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FORCED MATE was written as a light-hearted (but intelligent) futuristic interpretation of the Graeco-Roman myth of Persephone who was abducted by the dark god Dis (or Hades) and carried down into the underworld.

Instead of being abducted by a grim Greek god, the heroine -- Djinni-vera Persephone Berengaria Caissa Scheherazade Igraine (all her names are predictions)-- is abducted by the extremely powerful and notorious alien Prince Tarrant-Arragon who passes himself off as a god in his own world.

He knows that she belongs to a rival branch of the Royal family, and that she hates him and would either kill herself or him before she became his Mate, so he does not tell her who he is. Eventually, she gives him a cuddly, non-threatening nickname: "Tigger" which he finds rather charming.

Aliens intercept human satellite TV. Tarrant-Arragon assumes that Sean Connery era James Bond films are a reliable guide to how to court a nice young lady. Eventually, he tries Roger Moore Bond techniques, rigs a fortune telling and a seduction scene ensues.

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"Tigger, it might be romantic to . . ." She closed her eyes in shyness. "Perhaps, we could bathe each oth--"

Fully clothed, not even breaking stride to kick off his high boots, he plunged into the murk-bath with her.

"My God!" she spluttered, as soon as they surfaced and she could draw breath. "Do males of your species routinely half-drown your females during sex?"

It was a feeble attempt to make light of how much he'd frightened her. Shocked silly, her eyes adjusted faster than her mind. Below them, his robes drifted out in the slow, sinister diamond of a Manta Ray shark, casting shadows upwards, and effervescing tiny air bubbles like black sequins.

"I never knew the bath had underwater floodlights!" she added distractedly before she caught her train of thought. "Look here, Tigger, I'm not at all sure about this--"

"I know," Tigger said breathing hard and stroking her throat with trembling fingers, "You're afraid of what I'm going to do."

"No. Yes. Well, you might have warned me. I agreed to let you have sex any way you want, but I need preparation--"

"I know you do." He unsheathed a carnal grin. Under murk-water, the fingertips of his left hand traced lines of fire over her belly and her insides shivered. Then he dipped his fingers into the opening of her coatdress and tugged. "Lots and lots."

"That's not what I meant." She didn't know how to ask what an An'Koori did when his moment came. "Tigger, don't you think this is dangerous? You may be in your element, but I--"

"I'm going to give you a very thorough seeing to. But first . . . Ahhh, I come first." His thumb circled a button at her waist and she felt the caress as though he'd stroked her between her legs. "Well? Your dress is ruined anyway. Shall I ruin it some more? A lot more?"

"I don't--"

"Don't talk. Kiss me."

He angled her face up to his, and Djinni had the oddest impression that she'd been ordered to do the sexual equivalent of rubbing noses with a tiger. However, she'd promised to do what he wanted, so she took his darkly stubbled jaw between her hands. Shyly, she bent forward, and touched her lips to his.



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