Hello, beautiful readers!
This month I’m celebrating the release of the fourth book in the Realm of Honor series, A Knight Like No Other. I’m excited to bring this book to you because it happens to be one of my favorites. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re all my favorite. I love all these books in this series and I hope you will too.
The book will be out March 13 but it’s available for pre-order NOW!
Today’s post comes from the opening lines of the book. Come back next Tuesday for another teaser and learn more about Drake and Sobriel!
Sir Drake Attenborough watched as Princess Sobriel rode away from the Queen’s Palace, his heart breaking more with the expanding distance between them. She was returning to her home high atop the trees in the Woodlands and he hadn’t even had a chance to tell her goodbye. Her father and her royal brothers flanked her as though they were a shield or a barricade to keep her from him.
Drake was aware the king and all the others at court knew of his fancy for the Elven princess. And she for him. He hadn’t kept his feelings secret, nor she hers. They had spent as much time as possible together. They had danced with each other every chance they could get. He had hoped he would have another opportunity to be with her at the coronation that day. But no. Instead they were riding back to the Woodlands. He was certain her father did all he could to get her back home—away from Drake.
“Will you let her go so easily?” Elyne asked.
He hadn’t realized the Fae queen stood beside him, watching him watch the princess. Sobriel kept her back rigid and straight as she rode. He memorized everything about her, burning it into his mind so he could conjure it any moment he wanted. It pained him to think he may never see her beautiful face or her brilliant smile again. She wore a silk gown of pale blue, an ivory sash at her tiny waist. An opaque veil draped her head, cascading down her back and hiding the length of her hair the color of spun gold. Aye, he memorized the way she looked, sitting astride her white horse. The horse she’d named Moonshadow.
Moonshadow. How delightful and fanciful was the princess.
His chest ached as she looked at him over her shoulder one last time. One last look of longing. Their gazes locked. But the moment didn’t last long when the king noticed. He glared at Drake. Sobriel faced forward in the saddle once more.
“Shouldn’t you go after her? I believe that’s what she wants.”
Aye, he should. And he wanted to but knew the king of the Elves frowned upon their match. He knew it was forbidden in their culture. Yet the young princess made it clear by the fluttering of her eyelashes and the way she blushed she was interested in his affections. He knew it as surely as he knew he would never be happy without her.
They hadn’t so much as kissed. He wanted to taste those perfect, blood-red, heart-shaped lips. To feel if they were as petal soft as they looked. Oh, there was one time they came close only to be interrupted by Lord Eldrin.
Drake would never forget the way her tiny body fit against his as he held her, leading her through the steps of his medieval dance. The velvety skin of her hands as she held his. The way her waist curved inward as he held her close. The feel of the small of her back while they swayed, their heads close together. He could still feel her warm breath on his cheek and smell her honeysuckle-scented hair.
By Saint Mary, he loved her.
“It is forbidden,” he said at last. “The king will not allow it.”
“A lot of drivel that,” Elyne said, her voice airy. “There has to be a way. Look at my mother and Henry after all.”
Henry was a human who had crossed the veil into the Otherworld to find his missing daughter Maggie. When he met the queen of the Fae, he fell madly in love with her. He’d helped save her from the Goddess of War and won her heart. The queen, in turn, gave up her crown and immortality to be with him in the human realm. A love story the bards would sing about for ages yet to come.
“Need I remind you that your mother was queen of the Otherworld and could do what she pleased,” Drake said. “I daresay our situation is vastly different.”
“Nonsense,” Elyne said with a wave of her hand. “What would it hurt to try?”
Rejection, that’s what. Drake didn’t know if he could suffer the indignity of losing Sobriel for good. Of having the king turn him away. But the Fae princess—nay, the newest queen of the Otherworld—had a point. He could try. Mayhap he could win Sobriel’s heart and her hand in marriage.
“Suppose I provide you one of my fastest horses,” Elyne continued. “And you rode to the Woodlands. And suppose you had a message…no, a gift from the Fae queen to bestow upon the Elven king.”
Drake gave her a surreptitious glance. He could see her mind working as she tapped the tip of her finger on her chin. She must be concocting a way for him to gain entrance to the Woodlands. Her blonde hair tousled in the slight breeze and her cornflower-blue eyes snapped to his as she looked at him, a glint of mischief in her gaze.
“Aye, that’s what we’ll do. I have a token of thanks to bestow upon the king. And a letter expressing my regret he couldn’t stay and attend the coronation and the celebration of my wedding to Lord Derron.”
She held up her hand. “Sir Drake, do you wish to see the princess again or not?”
“I do, but—”
“Good. I can’t have a lovelorn human moping the halls of the palace indefinitely.”
“I had thought I would return to the human realm, your majesty.”
“Bollocks. I’m not letting you go back there. You have a princess’s heart to win after all.”