Zeraac’s Miracle

Ariel Ripa needs a miracle for her daughter on Earth.

On Belizair, only a miracle will provide Zeraac d’Amato and Komet d’Vesti with a shared bond-mate.

Neither Zeraac, Komet, nor Ariel expect to get what their hearts most desire. But when Zeraac travels to Earth at the request of his brother’s human bond-mate, he rescues Ariel and finds the answer to his own and Komet’s prayers—just as they’re the answer to hers.

By Council law Ariel must agree to a binding ceremony of her own free will and can only know the truth about Zeraac and Komet once they’re in the transport chamber. To follow the rules would mean the death of Ariel’s daughter. While to break the law could mean the setting aside of the mate-bond and the possibility of exile for the two men. For Zeraac and Komet, there is no choice other than to risk their honor and their hearts for Ariel and her young daughter.

Through love and hope born from the depths of darkness and despair, the three find something more rare than the precious Ylan stones they wear on their wrists—a miracle that will change their lives.

Please note: A previous edition of this story was published by Ellora’s Cave.

Connected Books: Fallon Mates

To avoid extinction, there’s only one hope for the winged inhabitants of the planet Belizair. Come to Earth and claim the perfect, genetically-matched mate, the catch—it has to be done in pairs, a feather-winged Amato must share a lover with a bat-winged Vesti. The stories set in the Fallon Mates series can be read as stand-alones, though like any series, the enjoyment is deepened for having met the characters who overlap from story to story.

Book 1

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

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Read an Excerpt

Zeraac picked up another photograph, Kaylee as a toddler, dressed up and in the arms of her policeman father, his uniform and expression giving the image a cool feel. It was the last picture in which he appeared.

Ariel took it from him, surprising him by putting it down so the image lay flat against the wood of the bookcase. “Colin was killed almost a year ago, while he was undercover, investigating a suspected mafia leader involved in selling weapons and drugs. The man’s name was Alexi Sulemanov. The district attorney had a witness to Colin’s murder, Alexi’s girlfriend—a teacher named Krista Thomas—but she disappeared. And so did Alexi. They’re probably both back in Russia, enjoying the good life now. Or maybe he killed her and fled the country.”

Zeraac’s fingers circled Ariel’s wrist. “Alexi is dead.”

She stilled, turning so she could meet Zeraac’s eyes, probing them for the truth she heard in his voice. “How can you be so certain?”

“My brother—” Zeraac paused, uncertain how to proceed, how much to reveal. If they succeeded in getting Ariel and Kaylee to Winseka, they would soon encounter Krista as well as the other human bond-mates who now called the bridge city home.

“Your brother…” Krista prompted, her body language warning that suspicion would soon make her draw away from him, widening a gap he desperately wanted to close until there were no secrets between them.

“My brother, Adan, is involved in law enforcement. The man who murdered your husband was killed by Adan’s partner, Lyan d’Vesti, in a cabin where Krista was being held prisoner. But rather than free Krista from fear, she knew Alexi’s death would only make his family members want to avenge him, striking out at both her and those she cared about. She sought protection and my brother and his partner offered it.”

Ariel could think of nothing to say. Her emotions were a confused jumble, her mind scrambling back to those moments when they’d been sitting in Peter’s police car. Zeraac couldn’t have known who she was then, and yet, it seemed more than coincidence that his brother knew of Alexi, had offered his protection to the woman who’d witnessed Colin’s murder.

She rubbed her forehead and Zeraac’s hand was instantly there, making small, soothing circles against her skin. And she let him do it, let him push away her feelings of confusion and her half-formed questions, let him ease her mind with his gentle touch.

In a perfect world, Alexi Sulemanov would have been tried and convicted, sent to jail where he would suffer for all the misery he’d caused—but in the real world, she suspected his money would free him from paying for his crimes.

“I’m glad Alexi’s dead,” she said, leaning into Zeraac’s touch, not resisting when he lifted her into his arms and moved to the couch with her, sitting down and settling her on his lap, the hard ridge of his erection pressed against her buttocks. She closed her eyes, going lax against him, savoring his warmth, the security she felt when he was near. “But he didn’t take Colin away from me. Or from Kaylee. The disease did that, a long time ago.”

Zeraac acknowledged the comment by cupping her face and lowering his own, by whispering a soft kiss against her lips, teasing her with the gentle press of his mouth to hers, by the light stroke of his tongue. She whimpered and shifted, her arms going around his neck, her mouth opening under his, inviting him to deepen the kiss, to offer more of himself.

“Ariel,” he whispered, his heart thundering in his chest, his body shaking slightly with the need to lose himself in her sweet scent and feminine flesh. There was no way he could turn away from what she was offering, especially now, when he knew she was his to claim as a bond-mate. His tongue delved into her mouth, dueling with hers even as he maneuvered them so she was lying underneath him, his thigh wedged between hers, his body moving against hers.

