The Lottery-Excerpt

I don’t have time to be distracted by the brilliant Azalea Clark.

Even if she does make me ache with insatiable need.

The Lottery, an all-new steamy romance set with a futuristic twist from USA Today bestselling author Karpov Kinrade is available now!

What happens when the man who made the rules is the first to break them?

ZAE

I didn’t want to enter The Lottery.

Didn’t want to leave the Earth to burn.

But being paired off with a billionaire was the only way left to survive.

The algorithm said it would be a perfect match.

It forgot one thing.

Marek Volkav.

The billionaire.

The one who set all this up.

I despise him.

And now I also owe him my life.

Seriously…

F*ck Billionaires.

MAREK

I have one mission. Keep everyone alive.

I don’t have time to be distracted by the brilliant Azalea Clark.

Even if she does make me ache with insatiable need.

I can’t have her.

I can’t break the rules.

Or I’ve doomed us all.

Grab your copy exclusively on Amazon today!

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Excerpt

MAREK VOLKAV

“I remember the moment I realized it was doomed to fail. My plan to save Earth.”

She raises an eyebrow and waits for me to continue.

“I was in a room full of rich and powerful people. I was trying to raise the funds needed for terraforming on Earth. I knew I could not do it alone, that it would take many of us–if not all of us–to make the changes needed.”

“They didn’t listen, did they?” she asks, her lips forming a hard line.

I shake my head. “In the end, Mars was the only option we had left.”

Azalea sits straighter, moving her hand from under her chin to place it gently on my leg. For a brief moment, my body is entirely focused on her touch and every worry I have fades away. She has the power to shift my reality in an instant.

“It’s funny, I always thought you had too big an impact,” she says. “With so many people ruining the world, sometimes the environmentalist groups tried to paint everyone with the same brush. Everyone was failing. Everyone had to do more. Especially the rich. The news made it seem like you were ignoring problems instead of trying to fix them.”

I think about the Azalea I never knew, angry with me before we ever met. I would have fallen just as hard for that woman, I think. Would it have changed anything? Had we met earlier? I push the thought from my mind. There is no point obsessing over what might have been.

“The discourse was fraught from the start,” I say. “It was easier to lay blame than take action. In trying to inspire people to work together rather than just fan the flames of their anger, I felt like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain, only to begin again each day. I finally became so disillusioned that I shifted my efforts.”

“To Mars,” Azalea says.

I nod. “Da. To Mars. I had the money to do whatever I wanted, and no government on Mars could senselessly slow my efforts.”

Talking of Mars draws both of our attention to the window, and we sit silently for a moment, taking in the expanse of space. We float together in a silent sky, countless miles away from our home planet. Right now, I exist only in this moment—alongside this woman, my past forgotten, my future a mystery. There is only now.

I hope the same is true for her, but I do not dare assume as much. Whatever her feelings about the process, she has Robert. They spend their days–and nights–in each other’s company. Surely their connection must be growing stronger.

The lucky bastard.

“Well,” Azalea says, turning to face me as she gives my leg a soft squeeze that makes me feel like Cupid has bludgeoned me with his bow. “I’d like to formally apologize for all the terrible things I said about you before we ever met. And, I’d like to thank you for bringing me along on your journey. I’m grateful.”

It means the world for her to say so, and I place my hand on top of hers, finally giving in to the temptation. The touch feels so right, yet just outside of the bounds of appropriateness. The entire purpose of assigned partners and an infallible algorithm was to avoid just this situation.

The jealousy.

The animosity.

The aggression.

Nothing good comes from broken trust and infidelity. No one has exchanged wedding vows, but they have all committed to this common goal. What happens when the man who made the rules is the first to break them?

Distinguishing right from wrong has never been a challenge for me. Helping people. Helping the planet. Ensuring the ends justify the means. It has always been a simple, logical code that has served me well.

Every second spent in the company of Azalea flies in the face of that. My feelings for her will have repercussions. If they are reciprocated, it will be even worse.

And yet, I have never wanted anything more.

“What are you thinking?” she asks.

The question slices into me like a heated blade. I cannot begin to tell her my thoughts without annihilating what little line remains between us.

I should not.

I shall not.

“I am thinking…”

About you. About your eyes, and hair, and scent, and body.

“About you.”

The words are out of my mouth before I know what to do with them. Azalea’s eyes grow wide, and I realize I cannot leave those words to stand on their own.

“Oh?”

I sigh. There is no mystery. My secrets are exposed. The moment I took her hand to make sure she knew I had no partner, I made my feelings clear. We can dance around the conversation as long as we like, but I cannot pretend this beautiful, brilliant, intuitive woman does not see right through me.

I lean in. Only an inch. Testing the waters.

She does not move.

I close the distance more.

She blinks.

I am close enough to feel the breeze of her breath. It hitches.

We are each living on scraps of breath, taking in only enough air to survive, lest a single inhale disrupt this moment.

I bring my lips to hers, and she does not retreat.

As our mouths meet, I return to the blissful state of pure existence, my mind nowhere but here, no sense of the universe beyond the exquisite creature in front of me and the soft lips touching my own.

Blood rushes through my tingling body.

I inhale her breath into me as I deepen the kiss, parting her lips a sliver with the tip of my tongue, bringing my hand to cup her cheek, my other reaching around her waist to pull her closer.

She groans, her mouth opening for me, the taste of her like dark chocolate and rich red wine. Her tongue slicks against mine and my pants tighten uncomfortably at the touch. At the instant arousal she produces in me.

This kiss is everything, and yet I want—need—so much more.

I feel a rumble inside me, our contact shifting the tectonic plates of my soul, making every piece of me tremble.

Our lips part, but the quaking remains.

And now there is a sound to it.

My eyes lock with Azalea’s, whose face shows the same mix of ecstasy and concern.

The shaking is not from our kiss.

It is coming from the ship.

About Karpov Kinrade

Karpov Kinrade is the pen name for the husband and wife entertainment duo Lux and Dmytry Karpov-Kinrade, aka The KK Duo.

Together, they write award-winning, internationally and USAT bestselling books, make music, create art, write screenplays and direct — all the things.

Look for more from Karpov Kinrade in the Vampire Girl series, The Nightfall Chronicles and The Forbidden Trilogy. If you’re looking for their suspense and romance titles, you’ll find those under Alex Lux.

Check out their music by clicking on the Music tab.

They live in wine country California with their three offspring who have crazy creative genius oozing out of them in the form of music, art, performance, and all the things, and too many cats who all think they rule the world (spoiler alert: they do).

Connect with Karpov Kinrade

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3bfhDs7

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3pM56A2

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2LeuEqG

Twitter: https://bit.ly/352YYM5

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3nh1k0h

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2X7jtmi

Website: https://karpovkinrade.com/

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