Unluckily for Matías, his mate’s happily engaged to be married… to a lovely woman.
Ryan Hall has always sought his father’s approval; every decision in his life stems from him trying to be good enough. The validation he craves never materialized. It has, however, led to an engagement to his best friend. Except… they’re both gay.
When the two meet, Matías must face that his heart is bound to another. Ryan must struggle with the thought that being true to himself might cost him everything. Oh, and Ryan doesn’t know that Matias is a dragon shifter, so that’s going to be a surprise.
excerpt - The dragon lord's love
The excerpt below may contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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I was about to answer when my dragon surged inside me, causing me to freeze. I turned my head toward the entrance and was met by the most beautiful gray eyes I'd ever seen. I was right. Tonight was going to be the best night of my life. Tonight was the night I'd meet my mate.
"My lord," Esteban whispered from beside me.
I didn't want to break my stare. I couldn't turn away. I was petrified he might disappear into thin air. My dragon purred within me. Our mate was perfect. He was at least as tall as Esteban's six-three and had a muscular build. He wore his dark brown hair short in a military cut, buzzed on the sides but longer on the top. He had on a pair of nice jeans and a black button-down shirt that hugged his broad chest and shoulders tight.
My mate smiled at the two women who entered with him, laughing. His smile brightened the entire room, and his laugh was better than any song I'd ever heard. I wondered who the women were to him. They were beautiful, and both had curly brunette hair, slender bodies, and long legs. Who are they? I wondered again. A cold thought rushed through my mind, and my dragon roared.
"Matías!" Esteban said in a hurried voice.
I glanced at my friend, irritated that he was disturbing me. "What?" I hissed.
"Your dragon is showing, my lord," he quietly said and gave a pointed look at my hands.
Pearly white scales covered my hands, which had grown. They had almost wholly transformed into my talons. My eyes widened. It had been an age since I'd lost control of my dragon. I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths.
We need to stay calm. We can't scare him. We don't know who those women are yet. Calm down, please, I pleaded with my dragon.
My dragon rumbled, but I felt him recede to the back of my mind. I opened my eyes and noticed Esteban's concerned expression.
"I'm all right," I said, finding my voice.
"You sure, buddy?" the bartender asked.
I glanced back at her, and her face mirrored Esteban's. "Yes, thank you. Can I get a dirty vodka martini?"
She raised her eyebrow at my order but didn't say anything before looking at Esteban. "I'll have your best scotch, neat," he said regally.
She smirked and stepped away to make our drinks. Esteban turned back to me, but my gaze returned to my mate. He had taken a seat at one of the tables at the far end of the building. The women that he entered with joined him at the table. Esteban touched my shoulder, and I glanced over at him. His expression was still filled with concern.
"It's my Cardia," I whispered.
"What?" Esteban shouted in surprise. I gave a tiny warning growl and glared at Esteban, who bowed his head.
Esteban's outburst caused heads to turn our way, including the steel-gray eyes that had captured my heart. My mate's gaze locked onto mine, and my body shivered at the intensity of them. My mate swallowed and blushed before breaking his stare. My dragon growled in displeasure. He needed to see us—pay attention to us. No one else mattered. We needed to go to him and claim him. That was the only thing that could satisfy us.
"One dirty vodka martini and one scotch neat. That will be twenty dollars," the bartender said.
I turned back and tilted my head to Esteban, who pulled two bills from his wallet as I grabbed my drink.
"Thank you, keep the change," Esteban said.
I looked around the room, and my eyes landed back on my mate. Shouts and cheers pulled my attention. I saw a group of excited men and women by the pool tables. I turned back to my mate and inhaled a deep breath.
I can't just sit here and stare all night. Steeling my spine, I took a swig of my drink and hopped off the stool.
"Sir," Esteban whispered.
I ignored him and waved him off before making my way through the bar. My heart pounded in my chest the closer I got. Smiling, I approached the table. All talking at the table ceased, and three sets of eyes turned toward me, but I could only look at one. My mate's eyes were even more gorgeous up close.
"Good evening," I said.
"Um… hi," one of the women replied while my mate and I continued our staring contest.
"My name is Matías, and I'm new to town. I wondered if I could join you all," I said, hoping I wouldn't get rejected.
"Of course," one of the women said, and my mate jerked his gaze to her. "I'm Sara, this is Beth, and that's Ryan."
Ryan. My mate's name was Ryan. I grinned and pulled out the fourth chair. "It's a pleasure meeting you."
"So, Mattie, by your accent I know you’re not from the states, where are you from?" Sara asked excitedly, and I grinned at her bubbly personality.
"Matías," I heard Ryan correct softly.
Sara’s and Beth's gazes jerked to Ryan, who looked down and took a sip of his beer.
"I've lived all over, but the area I spent the most time in was southern Spain," I replied.
"Oh, I always wanted to go to Spain. I heard it's beautiful. We should go there for our next vacation. You'll have to tell us all about it and the great places to visit, Matías," Beth said, emphasizing my name while staring at Ryan.
Her use of my correct name caused me to smirk. "I'd be happy to tell you the hot spots. Have you ever wanted to see Spain, Ryan?"
Ryan looked up at me, and a faint blush appeared on his cheeks. He was adorable. I desired to run my hands over his muscular shoulders and feel his full lips and soft skin.
"Uh… yeah. I always wanted to travel overseas, but things always got in the way," he replied.
His deep voice shot through my body like a lightning bolt. I wanted to hear more. Another shout of cheers erupted from the pool tables, causing me to break my focus. I glanced back to the trio in time to see Sara and Beth mouthing something to my mate.
"Um… so… um… Matías, do you play pool?" Ryan asked.
"I've played a few times. I'll admit I'm not the best player, but if you're willing to deal with my amateur skills, I'd be up for a game," I replied.
"Of course, he'd be willing to. He's not the best either. Beth is the shark of our group. Beth and I are going to grab another drink. Have fun," Sara answered for him before standing up.
I grinned. I could kiss the woman. She was open and accepting and, most importantly, appeared to be encouraging Ryan to spend time with me.
"Yeah, sounds good," Ryan said, rising from his seat.
I quickly followed suit and waved my hand. "After you, amor—Ryan," I hurried to correct.
I cringed at my slip of the term of endearment. Luckily Ryan didn't appear to mind. He simply smiled and started toward the pool tables. I stood entranced, watching his luscious bubble butt. It was perfectly round, encased snuggly in denim. I was jealous of those jeans. I'd had thought his ass would've been muscular like the rest of him, but no. It was pleasantly plump.
Fate, help me. We can do this, I told my dragon.