TIES THAT BIND: Tess’ Challenge, Aedan’s Choice
Aedan is a man who denies himself nothing. He’s spent five years in the king’s court, drowning himself in wine, women and song. His gifts have brought him power, wealth and the promise of a wife and land in France.
Sent north to investigate rumors of treason, Aedan discovers someone is murdering monks and stealing saints’ relics. All clues point to his cousin’s husband, Richard, the Earl of Carlisle.
Aedan knows that nothing is what it seems, and Tess’ presence in Carlisle only reminds him of what he wants, but cannot have.
Despite the way he calls to her, Tess refuses to rekindle her relationship with Aedan. She knows his reputation, knows he still misuses his gifts, and knows if she lets him get too close, he could destroy her life.
But her resolve falters when her uncle promises her hand to a man she despises and Aedan’s kiss reawakens her heart. But she refuses to be used:
“You say I am no longer the girl you knew,” Tess said, “but neither are you the boy I loved.”
Her voice was soft as silk, yet twined around him until Aedan could barely move.
“You are restless for a reason. You have as much magic as your brother, if not more. Yet everyone erroneously calls you the lesser of the Ap Owen brothers. You wield power like a master swordsman, yet allow the king to treat you like an errand boy. You have a harp tattooed on your back and hum evensong when you think no one listens. You walk between worlds, as if you are at home in both, but belong to neither.”
“I belong to you.”
“Do not say that.” She stepped away from his touch. “To claim me, you would have to give up your magic.”
“You cannot ask that of me.”
“I know, which is why I do not.”
No demand. No ultimatum. Just her line in the sand stated with a calmness that men like her uncle mistook for complacency. In reality, she was as immovable as the mountains, and he liked that as much as her yielding heat and eager passion.
Could he give up his—He wheeled away from his own thoughts. Domestic, unmagical bliss was not what he wanted.
Will Aedan renounce his magic to win Tess' heart anew or will he choose magic over love?
Keena Kincaid, the author of three historical romance novels with The Wild Rose Press, is blogging all week to celebrate the release of TIES THAT BIND, the second of her Druids of Duncarnoch series. On Friday, she’ll answer your questions about her characters, her books and herself. Everyone who submits a comment or a question will be entered into a drawing for one of five prizes: a 25 percent off coupon to The Wild Rose Press bookstore (2); a copy of TIES THAT BIND (2) and a set ANAM CARA and TIES THAT BIND (1).