Author: E. Paige Burks
Book title: Return to Royalty
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publish date: Jan 1, 2017
Nyx Estrella has no idea she’s a princess.
Her only problem is that the world she rules over is on the other side of a portal. Yesterday, she was cramming for an Algebra test, and today she learns that she was sent to Lucky, Texas as a baby to escape the evil King Paraximus.
Jet Lamia is a war prisoner, sent by the queen to bring Nyx back home. The portal only opens on the winter solstice, so he finds himself trapped on Earth, trying to blend in. Fortunately, he has help in the form of the queen’s chosen assistant, Seth. But playing well with others has never been one of Jet’s talents.
Nyx struggles to accept her true identity and work with Jet. They must defeat the assassins sent to kill them both, all while trying not to kill each other. Can this duo put their differences aside and return to Gexalatia?
“I won’t take you to her,” Dorothea said, her voice strong, despite the way her heart was racing in her chest. “I won’t let you kill her.”
At this Jet smirked darkly, shaking his head. His black hair fell across his face in wisps. “I’m honored that you would still think of me so highly,” he said. He fixed his piercing, soul-sucking gaze on her.
“Give her the letter,” Seth said, stepping away from the car.
Jet snarled at Seth over the top of the car. “I’m not a delivery boy!” he snapped.
Seth leveled a look at him. “You took my jacket, and the letter is in the pocket.”
Jet straightened from where he was leaning against the car, reaching inside the jacket. Bitterness was still swirling inside him.
Dorothea felt her heart catch hard in her chest, and her eyes widened. She saw the humor in Jet’s eyes as he pulled a missive from his coat pocket, flipping it out for her to take.
“What is this?” she asked suspiciously. Her eyes took in the wax seal. It was pressed with the Queen’s emblem.
“It explains everything,” Seth said gently. “I received one as well.”
Dorothea took it slowly from Jet’s fingers, watching as he sank back against the hood of the car. She pulled at the seal with shaking fingers, her eyes widening as she took in the words written on the parchment. She had to read it over several times to make it make sense. Finally, she looked up at Seth.
“This can’t be,” she breathed.
“These are the Queen Mother’s wishes,” Seth said gently, feeling pity streak through him. He had felt the same when he’d first heard the news, but he knew Liana had a plan. She didn’t make mistakes.
Dorothea looked to Jet, shaking her head. “I won’t agree to this,” she said forcefully. She watched as he rolled his eyes.
“You have no say in the matter,” he said gruffly. “Now then, you can make both our lives easier and just give her to me.”
Dorothea felt a hot surge of anger, both at his tone and at the words on the paper in her hand. This wasn’t right. None of this was right.
“I won’t give her to you, Jet!” she suddenly yelled. She crumpled the paper in her hands, throwing it at the ground. “I don’t know what game you’re playing, but there is no way Her Majesty would send a murderer!”
Jet’s eyes darkened suddenly. Without a word, he crossed to her, shoving her roughly against the side of the pickup. His hand was tight around her throat. Satisfaction seeped through him as she gripped his wrist, trying to draw a breath.
“Jet, stop!” Seth was on them quickly, trying to pry his hands from around Dorothea’s throat. “Let her go!”
“I asked nicely,” Jet said softly, his voice like silk. His onyx eyes were murderous. “I will not ask again.”
E. Paige Burks is an award-winning author, as well as a graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in Agricultural Communication and Journalism. When she is not writing fantasy and love stories, she enjoys Mexican food, singing out loud, cuddling with her cats, and taking long naps. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son, their dogs, cats, and a single bird named Ricki. Her book, Return to Royalty, won the 2016 Author U Draft to Dream Award in the Young Adult category, the 2017 Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards in the fantasy category, and was a finalist in the 2017 Best Book Awards.