Medieval Monday ~ First Encounter: Mary Morgan’s Dragon Knight’s Axe

Medieval Monday is back, with a new twist. This time around we post excerpts that fulfill a different requirement each month. For November we must post an excerpt with the meeting of the hero and heroine. My guest today is Mary Morgan with Dragon Knight’s Axe.




Battled scarred, Dragon Knight, Alastair MacKay, has fled to the seas to separate himself from his powers that are connected to the land. Yet, when he rescues a woman from a slave trader in Ireland, he steps back inadvertently into a world filled with magic—taking on the role of protector and leading him on a journey to confront his greatest fears.

Research assistant, Fiona O’Quinlan loves translating ancient artifacts at Trinity College. When she falls asleep on an archeological dig, she awakens in another time. She soon discovers a Dragon Knight’s relic has been entrusted into her care. Determined to return the artifact to the Great Glen, Fiona is unprepared for the danger ahead—losing her heart and soul to Alastair “Beast” MacKay.

Will their love be strong enough to soothe the beast and heal the man? Or will Death swing its axe, leaving them lost for all eternity?


The closer he came, the more Fiona began to tremble. His face bore a deep crescent scar from his left eyebrow down below his cheek. This giant was a demon, and some actually crossed themselves as he passed them.

When he reached the platform, he narrowed his eyes and glared at the two men by her side. They instantly stepped away. As with everyone else, he was no different. He looked her up and down, though when he gazed into her eyes for a moment, Fiona saw confusion.

The demon spoke. “How much do ye want, Robert?”

“Ye cannot have her.” He spit onto the ground in front of the man.

The monster’s voice remained deadly calm. “And why would that be?”

“Ye have nothing to offer.”

Fiona saw the shift of color in the demon’s green eyes. It was enough for the man called Robert to back away.

“I dinnae want any trouble.”

The giant leaned his head down. “Would ye take these?” He pulled out a small pouch and opened it. Pulling out several stones, he held them aloft. “Amber from the Northmen’s homeland.”

Robert’s eyes went wide, but then he crossed his arms. “I will take the lot and a barrel of your whisky.”

The man arched a brow. “How do ye ken I have whisky?”

“Do ye take me for a fool, MacKay?”

“Nae, Robert, but only foolish if ye do not take my offer of ten stones and one barrel.”

The moments stretched out between the two men, and Fiona’s heart pounded in her chest. She was being traded for amber stones and a damn barrel of whisky.




Buy Links:


The Wild Rose Press

Barnes & Noble



Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! See you next week!

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Mondays, Medieval Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

A Christmas Present for Readers!

It’s Christmas a month early!

I’ve put both my Christmas short story collection, All Wrapped Up, and my contemporary Christmas short story An Almost Perfect Christmas up for FREE during November and December!

Just to make it an even Merrier Christmas, my medieval novella, Betrothal, Book 1 of the Time Enough to Love series is also still FREE! (See the links below)

And now, another Christmas present for you: a sneak peek at my upcoming Regency Christmas novella, which I am struggling to name! So far the contenders are ‘Tis the Season, Beneath the Mistletoe, Under the Mistletoe, A Christmas Season for Jenny, and Jenny’s Christmas Season. Which one do you prefer? Or if you have a suggestion, please put it in the comments below.


Jenny Crowley has been duped! At her eighteenth birthday celebration her parents announce that instead of having the London Season she’s dreamed of for years, Jenny has been betrothed from birth to Alexander Isley, son of family friends and heir to a title. A distraught Jenny refuses point-blank to marry Alec, and when her aunt offers to whisk her away to a Christmas house party, complete with many eligible young bachelors, Jenny jumps at the chance to enjoy a variety of entertainments, be courted, and perhaps fall in love.

Alec Isley is between a rock and a hard place. He desires a marriage with Jenny no more than she does, but when his family’s dire financial status is revealed, he follows Jenny to the house party in hopes of convincing her to marry him after all. When he discovers who else is courting her there, Alec is frantic to keep her from making a dreadful mistake. Struggling with new-found feelings for his childhood friend, can Alec convince her of his love in time to save her from being ruined under the mistletoe?


