Catastrophic Attraction - Eve Langlais


She is the queen he’s been waiting for.

Roark wasn’t content with the way the world worked, so he made himself king and set about changing it. In the process, he acquired enemies who would stoop to anything, even attacking his daughter, to destroy him.

They’ll have to kill him first.

However, he’s just one man against an unknown enemy. Until he ends up with unexpected help in Casey, a woman who can slip into shadows with an ease that is uncanny—but more frightening is how well she fits into his life.

A king might not be able to win her heart, but what if she got to know the man?

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For every government that rises, one falls by the wayside…

There were many abandoned places scattered about New Earth. A few from the time when Ancient humans—numbering in the impossible billions—ruled the world. Those relics of another era gave glimpses of an opulent, less dangerous life.

A past long gone.

Since the Fall, New Earth was all about survival, and many failed in the harsh climate that emerged. Those that lived to count gray hairs had learned many valuable lessons. Never lower your guard. Never forget.

And another thing they learned young: recycle. Given the difficulties in building and the rarity of safe spots, new cities were often built with the stone of the old, meshed into a motley pattern held together with rebar and concrete. When complete, some covered their constructions in domes built to withstand even the harshest storms. Although that kind of fierce destructive weather happened more rarely outside the barren areas.

In these modern times, more than a few places allowed humans to survive outside a dome-controlled area. People could make anything into a home. The transient opted for collapsible tents. Those tending gardens learned to mortar stone for a more solid structure. Others without a steady supply of rocks got innovative. Mud mixed with foliage to provide stability for mud huts, treehouses created by branches woven in a pattern, old dwellings repurposed, and there were those who even lived on the deadly waters in iron beasts.

But that was now. To understand how humanity returned to surface living, you had to rewind a little to the dark years when the winds ravaged the surface and humanity went underground into caves and bunkers. In those burrows, a new type of society emerged. A stricter society because, after the Fall, humanity imploded. Violence erupted. Suicide, too. Desperation bred horrible acts.

It also forged certain individuals. Made some into leaders whose sole focus was survival. Harsh times called for harsh measures. From it was born the Enclave, and under their rule, humanity thrived underground.

When they emerged onto the surface, decades after they first went under, it was to find a new reality; toxic air and dirt, beasts changed by the radiation and harshness of the climate, and survivors who bore little resemblance to the humans underground. The Enclave’s tight fist on its citizens only tightened.

Fast forward through some lean years of building and learning to live with the land and fiefdoms began to appear all over, each with its own set of rules. When those fiefdoms collaborated, like the many kingdoms on the continent known as Ozz, or in the case of those ruled by the Enclave, a situation arose ripe for the abuse of power.

Quite literally. It turned out the Enclave wasn’t just the strongest of the humans, or the bossiest, they were those exhibiting the strongest psionic powers, a result of human evolution—and a deviancy in their genes. These Enclave elite were chosen because of their ability to do mental tricks, kinetics, even manipulation of the elements.

Worthiness had to be proven to join the Enclave ranks. Children were tested at birth and then again for the first few years of their life. Those with the strongest talents were given to Enclave families to be raised. The rest went to Academies, where they were sorted into careers depending on what the kingdom needed.

Leading each domain on the divided continent of Ozz, a queen or king, with a full court that ranged in rank. There was no leader over the Enclave. Each kingdom ruled itself, and the only contact between them was for trade. They had no need of alliance. Power decided rank.

Ordinary citizens, those who didn’t show a psionic ability—and didn’t display signs of the Deviant gene—obeyed the Enclave. At least, they did if they wanted to remain safe and coddled in a dome or behind protected walls. The Enclave citizens were taught