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Today you will find me celebrating at Romance Lives Forever and Silken Sheets and Seduction.
Do visit both sites. Here, I am offering two free copies to two commenters chosen at random. Leave me a comment for a chance to win.
Today’s excerpt for you is short.
Through the fog of the veil, she studied his handsome features. A superb example of an Astan male, with rich green eyes and a wealth of dark ringlet curls hanging thick to his shoulders. No scowl marred his face like the one in the image Raisa found for her. His magnificent wedding robes swathed him from neck to foot, in the same manner as the horrible borrowed ones she wore. She guessed he would be well-made beneath the embroidered fabric. His expression remained unreadable. She sucked in her lip while she fought back the words she longed to scream. How could my life have descended to this?
“Would it distress you if I moved the veil so I can see you again?”
She closed her eyes. “No, I’ll not be distressed.” Guilt for such a huge lie demanded immediate attention. But she couldn’t do penance for her false words now. The gods held second place to her husband. She must offer atonement later.
Her heart thundered as he reached toward her. Under normal circumstances, no male would dare to ask to look at her, nor would she have ever been in such close proximity for any reason. She stifled a prayer for forgiveness. Will the great god Lamara understand the shattering of my link to the Temple? The traditional farewell ceremony of an adept would be impossible for her to perform today. No one seemed to care her immortal spirit stood in peril. Might I be forever damned for the breaking of my vows?
Her gaze downcast, she remained rigid. She held her breath until her lungs screeched for air as she allowed him to lift the veil. He took far more time than must be necessary to fold the veil’s fabric back against her hair. In the end, the fear she might faint forced her to suck in a breath before she peeked up through her lashes. He made a slow study of her face. A sudden bold imp of humor bubbled through her, no doubt caused by the last trace of Raisa’s strange tasting brew along with these most unnatural circumstances. “Do you like what you see, my lord?”
Oh my. What did I say?
He didn’t answer. Fearful she may have provoked a negative response, she raised her gaze to his. A wave of surprise roared its warmth through her. His features changed with his broad smile. The expression revealed his perfect white teeth, laughter lines around his compelling eyes, and the hint of a dimple close to his mouth. A kernel of hope rose in her heart. His smile soothed her like a bright and cool west wind on a sultry day.