The Forbidden

By: Jessie Donovan

(Kelderan Runic Warriors #4)

The Forbidden Synopsis:

Princess Kalahn tro el Vallen has wanted a purpose beyond smiling and marrying some strategic connection her entire life. So when her brother proposes a way for her to help protect their family, she jumps at the chance and agrees to training. What she doesn’t expect is for her trainer to be the male she kissed years ago and hasn’t been able to forget since.

Ryven Xanna is not only one of the best warrior trainers in the Kelderan Army, but he’s also best friend to a prince. When his best friend invites him to participate in a secret operation that will rid the planet of traitors, Ryven doesn’t hesitate to join. True, the female he’s supposed to train is the same one he kissed in the past and wishes to kiss again, but he has the fortitude to resist her and complete his assignment. Only then can he ensure his mother’s future in the colony and the safety of his friend.

As Ryven and Kalahn work together, the pull between them only grows until suddenly they’re connected in a way that they never could’ve foreseen. However, that connection could end up killing one of them if they continue with their plans. Will they both find a way to survive their mission and be with each other? Or, will duty trump all, including the life of one of them?

Chapter One

Princess Kalahn tro el Vallen clenched her fists at her side and did her best to pack away her emotions as she walked down one corridor and then another, toward her brother's office.

A few hours ago, she'd been part of a video conference with her eldest brother, Keltor, her father, and some family members she'd never known about, complete with a grown niece and three half siblings.

The shock of her new family was bad enough, but the sight of her father's frail body struggling to sit up had only made his mortality that much more real. He was dying, plain and simple.

She'd known, of course, but knowing it and seeing it were two different things. While they had never been close, she still remembered him telling stories about her mother, his eyes lighting up with fondness. Since Kalahn had been young when her mother had died, she'd relied on other people's memories for comfort. Recently, her father had even started to type up and send more stories to her. And soon, she wouldn't even have that.

Tears prickled her eyes and she blinked them away. She wanted nothing more than to curl up inside her quarters and cry. But her elder brother on Jasvar—Kason—had summoned her. And she knew that if she ignored him, Kason would send guards to forcibly retrieve her.

While many would dismiss Kalahn for not only being a female, but especially for being a princess, Kalahn had plans for the future. Plans that required her to somewhat behave and not upset her brother at every opportunity.

She finally arrived at her brother's office, entered, and slammed the door behind her. It was the closest to defiance she could muster without angering him too much.

Her brother looked up with a frown. "Can't you ever act like a normal person and knock?"

With her head high, she strode toward his desk. "I'm a princess. So, no, I'll never be able to act like a normal person. I may as well play the part." Kason grunted, but she spoke again before he could. "One of your guards said you wanted to see me about something?"

He put down his notescreen and studied her. "Are you okay?"

She resisted blinking at her brother's concern. Even a year ago, he never would've bothered to ask her. His human bride really had rubbed off on him. "Honestly? No. Our father is dying and we suddenly have two sisters and a brother we never knew about. Not to mention a niece and nephew only a few years my junior. It's almost as if my entire life has been a lie. However, a Kelderan royal must always put duty above all else and keep their emotions in check. Isn't that what you and Keltor always say?"

Kason stood. "It's just me, Kalahn. There's no need to put on a brave face."

She raised her brows. "Of course I must. Or you'll try to lock me away again."

Sighing, he shook his head. "That was for one day, to ensure you didn't run away before the video conference."

Trailing her fingers along the edge of his desk, she replied, "I wouldn't run so much if you merely asked me to do things instead of ordering me, brother."

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