A subtle poke in her back from Celinda forced Jenny to continue into the room, glancing around wildly. “Where do we go? I told you I’ve never been to such an entertainment before.”

“Smile and follow me.” Her friend headed toward a small knot of young ladies to the right of the entrance, and Jenny recognized Lady Mary Cope and Miss Anna Newel, their familiar faces a welcome sight despite their short acquaintance.

“Good evening, Mary, Anna. You remember Miss Crowley?” Celinda spoke to the young ladies even as her gaze skimmed the crowd.

“Indeed, it is a pleasure to meet you again, Miss Crowley,” Lady Mary replied, looking down her nose at Jenny. “I understand you are the guest of honor at these festivities.”

Startled by the cold hostility in the young woman’s voice, Jenny stuttered, “I…I suppose I am, Lady Mary. My aunt invited me to the entertainments this week as a kind of birthday present.” Best leave it at that.

“Well, I should think—”

“Good evening, ladies.” A masculine voice silenced Lady Mary.

Jenny looked up at her dark-haired cousin, Eric, his handsome friend Lord Somersby at his side. Eric had introduced Somersby, a childhood companion from a neighboring estate, to her while they had waited for dinner to be announced. Son and heir to the Marquess of Meare, the most powerful peer in the county according to Eric, Lord Somersby nevertheless had been most gracious to her, laughing and talking to her easily as they awaited the gong.

So tall she had to tilt her head back to look into his face, Somersby seemed like a prince out of one of the fairy tales she’d read as a child. His broad shoulders seemed barely confined by his well-cut black evening coat. The elaborately tied cravat at his neck seemed almost too stark a contrast to the lean, chiseled planes of his face. Wavy blonde hair and dark blue eyes completed the features of one of the most handsome men she had ever met.

“Lady Celinda, would you do me the honor of dancing the first set with me?” Eric’s grave face belied his merry eyes.

Celinda gave him a keen look. “Have I ever danced the first with you, Mr. Conroy?”

“Why no, I do not believe you have, my lady.” His eyes were twinkling now. “Apparently I have never been the first in line to ask.”

Celinda smiled at him and gave him her hand. “I am happy to see you are now fleeter of foot, sir.” She moved off on his arm, her blue satin dress swishing as they headed toward the dance floor where the set was making up.

“I would also beg to claim the first set from you,” Lord Somersby began.

Lady Mary stepped forward eagerly, an arch smile on her lips.

Jenny moved to the side, twitching her skirt out of the lady’s way. She didn’t want Lady Mary to trip on it in her haste to claim her partner.

“Miss Crowley,” Somersby finished a beat later.

Lady Mary gasped and stumbled back.

Jenny’s attention snapped back to his face. “I beg pardon, my lord?” The words came out as a squeak. Had he actually asked her to dance?

He smiled, his deep blue eyes amused, and offered his arm. “Would you honor me with the first set, Miss Crowley?”

Vaguely aware of Lady Mary’s hasty retreat, Jenny smiled and nodded. “Yes, thank you, my lord. I would be pleased.” She lay her hand on his, her heartbeat thudding like a drum. Lord, help her, she couldn’t faint now. In a daze she glided across the floor as he led her out to the very first dance of her season.

You can download free copies of All Wrapped Up at Smashwords. This collections includes he short story ‘Tis the Season, the inspiration for the Christmas novella coming this December.

You can download free copies of An Almost Perfect Christmas at Smashwords, B & N, and ARe.

You can download free copies of Betrothal at Smashwords, B & N, and ARe.

Hope you enjoy!

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Cover Spot: Heartbreak and Honor by Collette Cameron


Heartbreak and Honor

Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Book 3

By Collette Cameron


Abducted by a band of renegade Scots, Highland gypsy Tasara Faas doesn’t hesitate to blacken her rescuer’s eye when the charming duke attempts to steal a kiss. Afterward, she learns she’s the long-lost heiress Alexandra Atterberry and is expected to take her place among the elite society she’s always disdained.

