Book Title: Gargoyle Birthright (D’Vaire, Book 31)
Author and Publisher: Jessamyn Kingley
Cover Artist: LJ Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations
Release Date: September 1, 2022
Genres: MM Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Tropes: Fated mates
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Length: 91 039 words
Is it not a standalone story but does not end on a cliffhanger.
“Fate chose me as leader,” Hunter said.
“Are you serious?” Jordan asked, his fork frozen midway between his plate and his mouth.
“Yeah, but don’t freak. It’s like I told you, there’s just the four of us. So, it’s mostly a cosmetic thing. I can’t use my title.”
“You could join the Council. I’m sure they’d love to know gargoyles exist.”
“The jaguars aren’t in it. Why should I be?”
“You’re wrong,” Jordan remarked. “The jaguars do belong, but I don’t.”
“I’m half-human, and I grew up in this world. When I had an opportunity to experience the Council, some things were impressive, but there was a lot going in my life. I was concentrating on that, and I didn’t learn about much beyond what I was dealing with. I was brought face-to-face with my Fate-chosen leader, and let’s just say…he didn’t impress me, so I went back to what I knew.”
“Did you feel any compulsion to follow him because he was your leader?”
There was no censure in Hunter’s voice, so Jordan took the question as nothing more than an inquiry.
“I did at first, but he was wrong. I thought he was a self-centered prick who didn’t give a shit about me. Neither me nor my cat was interested in following him blindly. I get the entire Fate thing, but maybe because I’m human too, I wasn’t invested fully. I don’t know, but I have no regrets.”
“No, if he wasn’t a good leader, then you were right to walk away. My brother is constantly trying to talk me into looking into joining the Council. His argument is that a shifter leads it, and that as Fate chosen rulers, we’d have common goals. The irony is that my father wasn’t a kind guy, and his people kicked him out. We don’t know if that was because he was a dick or if the other gargoyles were horrible.”
“I’ll be honest, I don’t understand the mate thing either,” Jordan said. “What I felt the other day was real in that moment, and I’m comfortable around you. It’s weird because I don’t open up to strangers and I don’t have friends. My life is the way I want it. I work hard, have goals, and share a place with a brother I love. My parents weren’t mates, and my father claimed he was willing to drop my mom and his kids if his other half showed up. It never happened because he died, so I don’t know if he was telling the truth or not.”
“I’m sorry about your father.”
“Don’t be,” Jordan said. “He was an asshole, and I don’t miss him.”
“I have no fond memories of my father either. I warped his image in my mind for a long time, but once I had my sons, I understood how wrong he was to treat me and my brother the way he did. My parents were mates, but he was often cruel to my mother. I don’t understand how other shifters handle matebonds. We can figure it out if we’re interested in pursuing this.”
“I think if Fate went to all the trouble to put us together, the least we can do is figure out if we’re compatible.”
“I agree,” Hunter responded with a sexy smile that had Jordan shifting in his seat.
“Cool, I’ve never been in a relationship, so I’m literally in the dark about how to do any of this.”
“I’ve had only the most casual of relationships, so again, we can take things slowly. What do you think about meeting my family?” Hunter asked.
“You want me to meet your kids and brother?”
“Yeah, I’d like that. You could come over for dinner. Talon cooks, and you can play with our crazy dog. You could bring your brother if you want. What’s his name?”
“Preston,” Jordan said. There was no way Jordan was bringing Preston anywhere without first experiencing it himself. Although Preston could handle plenty, Jordan wanted to know that everyone was as nice as Hunter before he brought his brother along. “Maybe we’ll include Preston next time.”
“Sure, whatever is most comfortable for you.”
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