Prince Gabriel of Rhyddon is the reluctant heir to the faerie kingdom of Eilithia. It’s said that there is nothing more beautiful than Eilithia and the Tylwyth Teg faeries that live there. Gabriel would disagree. Since being enchanted by the seductive temptress Aneira, a powerful witch who spoke his name four years ago, he has not seen the beauty in anything. Imprisoned by indifference and oblivious to any power but Aneira’s corrupting passion, Prince Gabriel’s mind may no longer be his own, but he will never give her his heart. That was taken from him long ago, and only glimmers of that joyous pledge keep him sane.
Somewhere across the earthly realm of Wales, Taryn of Hamilhawk dreams of a magical forest with music in its trees and a man who holds her heart in his hands. But she’s afraid of magic and, looking out her lonely tower window, prays each night to forget him. She has no idea that soon she will be his wife and that she will somehow save both him and herself from a force that threatens their future. She would never imagine that her path to passionate love will be filled with faeries, a talking tree, and a shape-changing king… and best it not be revealed until Taryn is free to bring her own magnificence and resilience to bear. All she knows is that he calls out to her in her dreams. “Save me, Taryn.” And her heart, no matter how she tries to deny it, must answer.
Release date: May 31, 2016
Print pages: 331
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STARS MISTED THE VELVET SKY. They twinkled in rhythm to the music drifting through the deep forest. A cool, moist breeze fondled the moonlit treetops, filling the young girl who ran barefoot beneath the branches with wild abandon. She didn’t see the shining eyes of the forest animals watching her while she ran and twirled, her bare arms above her head. Her eyes were closed, lost to a symphony that only she could hear. The music called her deeper and deeper into the wisteria-canopied woods. The sweet melody pulsed through her veins, embracing her heart and flesh and giving her small feet flight, her heart wings.
“Taryn,” a boy called. His voice was as beautiful as the music. “Come hither, Taryn.”
She lifted her skirts to her knees and ran toward him, twirling as she searched for him within the trees.
“Say my name, Taryn.” He laughed from somewhere to her right. “Or you shall never find me.”
“Tell me your name and I’ll say it,” she promised, but the boy left her. She felt his absence like a hole in her belly and fell to the ground in a heap of sobs and creamy wool. A name flirted at the edges of her consciousness, as elusive as the breeze blowing her hair away from her face. Something soft touched her cheek. She reached for it, wiping her nose with her other hand. It was an amber-colored leaf in the shape of an arrow, different from the others that sprinkled the forest floor. She studied it for a moment and then, without knowing why, put the leaf in her mouth and ate it.
A sound drew her attention to the right. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, and then she rubbed them again. For it was no longer night in the forest, and she was no longer a child. Her hair tumbled over her shoulders, catching the vermilion fire of sunlight streaming through the canopy. A movement caught the corner of her eye, and she turned toward a curtained wall of gnarled branches where more of the little, arrow-shaped amber leaves swayed in a silent breeze.
Taryn’s pulse raced when the branches began to move. She wasn’t afraid. Oh no, her heart battered madly against her ribs because she could not wait another moment to see him. The heavy boughs creaked and bent, creating an opening from which a dusty, black boot appeared out of the shadows. It was followed by a muscular leg encased in black woolen pants. Taryn watched, breathless, while a hand appeared next. Long, chiseled fingers waved away the pliant boughs without touching them.
A man stepped out of the darkness and into Taryn’s vision like a fantasy come to life. He looked around for a moment, as if this place was unfamiliar to him. His stance was guarded yet confident, like that of a warrior. When his riveting gaze finally came to rest on her, it halted Taryn’s heart. His face was a masterwork of compelling emotions all concentrated within the brilliant peacock-blue depths of his eyes. He wore a full shirt of rich scarlet that stretched across his broad shoulders when he inhaled the fragrant air. A cluster of amber leaves floated from the boughs above him and fell into his rich raven hair, forming a perfect circlet above his brow. Taryn felt the urge to bow to him, but she knew that her knees would never hold out if she did.
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