Since the first settlers came through the portals from Earth, fifteen Families have held the rule of the Federated Universes in their hands. There’s never been a better time than now to throw out the old and usher in a new order. Give voice to the unranked. Abbie Haws has spent her life battling the system. A fighter, she’s always been too busy and driven to pay much attention to finding love. But when she’s granted audience with Roman Lyons, the head of House Lyons, who stands for everything she hates, her instant attraction catches Abbie off-guard…

It’s common knowledge that the Known Universe revolves around Ravena—and that Ravena revolves around Roman Lyons, bred to lead since birth. Roman dreads his meeting with a defiant—if stunning—rabble-rouser. But, sometimes, headstrong personalities in the conference room make for hot-and-heavy, guilty trysts in private….

Now, Abbie will show Roman the parts of her world he wouldn’t otherwise get to see. And he’ll give her a glimpse of the Families’ age old tradition and unleash a sexuality he’d never given rein to before.

Federation Chronicles: RELENTLESS by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group

His mouth tightened a moment and then he relaxed. Was that jealousy?

“Ah yes. He did seem the sort to throw away a wonderful woman for momentary pleasure.”

She laughed. “Very nice answer Mr. Lyons. Now I see why they talk about you on the vids in those breathless voices. Wondering which woman will snap you up.”

He rolled his eyes and she realized how pleasant it was to have just a normal moment with him. It would have been more pleasant to be naked and alone with him in her bed of course, but normalcy was something she hadn’t expected from him. In the midst of his huge manor, it seemed a funny word to choose, but it was.

“I should go.” She looked up into his eyes and wanted to kiss him so bad her lips felt the phantom touch of his.

“I wish you wouldn’t. After all, Jaron wants you here. You’re quite welcome. We’re pleased to have you after all you’ve done for Marcus and his son. At some point, I’d like to speak with you on a business matter. Deimos tells me you’re addressing the AC, which I endorse. Perhaps we can discuss that at some point?” He cocked his head in a particularly charming way and she nearly sighed. Gods, she was losing three years of maturity every second she stood with him. Soon she’d start twirling her hair and thrusting out her chest at him.

She swallowed and licked her lips nervously. His pupils widened and she wanted to groan. The two of them were volatile, the chemistry between them was bigger than the room and she felt caught in it, like swaying sea grass.

“I can, yes.” She’d meant to tell him to comm her so she could set up an appointment or a vid conference.

“Can I give you a tour of the green house? We grow all our own fruit and vegetables here on the grounds. They’re the original from when we came through and set up the colony here.”

She loved the pride in his voice.

“I would be honored.”

They strolled together down a long hallway, side by side but not touching. The sounds of the room where the food and people dimmed as they drew away. He pointed out the art on the walls and she nodded, half listening. Her body grew heavy in his presence.

She wasn’t sure what she’d expected when he said greenhouse but it wasn’t what she stood looking at.

“I’m at a loss for words.” The greenhouse was gargantuan, which given the overall scale of the house and complex itself made sense. Huge stands of fruit trees lined a central walk and on either side and hanging from the rafters just beneath the glass ceiling, plants abounded. Vegetables, fruit, berries and flowers exploded in her vision. The scent overwhelmed, heady and fecund.

“When we first came through the portal and began to build a colony, House Lyons built this green house and planted the seedlings and seeds they brought through. We fed our people then from this ground.” He bent and sifted dark, rich soil through his fingertips.

She got it then as she stood there in his greenhouse. Leadership wasn’t just a job he held because he was born first. He took being the ruler of House Lyons seriously. He took conservatorship of the people of Ravena and the associated ‘Verses under Lyons control seriously.

He was House Lyons in a way she hadn’t understood until that very moment as he held the earth responsible for nourishing his people.

“I don’t think you’re a bad man,” she said quietly, bending down with him. “I believe you have done an excellent job. Ravena is prosperous. Our literacy rate is the highest of all the Federated ‘Verses. Quality of life is high. I’m not doing this because I think you’re mismanaging your people. I want to share the burden, not add to it.”

“There are things I’d like to talk with you about. Things you should know but I can’t just now.” His voice was the barest sound and it alarmed her.

“All right.”

“Can I come to you? Tonight?”

“Yes.” Was he kidding? She’d craved him every day since she’d seen him last and there was the look in his eyes just then. It worried her.

He straightened and brushed his hands off. The scent of the rich soil drifted to her as she stood.

“It’s beautiful here.”

“What I love about this place is how generations of Lyons children played here. How this soil has fed our people. How our ‘Verse grew from this spot. From bread basket to factories. It started here. In my home. I’m proud of that, Abbie.”

