As release day approaches for the re-release of the first three books in the Realm of Honor series, I’m excited to bring you today’s teaser from the second book, Only for a Knight. This is the story of Derron and Elyne, the two Fae characters from the first book.
Now through release day (July 25) you can get this book at half price ($2.99) at Smashwords. Use Coupon Code TL87T. Price will go back up to $4.99 after release day.
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After saving her love from certain death, Princess Elyne returns to the Otherworld by order of her mother, Queen Maeve. But it’s not the homecoming she expects. The queen is furious she has been meddling with humans and imprisons her, stripping away her magic. The only way Elyne can get her powers back is to perform one selfless act.
When Queen Maeve sends Sir Derron to find the Guardian of the ancient Sword of Light, one of the Four Treasures of the Otherworld, he can’t leave without releasing Elyne. After all, she altered time to save his life in the human world. But freeing the princess comes with a steep price—he must take her with him on this dangerous quest.
Their search becomes much more than a pursuit for the missing Guardian. Dark Elf, Lord Kieran, rises to dominate the Unseelie court. He will stop at nothing to gain control of both the Otherworld and the human realm—he’s murdering Guardians and stealing the sacred Treasures of the Fae. Even with the help of Elves, dragons, and their human friends, the odds are stacked against them.
Can Elyne and Derron stop the destruction of the walls between Fae and Man before they fall?
“You’ve never been good at hiding your emotions from me, Elyne.”
His voice was dangerously close. She knew he stood right behind her. She continued to brush, her hand making a long, sweeping motion along the mare’s neck.
“Is this about the betrothal?”
She would rather die than admit to him that’s what hurt her so much. She forced out a laugh. A pathetic attempt at one. “Don’t be foolish, Derron. Our betrothal has been broken for quite some time. I’m at peace with that.”
“Nay, I don’t believe you are.”
His hands landed on hers, halting her. He took away the brush, set it aside and then turned her to face him. She didn’t want to look at him. Didn’t want to feel anything for him. She tried to convince herself he’d destroyed that when their promise of marriage was broken. He cupped her chin, tilted her head up so she had to meet his gaze. A scorching gaze that seemed to say he wanted her.
“I thought that’s what you wanted,” he said.
“You wanted it. You intended to carry Maggie off to the Otherworld. Remember?”
And all the other fair maidens who flung themselves at him. She recalled with great detail how they offered their favors to him, waving opaque champagne-colored cloth at him, begging him to choose them. He always had one or two ladies fair at the tournaments.
“Aye, I recall that. An apparent lapse in judgment. I must have been drinking too much mead. Finn would have never allowed it anyway.” His grin showed off both dimples. Dimples that made him famous and melted the knees of many a lady.
“Things had already been set into motion, Derron. You didn’t really want to marry me. As I didn’t want to marry you.” That may have been true at one time, but now she wasn’t so sure. If her mother reinstated their betrothal, she would accept it without complaint.
“Is that true, then?” he asked.
“You know it is.”
“Then you would feel nothing if I kissed you?” A dangerous gleam ignited in his eyes. Elyne could see the beginnings of a faint smile. A teasing smile.
A curious swooping pulled at her stomach. “That’s right. I’d feel nothing.”
“Mayhap I should test that theory,” he suggested. He leaned dangerously close to her, his lips a breath from hers.
Her mind screamed no, but her mouth said, “Mayhap you should.”
Derron cupped her face, his hands warm and gentle. When his mouth connected with hers, her stomach turned into a roaring fire, exploding through her in a burst of heat and flame. Singeing her from the inside out. His lips were like velvet as they lingered on hers, tasting her, sipping her like honey wine. Her head fell back and her body went limp as he pulled her into his arms. She didn’t fight him. She couldn’t. Her arms slipped around his neck as he deepened the kiss, his tongue delving into the recesses of her mouth. She sighed, their breath exchanging as their souls touched.
Never in their long history had he kissed her. She wanted it to last forever. She wanted him to proclaim his love for her then and there. She just wanted him.
Sir Derron. Protector of the Otherworld. Knight of her heart.
The thought startled her so suddenly she broke away from him, stepping out of his arms and as far away as she could get. Her lips were still damp. Her heart still throbbed from wanting.
They stared at each other a long moment, his lips parted, his chest rising and falling with quick breaths. It had affected him, too. His face even looked a bit flushed. He broke their gaze and raked a hand through his hair.
And then he smiled. As though the kiss hadn’t affected him.
“Did it prove your theory, then? Did you, in fact, feel nothing?”
How dare he ask her that when he knew otherwise? She held her head high, giving him her best snootiness. “I felt nothing.”
Even as she said it, her heart panged with longing. Longing turned to guilt when his smile faded. He had wanted her to tell the truth. He wanted to know he affected her deeply. Why the lie? Why couldn’t she tell him how she felt when she knew he wanted to hear it? Because he’d hurt her. He’d shredded her heart when he petitioned the court to break their betrothal. He had destroyed hope for a future.
“Very well, princess. We have a long journey ahead and an early morning. I bid thee good night.”
He left the stable. With his every step, her heart wept a little harder. She had lost him once again.