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The Winter King by CL Wilson



Shameless Recommendation

Marissa PNR Mini Banner The Winter King is a wonderful fantasy ride, with magic, legendary heroes and gods, palace intrigue, beautifully written scenes in and out of the bedroom, plus characters you’ll enjoy to love and hate.
This story of enemies to lovers will have you cheering for Khamsin to finally have a loving family and happy memories, but you’ll also want to hit Wynter upside the head for some of the things he does to avoid his feelings for her. I was sucked into this book right from the beginning, and I only put it down because it was 2am, and I was only 60% done with this lengthy book. It was worth the wait of a year from the author and an extra day to finish the story. ~ Marissa [July 2014]

Where To Buy

Buy Now From Amazon Buy from Amazon UK

Shameless Recommendation

Marissa PNR Mini Banner The Winter King is a wonderful fantasy ride, with magic, legendary heroes and gods, palace intrigue, beautifully written scenes in and out of the bedroom, plus characters you’ll enjoy to love and hate.
This story of enemies to lovers will have you cheering for Khamsin to finally have a loving family and happy memories, but you’ll also want to hit Wynter upside the head for some of the things he does to avoid his feelings for her. I was sucked into this book right from the beginning, and I only put it down because it was 2am, and I was only 60% done with this lengthy book. It was worth the wait of a year from the author and an extra day to finish the story. ~ Marissa [July 2014]

Where To Buy

Buy Now From Amazon Buy from Amazon UK

About Our Heat Ratings

The hottest of the hot!
ex. BDSM, kink, dub-con

Super hot for adults only.
most modern romance

A little bit of heat.
not overly descriptive

Light romance and fade-to-black.
ex. young adult

Publisher Synopsis

via Amazon

An epic new fantasy romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author C. L. Wilson

After three long years of war, starkly handsome Wynter Atrialan will have his vengeance on Summerlea's king by taking one of the man's beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter's battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother's death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father's palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig's icy king was supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin's wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter's passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

ISBN: 0062018973

Hot Quotes

& More!

+ Favorite Quotes

[su_quote]åÊ”Beauty is too tame a word to describe you.” åÊHe held her gaze for a long moment, and it wasn’t until he turned his attention back to her breasts that she realized she’d forgotten to breathe. åÊ”But these,” he murmured, filling his palms with the weight of her breasts, “are indeed beautiful. Perfect.”[/su_quote]

[su_quote]She gasped and arched her back, the motion thrusting her breasts closer to his mouth. åÊHer legs clenched tight around his waist. åÊEnemy king or no, in this at least she bowed to his conquest, and at the moment, it felt nothing like defeat.[/su_quote]

[su_quote]”I love you.” åÊHe lifted her closer, trailing a line of kisses from her mouth to her ear and whispered again, “I love you, Khamsin. åÊMy own Summerlass. åÊI don’t have words enough to describe how much I love you.”[/su_quote]

