Fidelity by Eva Caye @EvaCaye #RLFblog #SciFi #scifiromance Today’s featured book is Fidelity by Eva Caye. Tell us about your story. We’ll have other questions in a moment.

Prince Richard Sinclair is his brother’s right-hand-man and go-to guy, who excels as the Emperor’s Fireman because he can’t deal with his personal life. He only plays the Imperial Bad Boy because that’s what makes the dukes respect him, despite his age, intelligence, education, and birthright. Delightfully intrigued by Lady Meredith Lauder, his virtual Cinderella, he rescues her from her burdensome family life at the first opportunity.

Scarred by ridicule and neglect, Merry gleefully abandons her family, but she feels she has to work at the Imperial Palace to compensate for Richard’s generosity. Even as he entices her to his bed, she believes she’s being true to her core principles, to never be dependent upon a man, and to pursue a relationship of equals.

But when the Emperor disappears, they realize just how fragile their world really is, both personally and politically. Richard desperately throws himself into governing as Imperial Steward while demanding that everyone search for Matthieu. And Merry plays the part of the ‘supportive girlfriend’ in his hour of need… until two men jeopardize the emotional balance they’ve gained in their lives.

How can Prince Richard deal with the frightful political situation without losing his lover?

This book contains sexual situations.

Specific science fiction genre: sci fi romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R
Publisher: Eva Caye
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What languages are spoken in your story universe?
‘Standard’, which is basically English, is used throughout the galaxy, although individual worlds based on unique cultures tend to retain a lot of their native language. Since Standard is the only ‘world-wide’ language at the start of the Space Era, everyone recognizes it must be used to deal with people from every planet.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?
Royals are derived from the 50 original duchies created by King Kyan Sinclair, the ‘owner’ of the planet Sinclair Demesne who selected his colonists following the guidelines of a charter. A few duchies have come and gone, but the names remain principally the same. A ‘High Royal’ refers to children or grandchildren of a duke; ‘Low Royals’ refer to themselves by how many generations they are removed from High Royals, i.e. first-gen, third-gen.
Since commoners have populated the other three planets in the Empire, also known in the plural as the Sinclair Demesnes, the few Royals on those planets tend to be assigned there for a length of time before being recalled. Emperor Victor establishes his son Phillip as the first Imperial High Governor of Rendel, and Emperor Matthieu’s generation sees the first Viceroy of Marabelle, his brother Theo, who expands the Empire through three active planetary volumes accessible through natural wormholes.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?
Women’s rights are guaranteed, but their traditions are so strong that almost no one breaks out of the ‘typical feminine role’. The first book of my series, Dignity, began challenging that narrative, featuring a female scientist; its companion novel, Majesty, wrestles with the issue directly and through long-lasting conflicts.
Describe one of the worlds where your story takes place.
Sinclair Demesne is the capital of the Empire of Sinclair Demesnes, a four-planet polity that maneuvers to become the premier trade and political empire in the galaxy. The enormous wealth of Empress Felice’s stargates is used to establish and maintain the Galactic Assembly, and she makes plans to further the Empire via the three habitable planets beyond Marabelle. Their population has had the advantage of living on the planet with the closest-to-Terran habitability ever found, and although most traditions are conservative, the overall mindset of the Imperial Family is progressive.
Tell us about the age of the culture in your story, i.e., are the people part of an ancient civilization, a newly formed group within an established culture, pioneer colonists, etc.
Sinclair Demesne belonged to billionaire scientist Kyan Sinclair, who selected the dukes who would populate their own colonies. This occurred in 102 S.E. (Space Era), although the Empire grew to prominence with the marriage of Emperor Victor to Empress Felice in 572 S.E. Primarily European in descent, the population nevertheless had dukes from most of the cultures of Terra, and twenty generations of intermarriages between fifty-one ruling families serve to connect the planet through its capital, the Sinclair Urban District.
What food or drink is available to your characters?
The majority of foods are the same, derived from seeds and stock brought to Sinclair Demesne from Terra. Demesnian flora (carbs and simple proteins) has been well-adapted to their diets, with a small number of Demesnian fauna species (complex proteins) adapted for human consumption. They import a lot of their luxury foods and use a minimum amount of grains – their desserts tend to be fruit and cream confections instead of wheat-based – and they’ve always had active horticultural breeding programs.
When you researched for your story setting, what kinds of things did you learn?
I’m currently working on two prequels, one of which describes Kyan Sinclair’s process in setting up his new planet. As a result, I’ve learned to build rocket stoves and use adobe, I’ve researched major construction projects such as steel foundries, and my math and chemistry skills have gotten a workout while calculating the practicalities of moving 122,000 people to a new planet!

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Eva Caye, author of the To Be Sinclair series, can build a rocket stove, tat lace, handle a gun, design book covers and permaculture garden plans, and teach teenagers critical thinking. Her favorite activities include writing science fiction romance and playing with her doggies. She currently lives in a tiny, century-old farmhouse with her magnificent husband and two marvelous mutts in Louisville, Kentucky.

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