In the Flesh
An infamous beauty. A daring warrior...
For five years, Sapphire has been the King of Sari’s most treasured concubine. Independent at last, she refuses to put herself in anyone’s control again. But now another’s meddling has led her into the path of proud, arrogant Wulfric, Crown Prince of the rival kingdom of D’Ashier... a man who is dangerous to her in every way.
...and a seduction that could destroy them both.
The daughter of Wulfric’s fiercest opponent, Sapphire is a prized warrior in her own right and highly skilled in the sensual arts—in short, Wulfric’s perfect match. A lasting union is unthinkable, but the bargain they strike—to spend one night together, and then part—proves impossible in the face of a desire powerful enough to bring two countries to the brink of war, and two hearts to the point of surrender...
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This excerpt contains adult material and is intended for readers 18 years of age or older.
From Chapter 7-8
Wulf’s long-legged stride ate up the seemingly endless length of white stone hallway with ease. The guards stationed at various intervals bowed at the waist as he passed, their eyes wide as they stared at Katie squirming and swearing loudly over his shoulder. She had the vocabulary of a hardened soldier and she didn’t hesitate to use it. He’d never been so verbally abused in his life. Coming from Katie, he enjoyed it immensely.
The doors to the seraglio slid open when he approached. He entered to a chorus of eager greetings and sighs at his half-dressed state. As his concubines rushed toward him, he kept them at bay by holding up the hand not currently caressing Katie’s buttocks.
“Your Royal Highness.”
He turned to the elderly woman prostrated just to the right of him.
“Sabine.” He greeted his chamberlain with a smile. Once, she had been his father’s concubine. Now retired, she served Wulf by maintaining order in his harem. “You may rise.”
“Who is that you have there?” she asked, rising gracefully to her feet.
As he started toward the large rectangular pool that dominated the center of the room, she fell into step beside him. Three fountains broke up the tranquil surface of the water, the splashing sounds mingling with the melodious voices of his concubines and the sounds of birds chirping in the various cages that decorated the perimeter. The humid air was redolent with lush hothouse flowers, various perfumes, and luxurious bath oils. Jewel-encrusted doors lined the walls, each portal leading to the private quarters of a concubine. Drenched in the sunlight pouring from the massive skylight above, the expensive and precious gems winked and flashed to glorious effect.
He slid Katie from his shoulder, careful to keep his hold on her while maintaining her confinement within his robes. “Sabine, this is Katie.”
“Sapphire,” Katie corrected testily.
Grinning, he told Sabine, “She needs a bath and suitable garments. I want her body jewelry changed from sapphires to talgorite. I prefer her hair down. When she’s ready, bring her to my rooms.”
Sabine was eying the disheveled Katie appraisingly when the import of his words registered. Her gaze darted to meet his. “Y-your rooms, Your Highness?”
“That’s what I said.” With a flourish, he yanked the voluminous fabric of his robe from Katie, causing her to twirl outward from the enveloping folds.
She recovered her footing several feet away and glared at him. “Afraid to do it yourself, Wulf? We both know I can take you.”
His concubines gasped at her insubordination and her use of his given name, but he laughed.
“Yes. I’m quite taken.” His tone was a husky murmur, his gaze riveted by the sight of her bare body.
Enamored of her beauty, Wulfric watched her gaze roam. Her dark eyes paused briefly on each of the women surrounding the pool, all of whom eyed her back with curiosity and/or suspicion. Her expression grew taut, her hands fisting at her sides. It was only then that he registered his error in bringing her here. To the seraglio. Distracted by lust, he’d considered only the fastest way to get her ready for the long hours of sex he intended for them to enjoy.
He opened his mouth to reassure her, but before he could speak, Katie spun on her heel and fled.
“Guards!” Sabine sounded the alarm before Wulf could react.
The doors slid open and four guardsmen charged into the room.
“Lock the door,” he roared as Katie leaped through the air to attack the nearest soldier. Naked as she was, the man was stunned and vulnerable to her assault. She kicked him dead center in the chest, knocking him flat on his back, then turned to engage the others.
Wulf raced after her.
“Don’t touch her!” Fear roughened his voice. Images of her injuries from the holo-room knotted his stomach. “Hurt her at your peril.”
Katie’s head turned at the proximity of his voice. Her grim expression betrayed her determination to find another way out.