The Winter King

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Prologue ~ Scarlet on Snow King‰Ûªs Keep Vera Sola, Summerlea ‰ÛÏDo you have to go?‰Û Seventeen year old Khamsin Coruscate clung to her beloved brother‰Ûªs hand as if by her grip alone she could anchor him fast and keep him from leaving. ‰ÛÏYou know I do. Our treaties with the Winter King are very important.‰Û ‰ÛÏBut you‰Ûªll be home soon?‰Û Whenever he was gone, the ancient walls of the royal palace of Summerlea that had been her home and her prison since birth seemed somehow more confining, more restrictive. ‰ÛÏNot this time, little sister.‰Û Falcon shook his head. A strand of black hair that had pulled free of the queue at the back of his neck brushed against the soft, dark skin of his cheek. ‰ÛÏIt will take weeks to negotiate the treaties.‰Û Khamsin scowled, and the wind began to gust, sending Kham‰Ûªs habitually untamed hair whipping into her mouth and eyes. ‰ÛÏWhy does he have to send you? Why can‰Ûªt his ambassador negotiate the treaty? He‰Ûªs sending you away because of me, isn‰Ûªt he? Because he doesn‰Ûªt want you spending so much time with me.‰Û Her hands clenched into fists. The wind sent her skirts flying and a dark cloud rolled across the sun. Their father, King Verdan IV of Summerlea, didn‰Ûªt love her. She knew that. He kept her isolated in a remote part of the palace, hidden away from his court and his kingdom, on the pretext that her weathergifts were too volatile and dangerous and she couldn‰Ûªt control them. That was all true. Kham‰Ûªs gifts were dangerous, and she couldn‰Ûªt control them any better than she could control her own temper. Until now, however, he‰Ûªd never stooped to sending his other children away to keep them from visiting her. ‰ÛÏHere now. Be calm.‰Û Falcon smoothed her wayward curls back, tucking them behind her ears. Compassion and pity shone softly in his eyes. ‰ÛÏI wish I didn‰Ûªt have to leave you. But Father believes I‰Ûªll have the best chance of getting what we want from Wintercraig, and I agree with him.‰Û Summerlea, once a rich, thriving kingdom renowned for its fertile fields and abundant orchards, had been in a slow decline for years. Although the nobles and king maintained a prosperous fa̤ade for political and economic purposes, beneath the gilded domes and bright splendor of Summerlea‰Ûªs palaces and grand estates, the rough tatters of neglect were beginning to show. ‰ÛÏBesides, you won‰Ûªt be alone while I‰Ûªm gone. You have Tildy and the Seasons.‰Û ‰ÛÏIt isn‰Ûªt the same. They aren‰Ûªt you.‰Û He was the handsome Prince of Summerlea, charming, witty, heroic. He‰Ûªd lived a life of adventure, most of which he shared with her, entertaining her with the tales of his exploits…the places he‰Ûªd seen, the people he‰Ûªd met. His hunts, his adventures, his triumphs. No matter how much her nursemaid, Tildavera Greenleaf, doted on Khamsin, or how often the three other princesses, Autumn, Spring, and Summer, snuck away from their palace duties to spend time with their ostracized youngest sister, Falcon was the one whose visits she couldn‰Ûªt live without. ‰ÛÏNow there‰Ûªs a pretty compliment. Careful, my lady. You‰Ûªll turn my head.‰Û He smiled, and warmth poured into her. It was no wonder the ladies of their father‰Ûªs court swooned at the slightest attention from him. Falcon had a magical way about him. He could he literally charm the birds from the trees with his name-gift‰ÛÓcontrolling any feathered creature on a whim–and the weathergift inherent in his royal Summerlander blood was stronger than it had been in any crown prince in generations. It was as if the Sun itself had taken up residence in his soul, and its warmth spilled from him each time he smiled. Kham took a deep breath. The sharp edge of her temper abated, and in the skies, the gathering storm began to calm. Perhaps King Verdan truly had chosen to send his only son as envoy to Wintercraig for political reasons. Long, long ago, as a small child crying herself to sleep, she‰Ûªd decided Falcon was the reincarnation of Roland Triumphant, the Hero of Summerlea, the brave King who had defeated an overwhelming invasion force with his wit, his weathergifts, and a legendary sword reputed to be a gift from the Sun God himself. If anyone could charm the cold, savage folk of the north into concessions most favorable to Summerlea, Falcon could. ‰ÛÏWill you at least write to me?‰Û she asked. ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªll send you a bird every week.‰Û He tapped her nose and gave her a charming, roguish grin. ‰ÛÏCheer up. Just think of all the swordfights you‰Ûªll win when you‰Ûªre fighting invisible opponents instead of me.