Lucan, the Duke of Harcourt, promised his gravely ill mother he’d procure a wife by Christmastide, but intrigued by the feisty lass he saved in Scotland, he finds the haut ton ladies lacking. Spying Alexa at a London ball, he impulsively decides to make the knife-wielding gypsy his bride despite her aversion to him and her determination to return to the Highlands.

The adversary responsible for Alexa’s disappearance as a toddler still covets her fortune and joins forces with Harcourt’s arch nemesis. Amidst a series of suspicious misfortunes, Lucan endeavors to win Alexa’s love and expose the conspirators but only succeeds in reaffirming Alexa’s belief that she is inadequate to become his duchess.

Author Quote:

HEARBREAK AND HONOR’S cover artfully depicts my privileged duke and his gypsy-turned-lady against a stunning  manor house backdrop, all interspersed with the subtle Christmastide theme that’s interwoven throughout the story. It’s one of my favorite covers so far!

Posted in Cover Spot, Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Spotlight: Married by Christmas by Lindsay Downs

married by christmas med


When Nash, Marquis of Renfield, learns of a plot to make his love, Lady Amelia, marry someone else he marshals his friends, their wives along with both sets of parents and retreat to the Fenwick ducal estate.

Everyone starts planning for a Christmas Eve ball until things go awry, in the name Smedley, allegedly the only son of the Earl and Countess of Rosewood.

At first it was thought Rosewood, supposedly in the dun, was after Amelia’s dowry. It turned out the earl and countess were seeking more. Power. Great power which could bring England to its knees.

When Nash is kidnapped it falls on Amelia and their friends to rescue him. With the assistance of Justin, Nash’s groom, they devise a plan to save him from certain death.

Once back at the ducal palace Nash keeps his word to Amelia just as the ball starts.

The duke and duchess are also hiding a secret from everyone in regards to the Rosewood earldom.


Strolling up to his valet, Nash saw the man frowning which wasn’t a good sign.

“M’ lord, welcome. It seems the ride with the maids was interesting, to say the least, enlightening at most.”

“Let’s wait until we’re out of earshot then you can tell me,” Nash stated.

He accepted a nod from his valet, then followed Ryan into the tavern and up the stairs to the first floor then down the opposite hall from the ladies. The fact they were a distance away made him happy.

Nash shrugged out of his jacket followed by his cravat and shirt. After he dropped them onto the bed he took care of his needs. With his hands washed, he splashed water on his face then ran his wet fingers through his unfashionably long hair. Dried off, he returned to where Ryan awaited.

Accepting a clean shirt, he fastened it then waited while a new cravat was tied. That done he turned to his valet. “All right what had you distraught earlier and still does.”

“What I’m going to tell you was told me in confidence but with permission to inform you. It would seem the true reason for Lady Amelia to travel in your company wasn’t to see how you both dealt with it but something more sinister. Her Grace didn’t collect Lady Amelia but the other way around.”

“I don’t understand, why did Her Grace say it differently?”

“The eldest son of an earl, close to being in the dun, is trying to marry her under his father’s direction. They are hoping the dowry will rescue them from debtor prison.”

“So, by sending Lady Amelia to London with me, her parents are hoping to throw the son off the scent?” Then, he remembered the note from his father. Stepping over to his jacket, freshly brushed out, Nash retrieved it, broke the seal, and read.


I’m sure by now you are aware of why Lady Amelia is traveling to London with you and your mother. Both myself and The Duke of Appleton have complete faith in you protecting her, your future bride.

I’ve remained behind but will shortly be joining you all.

Finally, might I give you a piece of advice, which I pray you’ll heed?

We men, in general, tend to forget important days in the lives of our wife. On that, I would suggest you marry by Christmas, if not on that date. This way you’ll never have to worry about overlooking your anniversary.


Now it all made sense. The strange worried look in her eyes two days ago. Not to mention what the ladies had talked about when he’d returned to the sitting room before luncheon.

Nash marched over to the fireplace, took a lucifer stick, rubbed it against the stone mantle’s rough surface then touched the flame to the paper. He waited until the paper was almost engulfed, before throwing it in the hearth and watching the rest of it burn.


