11 January 2018

Gambit, Check and Mate Excerpt

Cianna Mackenzie, the lady of Falgannon Isle is facing hard times ahead.  Due to the extended draught, her islands need supplies to see them through the coming winter.  She could apply for aid from her new overlord, Earl Julian Challon—a man known as the Black Dragon.  But in dealing with him, she opens the up possibly that he would likely demand she wed with an English knight of his choosing, and then set him as governor of her island.  That leaves her with only one option—to apply for a loan from the powerful Iain Sinclair, Earl Dunnascaul.  What seemed like a logical solutions little prepares Cianna for the man—or the bargain he offers.

Iain Sinclair’s proposal was blunt—he wanted a child, a son, but would the haughty and beauty Lady of the Isle give him way he wants?

The pact made between them quickly turns into more than moves in a game of chess

Excerpt from Gambit, Check and Mate 
 A Dragons of Challon™ novella 

When she walked the three steps to him, he extended his hand, palm up. As she placed her hand in his upturned one, she was hit with a jolt, a power, an invisible lightning that sizzled through her fingers, the sensation traveling up her arm. It caused her to jump. In winter, when the fireplaces were kept burning hot, the air dried around them, and oft when you touched someone it caused a shock reaction. 

This was stronger. Much stronger. 

Cianna glanced down as his fingers lightly closed around her wrist. Was he trying to steady her? The room seemed to sway. Mayhap it was only her, as once more, a dizziness sensation filled her. She looked up, into his face, her eyes widening. 

“Who are you?” she whispered in awe. 

He gave her an indulgent half-smile as though she were a simpleton. Had he not felt the burning explosion that coursed through her––that came from him? In spite of lightheadedness, she had not imagined it. Her hand felt slightly numb, and the scorching vibration had moved up her arm and traveled to her shoulder. How could he not be aware of this? It grew so powerful it felt like he had a hand on her shoulder and was gently forcing her onto her knees. What sort of witchery was this? A dark magic unlike any she had ever experienced. 

“Iain Sinclair––as you well know,” he answered. 

Once more, she looked down. She began to pull away from him, the need urgent to break this hold, to get free of this power that emanated from him, fearing its significance. His long fingers tightened, flexing around her lower arm to where she could not draw back from him. 

Cianna’s eyes raised to stare into his. The whole time they had spoken he had wrapped himself with shadows. She had been aware of the force of his eyes, the incisiveness of the intelligence behind them. Only, she had not seen the shade. Now, she was close to him, and there was no escaping the brilliance of their hue. 

He had green eyes.

“What are you?” Her whispered words slipped from her lips. 

“I am a man who usually gets his way.” It sounded like a threat. 

He slowly released her wrist, turned and strode out the door. In the hallway, he stood in full sun, lingering a moment to look back at her. Again, she had a perception of a stone wall. There was no emotion there. His mind and heart was totally shut away from her. The Kenning would reveal nothing. 

Without a word, he walked away. . .

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