Cover & Excerpt Reveal
The Beasts of Barvik Book One
Can a princess tame a beast?
Princess Étaín of Caul Carlinne remains unsullied by her violent past.
When she chooses the Viking Brand of Bärvik as her mate, has she brought havoc and destruction to her people?
Viking warrior-beasts from the enchanted isle of Bärvik face a dilemma when their volcanic habitat begins to implode; find new land or perish.
Cual Carlinne, a peaceful and prosperous Celtic settlement on the Emerald Island is ripe for the picking. Brand Haäkon, ruler of Bärvik, has a choice-invade or assimilate?
Genre: Paranormal Romantic SuspensePurchase links: Amazon ARe Smashwords Kobo B&N
Themes: Historical, Vikings, Fantasy
Release Date: December 5, 2013
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing
Excerpt & More
Étaín wrinkled her nose at Larkin’s too-depictive command, but held her tongue until the three warriors departed. A stiff wind rattled the shingle attached to the shop into which he had disappeared. She hugged her arms, pretended a shiver, and mimicked a sneeze.
Cedilla gave her a sharp inspection. “Rory, run after the cart, and fetch milady’s wool brat. Make haste and return to us. Did I not say ′twas too cold for that summer brat? Your da will have me whipped if you catch a chest chill again.”
“Aye. You had the right of it Cedilla. I should have donned my heavy cloak. Forgive my stubbornness. Look, we are at the baker’s pasty shop and his ovens fair heat the air. Wait here for Rory, while I warm my chilled flesh inside the shop.” When Cedilla frowned down at her, Étaín added, “I will be but an ell away from you and the door is open. I will come to no harm.”
Before her nurse could utter a word, Étaín ducked into the shop. ′Twas here she had seen him these past months, here and on the piers, but never had she dared enter when he was there
Shadows lay heavy in the hut’s corners, but she ventured into the deep darkness drawn by his unique scent, man, the sea, and some arousing, unknown spice.
“Good morn, milady.” The pasty maker’s wife squatted to throw two logs under a brick oven. “What have you this day? Venison or swede pasty?”
“She will have one of each.”
Étaín could not draw a breath when he stepped out of the shadows and into the flickering light of the oil lamp hanging from a rafter. His voice brought to mind an image of the giant oaks found in the Fathomless Forest overlooking Caul Cairlinne, deep timbered, gruff, and compelling.
He wore a raven-blue cloak pinned at his throat by a brass brooch in the shape of some mythical creature with wings, horns, and clawed hands and feet. A beast with ferocious features, yet she felt no timidity, no anxiety. Instead, her heart swelled and galloped fit to burst out of her chest.
She linked her fingers together to stop their violent trembling and gawked at him.
The dark hood concealing his features fell away. He took two great strides to the pasty maker’s counter laden with steaming pies.
Étaín had memorized his face the first time they had stared at each other across the congested quay. The sun had woven its rays into the burnished chestnut of his hair, which fell in waves to the cusps of shoulders too broad to span in one glance. The bump in the middle of his nose spoke of battles long waged.
Dark brows pinched together when he drew coin from a purse and tossed the round metal onto the wooden counter.
The pasty maker’s wife wrapped two pies in a large green leaf and handed them to him.
He spun around.
She marveled at the poetry of the way he moved, all animal supple, arrogant, and contained, like a fierce dragon crouched to pounce.
“For you, fair lady.” He sketched a courtier’s bow and she wondered if he, too, was of royal blood.
“My thanks.” Étaín’s knees quaked and she blushed under his intense scrutiny. She accepted the pasties, balanced the broad leaf in one hand, and tore it in half. Concentrating on her task but aware he studied her every action; she divided the pies in two, folded one of each into a leaf half, and offered him the larger portion. “Will you break your fast with me, my lord?”
“I am yours to command, my lady, in any way.
Étaín could not drag her stare from him. The harshness of his male beauty proved mesmerizing. She winced at the jagged scar that ran from the small of his back to his shoulder. What pain he must have borne from such an injury.
Twin dimples at the top of his buttocks winked at her when he rested the poker to the side of the fireplace.
He turned around.
She gasped and lurched to sitting.
In truth, Margie had been right to have been worried. His pecker jutted thick and high. ’Twas of an enormous girth, and when he strode forward, it bobbed. The closer he came, the more the thing swelled and lengthened. She licked suddenly dry lips and swallowed, once, twice.
When he slid under the covers, she stifled the sudden impulse to flee the chamber.
“Come, wife. Talk with me a while.” He curled an arm around her waist and drew her down to the mattress.
Étaín stared at the tented sheets and blurted, “Does it move on its own?”
He chuckled. “Aye. At times. Has Margie told you what to expect this eve?”
She worried her lower lip and squeezed her eyes shut trying to regain some composure.
“To me, Étaín.” He cupped her chin and gently slipped her lip free. “Have you spoken with Margie?”
Her cheeks warmed, and she focused on the fine fuzz clinging to his jaw. “Aye. I know what to expect, but ’tis one thing to speak of and another to behold. My lord, I cannot see how we will fit. ’Tis obvious you need a woman twice my height and one who is strong-boned.”
“Brand. When we are alone, I would have you say my name.” He tilted her head back and forced her to look into his eyes.
She had forgotten how brilliant a blue they were.
“Brand, Étaín, say it.” His smile proved pure enchantment.
“Brand,” she repeated.
“Again,” he commanded and kissed her bare shoulder.
’Twas delicious, the feel of his lips on her skin. A shivery tingling stole up her spine. “Aye. Again.”
“This?” His mouth brushed the cusp.
“Aye. Delicious.” She arched her neck, and he obliged her silent plea by feathering soft kisses to the ridge of her collarbone. When his tongue, hot and coarse, licked the base of her neck, she moaned.
“Delicious, wife. You smell of spring and taste like a feast.”
All the while, his lips and mouth made magik on her throat. Lava flowed hot and molten through her veins.
When his finger grazed her nipple, she clutched at his arms. Sensations crashed through her. Her lewd dreams surged anew, and she tangled her hand in his hair and urged him to her breast. He suckled her, long hard pulls, his tongue laving without mercy. Each tug of her engorged bud created a corresponding burning in her woman parts. She was fevered and dizzy with wanting something, but knew not what.
“No,” she protested when he freed her flesh.
He glanced up at her and grinned. “Aye. ’Tis a rule. What you do to one titty must be done to the other. In equal parts.”
“Oh.” Titty; what a wicked word. “Methinks ’tis a prudent rule.”
But, ’twas a falsehood, for not only did he pay attention to one breast, but with his hand and mouth attended to both. He lapped one swollen peak and blew over it.
“More,” she begged, shameless with need.
She dug her heels into the mattress when he transferred his attentions to the other mound and closed his teeth softly over the swollen tip of her breast.
He tugged on the other bud and then switched.
Étaín squished the sheets with her hands.
The nub between her woman’s folds itched and prickled.
His hand pressed hard against her mound. She lifted her hips to increase the pressure.
“Thanks be to Freya. You are wet and ready.” He nudged her legs apart.
Her eyelids flew up and she froze at the blaze of desire glistening from the dark centers of his in eyes that held not a swatch of blue .
“Take your pleasure, Étaín. Watch me give you the stars.”
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