Steal the salt. Bind the grimoire. Escape the male.
Daughters of Askara, Book 3When an exchange of stolen goods in the Feriana marketplace turns sour, Isabeau stumbles from the encounter bruised and laden with new orders to complete an even larger heist. With her child’s life at stake, there’s no room for error—or allies.
Armed with a lethal book of spells, she strikes a dangerous bargain with Roland Bernhard. Steal a shipment of salt from the Feriana colony, and she’ll have her freedom—and her daughter. It’s all she’s ever wanted. At least it was…until she runs into Dillon Preston.
Dillon is out of commission after a mine explosion, and itching for a distraction. He gets it when the female who saved his leg arrives at the colony with nothing but flimsy excuses and even flimsier attire. She’s after something, but is it him—or the salt?
Trapped in a desperate bid to gain true freedom, Isabeau is willing to sacrifice her life for her daughter’s, but Dillon has other plans. He wants a package deal, and he’s not willing to lose either female, even if it means the future king of Sere’s head will roll.
Warning: This title contains a heroine desperate to save her daughter and a hero determined to make them a family. It also includes wings, horns and other assorted appendages.
Realm of Askara, City of Feriana
Runes burned hot across my wrists where slave bands were inked into my skin. Inhaling the rich mélange that was Feriana on market day, I wished I was anywhere other than here, anyone other than me. Shifting my bag, I patted the bulge weighting its bottom. Good. It was still there.
As it had been the last five times I’d checked.
Guilt flavored each swallow to wet my throat. Remain calm. Impossible when my tattoos stung persistent warning. You have what he wants. All will be well.
I choked on a dry laugh. All was never well. Those who penned fairytales should be stabbed through the heart with their quill.
Pretending interest in the fresh produce, I surveyed the crowd. He was here, but where?
“Isabeau?” A firm hand tugged at my sleeve. “I asked what you thought of these dates.”
I spared them half a glance, then continued skimming the crowd. “You’ve chosen well.”
Lindsay’s smile lit the corner of my eye, and regret tugged at my conscience. She deserved more attention than I could afford to give her. I’d make it up to her later, assuming I had the chance. Procuring supplies wasn’t a priority for me, though I knew it should be. Right now, other worries occupied my mind. Such things as how willing I was to use defensive glamour if I must.
As the telltale burn of building magic scalded my palms, I supposed I’d made my choice.
Another tug at my arm swiveled my head toward Lindsay.
“I’d like to search the scarves, if I may. I had hoped to purchase a mating gift for Emma.”
Emma. What would she think if she knew my reason for being here?
Tugging at my collar, I swallowed past the sensation of her strong fingers wrapped about my throat. As acting consul of Askara, she’d wring my neck for this betrayal, and I would deserve it.
Living at the consulate with her, putting my healing craft to good use, helping ex-slaves begin new lives in either the city of Feriana or its colony…I loved that life. And it was all a lie.
Glamour crackled over my skin, but the only things I concealed were the black spell-crafting runes inked from my forearms to my fingertips. Still, the static shock of power coating my skin led others to believe my concealment was more than cosmetic, a misconception I let flourish.
Given my consulate position, most assumed I was a female Evanti hiding in plain sight.
They were wrong.
Hailey is a wife turned mother turned writer, who loves her husband, her daughter and alone time with her computer. Whenever southern living strikes her as too ordinary, she can be found squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after or with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen. Wings and/or cupcakes are usually involved…
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