She whimpered into his mouth, pressing herself against him and eating at his mouth as though she was starving for the touch and taste of him. And he responded by pushing his hand underneath her shirt and the strange article of clothing that covered her breasts, by tweaking and tugging at her nipple, masculine pride surging through him at how responsive she was, how her body arched into his.

Pleasure ripped through Ariel. Longing. Desire. The need to be held, touched, loved by a man. Not just by any man. By him. He’d taken her emotions by storm. Awakened a part of her that slept deeply.

“Zeraac,” she whispered. Wanting him to take charge. To take responsibility. To make her forget—at least for a little while. And yet even as she thought it, a part of her pulled back, knowing she wasn’t ready to go any further with him.

“Easy,” he whispered, as though sensing the beginnings of her panic and uncertainty. “Only this, Ariel. Just this.”

She closed her eyes, unable to stop a soft whimper from escaping as he settled more heavily on her, the feel of his erection making her vulva swell, her clit ache for more than a clothing-shrouded rub, one body against another.

His hand speared into her hair, holding her in place as his tongue dueled with hers, pressing and retreating, coaxing and commanding, making her feverish with desire.

Tears of need escaped and she widened her legs, encircling his hips and pressing into him, rocking against him, her clit so engorged that she wanted to push her jeans down and beg him to suck it, to lave it with his tongue, to give her release.

But the words remained trapped in her throat and she let them stay there, accepting something less and grinding against him, arching into him until his hand moved from her hair, joining the other one under her shirt, both going to her nipples and as if sensing her desire for just a little pain with her pleasure, tightening on them, the extra stimulation enough to make her climax underneath him.

With a husky laugh Zeraac finally had to lift his head so that they both could breathe, and almost immediately the spell was broken. Heat rushed to Ariel’s face. Guilt. And he knew her thoughts were on Kaylee.

“I…can’t,” Ariel started, but Zeraac leaned in and stopped her with a kiss, exploring her mouth in a leisurely fashion this time, gentling her, calming her as though the fury of what had just happened between them had not left him hard and aching.

When he lifted his lips from hers, his gaze was tender, soft. “I ask nothing more than just to be able to kiss and touch you.”

Her face filled with uncertainty and embarrassment and something much more precious to Zeraac—trust and caring. “I’ve left you…hurting.”

He laughed, unable to resist brushing his mouth against hers again and saying, “I’ll survive. A little pain beforehand only heightens the anticipation and deepens the satisfaction.”

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Read the Reviews

“If other erotic romances are just dessert then this book is a seven-course meal—plus dessert! The characters are beautifully written with just enough flaws to make them soulful and real. Zeraac is sterile even beyond the virus that has damaged the two races while Komet has the family shame as an albatross around his neck. Ariel has survivor’s guilt about the death of her policeman husband, even though their marriage wasn’t working, and is shocked to find herself drawn to these two men. Last but certainly not least, Kaylee is a nine-year old little girl who is dying a slow painful death. She captures the hearts of Zeraac and Komet instantly. It will break your heart when she asks Zeraac if he’s come to take her to heaven. This book builds on the first one from the FALLON MATES series and I do recommend reading them in order. The title, ZERAAC’S MIRACLE, is really misleading because before this book is over, each of the main characters gets a miracle.”

“As a sequel to BINDING KRISTA, the reader finds out so much more about the Hotaling virus and the toll it’s taking on the rest of the population. We also see what daily life on Belizair is like, the ruling council and its politics. All of this back story is skillfully woven into the wooing of Ariel, along with some hottest sex scenes I’ve read in a while. Ms. Strong really has a knack for turning up the sexual tension. She also doesn’t skimp on the emotional bonding that these three need to do to make the romance believable. Ariel is first and foremost a mother of a child that has been sick most of her life. That she falls for these guys that so quickly and completely take on the daddy role, doesn’t surprise me at all. In an unusual move, the romantic drama in this story is about the two guys’ struggle to feel worthy of having a mate. It plays out subtly in small jealousies and possessive feelings each man harbors in their sexual relationship with Ariel. She doesn’t appear to be aware of it but she definitely reaps the rewards in the bedroom singly and in ménage!

“Another major plot point has to do with the consequences of breaking the council law by bringing Ariel and Kaylee to Belizair before bonding with her. The twist towards the end is just brilliant. I ran the gamut of emotions while reading this book. I was angered by injustice, heartbroken by the little girl’s suffering and fell in love with both of these alpha sweeties by the end. Ms. Strong has created a rich environment with the possibility for many sequels. For all these reasons, I find ZERAAC’S MIRACLE deserving of the Gold Star Award … I can’t wait for the next installment!”