Buy Links-







Author Photo Lindsay DownsAbout the Author:

I’ve been an avid readers ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers.

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres.

My favorite was regency. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to attempt.

In 2012 when my debut regency romantic suspense released I was hooked and have, except for a few contemporaries, focused on this genre.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas. I’m also a member of Romance Writers of America and their local chapter.


Where you can find me-


Facebook Pages-

Twitter- @ldowns2966



Lindsay Downs-Romance Author-





Posted in Book Spotlights, Historical Romance, Promotion, Regency Romance | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Medieval Monday ~ First Encounter: Ashley York’s The Irish Warrior

Medieval Monday is back, with a new twist. This time around we post excerpts that fulfill a different requirement each month. For November we must post an excerpt with the meeting of the hero and heroine. My guest today is Ashley York with her newest  release The Irish Warrior.




Outcast and alone, Thomasina MacDonell is hell bent on finding her brother, the only person who can thwart their father’s latest scheme to offer her as payment for his gambling debts. Disguised as a lad, she defiantly sets off on foot to locate him—never expecting to find a handsome, Irish warrior riding her beloved horse. The warrior’s offer of help and unsolicited advice on how to be manlier sparks an intimate desire to reveal her more feminine side.

Rejected by the love of his life, Sean O’Cisoghe wants simply to return home and heal his broken heart. When a young “lad” steals the horse out from under him, he discerns the spirited woman may be in way over her head against her ruthless father. Finding her brother while keeping her would-be betrothed at bay, Sean must confront the fact that Thomasina has stolen his heart. Will Norman soldiers out for his blood and shifting clan alliances cut short their growing passion?


Sean took a few steps into the woods, allowing his eyes to adjust. The shadowed figure of the mounted animal became discernible. It whinnied and backed further into the darkness.

“Hold!” Sean said. He struggled not to let his anger be heard. “Ye’ve bested me. Steal the horse but I’m for the coast. I need my things.”

“’Tis not stealing it if it’s mine.”

Not a woman’s voice. A young lad then.

“I paid for the use of it, son.”

“I’m not yer son.” The voice broke, confirming Sean’s suspicions.

“Nae. Ye’re not but I have quite a walk ahead of me. May I at least collect my belongings?”

A loud thud accompanied the bag that dropped at his feet. Sean stared at the sack. Arrogant little shite. The few items he’d collected to bring home were no doubt in pieces now. Anger simmered. He glanced toward the rider.

“My thanks. And will ye toss the weapons at me as well?”

“They’re mine now… the price for the use of my horse.”

Sean forced himself to appear calm. “I told ye I paid for the use.”

“But it wasn’t paid to me.”

Sean moved in closer but with every step, the rider retreated. If he could get his hands on him, Sean would teach him a lesson he wouldn’t soon be forgetting. By his size, the boy looked to be about ten.

“But I did pay for its use. An honest agreement between men. I had nae way of knowing it had been stolen. I had plans to return it.” Despite the blood racing through him at being outsmarted by some unknown, he shifted his tactics. He used his ever-so-amicable tone of voice but would not be letting the horse—or rider—get away. “When was the horse stolen from ye?”

The lad didn’t respond at first but the beast shifted, indicating uneasiness. “It was taken without my permission.”

Sean gave a small smile, moving closer as he spoke. “That’s what I said.”

“Nae ye asked when it was stolen from me.”

“Is there a difference?”

The lad tipped his head back as if looking heavenward in exasperation. Taking his eyes off Sean proved to be his mistake. With three long strides Sean closed in, yanked at the reins, and ripped them from the rider’s loose grip. Stepping clear, he waited while the courser jerked against the rope now held firmly in his grip. The rider, struggling to keep his seat, tossed about with the rough motion.


Definitely a young lad. Not even a curse uttered from the unexpected change of events.

“Damn it.”

Sean smiled and stepped in to put his arm around the horse’s snout to settle it down. He spoke in a quiet, calming voice. “Easy now, Roana.”

“Roana! What kind of name is that?” The lad threw his leg over the far side of its body in preparation for his escape.