He was a hair’s breadth away from catching her when she darted out of his reach and deserted the locked exit. He cursed. She backtracked into the room, heading toward the opposite side of the pool. Squeals and screams rent the air as startled concubines scattered out of her way. The birds in their cages cried out their alarm, their wings flapping frantically and littering the air with feathers.
She rounded the corner of the pool. Wulf vaulted diagonally across the small gap, his body stretched out as he flew over the water. He caught her, twisting in midair to absorb the impact when they crashed onto the marble floor and slid several feet.
“Let me go.” She struggled against him. He rolled, pinning her beneath him.
Their chests heaved together; his heart raced with the excitement of the chase. The scent of Draxian lilies filled his nostrils and relief at holding her after her frantic attempt at flight heated his blood. As Katie’s naked breasts pressed to his skin, his focus altered. Desire for her acted like a potent drug in his veins, making his entire body hot and hard.
Wulf lifted his head. “Everyone, out!”
His mind distantly registered the sounds of footsteps fading and doors slamming shut, but his focus was on the woman in his arms.
Taking her mouth, Wulf groaned his pleasure when she returned his kiss with equal fervor. He loved Katie’s body, so strong and lithe. She could fight and injure him—she had the knowledge and stamina—but she touched him with tenderness. She was toned by years of combat training, yet still soft, with generous curves and valleys that fit perfectly against him.
Katie began to struggle again, even as her tongue swirled greedily in his mouth. She didn’t want to want him, but couldn’t resist. That affinity stoked his lust to a fever pitch.
Wulf broke the kiss and buried his face in her throat. “Don’t fight me,” he murmured against her flushed, scented skin. “I’ll make it good for you.”
Gasping, she arched into him. “Release me.”
“I can’t.” He grabbed her wrists and pinned her arms above her head. He drew a taut nipple into his mouth, teasing it with his tongue before suckling her with hard, deep pulls.
“Oh!” Katie twisted in an effort to deter him. “No…”
Wulf moved to her other breast, nipping the hard peak with his teeth before soothing the sting with gentle licks. “Stop wriggling,” he rumbled, then he curled his tongue around the straining point of her breast.
Katie tried to buck him off but the movement only forced her legs to spread. His hips dipped between her thighs, settling perfectly into place because she was made for him.
“Remember last night?” he crooned. “How good it was?” His hips swiveled against hers, rubbing his rock-hard cock against her clitoris. “We were meant for this… you and I.”
As he rocked into her, massaging her pussy with the hard length of his dick, she moaned, “Give me the top.”
Wulf growled, remembering the way he’d felt last night when she plied her trade. “Why? So you can work?”
Holding her wrists with one hand, he reached between them to loosen his drawstring. His wrist rubbed against her and she hissed in pleasure.
“Isn’t that why you stole me?” she challenged. “Isn’t that why I’m here in your seraglio with all your other women? To work?”
Rough and impatient, he shoved his waistband down and his cock sprang free. With a deft twist, he pulled her over him, his legs kicking until he was freed from his pants. “It was a mistake,” he said gruffly. “I wasn’t thinking.”
“You’re not thinking now.” She gasped as he positioned his dick between her petal-soft lips and pushed into the tight, plush clasp of her pussy.
She held herself aloft with her hands on his chest, the slick walls of her sex sucking on the head of his cock.
He forced himself to wait. “Your choice, Katie. You said you could take me. Do it.”
In the Flesh is Book 1 in The Sapphire's World Trilogy. The full series reading order is as follows:
Book 1: In the Flesh
- Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award In The Flesh has been named the second place winner of The Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award!
- Back in Borders Both In The Flesh and Eve of Darkness are back in all U.S. Borders stores on special Readers’ Crown end cap displays through the end of September. If you missed either of these books last summer, this is an opportunity to pick them up in any Borders store near you.
- National Readers Choice Award Winner In The Flesh has won the National Readers’ Choice Award, which is judged by readers.
- Readers Crown Award – Double Winner! Both In The Flesh and Eve of Darkness have won their categories in the 2010 Readers’ Crown Award!
- PRISM Award Double Finalist Both In The Flesh and Eve of Darkness have been named as finalists for the 2010 PRISM Award.
- Write Touch Readers Award Winner In The Flesh has been named the winner in its category for the Write Touch Readers’ Award, which is judged by readers.
- Golden Quill Award Finalist In The Flesh has been named a finalist for the 2010 Golden Quill Award for Best Erotic Romance.
- National Readers Choice In The Flesh has been named a finalist for the National Readers’ Choice Award, which is judged by readers.