— Joy Herrington, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

“FALLON MATES is a series I have loved ever since I first read BINDING KRISTA. ZERAAC’S MIRACLE has further pulled me into the amazing world of Belizair and the characters that inhabit it. I can easily visualize this world of winged men and women resembling bats and angels and the despair that the virus unleashed in their world caused. ZERAAC’S MIRACLE restored hope to not only Zeraac, but also Komet, Ariel, and Kaylee. Each of these people abandoned hope of having any of their dreams coming true until they find one another, even then, they must fight to remain together. Jory Strong’s FALLON MATES is a series that I hope will continue for a long time to come. ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is a book you’ll want to add to your keeper shelf.”

— Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies

“I vastly enjoyed reading Jory Strong’s latest FALLON MATES story, ZERAAC’S MIRACLE. There was never a dull moment within this blazing read. The novel had it all – love, betrayal, sorrow, envy, comical relief, anguish, wonder and most of all enormous passion. Both Zeraac and Komet were deliciously handsome and oozed great sex appeal. It was not hard to understand why Ariel could not resist their charm. Readers, be prepared to be in a constant state of arousal because each sexual encounter is mega H-O-T! I will be eagerly waiting on Ms. Strong’s next FALLON MATES’ installment. I am thrilled to honor ZERAAC’S MIRACLE with 5 Angels and a Recommended Read!”

— Contessa, Fallen Angel Reviews

“ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is such a beautiful, passionate story. The desperation Ariel, Zeraac, and Komet feel in their search for love and happiness is heart-wrenching. But the love they find in each other is perfect and touching. This is a truly heartfelt tale full of acceptance, passion, and love. I was captivated by the characters and story line. ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is tender, loving, erotic and consuming.”

— Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed

“Beginning from page one and extending through to the end, ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is fantastic. Immediately, I fell in love with the high-spirited Kaylee. I wanted Zeraac and Komet to break all the rules in order to save her life. My heart went out to her mother Ariel. After all the pain she experienced, she deserved the love of a few good men. Zeraac d’Amato and Komet d’Vesti are perfect bond-mates for her. Zeraac is strong, dangerous, and sexy while Komet is intelligent, ridiculously gorgeous, and sensitive. Both men are compassionate and willing to do anything to please Ariel and save Kaylee’s life. The sex in this novel is blazing hot. How could it not be with two ready and willing men to choose from or have at the same time? This work of paranormal fiction is fresh as well as entertaining. The d’Amato and the d’Vesti species are magical. I gladly give ZERAAC’S MIRACLE my stamp of approval.”

— Suni Farrar, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

“ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is the second book in the FALLON MATES series and Jory Strong has written another scorcher! Your heart just breaks for Ariel and you will fall in love with Zeraac as well as Komet. A pair of men who will risk all for a child not theirs and a woman they both will love. You feel you are living this story through the pain, the hope and the fight to be a family. I just hope there are more FALLON MATES in the works and I wonder if Ms. Strong can find as creative a “cure” for the women of Belizair.”

— Holly, Euro-Reviews

“ZERAAC’S MIRACLE has heart and depth. For a new twist on the popular ménage a trois theme you can’t possibly go wrong with this new release from Ms. Strong. I’ve read everything she has written thus far and have yet to be disappointed. Sizzling love scenes, unforgettable characters and tight plotting are sure to please even the most finicky reader. Zeraac’s story is light on action and heavy on the interaction between him, Ariel, Komet and Kaylee — which I loved. If you don’t find yourself sighing with pleasure at the end of this story then read it again. Trust me it is well worth a second, third, and even a fourth read”

— Charli, Erotic-Escapades

“ZERAAC’S MIRACLE is a phenomenal and spellbinding read. Jory Strong has once again created a story you will be unable to put down. The world of Belizair, along with the mythology and back story surrounding the Amato and Vesti provides an intriguing backdrop for which to expand upon the growing love in this new family. Zeraac, Komet, and Ariel are all very loving characters, willing to do whatever it takes to remain together. Their love and caring for one another shines through the pages, whether it is during one of their erotic lovemaking sessions, or when they are playing with Kaylee, watching her heal and grow. Their determination to let nothing stand in the way of their happiness is heartrending and poignant. The plight on Belizair is also touching and is sure to provide for many more stories, many more new connections, and of course, many more sexy alpha heroes to admire. Don’t pass this story up. It is another great read from an author whose imagination seemingly knows no bounds.”

— Sarah W, The Romance Studio

“The plot of this story flows smoothly and seamlessly while moving at a rapid pace that is befitting to the storyline. The main characters are well developed and their interaction with each other makes this tantalizing tale of a unique family bond intriguing. Zeraac and Komet are wonderfully sexy men and Ariel is a perfect foil for them. The love scenes are hotter than molten lava. Ms. Strong’s writing never fails to capture my attention for many hours of reading pleasure. I highly recommend ZERAAC’S MIRACLE to anyone looking for a fantastic futuristic story. More FALLON MATES please!

— Susan White, Coffee Time Romance

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