“You should be, Roman. It’s something to be very proud of. It would be a terrible invasion of your private life but people should know about this place. It should be part of the history of this ‘Verse. What do you do with all this food?”

“We feed the household with it. Set aside for the cold months. Mercy makes jams and sauces, she preserves things. We also donate to a program here in the fourth ring. A boarding school for children who’ve lost parents to lock-up or death.”

“Martinson School.” She knew it. It wasn’t too very far away from where they’d lived when they first came back to the capital. “That’s wonderful, Roman. It’s a good program. Nyna, my mother and several other restaurants in the capital send food there on a regular basis as well.”

He smiled. A genuine smile. She liked him unguarded. “That’s good to hear. It alarms me that the population there has grown in the last years. I’m working with some on the Council to enroll the older ones in different apprenticeship programs so they have a place to go when they do their time in the corps.”

“If you only knew how much all this do-gooder stuff made me feel.” She laughed and he joined her. They walked the path and turned to go back. He wasn’t just some isolated, out of touch despot. Roman Lyons was a man who cared about his people. It only made her want him more.

Today’s prize is winner’s choice of all my futuristics! Do you enjoy star crossed lover stories? Where the hero and heroine aren’t meant for each other but can’t help themselves anyway? Winner will be chosen from comments to this post and announced in Monday’s winners post!

41 comments to “RELENTLESS”

  1. Mariann with Belle's Book Bag
    April 20th, 2012 at 4:02 am · Link

    I love those kinds of books!!! As long as they have a HEA–I don’t want to have the characters be put through the emotional ringer and in the end not have a HEA. I have been wanting to read this book for a while. I love the concept of them not being meant for each other mixed in with Roman being older then Abbie!! Thanks for the chance to win. Have a great weekend!! 🙂

  2. CrystalGB
    April 20th, 2012 at 5:15 am · Link

    Yes, I love those stories. Makes for an interesting read. 🙂

  3. Marc
    April 20th, 2012 at 5:21 am · Link

    I love Abbie and Roman. The grand gestures and the angst of wanting what you think you can’t or shouldn’t have. *sigh*I love it.

  4. Vic
    April 20th, 2012 at 5:46 am · Link

    Yes, love star crossed lovers as long as the angst isn’t too overwhelming or goes on too long in the story. Love this whole series – it’s like Firefly with hot sex! 😉

  5. IP
    April 20th, 2012 at 5:48 am · Link

    As I’ve stated numerous times I’m absolutely smitten with your heroines and heros from Undercover, Relentless, Insatiable, and Mesmerized!!! The women are a nice mixture of being strong, steadfast and beautiful and are more than a match for their overwhelming alpha males. So what’s not to love??? I sincerely hope there are more books to come!!! 🙂

  6. Louise
    April 20th, 2012 at 6:25 am · Link

    Yes! It makes the HEA well fought for and so worth the story to get there.

  7. Christine
    April 20th, 2012 at 6:41 am · Link

    This is one of my favorite series. ANd it made me cry

  8. Melissa B
    April 20th, 2012 at 10:26 am · Link

    I LOVE star crossed lovers ~ it’s funny that sometimes those stories make the BEST heroes and heroines, because it’s like they figure out along the way who they really are…I love that these types always seem to bring out MORE in each other, challenge each other…

  9. Melanie J.
    April 20th, 2012 at 10:29 am · Link

    Love star crossed lovers plots. So much drama, angst.. sigh!!

  10. StacieD
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:15 am · Link

    Forbidden love because of class, religion or family feuds are some of my favorite romance tropes. When the couple has so much as risk it just heightens the emotions of the story.

  11. Regina Ross
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:26 am · Link

    I love books like that 🙂

  12. OrielaJ
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:29 am · Link

    I love love love Relentless!!!

  13. Pamiam
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:40 am · Link

    I love your snippets. I like it when a couple has to work to get their HEA. i like to feel the emotions as they figure it out

  14. Ilona
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:42 am · Link

    I like star crossed lover stories, especially when the author can write in a twist that makes it all come out fine in the end 😀

  15. Jordan H
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:12 pm · Link

    As long as they get their HEA in the end then I love these types of stories, I get way too emotionally involved to watch the characters I have come to love end up unhappy.

  16. Chelsea B.
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:22 pm · Link

    Of course! Star crossed lovers are the best! 🙂

  17. becky jean
    April 20th, 2012 at 12:32 pm · Link

    I love this entire series!

  18. ElizabethN
    April 20th, 2012 at 1:01 pm · Link

    not a huge fan of “star-crossed” lovers but I do enjoy this book, the end gets me every time.

