Though perhaps not quite standard procedure, I am delighted to reveal a cover created by none other than yours truly. This fun, wintery fantasy romance was a joy to work on, (smack in the middle of a heat wave, of all times), and I hope you love it as much as I do!
First though, a little about the story…
Katla, idiot of idiots, last warrior of Lundr, should know better than to release a dragon.
Sacrificing humans to keep the dragons away may be less bloody than war, but it’s repulsive and cowardly. Real warriors fight their enemies head on. And that’s exactly what Katla intends to do.
Her plans go south when, instead of preventing the sacrifice, she frees a sleeping dragon and is kidnapped to his frozen castle. Between his speed and bestial form, escape would be hard enough. But the dragon is compassionate, too—and nothing slays a lonely warrior faster than a kindhearted grouch.
Soon, Katla is trapped between raging factions of her own heart. Stopping the sacrifices will recommence an age-old war, one she and her peace-loving dragon would wage from opposing sides. Now that they have tamed each other, could they truly go back to being enemies?
Until then you can…
A GROAN LEAVES me as I wake. My shoulder pounds like a damn war drum, but my limbs and insides still feel intact, uneaten, and I lie on something so soft I think I might be in the Jarl’s own bed. A cold cloth covers my forehead and the handle of my axe presses into my ankle. As I lift my hand, a metal cup fills it.
“This should help,” the dragon says, his voice oddly softer now, more distant.
I open my eyes a crack but my head reels from the light. To either side of me sit a couple long seats like the one I lie on, all covered in furs—not the fake kind my people make out of wool, but real animal pelts of greys and whites with the slightest glimmer of pastels. Swirling silver designs embellish the far wall, and odd, steady white fires glow in round containers, filling the room with a day-like luminance. I can just make out part of a huge window covered in fine ice and the last hints of the setting sun on the horizon. The horizon where Lundr sits. I can’t find the dragon, so he must be lurking on the other side of my seat.
Hesitantly, I sniff the drink. It smells of herbs—nothing I haven’t had a hundred times before. A warrior needs their strength. I take a sip. It goes down sweet and smooth, and my head instantly feels a little less wobbly.
“Will this make me taste better too?” I ask, removing the cloth from my head.
“I only said that I might eat you,” the dragon grumbles. “And no, it won’t. But it should help with the blood loss.”
I drink the rest in one fluid swig. Wow, that’s good stuff. “I’d think blood itself would be tasty, to a dragon.”
He huffs. “It is. But I would take a juicy Elk over a prickly thing like you any day.”
“Who—” I try to sit up, but my vision still spins a little. “Who are you to call me prickly?” I manage to look over the back of my seat and almost faint all over again. This isn’t the dragon I freed from the caves of Katane. This isn’t a dragon at all.
He stands at a marbled grey kitchen counter, putting bundles and jars of herbs into a silver tray filled with little containers. Black markings still cover his chest and shoulders, working their way down his arms, but his skin is the palest olive beneath the tattoos. His fingers move with delicate precision, and while the rest of his tall frame seems just as gracefully put together, his bare torso and arms are formed of the most magnificent lean muscles I’ve ever seen.
Dark hair falls down his back, intermixed with the fine braids that carve along the sides of his head. A shadow of a beard darkens his angular jawline, and his silver eyes are tight and curved, a little like the traders who visit Lundr from the east. His only clothing is a pair of black pants with a slip of fur wrapped around them.
He finishes up and turns to look at me.
Words fill my mouth, but they don’t have any reason, any order. Instead what comes out is, “You, um, you . . . you, um . . .”
“Yes?” That’s his voice—the dragon’s voice. His voice coming out of a human body, or almost human, save for the unnatural beauty.
“You looked different before,” I manage. “You were a dragon before.”
He looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, and I nearly doubt myself. “I’m still a dragon.” He scowls. “We are creatures of another realm, why would we be confined to the standards of your mortal flesh?”
Pretentious oaf. “Never mind, you’re right—you’re definitely a dragon.” Definitely still my enemy. Definitely still someone—some creature—I can kill. But I look down at the empty glass in my hands and back up his much too human face, his much too human scowl, his much too delicate movements and I . . . I don’t know anymore. I have to think about it.
Over the years, Ophelia Silk has lived and loved across the globe. New adventures in romantic locations are always on her agenda, but she enjoys a night in with her cat and a good book any day of the week. She hopes her own stories will whisk readers away to extraordinary places, with characters who, through trials and growth, always end up with the happy ever after we all deserve. There is absolutely no reason to believe she is secretly several authors in a sexy trench coat. (Though, for the record, all of her trench coats are incredibly sexy.)
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