eBook Details

Her Warrior Heart

By: Ann Cory | Other books by Ann Cory
Published By: Resplendence Publishing, LLC
Published: Jun 08, 2011
ISBN # 9781607353379
Word Count: 18,713
Heat Index   
EligiblePrice: $2.99 $2.24 (after rebate)

Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket, Epub

Categories: Romance>Fantasy Romance>Historical Other Romance>Short Stories

Description

Raina, a gifted healer known for her magic mead, must deliver her rare medicine to King Valin who lies dying from a poison of black magic concocted by a vengeful sorceress.

On her quest she is joined by Torin, the fierce and handsome warrior she handpicked from a village to join her.

Along the way they are thwarted by harpies, a ruthless warlock, and the sorceress herself, but it is only when Torin falls prey to a spell of black magic that Raina must trust her heart to decide who she will save.
 
Reader Rating:  Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
Excerpt:

Raina adjusted the leather flask on her hip as she and Torin trudged through the hills along the outskirts of the Forest of Dean. After a day and a half of travel, the flask had grown heavy, its braided cord digging deep into her shoulder. Light snowfall had slowed them the last few miles, but she refused to let it get her spirits down.

“I wish you didn’t fear horses. Our travel would be swift with the aid of more legs,” Torin reasoned.

Raina speared him with a glance. “I do not fear them. I don’t fear anything. I told you, I don’t care for them. It’s the feral look in their eyes and how easily they’re spooked. When you witness a grown man stomped to death by his own horse, then you might differ in your view of them.”

Torin moved in front of her and dropped to bended knee. “You could wrap your arms tight around me while I handled the reins. I’d keep you safe.”

Her lips stretched into a grin at his response. She longed to find an excuse to press her body against him and hold on for dear life. “Sounds tempting, but I don’t think so. You’ll never catch me on a horse. Now please, let us change the subject.”

He stood and brushed the snow from his woolen breeches, his thick thighs flexing beneath. “It’s okay to admit they scare you.”

Raina forced her view up and exhaled. “The only fear I have is that we won’t reach the king in time. We need to quicken our pace. I can’t let Queen Endelyne down.”

“Yes, yes,” he agreed. “In any case, if you hear a low rumbling in the next while, don’t be alarmed and think there’s a wild beast on our trail. It will be my stomach.”

She laughed and pushed a strand of hair from her face. The thought of his toned abdomen made her pulse race. “Duly noted.”

Hunger pangs had been clawing at her belly too, though she’d done her best to ignore them. Frequent stops risked the king’s life, and she’d never forgive herself if they arrived in Bristol too late.

Queen Endelyne had sought her out by way of messenger. The letter detailed the grave condition of her husband, King Valin. He’d been struck with a rare ailment that required immediate attention. A trusted doctor predicted he had three days left, at best, and the queen knew of only one who could help. Raina had long been regarded as a healer with her special mead. Magic mead the villagers of Gloucestershire had deemed it. Word had spread that she’d inherited the gift from her mother, a devout medicine woman.

Growing up, Raina watched her mother crush various herbs with a mortar and pestle and infuse teas with flowers and roots. It had been only in the pre-dawn hours when her mother mixed the rare medicinal mead, a time when Raina had been sound asleep.

After her mother died, the villagers continued to frequent her home and request the magic elixir. Raina didn’t know how to help them, having never learned to make it herself. One night she woke from a deep slumber and found herself in the kitchen mixing the mead, as if invisible hands guided her. She didn’t realize that she’d known how all along. From then on she helped heal the townsfolk and took pride in her newfound gift.

While Raina trusted the mead’s abilities, she was worried that the king might be worse than anyone knew. Even more worrisome, the king’s illness resulted from a dark spell.

The queen wrote of a sorceress who attempted to seduce the king, and when he didn’t fall for her charms, she poisoned him. Raina knew her mead cured the sick and healed the injured, but wondered if it was potent enough to undo a potion created from black magic.

Doubts aside, the symptoms described by the queen were enough to warrant an immediate journey. Torin’s company tempered her anxiety and fueled her strength. And his good looks were always a welcome to her travel-weary eyes.

“Do you think the king will survive?” asked Torin, his voice heavy with concern.

Her jaw clenched. “From the moment I received the queen’s letter I felt his sickness fester inside me. It’s unlike anything I’ve encountered before. With everything I hold dear, I must believe in the power of the mead.”

Raina gently patted the flask as if reassuring it and them. She might not have made it had she traveled alone, but with Torin she felt anything was possible.

Her Warrior Heart

By: Ann Cory
x