[Musings] Kind words and a gentle push

Received a lovely review of “Hunter on a Moonless Night” by Tina Williams of A Reader’s Review Blog:

Although a short read it is well written and executed and contains a number of passionate and erotic scenes which I enjoyed and some lively banter between the hero and heroine, whose characters are well drawn.

I couldn’t be more pleased.

It also adds motivation to write more. Life got in the way of my plans to have Bound by Wyvern’s Blood done by now, but it’s still very much an active project. I’ll prove it by posting more snippets soon!

The brightness to be found on moonless nights

From the forthcoming Hunter on a Moonless Night. A man buried in sorrow discovers a woman who offers him laughter and brightness and heat:

He laughed a little, helplessly. “Ah, Nimae. Who needs stars when you’re around?”

She didn’t know what she’d done to amuse him, but she liked the sound of his laughter, rich and deep, and so she smiled back at him.

The laughter slid away from his face, then, leaving something stark and raw and vulnerable. She swallowed, forgetting her own smile under the intensity of his gaze. He had the most regal cheekbones, she thought suddenly. And his eyes were a blue as deep as sorrow.

He leaned closer. She didn’t move away. His mouth covered hers forcefully, and she yielded to the pressure of his lips, the invasion of his tongue. His stubble scraped against her skin, and it only made her nerves blaze more alive.

One of his hands cupped the back of her head, trapping her in the kiss. The other came to rest along her ribs, his thumb just under the curve of her breast. She could feel her nipples pressing against the fabric of her clothes, aching for touch. She wanted to melt into him, let him claim every fiber of her being, down to the marrow of her bones.

Instead he tore himself away. She made a noise of protest. She felt as heated as though summer had overtaken her, and it pulsed most strongly between her legs.

“I can’t,” he said in a low, rough voice that made her think of cats’ tongues and distant thunder. “Nimae, I’ve been fighting in a war for a year and I want you too badly. I won’t be gentle.”

She gave him a slow smile. “I don’t want gentle.”

This is a shorter piece that came to me when I was thinking about the Wild Hunt, and had just read a bunch of short stories by Patricia McKillip.

Aphrodisiac wine

From a scene from Bound by Wyvern’s Blood where Mirrin doses Brendar’s wine with an aphrodisiac:

He drained the glass, then set it down on the table and smiled when he saw how intently she was watching him. “The wine was still trembling in its glass when you finished with it,” he said. “Careless of you. Was it poison? I switched glasses.”

She swallowed. Her mouth was dry. Blindly, she reached for her own wineglass and almost knocked it over. Some of it spilled onto her dress, leaving a crimson stain. It didn’t matter; she’d be undressing soon enough. “It wasn’t poison.” She brought the glass to her lips.

His eyes widened as she drank. It ran like molten metal down her throat. She never released his gaze, even as she lowered the glass.

Her voice grew husky. “And I put it in both our glasses.”

His chair crashed to the floor behind him as he rose and leaned over the table. “What was in that wine?”

His words were a low growl.

The air seemed overly warm. She tugged at the neck of her gown. There was no reason not to answer; he’d already drunk. “The heart’s blood of a wyvern. It inspires lust.”

“Do you know what you’ve done?” he demanded. Sweat shone on his forehead.

“Your father slew the wyvern,” she said. “The blood was rightfully yours. And you captured Elenyor. You’ve one last thing to take, Warlord.” She began to pull at the laces of her bodice.

History–and attraction–unearthed

A bit from Bound by Wyvern’s Blood, a work-in-progress:

He studied her. “Do you know why your father banished me?”

“I only know that the two of you argued in private, and that you struck him. He said later that you had grown ungrateful.”

One corner of his mouth lifted in a crooked smile. “I wasn’t the ungrateful one. I asked him for you, Mirrin.”

She swallowed. “You wanted me?” Her heartbeat was impossibly loud. The men on the city walls would mistake it for a drum-message.

“Does it surprise you so much?”

“But we were raised as foster-siblings—”

He took the single stride necessary to close the distance between them and set his hands on her waist. “Can you truly tell me that you always thought of me as your brother, and nothing more? That you still do, even if I hold you like this?” He pulled her body flush against his. She thought she could make out the imprint of every one of his muscles, even through their clothing. “And even if I touch you like this?”

His palms slid down to her hips. Such a small movement to have such a great effect. There was something undeniably territorial about it, and a short distance from the pit of her belly, where heat bloomed in response.

He bent his head and his mouth hovered just above hers. She couldn’t help parting her lips; she needed air, desperately.

Then he uttered a dry laugh and let her loose. “See.”

Bound by Wyvern’s Blood

A work in progress.

Brendar was exiled from Elenyor-under-Shadow for daring to love the prince’s daughter. When he returns, it’s with an army behind him. But although Mirrin may not recognize him at first with his armor and his grim expression, his love for her hasn’t changed. She thinks to ensnare him to win her city’s freedom, and to be sure of it, has an alchemist brew a potion of wyvern’s heart-blood to inflame his passion. When she shares a drink with him, she falls into her own trap…

An unedited excerpt follows.

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