‰Û Kham rolled her eyes. He‰Ûªd been teaching her sword-fighting for years, but she had yet to best him in a match. ‰ÛÏYou know,‰Û she said as they walked towards the doorway leading back into the palace, ‰ÛÏit might actually be a good thing that you‰Ûªll be spending months in Wintercraig.‰Û ‰ÛÏOh?‰Û ‰ÛÏYes. You can use that time to find out what happened to Roland‰Ûªs sword.‰Û Falcon tripped on an uneven flagstone and grabbed the trunk of a nearby tree to steady himself. ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm sure I‰Ûªll be much too busy to chase fairy tales, Storm.‰Û She frowned in surprise. ‰ÛÏBut you‰Ûªve always believed the stories were true.‰Û Blazing, the legendary sword of Roland Soldeus, had disappeared shortly after the heroic king‰Ûªs death. Legend claimed it was the Winter King, the father of Roland‰Ûªs betrothed, who had spirited the sword away so Roland‰Ûªs brother Donal couldn‰Ûªt claim it. Every royal Summerlea Heir for the last two millennia had dreamed of finding the legendary blade and bringing it back home where it belonged. Falcon had spent years chasing lead after lead, determined that he would be the one to find Blazing and restore Summerlea to its former glory. ‰ÛÏWhat about those letters?‰Û she added. ‰ÛÏThe really old ones you found tucked in that monastery? You said they proved the stories were true.‰Û ‰ÛÏThat was six years ago. I was seventeen. I wanted the stories to be true.‰Û He gave her a quick hug and a brotherly kiss on the forehead. ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªve got to run. I‰Ûªm meeting with Father and his advisors to go over our list of demands and concessions one last time before I leave. I‰Ûªll see you in a few months.‰Û ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªll miss you every day.‰Û She trailed after him, feeling bereft and forlorn when Falcon turned the corner and disappeared from view. But this time, she also felt confused. She‰Ûªd never known Falcon to give up on something he felt passionately about. And he‰Ûªd been passionate about finding Roland‰Ûªs sword. He‰Ûªd been certain he was on the right trail. He‰Ûªd shared his discoveries with her because he knew she was just as hungry as he to find the legendary sword. So why would he deny it now? * * * Gildenheim, Wintercraig ‰ÛÏShe’s not good for you.” Wynter Atrialan, King of Wintercraig, cast a sideways glance at his younger brother. “Don’t say that, Garrick. I know you’ve never liked Elka, but in six months time, she will be my bride and your queen.” Garrick shook his long, snow-silver hair. Eyes as bright and blue as the glacier caves in Wintercraig’s ice-bound Skoerr Mountains shone with solemn intensity that made the boy look far older than his sixteen years. “You love too deeply, Wyn. From the moment you decided to take her to wife, you‰Ûªve blinded yourself to her true nature.” Wynter sighed. “I should not have shared my worries with you when I first met her.” Wyn was an intensely private man, but he’d never kept secrets from Garrick. Not one. Wyn had raised his brother since their parents’ death ten years ago. And in those years, he’d never tried to sweeten the ugly world of politics, never tried to gloss over his fears or concerns‰ÛÓeven when it came to the more personal but still political matter of selecting a queen. If something happened to him, Garrick would be king, and Wyn didn‰Ûªt want his brother thrown into such a position without preparation. Unfortunately, the years of openness and plain, unfettered talk had paid unanticipated returns. Because of his unflinching honesty with Garrick, no one in Wintercraig–no one in all the world, for that matter–knew him better than his young brother.
Not even Wyn’s lifelong friend and second-in-command, Valik. Such deep familiarity could be as troublesome as it was comforting. “She is cold,” Garrick insisted. “She does not love you as she should. She wants to be queen more than she wants to be your wife.” “Elka is a woman of the Craig. She is as reserved with her feelings as I.” “Is she? So that is why she laughs and smiles so warmly when the Summerlander is near?” Wynter frowned a warning at his brother. “Careful, Garrick. Elka Villani will be my wife and queen. Insult to her is insult to me.‰Û ‰ÛÏI offered no insult. I merely asked a question. And based on my observations, it‰Ûªs a perfectly legitimate one.