Adora Leonnte, sister to the Uttoran emperor, endured a year trapped in a nightmarish forced marriage to a Sebboyan prince driven by a sinister prophecy to take her against her will. The war that followed destroyed the small country, but she emerges unbroken…if not unscathed. Safe again in Uttor, she vows to put the horrors she faced behind her and once again become the fearless young woman she was before her abduction.
As fate would have it, her hated kidnapper left her carrying his child, and that is a condition even she cannot wish away. Adora’s enduring hope for romance fades until a blue-eyed, self-possessed foreigner walks back into her life and reawakens feelings promising the erotic delights of which she’s always dreamed.
Vallmer Berringen, the handsome and devout prince of a country allied with conquered Sebboy, has come to Uttor for two reasons: to secure the treaty that will give his country a much needed alliance, and to fulfill his father’s orders to use the occasion to find a suitable bride. Captivated by Adora’s intelligence and courage, Vallmer is torn by the fact she is both pregnant and pagan. Her infamous reputation taints Adora, a woman that a man of his position and faith should never be tempted to woo.
Can he reconcile his vision for his country with his passion for a woman whose spirit sets his blood on fire—but for whom kingdoms have gone to war?
Adora flashed a grin at Vallmer, after which she took careful aim and squeezed the trigger. The dummy wobbled as stuffing flew out from its side. Vallmer lifted an eyebrow.
“I’ve been practicing with one of the gonnes in my keeping,” she confided. She flipped open the pan cover before she tipped back the weapon and held out her hand. “Might I have the powder, and a ball?”
Aware of Vallmer’s scrutiny, she poured powder into the barrel, taking care to use the right amount, and then plucked the round lead ball from his palm. She dropped the ball into the barrel and tamped it into place with the gonne’s rod. “Spanner, please.”
She took the tool from him and used it to give the wheel a quarter turn. A squeeze of priming powder from his bag into the pan, and she was done, closing the pan cover with a flip and lowering the dog against the wheel. The gonne was ready to shoot again. “How did I do?”
“I hope my soldiers are so ready by the time we reach the shores of Benarri.”
Her cheeks warmed with pleasure. “I should have told you Brag showed me how to use one before I left Uttor, but I enjoyed too much the way you were holding me. You…feel so very protective and sincere and, well, I enjoy being protected.”
“Do you?” He took position behind her again and wrapped his arms around her chest, pulling her back against his body.
“Be careful,” she said, “I’m holding a loaded weapon.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
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