The courser was not very tall. Sean wondered why he didn’t just jump off.

“The one I gave it! A handsome beast deserves a handsome name.”

He grabbed at the lad’s skinny arm, hauling him across the saddle, flat on his belly, facing him.

Sean offered a contented smile. “Did ye have somewhere to go?”


Buy Links: Amazon    BarnesandNoble   iTunes   Kobo

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! See you next week!

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Mondays, Medieval Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Time Travel to Ancient Rome with Gina Danna and Love & Vengeance

Today my guest is Gina Danna, a fellow historical author and great friend ofGina_036 mine. She’s re-releasing her Ancient Roman romance, Love & Vengeance and came by to talk about her inspiration for choosing this fascinating period of history.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?

A fellow writer had written a time travel piece I read about going back to the time of knights. It was good and I commented how I’d travel back to Ancient Rome but feared I’d enter the Colosseum where I would be killed like the Christians. She retorted but what if a man saved me? That immediately set my muse to playing. What if…

            Instantly, Marcus and Gustina came to life. The opening to Love & Vengeance is that rescue. These two demanded I tell their story, which got me into researching just how did people live back then? What was the Colosseum like? Gladiators? Research isn’t new to me – I have graduate degree in History though I admit, my favorite time has been the American Civil War. But Ancient Rome held a certain appeal to me I couldn’t deny.

            The Roman Empire thrived for hundreds of years, first as a Republic then as an Empire. It expanded throughout Europe, the Middle East and northern Africa. But the pinnacle of the entire civilization was Rome itself. To the Romans, everyone wanted to be one of them. The town itself grew to over a million inhabitants by 100 A.D. (or C. E.). There many of today’s foundations took hold – the idea of a representative assembly, The Senate; philosophy (they took the Greeks beginnings and expanded them, adopting them as their own); architecture; sewer systems that survive to today; aqueducts and baths survived; roads.

And war. The bulk of their Empire was amassed through war. Those defeated in war often were turned into slaves – a commodity the Romans needed badly. Those infamous structures like the Colosseum were built through slave labor. Anyone could become a slave then, even miscreant Romans, conflicted of crimes, would become a slave. Slavery was extremely bad then, used as expendable lives. Even gladiators for the most part were slaves though a few freemen fought in the games to earn coin enough to get out of debt, selling themselves to the gladiatorial schools for a couple of years to do so though the price tag could mean they died in the games instead of leaving a free man. Gladiators, though, were the ‘rock stars’ of the period. Successful champions had a following of fans, mostly women. Roads to the arena often were lined on game day with vendors selling items for purchase on those favored, like pictures, trinkets used by them, vials of their blood (blood of a champion was thought to cure ills like infertility, epilepsy, etc.) and other goods.

It is a fascinating time, full of intrigue and mystery. Come and get a taste of long ago, in Ancient Rome with Marcus and Gustina in Love & Vengeance!



Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.

Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.

But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?

Buylinks –


Amazon: (paperback)





Excerpt –

Gustina stood before him, terrified, angry and numb. As the door shut behind her, fear coiled down her back but she refused to acknowledge it. He was just another man. Like the rest. No better and no worse.

            Ah, but he’s so much better looking, her mind teased. Still dressed in the pure white linen cloth, the folds placed so precisely over his cock, his skin weathered from hours spent outside in the sun, muscles rippling over his chest and stomach, he was a god. Apollo or maybe even Hercules. His bare feet rested on the dirt floor, corded tendons and contours ran up his legs. She couldn’t tear her gaze from him. He knew it, just sat and drank her in.

            The puckered seam stood out on his chest and the scrape above it. His lower lip puffed slightly, as if he’d been beaten, but it was hard to tell when his square jaw ticked. Those brown eyes, dark, desire brewing at the surface.

The pull to him came from deep within. Her heart skipped a beat, the air in the cell became heavy and she couldn’t breathe. She tried to swallow but her mouth was too dry. Heat spiraled inside her, deep, pooling in her lower stomach. A small voice inside her screamed and fought for control—a control she could no longer maintain.