‰Û ‰ÛÏYou are misreading what you see. Elka knows it‰Ûªs vital the Summer Prince feels welcome here if we are to come to an amicable agreement.” The lush, fertile fields of Summerlea provided much needed sustenance to the folk of Wintercraig during the harsh, cold months of a northern winter. Their grains, fruits and vegetables, which Wintercraig bought with furs, whale oil and forest products, could mean the difference between life and death for his people during years when their own harvests were poor. That had, unfortunately, been quite often of late, since the summers had grown shorter and food from Summerlea had been growing steadily more dear after Wynter had taken the throne. Falcon Coruscate, son of the weathermage king who ruled Summerlea, had come three months ago at Wynter‰Ûªs invitation to negotiate terms of a new treaty that would ensure longer summers in the north and more affordable trade in foodstuffs for the winters. ‰ÛÏShe makes him feel welcome to more than the court,‰Û Garrick corrected. ‰ÛÏShe flirts.‰Û Wyn arched a brow. ‰ÛÏAnd if she does, where‰Ûªs the harm in it? A pretty face and a sweet smile can persuade a man better than cold figures and dry treaties‰ÛÓespecially self-indulgent peacocks like the Summer Prince.‰Û He smiled when Garrick rolled his eyes. ‰ÛÏYou don‰Ûªt remember our mother, but she could charm a Frost Giant into the fire. Father used to call her his secret weapon. Elka merely uses her gifts to aid the realm, as any good queen would.‰Û Garrick gave a snort. “How fortunate that she takes to the task so well. All right, all right.‰Û He held up his hands in surrender when his brother‰Ûªs glance sharpened. He paused a moment, using hammer and chisel to chip unwanted ice from the frozen sculpture he was working on, then added, ‰ÛÏBut even if you trust her, you‰Ûªd best keep an eye on the Summerlander. He‰Ûªs up to something.‰Û ‰ÛÏForeign dignitaries are always up to something. That‰Ûªs called politics.‰Û ‰ÛÏHe‰Ûªs been asking too many questions about the Book of Riddles.” Wyn‰Ûªs hand stilled momentarily in its work on his own sculpture. ‰ÛÏHas he?‰Û He tried to pull of nonchalance, but shouldn‰Ûªt have bothered. Garrick knew him too well. ‰ÛÏThat‰Ûªs what he‰Ûªs really here for. To get the book and find Roland‰Ûªs sword.‰Û Roland‰Ûªs sword was a fabled Summerlea weapon of inconceivable power. It had disappeared three thousand years ago, not long after the Summer King who first wielded it sacrificed his life to save his kingdom from invasion. Many myths and legends swirled around its disappearance. One of those legends suggested that the Winter King of that time, fearing the sword‰Ûªs power would be misused by Roland‰Ûªs successors, had smuggled the sword out of Summerlea and hidden it in a place it would never be found. The Winter King had also left behind a book of obscure clues and riddles that supposedly led to the sword‰Ûªs secret hiding place, in case his own descendants one day had need of the legendary weapon‰Ûªs vast power. ‰ÛÏWell, good luck to him with that,‰Û Wynter said. ‰ÛÏThe sword is a myth. It‰Ûªs long gone by now, if it ever existed at all. And he won‰Ûªt find whatever treasure the Book actually does protect, either, because he will never find the Book. It‰Ûªs kept in a place no man can go.‰Û ‰ÛÏBut Elka can.‰Û He scowled. ‰ÛÏGarrick, stop. She is my betrothed. She will be my queen. She would never betray me.‰Û Garrick heaved a sigh. ‰ÛÏFine. She is your true and worthy love. I‰Ûªll never suggest otherwise again.‰Û ‰ÛÏGood.‰Û Wyn pressed his lips together and focused on the small block of ice sitting on the pedestal before him. Patient as time itself, he carved away the excess ice until he revealed the hidden beauty inside. Fragile, shimmering, a bouquet of lilies emerged, petals curved with incredible delicacy, each flower distinct and perfect, rising up from slender stems of ice. ‰ÛÏWhat do you think?‰Û he asked when it was done. “That’s beautiful, Wyn. One of your best yet.” Wyn smiled. When it came to ice sculptures, Garrick hoarded his compliments like a miser. Only perfection earned his highest praise. “Do you think she will like it, then? Frost lilies are her favorite.” Garrick stepped abruptly away from his own sculpture–a complex scene depicting a family of deer welcoming their newest, spindly-legged member into the herd–and brushed the dusting of ice crystals from his furs. “Any woman who truly loves you would love it, Wyn. It’s obvious how much care you put into it.” “Then she will love it. You’ll see.” ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm sure she will,‰Û Garrick said, but his eyes held no conviction. ‰ÛÏCoruscate!‰Û Wynter‰Ûªs roar shook the great crystal chandelier that hung in the entry hall of his palace, Gildenheim. He stormed up the winding stairs to the wing where royal guests were housed and burst into the suite that had been occupied for the last two months by the Prince of Summerlea. The rooms were empty, and judging by the state of the open drawers and the clothes flung haphazardly about, the inhabitants had vacated the place in a hurry. ‰ÛÏHe‰Ûªs gone, Wyn.