by Jennie Lynn Roberts
(The Hawks, #4)
Publication date: November 23rd 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
What is it about her that makes him lose his mind? Every. Damn. Time.
Tor’s world is falling apart. The king he’d sworn to guard? Dead. The family he worked so hard for? They certainly wasted no time disowning him. All he has left is the Hawks… and an intense desire to win Keely’s heart. It won’t be easy—especially after the mistake he made—but he has to try, because the alternative, living without her, is unthinkable.
Losing someone you love leads to nothing but pain; Keely learned that the hard way. But there is something about Tor that makes her wonder if loving him is worth the risk… if only he felt the same way. Now her best option is to create a new future on her own—no matter how much she might wish her relationship with Tor could be different.
But all is not well in Brythoria. The treaty still isn’t ratified, and the mountain border is filled with enemies poised to destroy them. Can Tor and Keely find their way back to each other? Or will their second chance at happily ever after burn in the fires of impending war?
Tor, book 4 in The Hawks series, is a sexy, steamy, adult fantasy romance full of swords, shifters (kind of), and tons of action. But fair warning: This book is intended only for readers who love fast-paced adventure, soul mates and found family—and characters who curse when they fight for survival. If that’s you, happy reading.
Tor found Keely in a small glade, the pale afternoon sunlight streaming around her. The ground was littered with fallen leaves, muffling his footsteps, but she still spun to face him before he’d fully entered the glade, lifting a crossbow, and pointing it straight at him.
He stopped instantly. Her grip was firm and confident, and if she released, he’d have a bolt through his heart in an instant.
They stared at each other for a moment, and then she lowered the crossbow, pointing it safely away toward the ground at her side. Her posture was one of strength and experience, even though she still seemed to be protecting her shoulder slightly, and he remembered her mentioning that she had some skill with shooting.
“Archery?” he asked, stepping closer.
She raised one eyebrow. “I wasn’t allowed weapons in the palace. I’ve been feeling out of practice.”
Bloody Ballanor. He could only imagine how awful it had been for Keely, a maid, with no status, no power, and not even a weapon to defend herself, in Ballanor’s court.
“No wonder you hated it,” he admitted quietly.
“Hated what?” she asked in her soft Verturian accent.
“Hated Ballanor. The court. Brythoria.” He paused, not wanting to include the guards, although he knew he should. “All of it.”
She shrugged again. “At least it’s over.” She hefted the crossbow in her hand, taking its weight. “And now I’ve got a weapon.”
He grunted. “I see that.”
She raised her eyebrows, waiting for him to say more.
“I’m glad,” he admitted.
She grinned back at him, pleased with his answer, and he couldn’t help adding, “You said that you shoot.” Gods. Mathos was right, he did have a habit of stating the obvious. But the obvious always seemed so much safer than saying anything else.
“Yes, I used to. I’d like to start again.”
Late afternoon sunshine streaked across the small glade and the trees were filled with the evening calls of birds, and suddenly it didn’t seem so quiet anymore.
He stepped closer, wishing he could have put a crossbow in her hands long before, wishing he could apologize for the time she’d spent in Ballanor’s court, but unable to find the right words.
Gods, she was so strong. And so beautiful. The golden sunlight caught her hair like a halo, and he ached to run his hand through the silky strands. When he’d pulled her into his arms in the moat, her damp hair had smelled of heather—woody and slightly floral—and he wondered if that soft scent would surround him if he gave in and reached for her.
How many hours had he spent remembering the torture of cutting her jerkin away? Balancing the knife so that it cut smoothly, never jarring her or pressing into her more than he absolutely had to. Utterly, acutely aware of her. Every breath, every movement. The way her elegant hands gripped the blanket, like a woman might grip her sheets as she lost herself in pleasure. If he had leaned forward, just an inch, he would have been able to run his tongue over that perfect skin; pink and flushed from the cold.
“Shall we have a competition, then?” she asked eventually.
Yes, they had to do something. Because otherwise he was going to take another step forward, and another, and then he would be close enough to touch her. He had to remind himself that he had no right to touch her. No right to reach toward her, despite how much he wanted to. How desperately he wanted some of her light to shine on him, to ease the cold he’d wrapped himself in.
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