- Write Touch Readers Award Finalist In The Flesh has been named a finalist for the Write Touch Readers’ Award, which is judged by readers.
- Award of Excellence Finalist In The Flesh is a finalist for the 2010 CRW Award of Excellence in Erotic Romance.
- Shayla Black, national bestselling author:
“Lush, evocative, inventive… Livia Dare delights. Fans of Dara Joy will love this!”
- RT BOOkreviews Magazine:
Top Pick! “Dare, aka Sylvia Day, has written a fresh new series that’s both historical and futuristic, erotic and action-filled. Sapphire and Wulf are the perfect couple: intelligent, strong-willed and sensual. The sexual passion between this pair is so explosive that it’ll melt the pages. This book will make you an instant fan.” — June 2009
- All About Romance:
“In The Flesh kept me interested from start to finish. Sapphire is a strong female character. She’s a great warrior but apart from being physically kick-ass, she is mentally strong and she allows Wulfric to play the overbearing male only when it suits her; she allows him to overtake her only when she wants to be captured.” — June 2009
- Joyfully Reviewed:
Recommended Read! “Absolutely outstanding! In The Flesh is everything I want in a futuristic romance. Livia Dare seamlessly creates a world that literally draws you in. With an emotional connection between Sapphire and Wulfric that leaps from the page. Sexy and filled with adventure In The Flesh simply rocks. Book 2 in this series can’t come soon enough for me!” — June 2009
- Paranormal Romance Reviews (PNR):
Recommended Read! “In The Flesh the first in the Sapphire Trilogy, was an engaging and very erotic fantasy. Wulf and Sapphire’s smoldering attraction toward one another set the pages on fire and it kept this reader eagerly turning the page to read more. I also thought their characters worked well together in that they were both warriors at heart and yet they were both looking for that someone whom they could truly love. If you are looking for an engaging and erotic fantasy romance, I would most definitely recommend this book.” — June 2009
- Realms on Our Bookshelves:
“To be honest I am not an avid reader of fantasy, not even fantasy romance, but I must admit I have to readjust that statement after reading In The Flesh. The writing was masterful, it was fast-paced, it had suspense, it had humor, and it had a love story that was excellently told. Livia Dare had a surprise for me at every turn. There were moments I thought I knew where she was going with the story, but then she’d throw in something totally unpredictable. In The Flesh is a perfect mix of great characterization, action, and old school romance. It is lush, emotionally gripping, and definitely red hot. She has created an elaborate world that has a lot of potential for future books of this trilogy. I am glad I had the pleasure to review this book…” — June 2009
- The Romance Readers Connection:
“In The Flesh is a unique erotic novel in that it has a true story to tell beyond the intimate details of passion between the two protagonists. With espionage, conspiracies, and battles, In The Flesh is also a tale of two warring countries struggling for the greater foothold in a futuristic world. The attraction and romance between Sapphire and Wulfric is central and integral to the tale, creating a heavy amount of tension throughout; the flaming scenes of passion are intense and sure to keep readers heated long after reading.” — June 2009
- Enchanting Reviews:
“In The Flesh is the first book of the Sapphire Trilogy; it blends intrigue, lust and love. What a great combination! Wulfric and Sapphire struggle to contain their forbidden romance, as their countries are on the brink of war. The chemistry between them is electric. She’s a trained concubine and he’s an accomplished warrior. Together, it’s a sensual concoction that heats up the pages whenever they are together. Even as the sex sizzles, we can feel the emotions as they struggle against their feelings for each other. We’re treated to the tender side of each as they explore their feelings and their love blossoms. Wulfric is the ultimate sexy hero; he’s strong but also isn’t afraid to show his feelings. Sapphire makes a great heroine; she’s feisty and independent.” — June 2009
Blogger and Reader Reviews
- "A lot happens in the book, keeping me entertained from the first to the last page. I was surprised in a good way with every chapter. I loved the chara..." — In the flesh
- "In the Flesh , the first in the Sapphire Trilogy, was an engaging and very erotic fantasy. Wulf and Sapphire's smoldering attraction toward one anothe..." — ParaNormalRomance: In the Flesh by Livia Dare Reviews
- "The chemistry between this pair is undeniable as the reader is taken on an explosive sexual and sensual journey from instant lust to loving tenderness..." — Eye on Romance | Bringing you everything Romance - IN THE FLESH Book Review