If you’re a fan of Renee Wildes’ Guardian series – and I know you are – you’re in for a treat – Book Five, A Guardian’s Destiny, is out and ready to be devoured. To bring you up to speed on this latest tasty treat, read on for a brief synopsis and – best of all – an excerpt!
Synopsis – A Guardian’s Destiny
Guardians of Light
On what should have been Verdeen’s proudest day, she is blocked
from advanced warrior training because no war mare chooses to bond with her.
Burning with humiliation, she accepts a lesser assignment to the Isle of Ice,
serving as bodyguard to human riever, Daq Aryk.
Verdeen’s never paid much attention to men, so focused was she
on her training. But she quickly realizes hieing off into a distant wilderness
with Aryk is a bad idea. He makes her lose all focus and perspective.
Aryk faces a difficult task: molding six warring clans into a
peaceful whole. He’s got nothing against women warriors, but Verdeen is young
and inexperienced, her beauty a potentially fatal distraction. She’s a
shield-maiden, not a bedmate. But the way she melts at his every touch erodes
all his good intentions…and sense.
One kiss unleashes the kind of feverish desire that should occur
only once in a lifetime—with a mate. But as their quest takes ever more
dangerous twists and turns, their bond could be the one thing that unites a
nation. Or make Aryk’s worst nightmare a blood-soaked reality.
Warning:Contains fire and ice, ever-gratuitous sex and violence, sword play and self-play, spying and lying, noble intentions and betrayal. In other words, a rollicking good roll in the proverbial hay.
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A Guardian’s Destiny – An EXCERPT
Verdeen paced through the lush gardens, letting the
honey scent of night-blooming moonflowers soothe her. Their waxy ivory petals
glowed in the lights. Thank the Lady Goddess everyone remained inside. The
splashing of the wishing fountain attracted her, and she emerged into a small
clearing lit by pink mage light. She wasn’t the first to venture there.
She froze at the intimidating figure staring into the
shadowy ripples of water. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here—”
“Don’t go.” Aryk turned from the fountain and held out
a sun-bronzed hand. “Stay.”
She eyed his hand, wary of his touch. “Daq Aryk, what
are you doing out here?”
“Just Aryk. I longed for quiet.” He raked his hand
through his hair. “I felt on display.”
She could relate to both parts of his statement, and
unexpected sympathy welled for the stranger. As if of its own volition, her
body glided closer to him. His unique, multi-faceted, hazel eyes captured her
gaze. Their intensity made her falter. “Why have you come here to
Poshnari-Unai, my city?”
“To set my destiny in motion.” His lips quirked at her
puzzlement. “Stovak nos briel.”
She cocked her head. “What do you mean?”
“Destiny awaits. Sounds grand and mysterious, hai?” He
sighed and rubbed the back of his neck. “’Tisn’t. I’ve a political problem back
home. Cianan believes Loren could help.”
Humans followed the Destiny Hand? “He’s very good at
solving most problems.”
“Your eyes are red. You’ve been weeping. Why?” He
frowned, but she read genuine concern in his eyes. “Today you triumphed over
everyone. I’ve never seen aught like it. You were amazing.”
“Really?” She cursed the tremor in her voice, the
eager approval-seeking obvious even to herself.
His smile softened the harsh planes of his face and
deepened the crinkles around his eyes, making him seem younger and less
imposing. “Hai. I’ve seen many a warrior in my lifetime. Believe me when I say
you’re gifted, Kyra. Smart, strong, and beautiful. Poetry in motion.”
Something melted within her at the compliment. There
was the word again, kyra, his husky
tone nigh making it an endearment.
“The one thing I wanted most in this world slipped
through my fingers this afternoon. A chance to be selected as a ranger trainee,
to further my studies. It didn’t happen.” A tear fell. She froze as he brushed
“There are many paths to greatness. A warrior’s
greatest strength is the scope of his vision. You showed vision and judgment
today, but take care lest your focus cause you to miss your true path. A
warrior must above all be adaptable to change. The one thing that never changes
is the fact everything changes.”
He held out his hand again, and she took it. Big
mistake. His thick, scarred fingers caressed hers. made her tingle in places
not even remotely attached to her hand. She entwined her fingers with his to
still them and bit her lip at the zing of awareness as his thumb brushed the
sensitive skin of her inner wrist.
“Cease,” she whispered.
“Cease what?” His voice dropped to a smooth, dark
seduction of lethal proportions. “This?” His fingers teased hers with long,
light strokes. “Or this?” He rubbed gentle circles over her pulse, which
hammered at his touch.
She should have extricated herself but didn’t move.
Couldn’t move. “This isn’t proper.”
Some rebellious part of her didn’t care.
“Do you always do what’s proper, Kyra?”
“’Tis a term for a woman warrior.”
“We also have such a term, ancient and seldom used. Vertenya. Few exist in our world to
carry such a title.”
Per Cianan, there were now but two—Queen Dara and
Aryk slid closer, the heat from his body curling
around her. “I answered your question. Now you answer mine.”
What was his
question? If only she’d focused on his words instead of on the rich smoky
warmth of his voice. Like crème rija pudding with honeyed brandy. Sheer decadence
to make her melt.
“Do you always do what’s proper?”
Female in the military? It didn’t get any less proper.
Just ask her absent parents. Acourse, holding hands with a royal guest in a
moonlit garden wasn’t proper, either. Yet here she stood with her hand in his,
close enough for his subtle musky scent to push the fragrance of the flowers
from her awareness. All she could think of was how she wanted to move closer
yet. Dazed, she shook her head.
Heat flared in his changeable eyes. “They said this is
a wishing fountain. If you make a wish and toss in a pebble, your wish comes
“’Tis true. A legend as old as this city itself. There
are faeries with the power to grant it, if the wish is personal and comes from
Aryk uncurled his free hand, revealed a stone. With a
flick, he tossed it over her shoulder. Verdeen heard the splash. “Guess what I
“Your destiny would be fulfilled?”
“Stovak nos briel. Nay, what I wished for is
more personal and out of my hands.”
Their gazes clashed then locked. His eyes narrowed,
darkened. “A kiss freely given by you.”
Her heart skipped a beat. Why waste the
power of a wish on such a frivolous thing?
He must have read the disbelief on her face. “’Tis a
rare gift. Tonight in this magical place, all things seem possible.”
They did. They truly did. She should be angry or
offended at his outrageous request. She should return to the party. Today had
been emotional chaos, leaving her raw, vulnerable in its wake. Tonight, heart
ruled mind. She nibbled her lower lip, undecided. Why? Mayhap ’twas the
moonlight, the seclusion of the garden setting. Mayhap ’twas his words, the
understanding on his face. The heat in his eyes, the warmth of his hand.
Or mayhap Cianan was right. Mayhap the woman tired of
the warrior having the say.