‰Û Valik, Wynter‰Ûªs oldest friend and second in command stepped into the room. ‰ÛÏLaci checked the temple. The book‰Ûªs gone, too.‰Û Wynter swore under his breath. Barely two weeks ago, Garrick had warned him to keep an eye on the Summerlea Prince, and Wyn had dismissed his concerns with such blind, confidence! ‰ÛÏWhen did they leave?‰Û ‰ÛÏAbout an hour after we left for Hileje. Elka and his guard went with him. Bron didn‰Ûªt think anything of it. The Summerlander kept blathering about not letting some fire ten miles away ruin a good day‰Ûªs hunt.‰Û ‰ÛÏWe‰Ûªd better start tracking them, then.‰Û ‰ÛÏThere‰Ûªs more, Wyn.‰Û Valik hesitated, then said, ‰ÛÏI think Garrick went after them. He and his friends rode out not long after the Summerlander. Bron heard them talking about something the Summerlander took that Garrick meant to get back.‰Û Wyn‰Ûªs jaw turned to granite. With Valik close on his heels, he ran back down to the courtyard. Still saddled and ready to ride, Wynter‰Ûªs stallion was waiting in the hands of a stableboy, and beside him, a dozen of Wynter‰Ûªs elite White Guard held Prince Falcon‰Ûªs valet at swordpoint. The valet looked nothing like the sleek, meticulously turned-out peacock Wynter‰Ûªs courtiers had mocked amongst themselves. He‰Ûªd traded his velvet brocade livery for rough-spun woolens, a furred vest, and a heavy cloak. His knuckles were scraped, and his face sported a bruised jaw and an eye that was swollen shut and rapidly purpling. ‰ÛÏWe found him in the village trying to bribe a merchant to smuggle him out in a trade cart, Your Grace.‰Û ‰ÛÏWhere is he?‰Û Wyn grabbed the valet by his vest, yanking him up so fast the man‰Ûªs feet left the ground. Wynter was tall, even for a man of the Craig, and holding the Summerlander at eye level left almost two feet between the man‰Ûªs dangling toes and the icy stone of the courtyard. ‰ÛÏWhere is that Coruscate bastard you serve?‰Û ‰ÛÏI don‰Ûªt know!‰Û Clearly terrified, the man started babbling. ‰ÛÏI swear to you, Your Majesty! I didn‰Ûªt even know he was leaving until one of the maids delivered his note. And that only advised me to leave Wintercraig as quickly and quietly as possible.‰Û ‰ÛÏIn other words, the coward abandoned you while saving his own skin.‰Û Wyn threw the man aside. ‰ÛÏLock him up. If we don‰Ûªt find his master, he can face the mercy of the mountains in his princ
e‰Ûªs stead. The rest of you, mount up. Time to hunt.‰Û Minutes later, Wynter, Valik, and two dozen White Guard were galloping down the winding mountain road that led from Gildenheim to the valley below. Wynter howled a call to the wolves as they went, sending a summons to the packs that were spirit-kin to his family‰Ûªs clan. Wolves were faster in the dense woods, and they tracked by scent rather than sight. The Summerlanders‰Ûª smell was alien to this part of the world, so the wolves should have no trouble picking up their trail. He wasn‰Ûªt sure if the prince would try heading south, towards Summerlea, or west to the Llaskroner fjord. The fjord was closer, and the port there was a busy one, full of strangers from distant lands. For thieves looking to get out of country quickly, that was the better destination. When the wolf call came from the west, Wyn knew he‰Ûªd guessed right. He whispered to the winds, calling to the old Winterman in the north to blow his icy horn, then summoning the Vestras, the freezing maritime winds of the western seas to send their bone-chilling fog. As he and his men rode west, following the call of the wolves, the temperatures began to drop. If the Summer Prince fought back with his own weathergifts, that would pinpoint his location. If he didn‰Ûªt, the rapidly worsening weather would slow his escape. Either way, Wynter would track him down, and make him pay for what he‰Ûªd done to the people of Hileje. The prince had hours on him. That was the purpose of the fire in Hileje‰ÛÓa distraction to get Wynter and his men out of the palace so Falcon Coruscate could steal what he came for and make his escape. But the distraction had been much more than a mere fire. The Summerlanders had raped and murdered dozens of villagers, then locked the rest in the meeting hall and burned them alive. Eighty-six lives wiped out in one senseless act of violence. Eighty-six innocent Winterfolk who had depended on their king to protect them. And he had failed. The tone of the wolves‰Ûª howls suddenly changed, the howls becoming longer, mournful, announcing a loss to the pack. Wynter sent out his thoughts, connect to the pack mind and seeing through the wolves‰Ûª eyes as he searched for the source of that cry. He caught a glimpse of scarlet splashed across the snow, bodies that were clothed not furred. ‰ÛÏNo!