The Prince’s Consort
by Antonia Aquilante
M/M Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: October 16, 2015
Length: Novel (290 pages)
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Legends tell of large cats defending the principality of Tournai, but such creatures have been lost to time.
Or have they?
Prince Philip inherited the throne at a young age, and since then, his life has centered around ruling his country and resisting those pressuring him to take a wife and conceive an heir—forcing him to hide his attraction to men. When kind-hearted Amory is offered to the prince in exchange for more time for Amory’s father to complete a commission, both Philip and Amory are horrified. But Philip agrees to keep Amory at the palace, where they gradually become friends, then lovers. For the first time in his life, Philip is free to share not only his heart, but the magical shape-shifting ability that runs in the royal bloodline.
Neither Amory nor Philip imagined falling in love, and they certainly don’t expect the lengths those who oppose their relationship will go to keep them apart—maybe even resorting to murder.
What makes your stories different from other authors out there?
The Prince’s Consort is my first published novel. I’m new as a published author, though not as a reader, to the genre, so this question is a little tough. There are so many amazing stories out there. I just try to write stories that people can get swept up in – fantasy worlds they want to explore, characters that seem real despite the fantasy setting, and love stories they can believe in.
When did you first consider yourself an author?
I’ve written for most of my life and wanted to be an author since I was twelve years old, but the first time I called myself a writer was when I made the decision to seriously pursue publication after putting it off for a number of reasons for far too long. I didn’t actually call myself an author until I signed my first contract.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get past it?
I’ve had days (plenty of days!) when the words don’t want to come or nothing in the story seems to be working, but I hate to call it writer’s block and I try not to let it stop me. I try to just write through it. If one scene isn’t working, I’ll write another that I see more clearly. I do my best to get words on the page. I can always go back and fix them later if they’re not the best words, but I need something there to fix.
If your writing was translated, which would be your preference: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?
Movie or TV. I think fantasy worlds translate well on screen.
Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?
Everyone knows by now that I write romance. Some know more about the stories than others and only a few have read anything I’ve written so far, but everyone has been supportive. My mom especially. She has always believed in me and my writing, and she reads everything I write.
Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?
Not completely, but I’ve certainly taken traits or characteristics from people I’ve seen or met along the way. I think most writers probably do – inspiration can be found anywhere! My cousin’s husband, who has been really supportive of my writing, wants me to name a character after him, but he may get more than he bargained for if I do!
Who is your favorite author and why?
I can never choose one favorite author. There are so many whose books I love for various reasons – because their writing is amazing, because I love the worlds and the characters, because I can escape into their stories, because I learned from them, because they got me through a tough time. It makes it impossible for me to choose one.
Boxers, briefs, commando? What’s your favorite way to “dress” your man?
Depends on the man.
Do you as an author concentrate on one genre? Or do you feel like you should try to find your voice amongst the genres?
I’ve been writing fantasy romance lately, but I have written in other genres in the past (though none of it’s published) and I have some ideas for stories outside fantasy romance. I’ll go where the characters take me.
And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?
Coming up next is the second Tournai book, The Artist’s Masquerade, which will be out from Dreamspinner in December or January. Right now, I’m finishing up revisions to the third Tournai book so I can submit it to Dreamspinner. Then I’ll start writing the fourth Tournai book. And I have a lot of ideas for after that!
*Note: The Artist’s Masquerade actually just released today! I’m a bad host as I’m late posting this interview so she wasn’t sure of the exact date when I interviewed her. But I can tell you both books are wonderful reads! Loved them (yes, read them already, lol).
Once they finished dessert, he stood and held out a hand to Amory. They took their refilled wineglasses and went back to the sitting room, fingers twined together. A fire crackled in the hearth, banishing the evening’s slight chill. Without speaking, they settled close together on the couch in front of the fire, the amber cushions soft around them. They were quiet for a while, the first silence between them since dinner began, but the silence wasn’t uncomfortable, though that tension was still there. They had talked and would talk more, but Philip didn’t feel the need to fill the quiet. So they sipped wine out of goblets made by Amory’s family business and watched the flames dance in the hearth.
He looked at Amory often. He liked looking at him, liked that each time he did, he discovered something else. The glow of Amory’s skin in firelight. The thick sweep of Amory’s lashes as he blinked. Amory’s gaze met his and held, as a faint blush colored Amory’s cheeks. Slowly, he reached out, took Amory’s glass, and set it down on the table with his own. Then he turned back to Amory and gently cupped his face. Amory’s tongue darted out to moisten his lips, and Philip had to bite back a groan. He leaned forward and pressed his mouth to Amory’s.
At the first touch of their lips, Amory moaned and pushed forward, hands coming up to clutch at Philip’s shoulders. Philip gave in to temptation and deepened the kiss, sweeping his tongue into Amory’s mouth to explore and taste. Amory tasted sweet, of red wine and the cream from dessert and something that had to be Amory himself and was utterly delicious.
Philip couldn’t get enough of the taste, of that sweet mouth under his, so responsive and giving. He gathered Amory close. Philip told himself they would only kiss, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t touch a little, couldn’t see what Amory’s body felt like against his own. Amory came to him eagerly, pressing so close he was almost in Philip’s lap, wine and kisses overcoming any reticence Amory might have had. That eagerness was thrilling, heady.
He moaned, feeling Amory’s lithe body pressed up against his. Even through their clothes the sensation was incredible. He wanted skin on skin, but they couldn’t that night. He pulled back for a breath, to slow them down, to keep himself from devouring Amory. One look at Amory’s passion-glazed eyes and swollen lips, and his resolve was tested to the limit. Drawn back to Amory, he brushed light kisses along the line of Amory’s jaw, down his neck. Amory gasped when he reached one spot, so he lingered, kissing, licking.
Amory’s hands cupped Philip’s face and pulled him up into another kiss. Amory took control, and oh, could he kiss. Philip felt a bolt of jealousy for whoever had been kissing Amory for him to be so skilled, even as he pressed closer to Amory.
Didn’t matter. Amory was kissing him.
About the Author
Antonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.
She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.
Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the New Jersey Romance Writers.