Cover and Excerpt Reveal: Warrior King by Eden Winters

So excited to be able to share the cover and an excerpt for Eden Winters' Warrior King, which is available for pre-order and releases August 25th!


One man is the son of a traitor. The other is the son of a tyrannical emperor. Together, they discover the fine line between duty and justice.

Commander Draylon Aravaid doesn't hide his lineage as the emperor's son but doesn't advertise his origins either. Loyal to a fault, he relies on his hard-won reputation rather than his family name, which his duplicitous father uses to full advantage.

Prince Yarif DiRici trained his entire life to become a consort in a political marriage--all while secretly yearning for love. The death of his father and older brother suddenly thrusts an unwanted crown upon his head, and Yarif into a whirlwind of dangerous plans within plans as he and Draylon are forced into marriage.

The political game is set, and Yarif is kidnapped. It's up to Draylon to mount a daring rescue to prevent all-out war.

The two men must get past each other's mistrust, find common ground, and defeat an enemy neither knew they had...and may not survive!


A cleric stood at the altar, wearing an insignia Yarif didn’t recognize. The priest of some foreign god? Figured. Not that Yarif really cared who uttered the life-changing words. 

Four soldiers guarded the chapel door, with several more stationed around the room. A man close enough in looks to Draylon to be a brother sat on one side of the room. The crown prince? The crown prince was here? At Yarif’s wedding?

Well, at his brother’s wedding, Yarif supposed. A few honored servants sat on the DiRici side of the room. 

Yarif wasn’t to have the grand wedding he’d once dreamed of. No splendor, no celebration. No happiness. As Yarif entered by the chapel’s front door, Draylon came in through the side, followed by Captain Rufe and the emperor himself. 

“Whoa! Is that the emperor?” Adrina asked. 

Yarif nodded, swallowing hard. The emperor. Here. The man who’d launched the battle that cost Yarif so dearly. No, his father’s betrayal started the issue. The emperor merely put down an uprising. Seeing Draylon here, now, with his father and brother in attendance, brought home not only the family resemblance but the depths to which Yarif was out of his element. 

Since a young age, he’d been told that a duke was the greatest he could hope for as a younger son. That no one else will have you went unsaid. Now, he was about to enter into a binding agreement with the emperor’s son, a powerful commander in his own right. 

Never before had Yarif felt so small—or so determined. He’d do what he must. Hoping no one noticed him trembling in his boots. 

All three newcomers stood near the altar, looking back toward Yarif. No pipers, no harps, no lutes. Silence instead of music. A funeral dirge might be more appropriate. Taking the twins’ hands, Yarif strode to the front of the room, stopping opposite Draylon. His heart lodged in his throat. 

Adrina and Emile jostled for position, each wanting to mirror the emperor. A pointed look from Yarif quelled their foolishness. 

Only then did he take a good look at the man he’d known a mere handful of days and was now expected to marry. 

Draylon had taken time to shave and have his hair neatly cut, the sides very short and slightly longer on top of his head. He wore similar attire to Yarif’s but in shades of green. He was… heart-stoppingly beautiful, despite the ragged scar across his face and what appeared to be the unfortunate Aravaid family nose.

Beautiful, yet brutal. Yarif couldn’t for a minute forget he’d been forcibly tied to a warmonger. No matter how good the man’s pedigree. 

Or his body. 

Coldness hid in the depths of Draylon’s eyes, causing Yarif to shiver, until Draylon met Yarif’s gaze and the tension softened momentarily. Yarif gave the briefest flicker of a smile, which fell when he noticed the emperor’s stony disapproval. 

In the royal Renvallian wedding of Yarif’s dreams, a harpist would play, or perhaps a violinist. Then the couple’s closest relatives would file in, taking seats of honor near the front of the chapel. 

Yarif could almost smell incense burning, mixing with various perfumes. Happy faces would turn up as he passed, and he’d be nearly overcome by nerves and happiness. 

The cleric cleared his throat and began in broken Renvallian, “We here today before farm and friends on this monuments occasion, connecting two of the empire’s most illusion farms.” 

Close enough to a proper introduction to the ceremony, Yarif supposed, if he could keep from laughing at the cleric’s translation mistakes. 

The cleric turned to the emperor. “Who sacking this marriage?”

“You know damned well that I sanction this union. Now get on with it.” The scowl on the emperor’s face might have scared bears from a feast. 

So much for making Yarif’s marriage a special day. "Sacking” came closer to accurate than “sanction,” he supposed. 

The cleric’s face pinked, his mouth twisting in annoyance. “Yes, Your Imperial Majesty. Commander Draylon Aravaid, son of Emperor Soland Aravaid. Do you bound into this combination of your own free willfulness, and of your own free willfulness do you gift your guarantees?” 

Odd that Draylon’s princely title wasn’t used. Then again, Draylon was a king now, in his own right. 

Yarif’s heart ached. He’d been the last DiRici king, so easily ending a centuries-old legacy with the stroke of a pen. Now to complete his disgrace by marrying the enemy.

Couldn’t they have found a better cleric? 

The silence seemed to stretch forever but likely only lasted a few heartbeats. Yarif whooshed out a sigh of relief when Draylon’s answer came. 

Draylon’s voice never wavered when he said, “By my own free will do I join in this union and make these vows, pledging myself to Prince Yarif DiRici.”

The cleric smiled, bobbed his head at Emperor Soland’s frown, then turned toward Yarif. “Prince Yarif DiRici—”

“Dee-richy,” Draylon corrected, winning respect points from Yarif.  

“Prince Yarif Dee-richy,” the cleric enunciated. “Son of the tardy King Lleval DiRici. Do you bound into this combination of your own free willfulness, and of your own free willfulness do you gift your guarantees?” 

Local custom called for the father's and mother’s names to be spoken. Better to keep quiet than to earn a growl from his future father-in-law. 

Yarif's heart pounded, and he fought not to wipe his sweaty palms on his clothing. Would he even be able to force words out of his clogged throat? He pulled in a deep breath. He could do this. “By my own free will do I enter this union and make these vows, pledging myself to Commander Draylon Aravaid.” Yarif echoed the title the cleric had used earlier. Yarif’s voice hardly quavered, though he’d been tempted to repeat the cleric’s bumbling wording. He glanced up to see a brief smile of reassurance from Draylon. Maybe this marriage wouldn’t be totally horrid. They might not be a love match, but they could perhaps become… friends. 

Or something less than enemies. 

Eden Winters' Warrior King is available for pre-order and releases August 25th!  You can also nab it in Kindle Unlimited on release day!