It’s kind of strange to call The Warlord’s Concubine a Paranormal Romance. When I hear paranormal, I’m still thinking of ghosts and the occult. Of modern day Satanists and wiccans.
Yet calling it a fantasy romance makes me think of, like, a vacation cruise where you meet a gorgeous person and instantly are swept into this beautiful, wonderful thing with them. Fantasy is more widely used to describe our fancies and fantasies, more so than the genre of fantastical things out of fairy tales.
Phrases like high fantasy, low fantasy, epic fantasy… they’re still only well known to people that grew up reading scifi/fantasy in the 80s and 90s, when wizards and dragons were more popular than vampires and demons.
We grew up reading those types of books, though, and they’ve inspired us a lot in our writing. We’ve never really been drawn to urban fantasy in books (though we love shows like Buffy!), but there are themes there that we love to explore. Especially the dark and intense relationships.
So we deem The Warlord’s Concubine as a paranormal romance because language is all about conveying an idea clearly to as many people as you can. Our books tend to be dark and gritty, like the gothic novels that Paranormal romance was born of. They tend to feature taboo relationships between humans and something otherworldly. Demonic. Evil. Fantastical.
But in the end, it’s always about the characters. About their relationship and how it develops. About how it changes – and how it changes them.
The Warlord’s Concubine, for us, was about taking a lot of really common themes of dominance, submission, fantasy, and really making it into something unique. The relationship between the two main characters – Mirella and the God-King – starts out as something typical and blooms into something deeper.
They scrape away the surface of one another and get to know that raw need beneath.
It isn’t the sweep you off your feet romance. It isn’t the doting man and the happy woman, falling flawlessly in love. It’s dirty, and it’s extreme, but it’s what works for them.
That’s been what we’ve always liked exploring. Imperfect relationships, love that adapts to the partners, affection that’s shown in subtle and personal ways.
So maybe paranormal romance is what describes us and our work best. It’s dark, and gritty, and filled with powerful emotions and beings that are fantastical. Yet the relationships, the core of the books, they’re relatable and honest.
The Warlord’s Concubine by J.E. Keep & M. Keep
Mirella often wonders what her life would’ve been like had she been born a princess, rather than the property of one.
When a dark warlord from the north conquers her princess’ kingdom, however, he has plans for the dainty young future-queen. It makes the question all the more poignant, because now, more is at stake than just her rough treatment, but love and lust as well.
The Warlord’s Concubine is the tale of two women and the dark warlord that dictates their fate.
As an indentured servant and handmaiden to the princess for much of her life, the middle-aged Mirella sees the conquest of the land as an opportunity to elevate herself. Though as she earns the trust of their conquerors, she finds her own nature challenged as well. A life of callous disregard has made her hard, but as she battles the princess’ will for the first time and finds new allies and friends, does she have what it takes to win the love and favour of the brutal warlord? Will love and friendship be her downfall? Or will her station in life yet again be her undoing?
Caution: The Warlord’s Concubine is a dark fantasy novel that contains explicit scenes, and a twisted romance between a handmaiden and a God.
She couldn’t recall at how long she might’ve been staring at that statue when she was disturbed, her gaze lost on that harsh stone depiction, entranced by the generous proportions of his muscles and loins. It was, as far as she could tell, true to form, but lacking in the expert subtleties a court artisan would bring to it.
“Most don’t even dare to look at it,” came that otherworldly voice, so richly masculine, irradiating such strength and command in a manner she’d never heard before.
In the torchlight of the tent she could make him out all the clearer. His charcoal skin was smooth and flawless. His face so chiselled and handsome. Hair long and perfectly shiny. Her first guess only seemed all the more right; a god. Though the dark clothes he wore, looking a blend of velvet and leather, mixed with his piercing dark gaze and skin, it didn’t take much guessing to place as what kind of deity he might be.
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