Enter Valentine Lobo, the last werewolf left in all the Coral System and the undisputed leader of planet Lupine. He has been waiting for his genetically engineered bride for centuries, and he has no time to court Mirella Canalis, the young woman whose only reason to exist is to give the alpha werewolf an heir. This alpha is expecting a naïve and sweet, and probably malleable, bride but, what if Mirella isn't what he expects? Sparks could fly on that wedding night! Would love to be a fly on the wall - but, wait I can read the novel!!
His wolf pacing in his head, Valentine left the bed with an exasperated sigh and walked to the liquor cabinet by the arched window.
Outside, the Fifth Moon shone pale blue against the purple night sky. Sidera Prima, the orbital station, cast a long shadow over the mountain ridge of the Caucasum, reminding everyone on Lupine of their terrestrial origins.
“Are you pleased with me, Sir?” Ronda purred from the tangle of linens.
The dark four-poster canopy took most of the wall opposite the window, dwarfing the redhead at its center. The burgundy drapery matched the long curtains framing the arch. The fabric was heavy damask silk salvaged from his private quarters on Sidera Prima.
“You should talk less.” Lifting the heavy barrel with the H and M black letters etched on the wooden staves, Valentine poured a good two fingers of Laurum into a frosted glass goblet.
The viscous drink sloshed inside the walls of the chalice, coating the surface with a deep, powdery red. Aged seventy-five revolutions, the Laurum was a wedding gift from House Martelli. After the Brotherhood of the Wolf, his own house, the vampires had been the first sending congratulations for Valentine’s impending nuptials.
“Would you require my service after the ceremony?” Ronda moved sinuously on the bed, prowling on all fours like a hungry cat.
“You know I won’t.” With a flick of his wrist, Valentine dismissed the courtesan, who, still naked, jumped off the high bed and scampered toward the back door that led into the servants’ passages.
Hungry, he rang the bell to call his majordomo. Aldo’s steps echoed throughout the main hallway and stopped before Valentine’s bedroom a moment later.
“What can I do for you, Master Lobo?” Aldo asked from the door.
Lanky and lean, the majordomo was an example of how humanity had adapted to Lupine’s low gravity, whereas Valentine’s massive build was the epitome of a Terran. Although he had not been born and raised on ye olde Earth, Valentine shared all the traits of his werewolf ancestors: tall, muscular, with an unruly mane, and a propensity to rage.
“I want to eat something before I leave for the ceremony.” As he walked to the breakfast table by the fireplace, Valentine grabbed the black kimono he had thrown to the floor. He put on the garment but didn’t tie it around his waist, letting the silky fabric flap around his back.
“Refreshments will be ready in ten minutes.” Aldo bowed but didn’t leave.
Passing his hand through his long, dark chestnut hair, Valentine made a mental note to ask his barber to trim it to shoulder length. “What is it?”
“If I may say something—” His eyes facing the floor, Aldo bowed lower.
“Say it already.” Valentine plaited his mane in a thick braid.
“Your spouse is young and innocent.” Aldo’s voice trailed as he stepped backward, retreating into the safety of the hallway.
“And?” Valentine asked.
One of the mechanical dusters worked its way through the leather-bound tomes resting on the fireplace shelf. Their wrought-iron spindly legs and the black, round bodies always reminded him of the spiders that had once populated the space station. Their constant whirring and humming could be heard throughout Lobo Mansion and had become the sound of home to Valentine. He could spend hours watching their inner clockwork gears rotate, intersecting in a constant loop that created energy.
Stirring Valentine from his thoughts, Aldo continued, “And her life will be short compare to yours—”
“And?” Valentine repeated.
If only Aldo knew how short would be his bride’s life… but that was Valentine’s personal burden to bear.
Everyone on Lupine knew of what being a Fifth Moon’s Wife entailed. It was an unparalleled privilege for the family who raised the bride, and her sacrifice for the greater good of the Brotherhood was widely recognized. Statues would be erected in her honor. Valentine’s mother had her effigies displayed in the Goddess’ Temple, and every day women lit votive candles under the bronze sculpture.
Only a few people knew that his wife wouldn’t survive the year.
“She’s only twenty-five years old—” Aldo paused as if to gather his thoughts. “And she must be scared. You might remember that… when you are alone with her later tonight—” As soon as Aldo finished his halting speech, he left.
Pre-Order Buy Links:
Amazon universal link http://hyperurl.co/feqvo3
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fifth-moons-wolf-monica-la-porta/1123470623?ean=2940152843064Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-fifth-moon-s-wolf
Monica La Porta landed in Seattle several years ago. Despite popular feelings about the Northwest weather, she finds the mist and the rain the perfect conditions to write. Being a strong advocate of universal acceptance and against violence in any form and shape, she is also glad to have landed precisely in Washington State. She writes love stories in every shade of romance, from futuristic to paranormal, fantasy, and even contemporary, depending on her mood. Stop by her blog to read about her miniatures, sculptures, paintings, and her beloved beagle, Nero. Sometimes, she also posts about her writing.
Author can be reached:
Monica La Porta's blog: www.monicalaporta.comMonica La Porta’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/monicalaportaauthor/