‰Û He knew instantly why the wolves howled and for whom. ‰ÛÏNo! Garrick!‰Û He spurred Hodri faster, galloping at a reckless pace. The wind whistled past his ears. Snow flew from Hodri‰Ûªs hooves. It didn‰Ûªt take long to reach the clearing where the wolves had gathered. The smell of death filled the air‰ÛÓa dark odor Wynter had smelled before. It was a scent few men ever forgot. He reined Hodri in hard, leaping from saddle to ground before the horse fully stopped. The first two bodies were boys Wyn recognized. Garrick‰Ûªs friends. Sixteen years old, the same age as Garrick. Arrow-pierced through their hearts. They‰Ûªd been dead within minutes of being struck. A moaning cough brought Wyn scrambling to his feet. He half-ran, half-stumbled across the snow towards the source of the sound, but when he got there, he felt as if his heart had stopped beating. He fell to his knees. The coughing boy was Garrick‰Ûªs best friend, Junnar. He‰Ûªd been gut-shot, and the dark, matter-filled blood oozing from the wound told Wynter the boy was a dead man even though his body still clung weakly to the last threads of his life. Junnar lay atop the prone, lifeless figure of Wynter‰Ûªs brother. An arrow–its shaft painted with the Prince of Summerlea‰Ûªs personal colors –protruded from Garrick‰Ûªs throat. ‰ÛÏGarrick?‰Û After moving Junnar to one side and packing his wound with snow to numb the pain, Wyn reached for his brother with trembling hands. His fingers brushed the boy‰Ûªs face, and he flinched at the coldness of his brother‰Ûªs flesh. Garrick had been dead for hours. Probably since before Wyn had left Gildenheim in pursuit. How could Wyn have lost the only family he had left in the world and not known it the instant it happened? Horses approached from Wynter‰Ûªs back. Then Valik was there, laying a sympathetic hand on Wynter‰Ûªs shoulder. ‰ÛÏI‰Ûªm sorry, my friend. I‰Ûªm so sorry.‰Û Wyn nodded numbly. The ache was consuming him. The pain so deep, so indescribable, it was beyond feeling. His whole body felt frozen, like the ice statues he and Garrick carved together. ‰ÛÏHelp Junnar.‰Û How he spoke, he didn‰Ûªt know. His voice came out a choked, gravelly rasp. ‰ÛÏMake him as comfortable as you can.‰Û ‰ÛÏOf course.‰Û He waited for Valik to lift Junnar and settle him off a short distance before gathering Garrick‰Ûªs body into his arms. He held his brother for a long time, held him until Junnar breathed his last and the White Guard packed the bodies up for transport back to Gildenheim. Their hunt for Prince Falcon of Summerlea had ended the moment Wynter found his brother‰Ûªs corpse. But there was no doubt in any of their minds that this was far from over. Wynter carried Garrick in front of him on Hodri‰Ûªs back, cradling his body as he had so many times over the years after their parents had died and it had fallen to him to raise his brother. He carried him all the way to Gildenheim, releasing him only to the weeping servants who would prepare Garrick and the others for the funeral pyre. Wynter stood vigil by his brother‰Ûªs side throughout the night. He murmured words of sympathy to the parents of the other lost boys, but shed no tears of his own though his eyes burned. At dusk the following night, he stood, tall and dry-eyed beside the pyres as the flames were lit and remained standing, motionless and without speaking, throughout the night and into the next morning. He stood until the pyre was naught but flickering coals. And when it was done and there was nothing left of his brother but ash, Wynter mounted Hodri and took the long, winding road to the Temple of Wyrn, which was carved into the side of the next mountain. Galacia Frey, the imposing and statuesque High Priestess of Wyrn, was waiting for him inside the temple. She had come the night before to bless his brother and the others and to light their pyres, before returning to the temple to await his visit. ‰ÛÏYou know why I have come.‰Û Her eyes were steady. ‰ÛÏI know. But Wyn, my friend, you know I must ask you to reconsider. You know the price.‰Û ‰ÛÏI know and accept it.‰Û


My first foray into the Romance genre came my freshman year in high school English, where the teacher had us all read books from several different genres. So, my first book boyfriend and PnR introduction, if you will, was Richard Merlin, from The Wizard of Seattle. Prior to that, I’d only read Fantasy or Sci-fi, with a little teen horror thrown in for angst. I was reading The Vampire Diaries decades before it was even a twinkle in the eyes of the producers. Now, I am addicted to PnR, always reading at least one book a week about vamps, wolves, angels, demons, Fae, or overall magic.

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