Happy last Friday in February, everyone! I hope you made it through. February always feels like a struggle to me– I actually have a friend who, every year at February, journals about her days, determines whether she or February won at the end of each day, and then tallies up the score at the end of the month to see whether she triumphed over February, or vice versa. The score is always very close.

This week’s featured writer is Jenna Ives, who writes these amazing, sexy, and yet really thoughtful and speculative futuristic romance tales. Jenna’s stories are vividly imagined, and perfect for escaping February for a few days–but they’re also contemplative, touching on questions about human nature and society. Whether you like your reading to be a bit more cerebral, or whether you just want to get caught up in a compelling plot, Jenna’s work has something for you.

Today, Jenna has graciously sent us the first chapter of her newest book, In the Court of Love and Loss. A brief summary of the book:

Kyrie is the Mistress of Justice on Sirene, able to judge a person’s guilt or innocence with a mere touch. She is invaluable to the planet’s dictatorial leader, Galen, but Kyrie is dying. Abandoned as a child by her people, the Ouri, when they mysteriously fled Sirene, she’s grown up among the planet’s “other” race. Now, at age twenty-five, she must find an Ourian to mate with or die.

Proteus is sent back to Sirene to rescue a child accidentally left behind when he and all the Ouri fled the threat of uprising. But through a trick of time, what he finds instead on his return is an Ourian woman he is forbidden by law to mate with, even if it means saving her life. And when Galen forces Proteus to sexually satisfy Kyrie, Proteus uses every trick at his disposal to keep her alive, all while plotting their escape.

Galen and Proteus are desperate to save Kyrie for very different reasons–but they both know the fate of the planet depends on her survival.

As always, a brief excerpt from the chapter follows, as well as a link to the entire chapter on Jenna’s website. If you’re interested in reading the whole book, visit Jenna Ives’ universal book link. From there, you can purchase In the Court of Love and Loss wherever you prefer to buy books.

In the Court of Love and Loss by Jenna Ives
Excerpt from Chapter 1

She was dying.

Kyrie knew it as surely as she knew the twin moons of Aio and Rosea would chase each other across the sky tonight as they did every night in their endless, flirtatious lovers’ game. Always just tantalizingly out of reach of each other, never touching, but never giving up the delicious pursuit.

And she would watch tonight, jealous, as she did every night, from her pale, cool, moonlit balcony.

Ah, love. Even the moons of her home world had lovers. But there was no one to love her.

Because she was the only one of her kind.

The Knower. The Seer. The law-giver. The justice-dispenser.

Revered—or was it feared?—above all women on Sirene. Worshipped for her ability to see into the heart and mind and pronounce guilt or innocence.

Adored, but alone.

Idolized, but isolated.

And like a common energy cell wearing down, she could feel her talents and abilities being used up. There was no one to sustain her, support her, rejuvenate her.

No one to love her.

And so it would all end here. With her.

And if she was right, it would be soon.

Read the whole chapter on Jenna’s website.

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