March Book of the Month
Aridis: Concubine's daughter, emperor's sister, and the provincial queen of Imenotash
Edan: Peasant's son, mystic warrior, and captain of the palace guard of Imenotash
Giroch: Emperor of the Harudin Empire and unable to produce an heir of his own body.
A dangerous class of wills erupts when an intelligent and strong-willed woman with deadly secrets defies the Harudin emperor by marrying her peasant-born captain of the guard, who has lethal secrets of his own. Emperor Giroch gets his cruel revenge by threatening them both with death unless they bow down to cruel humiliation designed to destroy them and produce an heir. They find an unlikely ally and risk everything in a desperate gamble to obtain freedom from cruel tyranny. Along the way, their mutual respect is tested and begins to transform. Will they achieve freedom, love, and happiness, or will their enemies and deadly secrets destroy them?
This fantasy romance novella contains mature content not suitable for readers under 18 years old.
5 Star - Review "If you love something, set it free..."
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From two steps behind and slightly off to the right, he watched his lady walk with stately grace and ignore the thinly veiled sneers of contempt, jealousy, avarice, and resentment from the provincial kings who sat in their imposing thrones that lined the great hall. Captain Edan Morrellen, captain of the palace guard and all military personnel of Imenotash, regarded his lady only with pride and loyalty. She’d done much good for the province, leading it back to productivity and prosperity after a generation of greedy, shortsighted, and careless rulers.
It mattered not to him that a woman ruled. She’d proven herself more than capable. He served her with pride.
She stopped a respectful distance from the gilded throne and bowed deeply, again showing the proper respect, and murmured, “Your Majesty. I have come as you bade me.”
Giroch, emperor of the Harudin Empire, stroked his bearded chin and nodded.
“Welcome, Aridis. It is good to see you again, sister.”
Edan’s queen nodded and replied in kind, “And it is a pleasure to see you again, your Majesty.”
“We shall speak privately later,” the emperor stated, not bothering to check whether Aridis had time in her busy schedule to accommodate him. He was the emperor; everyone always had time to accommodate him. He glanced at the captain of Aridis’ guard and added, “Do you feel an armed escort necessary within the walls of your old home, sister?”
Her expression remaining serenely impassive, the provincial queen simply replied, “It is law that no woman approach the emperor without male escort. Captain Edan accompanied me on the journey to the capital and is more than capable of serving as my escort here.”
The emperor nodded his acceptance of the captain’s double duty and waved his hand in dismissal. Aridis bowed deeply again and retreated to the empty throne in the great hall, the throne assigned to her province. Maintaining a protective, yet still respectful, distance between himself and his lady, Edan escorted her down the long, marble-floored room. He discreetly pulled a clean handkerchief from a coat pocket and wiped the throne’s surface clean of whatever nasty substance one of her peers had spilled on it. Their resentment, envy, and greed spurred them to such petty, mean-spirited attacks and he despised them for it.
“Thank you, Captain,” she murmured as she shrugged off her cape and draped it over the seat to protect her gown. “Drop the handkerchief on the floor. A servant will clean it for you.”
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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