            He exhaled, and she realized his tension matched her own. Strange, for this gladiator, this champion of death, to be tight because of her. That realization gave her strength to struggle from this quagmire of desire. Until he stood and took a step closer.

            “I was sent to pleasure you,” she stated as brusquely as she could. Even she heard her voice hitch.

            He smiled. Warm and intoxicating, with dimples. She felt like she was drowning.

            “Truly?” he asked, his voice rich, deep and smooth like good wine.

            “Yes,” she whispered. “Dominus said I am to see you satisfied.”

            He laughed. Her toes curled at the heat rolling off him, covering her. “And what do you want?” His seductive voice broke her defenses and lulled her into his arms. He bent his head to kiss her.

Posted in Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Historical Romance, Promotion | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Medieval Monday ~ First Encounter: Ruth A. Casie’s The Druid Knight’s Tale

Medieval Monday is back, with a new twist. This time around we post excerpts that fulfill a different requirement each month. For November we must post an excerpt with the meeting of the hero and heroine. My guest today is Ruth A. Casie with her medieval short story The Druid Knight Tales.



druid  knights tale

Blurb: The Druid Knight Tales

After a year of searching, Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, finds the sacred mistletoe destined for his soul mate shriveled and dead. He must journey to the Otherworld and tell the Ancestors of his failure.

Ellyn of Brodgar is an exceptional healer. But each healing kiss depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Ellyn needs to find her own healing power before it’s too late.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld and have until the third sunset to appeal to the Ancestors or be lost forever. Together they find love, and as the last rays of the third sunset slip away, both are willing to sacrifice their hopes, dreams, and lives for the other. Do they have what it takes to escape the Otherworld and begin their life together?





Druid Knight’s Tale

Excerpt Nov. 2015: First encounter of hero and heroine:

“I thought they called out and I followed,” Max said.

“Who called out?” Ellyn asked.

“The Ancestors, of course. This is the shortest way to the standing stones. I was too eager. I knew something was amiss.” He winced in pain. “I should have listened to my own words,” he said between clenched teeth. “The Otherworld is not to be trusted.”

“Yes. There are traps and villains everywhere,” she mimicked his words. She opened the pouch she wore at her waist and removed a vial. “You must have slid down cliff on your back. The scrapes are deep.” Before she took care of his wounds she pressed her lips tenderly on his head, a kiss she was certain he would not feel. But his muscles twitched in response. She gasped in surprise at his reaction.

“I stepped onto the platform. It was fine.” He yawned. “But when I moved to the walkway the ropes gave way and I was falling through the air…” His voice trailed off and his eyelids slid closed.

She tenderly touched the rune tattoos on his back and gaped as each touch made them glow. She heard the tales of the magick runes but thought they were just that, tales. She stared at him, unable to say a word. She worked quickly, checking every scrape.

His wounds dressed and bandaged, she massaged his shoulders. When she was satisfied his muscles were relaxed, she gently prodded him to roll onto his back. The scrapes on his chest appeared to be minor.

Kneeling beside him, she ministered those wounds as well. When she was done, she sat back on her heels, startled. “Well, Grand Master, that is as much as I can do. The rest is up to you.”

“Aye,” he said sleepily, followed by a soft snore.

She wiped the blood from the scratches on his cheek and studied him.

Full brows framed his wide-set eyes with long, thick lashes. His high cheekbones accentuated the deep hollows beneath them. His close-clipped beard outlined his full lips. His face spoke of power and ageless strength. He had a face that was easy to look at.

The wounds cleaned and bandaged, she bent over and gave him a lingering kiss on his forehead. Her head snapped up and her fingers went to her lips. They tingled as if she had eaten something spicy. She searched his face. His ashen color hadn’t changed. Panic welled in her throat. Her healing kiss always brought results.

His arm snaked around her and drew her to him. She didn’t resist when he pulled her closer and kissed her deeply. When she moved away his eyes were closed, the corners of his mouth tipped up in a smile, and his face took on a soft pink hue.

Relief flooded through her but was quickly replaced with doubt. For the first time she wondered if her healing kiss would be enough.



Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! See you next week!

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