Date Published: February 2017
Prince Joron of Blade Rain was kissed by a man he had no idea was King Aric of Claymoor Doom. Of course King Aric had no idea the one he kissed was even a man since Joron was dressed as a woman. Disguised to escape the newly crowned king of Blade Rain who just happens to be Joron’s brother, Joron is swept off his feet by Aric when he is rescued by him from an assault. Aric is also swept off his feet by the beauty of the “woman” and that one amazing kiss. Aric, who is led to believe the beautiful woman he kissed is actually the princess, immediately goes to the king of Blade Rain and offers for the princess’s hand in marriage and his offer is accepted. Unfortunately, King Aric is now betrothed to Liarta, Joron’s sister. But an emergency has King Aric racing home without finding out the mistake he has made and now Joron must ride to Claymoor Doom to renegotiate the offer since Liarta is in love with someone else and does not want to marry King Aric.
Imagine Aric’s surprise when he discovers the Prince is the one he thought was the Princess! So Aric does the only thing he can think of. He will release Liarta from her obligation of marriage, but only if Joron takes her place… in the marriage bed.
Things are going well for King Aric. He had Joron safely hidden away. Diagus, although a continuing threat to Joron, had left his castle empty handed, and the Cetin Gang was headed for his dungeons. He should be thrilled but – something was not right. He could feel it.
Sure enough, when he returns to Claymoor castle, he finds Joron has been kidnapped and he must ride immediately to rescue him. And knowing the culprit, it was not going to be an easy task. However, Aric has a trump card; a letter from a dead king. Seemingly nonsensical at first, it now points a finger directly at a murderer and Aric is convinced Joron is next. Somehow he has to find him and get Joron back into his protective arms before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, there are other huge pitfalls just waiting in the shadows. It turns out Joron is the true king of Blade Rain and Aric’s long dead wife miraculously returns to claim Aric as her own. Between all the lies, murders, and life altering revelations, is there hope for these two at all?
King Diagus of Blade Rain is in a bind. He is duty bound to produce a royal heir and the only way he knows that can happen is if he beds a woman. Definitely not his idea of Happily Ever After. In fact, far from it. Except instead of walking down the aisle with the princess he has arranged to marry, Diagus is off in the wilds of Claymoor Doom. But there’s a good reason. Rumor had it there was someone near Gray Valley with Diagus’s stark blue eyes. A possible relative and therefore an heir? Was there a chance he might not have to marry a woman, after all? Regrettably, Diagus finds no one matching the rumor’s description. What he does find is a heinous, black magic plot for murder and Diagus is the next on the list.
Tama’s pregnant sister claimed to be carrying the child of a king. Not just any king. The mighty king of Blade Rain. She was determined to get out of the very poor house of Hilman and into the lap of luxury. But fate had its own agenda. Sadly, Tama must raise his nephew all by himself after his sister unexpectedly dies in childbirth. It’s not a problem, though. He loves Aydin as he loved his sister – with all his heart.
However, Tama’s lazy and abusive father, Beourn, is angry and extremely disappointed. Being the grandfather of a crown prince, he was looking forward to moving to the castle and living a life of extravagance. With his daughter’s death, that was no longer possible. So, he does the unthinkable. He kidnaps Aydin with the intent of selling him to the rich and powerful king. Tama is stunned he would do such a thing and chases after Beourn to rescue Aydin.
But he doesn’t get far before he is confronted with a beautiful man being viciously attacked. Of course Tama has to help. If he doesn’t the man will surely die. Except Tama quickly learns the man is far more than just someone in trouble. In fact, the man is a king and will change Tama’s life. Forever.
THE SERVANT KING
Aric sat back down with a “harrumph” and put his head in his hands. He was so damn tired. He wished to hell he was not so exhausted. There was no question in his mind it was Diagus who was behind this. He lured Joron out of the castle with the promise of going on a manhunt, kidnapped him, and they were most assuredly on their way back to Blade Rain.
He needed to head for Blade Rain himself. “How long?”
“S-sire?” The voice was weak, coming from the small round woman who had first stepped forward.
“How long ago did Joron leave?” The king had no energy. It was all completely gone.
“About…it’s been…it was shortly… Oh dear…he left before you left yesterday morning, sire. Come to think of it… Ben has not been seen since then either. Did…did we do wrong?” She was in tears.
The king took her hand and patted it before he turned to Everett once more, rising to his feet. “That means they have a hell of a head start. In fact, they’re probably halfway back to Blade Rain already. It makes sense now. He wanted to give himself as much time as he could before I found out about his heinous plot. How far out are the men?”
Everette sighed. “At least another hour.”
“Damn him. He truly outwitted me. My best men still an hour away and they’ll all be exhausted. Doesn’t matter. Gather the second fleet—or third. Hell, get me a bunch of old men. Meet me at the front gates. We’re riding to rescue Joron.”
“But…but, sire… We don’t know the circumstances yet.”
“Everett. If there is something you need to know about what happened, then find out. But you better have a force of troops at the front gate in ten minutes, ready to ride, or it will be your head.” He turned on his heel and headed to the private quarters. He would change his clothes, splash some cold water on his face, and head back out. He would not let that asshole get away with this.
But at this rate, he was already too late to save Joron from his brother’s attack. His heart wrenched, knowing his little lover would not be able to fend for himself this time, even if he had been able to up until now. He was horribly dismayed by the fact Joron would have to endure anything, much less the sick touch of his brother’s hand.
To hell with changing his clothes. There was only one thing Aric needed from his chambers, and he ran like hell to retrieve it. Then he even ran back out to the main hall. He would not take his tired war steed, though he was the fastest in the land. He would have to settle for something less, or he would end up walking. Again he shook his head at the brilliance of the trap he’d fallen into. As he reentered the hall, he heard Everett continuing to shout out orders concerning packed supplies—what and how much—and the questions he wanted answered before departing, one of them being the whereabouts of Ben—not only for the boy’s safety but because he also might have all the answers Everett was after. Aric nodded when Everett turned to acknowledge him, noting servants running in all directions, following Everett’s commands.
“Sire, I…I thought you were… The troops are assembling, sir. Pack horses will catch up to us, as will some of the answers we seek. We need as much information about what happened as possible.”
“Good man, Everett. Thank you.” Aric never slowed down, heading for the outside doors. “Are you coming?”
Everett looked at Aric with shock, scrambling to catch up to his departing king. “I am afraid, sire, even if you gave orders for me to stay, I would have to disobey them.”
Aric smirked. He knew better. Everett only said such brave words because he knew Aric would never forbid him to be at his side. “So be it then.”
Everett’s sigh told of his relief. “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
About the Author
I live in Minnesota where I holds tight to the idea that here, where it’s cold a good part of the year, I won’t age as fast. Yep, I avoid the truth as much as I avoid mirrors. But one of the reasons I love writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, I doesn’t mind “real life” and I do try to at least keep it in mind when I write my stories, but I truly love creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA. Every – single – time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason I love reading this genre, too. Give me a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and my computer, whether I am reading or writing, and I will entertain myself for hours. The fact I actually get paid to do it, is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.
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