After she is caught behaving obscenely with another woman, Sophia is left abandoned. Her friends pretend not to know her, her family is trying to decide the best place to banish her, and Sophia wishes that running away was as easy in fact as it was in theory.
She is saved from scandal, if not her suffocating life, by way of an unexpected marriage proposal from Lord Everett Dobson, the most coveted bachelor in the city. Not in a position to refuse, Sophia accepts his offer and agrees to visit his home at Mermaid Cove for three weeks.
Mermaid Cove proves to be as beautiful as promised, complete with endless beaches, glittering waters, a castle that looks like it was made of sand… family curses and local legends… and two beautiful, mysterious women who cannot talk, but seem to have secrets they want to share…
Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.
High King Sarrica is ruling an empire at war, and that war will grow exponentially worse if his carefully laid plans do not come to fruition. He’s overwhelmed and needs help, as much as he hates to admit it, but it must be someone like his late consort: a soldier, someone who understands war, who is not unfamiliar with or afraid of the harsher elements of rule. What he doesn’t need is the delicate, pretty little politician foisted on him right as everything goes wrong.
Tournament of Losers
All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father’s latest debt, Rath doesn’t know what to do. There’s no way to come up with so much money in so little time.
Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father’s debt.
All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it’s back to trying to live a quiet life…