  19. Kimh
    April 20th, 2012 at 1:17 pm · Link

    Yes I do like it makes it interesting
    Ty for the giveaways

  20. Blanche
    April 20th, 2012 at 1:26 pm · Link

    I do those kinds of stories! I think it really makes the HEA that much sweeter, knowing they weren’t meant to be but that it happened!!

  21. elaing8
    April 20th, 2012 at 3:01 pm · Link

    I like star crossed lover stories.I haven’t read this book,it sounds really good.Great excerpt.

  22. Hailey
    April 20th, 2012 at 3:35 pm · Link

    As long as there is a HEA!

  23. Diane
    April 20th, 2012 at 3:45 pm · Link

    Yes I love star crossed lovers, any kind of lovers in fact. I’m a romance reader and I need and HEA in my stories, star crossed time travelers, paranormal, on the run!!!

  24. Lin
    April 20th, 2012 at 4:35 pm · Link

    I LOVE this book – one of my all time faves and the first one I read in the series.

  25. bn100
    April 20th, 2012 at 5:59 pm · Link

    Very nice excerpt. I like star-crossed lover stories.

  26. Shannon R.
    April 20th, 2012 at 6:40 pm · Link

    I love star-crossed lovers, they definitely make for an interesting read 😉

  27. Melissa Lamb
    April 20th, 2012 at 11:27 pm · Link

    I love books with star-crossed lovers!! Those types of romance novels were what began my love of reading romance books in my teenage years!!

  28. Tracey D
    April 21st, 2012 at 6:35 am · Link

    I do enjoy reading star-crossed lovers stories. I love how we, the readers, know they are meant for each other but they don’t!

  29. azteclady
    April 21st, 2012 at 9:20 am · Link

    Oh man, yes, I definitely like those couples where appearances/past history dictate that they can’t be together, but once they peel off the external intrusions, the truth is that the complement/complete each other in a way no one else can.

    Plus, it seems to me that such pairings will keep each other on his/her toes for quite a long time–so much to discover about each other, no?

  30. Susan
    April 21st, 2012 at 11:08 am · Link

    Futuristic stuff usually isnt something Im into, I like supernatural/shifters and things like that – however this has me intrigued

  31. Cathy M
    April 21st, 2012 at 1:41 pm · Link

    Star crossed lovers gives us such great sexual tension and fireworks and are a treat to read.

  32. Pamk
    April 21st, 2012 at 10:29 pm · Link

    love this series. this one was a particular favorite. Can’t wait to read the next one.

  33. JenM
    April 21st, 2012 at 11:21 pm · Link

    Absolutely! I love books with lots of angst and intensity and star-crossed lovers usually have that in spades.

  34. ELF
    April 22nd, 2012 at 12:28 am · Link

    I enjoy star-crossed lovers but am not crazy about there being too much extreme trauma in their lives. Naturally, I really prefer HEA or HFN endings, I have enough drama in real life!

  35. Aurore
    April 22nd, 2012 at 7:23 am · Link

    I love this kind of books. You know right from the beginning you are going to have an interesting story and it’s so nice to see the heroes get their HEA despite everything else.
    Great excerpt, thank you!

  36. Lee
    April 22nd, 2012 at 10:09 am · Link

    It depends on how the story is written. There has to be some thread of connection. That said, I like them because well, my husband and I are COMPLETE opposites. Most would not have paired us together and yet, I can’t imagine my life without him 🙂

  37. Jen B.
    April 22nd, 2012 at 7:18 pm · Link

    I love the idea of the star crossed lovers becuase it creates such delicious tension. Let’s face it, Romeo and Juliet is a classic for a reason!

  38. Spav
    April 23rd, 2012 at 4:20 am · Link

    Yes, I love those stories.

  39. Lori T
    April 23rd, 2012 at 7:41 am · Link

    I do like star crossed lovers stories. I enjoy watching as the characters work to find their way to their happily ever after.

  40. fedora
    April 23rd, 2012 at 9:11 am · Link

    I tend to like those stories where they’re not meant to be, but they can’t resist, and it ends up working out beautifully in the end–and I do love futuristics! More of those, please!

  41. Yadira B.
    April 27th, 2012 at 10:08 am · Link

    Its great I mean … Yeha the better stories are those.. When you feel connected in some way with the character ….
    And who does not have experienced discomfort by the way you feel attracted so much to some one… But at the same time
    you will like to put a wall to don’t leet him in … I think every person could feel that kind of connection … All of us we are… in some poin ” afraid to loose our freedom , to losse who we are, afraid to depend to some one to much, an afraid to love, and trust to much…. Because that “to much” could really fckn hurt you ” to much” …


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