Psst! Yesterday’s winner is at the bottom of this post!
What an appropriate title! Did Lauren curse us? This morning, the snow is still deep enough to warrant UGGs. Not that I have any ambitions beyond snuggling deeper into my Snuggie and watching cartoons with the kids. Maybe I’ll find my ambition again after a round of Fairy Odd Parents. 😀
“…ARCTIC DRAGON is a captivating fairytale…”
4 Kisses, Two Lips Reviews
“…Delilah Devlin is an awesome author who knows how to get a reader’s attention and keep them coming back for more…Ms. Devlin has written a fantastic story that explodes right off the pages…”
5 Angels & Recommended Read, Fallen Angels Reviews
Headstrong, and seeking a little respite from a suitor’s relentless wooing, Queen Larikke rides the arctic wind far beyond the bounds of Northland, only to have her horse bolt at a shot from a hunter’s gun. Her “rescuer” is a handsome, mysterious man who lives alone in the wilderness, his cabin filled with erotic images of women.
Rather than fearing her fate, Larikke sets out to seduce him, hoping for one last fling before she settles down to do her duty and wed. Thinking he was saving a life, Drake dragged a very strange woman home, stripped her, and warmed her by his fire. Now he finds his long, self-imposed isolation may have made her allure impossible for him to resist and that he’ll endanger her when he shares his special kiss.
A blanket of fresh powder muffled his footsteps. For a moment, the bitter cold wind died down. The stillness invited him deeper into the clearing. Something in the air alerted him, an intuition that was part of his true nature told him to wait.
Wind had blown snow against large tree trunks, forming deep banks where the tall green sentinels stood close together. Everywhere pure, pristine white dusted the tops of branches, cloaking them in rich, thick wonder. Precious sunlight peeked from behind a dark gray cloud and refracted like a billion tiny prisms on frozen crystals that gilded the uppermost layer of the snow.
His breaths seemed loud, intrusive and he concentrated on being quiet so that he didn’t disturb—not that anyone was would hear him this deep in the wilderness.
Rather, all was hushed, expectant. Quiet like he preferred now. Content at last with his own company.
The first few months had been the worst. The silence had nearly driven him nuts. Now, he barely noticed. Sounds other than voices, the hum of electricity or the roar of a passing engine were replaced with softer, more predictable ones—the rustle of pine needles as a breeze swept through outstretched branches, the resonant creaking when snow weighed the branches down. The rustle of animals as they scratched in the snow for food.
The voices inside his head had also faded. The strident ones that had called him a freak and the startled screams—well, they couldn’t reach him here.
If he missed the company of a woman—so be it. Other parts of his existence flourished in the solitude. Almost filling the aching void. The decision he’d made had been the right one. He’d spend the rest of his life—however long—alone.
Do no harm.
He lived by that rule now. At least in regard to people.
For now, he had a stew pot to fill, and he’d tracked a lone deer through the forest to this spot. A soft snort, and he found the doe digging with her hooves to uncover whatever she could still forage beneath the snow.
Drake tugged off his mittens and raised his rifle, setting the stock snug against his shoulder. He had the doe in his sights and slowly pulled back on the trigger, when an unexpected tinkling sound, like bells carried on the wind, drew his attention. His gaze strayed for only moment. As his attention returned to his quarry, a sudden icy wind swept up snow, obscuring his view.
The shadow of the deer still in his scope, he pulled the trigger, jerking the barrel upward at the last moment when he realized he wasn’t looking at a doe at all—but a woman on a bay-colored horse!
The shot went wild, but the horse gave a high-pitched whinny and reared, dumping the woman to the ground before bolting.
Drake threw down his rifle, swearing silently as he clomped on unwieldy snowshoes toward the figure lying like a spill of red paint against a white canvas. Her fur-lined scarlet cloak fanned around her slender body. He knelt in its folds to reach for the woman who had yet to open her eyes.
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