Captivated (Mating Ritual Book 3)

By: Ria Candro

Book 3 in the Mating Ritual series

Two years after her home planet was decimated by the evil Malucons, Cindra believes she’s finally found happiness again. A surrogate family has taken her in, and she’s now engaged to their son. Life is good…if a bit boring. But then four breathtaking Spygians appear in her new world. When they claim her as their mate, a lifetime with her staid fiancée—who’s disinterested in sex—no longer seems quite so appealing.

Bannor, Devan, Stefon and Tempos are utterly shocked to learn their destined mate is already betrothed to someone else. They are determined to win her heart—by seducing her body in every way and position, individually and together. After all, she feels the lusty call of their bond as strongly as they do.

For Cindra, choosing the Spygians means a lifetime of danger and uncertainty, for they are practically at war with the Malucons. But the delicious temptation of four hot-blooded Spygians could prove too much to resist.

Chapter One

Bannor guided his pod mates, Devan, Stefon and Tempos, down the winding dirt road leading into the center of the hot, arid town. Passing by a stable of camays, squat four-legged beasts used for riding, they paused at the edge of the main square.

Everything was covered in dust and sand, from the wooden, two- and three-story structures surrounding the square, to the stone tables and benches right in the center. Particularly notable was the distinct lack of electricity…as if they’d somehow traveled through not only space, but also time.

“This is it?” whispered Devan, his second-in-command.

“Yes,” Bannor responded, his tone low. “My homing senses tell me our mate resides here.”

It seemed inconceivable. The town was small, holding probably no more than fifty people, and the inhabitants of this world had no technological advancement, mostly by choice, since they believed simplicity was equal to godliness. Who would think a Spygian mate would be found here? But a Spygian pod leader’s mating instincts never led him wrong. The woman meant to be theirs was here…somewhere. And they were going to find her.

“I suppose it’s a good thing you required us to change before transporting down from our ship,” Stefon said after a short silence. “I fear we would otherwise stand out greatly amongst the Keulots.”

“Yes.” Bannor glanced down at the outfit he’d donned, the traditional dress of the inhabitants of the planet Keulot. The tan breeches and white, button-down shirt with long sleeves covered far more than the traditional white loincloths he and his brethren normally wore, but he knew from research that the Keulots were a conservative people. The men wore outfits like this, while the women donned long dresses. The last thing he wanted to do was offend their mate before she had the opportunity to get to know them.

“Who would have thought?” Standing beside Devan, Tempos let out a grin. “Our mate is a Keulot.”

Bannor fought the urge to smile as well. He had to admit, in the many months since he’d been chosen as the leader of this pod in the ritual contests of his people and bonded with his pod mates, he’d oft wondered what their mate would be like. Would she be soft? Kind? Beautiful?

No doubt she would be all these things. Keulots were known for their slim figures and elfin features—long ears and slanted eyes. Such a woman would no doubt make them a good mate.

“So…which one is she?” Devan asked.

Frowning, Bannor searched the small crowd in the square, waiting for the telltale thump in his chest and soar of his blood that would signify he’d found their mate. His gaze passed one, then two young Keulot women.

Where was she?

Finally his eyes traveled to the far end of the square. To her. He froze, shock permeating his every pore.

“By severn, I don’t believe it!”

“What?” Devan exclaimed.

“What is it?” Stefon echoed.

His gaze locked on the woman striding through the square, her steps long and assured. Bannor allowed himself time to study her. She wore a long-sleeved, light-blue dress with buttons from the neck down to the center of her stomach. The skirt of the dress flowed to mid-ankle, revealing her serviceable brown boots. But it wasn’t the conservative outfit that caught his eye. Rather, it was her features. She was tall and lithe, with honey-blonde hair and tawny skin that let off a subtle but unmistakable glow. Her breasts were far more substantial than a Keulot woman’s, as well.

Also By Ria Candro

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