Book Title: To Poison a Prince
Author: Aldrea Alien
Cover Artist: Leonardo Borazio
Release Date: July 31, 2021
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, Man in Peril, Cultural Differences, Dysfunctional Family, Mystery Murderer, Opposites Attract
Themes: Royalty, Wedding, Revenge
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 269 231 words
It is book 2 in the A Tale of Two Princes series
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
Someone is out to murder his husband and he might just be the reason they succeed.
Imperial Crown Prince Darshan knew his journey home wasn’t going to be the modest one he hoped for, especially not after eloping with Hamish, a former prince—and now exile—of Tirglas.
When he thwarts a clumsy attempt on his husband’s life during a soirée hosted by his long-standing rival and half-sister, he figures the worst is behind them.
Yet, the threat of death continues to shadow them across the empire. Someone is intent on making the rumours of his husband’s demise a reality, someone who can erase the memory of their very presence from people’s minds.
Darshan must discover who is behind the attempts before they succeed. But who can he trust when the culprit is capable of slipping by the most vigilant of guards?
The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity… Any sort of crafting. I hate attempting it myself, but I love watching other people make stuff. Cooking channels that aren’t just making fancy dishes. There’s a couple of people who I follow on YouTube purely to watch them prepare stuff that my not-at-all-cooking-inclined arse can make (in fact, I did follow one recipe two Christmases back and it has now become the child’s favourite).
The happiest moment you will cherish forever… There are a lot of happy moments, but I don’t think anything will ever top the birth of my child. I spent a lot of my pregnancy miserable, be it chronic morning sickness or blood pressure high enough that it was bed rest or hospital, when the time came, my child made a big song and dance about arriving early before deciding now wasn’t really the time (a pattern that they continue to this day). In the end, they were extracted through a c-section. I couldn’t see more than a pink blob because I wasn’t allowed to have my glasses on and I’ve terrible sight, but finally being able to hear their first breath was just euphoria.
Your early recollections of writing fiction… When I was twelve, scrawling out pages and pages of stories about lizard folk in the desert that eventually morphed into my first finished epic. One day, I shall return to it and fix all the broken stuff, but it sparked my interest in building new worlds and cultures.
The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child… If you do what you can now, it’s less you’ll have to do tomorrow.
The character you enjoyed writing the most… I think I’ve answered this multiple times over the years and it still hasn’t changed. Tracker from my Spellster and the Hound series. No matter what I throw at him, the tragedies he keeps telling me of his past, he just carries on.
The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most… Someone Else’s Shoes. It’s a lesbian Cinderella retelling that I wrote in a whirlwind of activity. I basically pants my entire way through it and had an absolute blast. It went into a twisted fairytale anthology in 2020 with a bunch of other novellas, which made the USA Today Bestseller list. But I love the process of recreating a tale I knew well and having it fit into the Spellster Universe that I may do it again with other fairytales.
And the promo…
A Tale of Two Princes is a gay fantasy romance duology featuring the sheltered Prince Hamish and the hedonistic Darshan vris Mhanek. Starting with To Target the Heart, the pair face bigotry, vastly different cultural understandings and one hell-spawn of a queen until their tale culminates in To Poison a Prince with murder, mystery and a flair for botany that may destroy more than a building or two.
Thank you, Aldrea.
“Your highness,” Katarina said in a clear address to himself. “I hear you’ve travelled through imperial lands for some months. What is your current outlook on it?” Although she spoke Udynean, the musical hint of her own language whispered through. A much softer melody than the last hedgewitch Hamish had met.
He swallowed the wine and considered the past eight weeks of travel from the distant port of Haalabof to here, of the seemingly endless roads winding along the lands and the villages small enough to barely warrant a mention on a map. “It has certainly been an experience.” He’d been propositioned at least seven times along the way. Maybe even more that had been too subtle for him to notice.
The hedgewitch’s eyes almost sparkled. “You simply must give me details, your highness. It’s so rare to have an outside opinion on Udynea.”
Hamish opened his mouth, his agreement balancing on his tongue, only to remain silent as Darshan laid a bejewelled hand atop his.
“I’m sure my husband is most eager to oblige the request, Madam Hedgewitch, but perhaps another time would be more suited?”
Her lashes fluttering, Katarina lowered her head. “Of course, vris Mhanek.” She picked at the rest of her meal, perhaps looking for a reason to remain silent as she vibrated with an energy that reminded Hamish of his nephews when they sorely wanted to natter people’s ears off.
A pang of longing turned his stomach. A yearning to embrace his sisters, to hear his nephews scheming and his niece’s laughter. He would even take his brother’s good-natured ribbing just for a chance to hear his voice.
Hamish swallowed, blinking furiously to stem the tears threatening to spill. He hadn’t expected to feel homesick, but he’d never been beyond Tirglas before, hadn’t even been more than a week’s travel from Mullhind Castle for years. Now it was months away and there was more land to cover before they reached their destination.
A whole continent between him and his family; people he would never get to see again thanks to his mother’s poisonous ire.
“Do eat up, brother dear,” Onella purred, jolting Hamish from his thoughts. His sister-in-law gestured to the plate before Darshan, the rings adorning her fingers glittering in the candlelight. She had changed gowns, or at least the filmy topmost layer, and her arm showed no sign of Darshan’s attack. “All that dancing must’ve worked up quite the appetite. I can’t imagine the poxy inns you’ve stopped at during your travels had meals sufficient for a man of your power. You must be ravenous.”
Darshan smiled. Hamish wasn’t sure how his husband managed to seemingly detach the expression from his face, but the sight prickled his skin. “I think I’ll pass, dear half-sister.”
“But isn’t quail your favourite?” Onella pressed. “Did all those stodgy meals up north affect your palate?” She leant closer to one of the men flanking her and continued on in a loud whisper. “I hear they do ghastly things like stuff sheep stomachs and eat them.”
“They do indeed,” Katarina piped up as grumbles of distaste trembled along the table. “And the stomachs of cows and pigs.”
“There’s little from an animal we dinnae eat or use,” Hamish added, ferocious pride for his homeland’s self-sufficiency puffing his chest. “And what’s left goes to feed our dogs and pigs. We dinnae let a thing go to waste.”
“Clearly, trade relations with a superior people isn’t listed as one of those things.” Onella sipped at her wine, her gaze boring into him. “But I suppose you’re not privy to such matters, being dead and all.”
A woman part way down the table flung her head back and guffawed.
“He seems very lively for a dead man,” pointed out the woman sitting next to her as her neighbour continued to wheeze.
“Clearly not in the literal sense,” Onella said, her gaze remaining firmly on Hamish. “But it would seem that the news of how the current queen of Tirglas disowned her younger son hasn’t reached all present company.”
Darshan straightened in his chair. “Has it not?” He took up his glass and tapped his forefinger against it, waiting whilst a servant topped up the wine. “What is the rumour mill coming to if it cannot keep up with such trivial concerns?”
About the Author
Aldrea Alien is an award-winning, bisexual author of fantasy romance with varying heat levels. Born and raised in New Zealand, she lives on a small farm with her family, including a menagerie of animals, who are all convinced they’re just as human as the next person. Especially the cats. Since discovering a love of writing at the age of twelve, she hasn’t found an ounce of peace from the characters plaguing her mind with all of them clamouring for her to tell their story first.
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