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About STROKE OF MIDNIGHT: A Midnight Breed Series Novella Born to a noble Breed lineage steeped in exotic ritual and familial duty, vampire warrior Jehan walked away from the luxurious trappings of his upbringing in Morocco to join the Order’s command center in Rome. But when a generations-old obligation calls Jehan home, the reluctant desert prince finds himself thrust into an unwanted handfasting with Seraphina, an unwilling beauty who’s as determined as he is to resist the antiquated pact between their families. Yet as intent as they are to prove their incompatibility, neither can deny the attraction that ignites between them. And as Jehan and Seraphina fight to resist the calling of their blood, a deadly enemy seeks to end their uneasy truce before it even begins….
For an instant, he felt a pang of loss for his absence all these years. It had been his choice to leave, his choice to make his own way in the world instead of being satisfied with the privileged, if stifling, one he’d been handed at birth. He’d yearned more for adventure than tradition, and supposed he always would.
“So, this handfast entails what, exactly?”
“A period of eight nights, spent together in seclusion. No visitors, no communication with the outside world in any form. Just the two of you, alone at the oasis retreat on the border of our lands and the Sanhajas’.”
“In other words, imprisonment for a week and a day with a female who may or may not be a willing party to this whole forced seduction ritual. Followed by what—a public blood bond encouraged at sword point?”
“Forced seduction? Public blood bond?” Marcel gaped at him as if he’d lost his mind. “The handfast is all about consent, Jehan. Touch Seraphina against her wishes and her family has the right to take your head. Drink her blood without her permission and no one would balk if the Sanhajas took out their revenge on the entire Mafakhir tribe. This is serious sh*t.”
Not to mention, archaic. Even though he had no plans to touch Seraphina Sanhaja or any other female who wasn’t of his own choosing, Jehan’s curiosity was piqued. “I thought the whole point of the pact was to seal the peace between our two families with a blood bond.”
“It is,” Marcel said. “But only if the handfast is successful.”
“There has to be a mutual agreement. There has to be love. If there’s no desire to bond as a mated couple at the end of the handfast, the couple is free to go their separate ways and the pact then moves on to the next pair in line.”
“So, there’s an out clause?” Jehan’s brows rose in surprise. “That’s the best news I’ve heard all night.”
About Lara Adrian: Lara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John. Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including including theNew York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States. Visit Lara Adrian’s website.