A Breath of Sunlight
by Sydney Winward
Publication date: August 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Don’t show compassion for men. Never save a man’s life. And no matter what, never fall in love with someone you must ultimately kill. But some rules are meant to be broken, even if it means risking your life by betraying your valkyrie sisters.
The plan was simple—attack the Pits, kill the male slaves, save the women. But when Skaja runs into a fae man she can’t kill, she instead breaks all the rules to save him.
Prince Calle was sold into slavery by his jealous brother, and he would do anything to taste freedom again, even put his trust in a dangerous valkyrie. To protect his people and gain the throne, he and Skaja must trust each other. But neither of them expected trust to turn into something more, and the cost of love has a much steeper price than either of them anticipated.
Calle gasped and shot up into a sitting position. He clawed at his throat to remove the boot, but instead of finding a rough leather boot, he touched soft, warm skin.
“Shh,” Skaja soothed as she touched his hands, his face, his hair. “It was only a bad dream.”
Her face finally came into focus in the darkness. Pinched, concerned brows. Pursed lips. Hair falling across her forehead.
He shook his head, suddenly aware of the perspiration that clung to his skin. His back ached where he’d been whipped. His throat still burned for air. The slave brand on his forearm rippled with heat. “N-n-no. It w-w-wasn’t a d-d-dream.”
“It was,” she said in a soothing tone, and for the first time since they’d met, her eyes were kind and gentle. Her fingers stroked either side of his hair. She was touching him… And not just an uncertain, awkward touch. A compassionate caring lingered in her caress, and he couldn’t help but lean into her hand.
“Please don’t stop,” he whispered.
A pause. But then her fingers continued their exploration. Her light touch skimmed his hair, his eyebrows, his nose, his cheekbones. They hesitantly touched his earlobe before she more daringly traced the shape of his long, pointed ear.
His heart slowed into something calmer. Something safer. The fear in his soul settled to the bottom of a clear, placid lake. The pain in his back and throat ebbed. The burn on his forearm died slowly like a waning fever.
He breathed in Skaja’s scent of jasmine and cool midnight skies and breathed out a river of calm. She was right. It was only a dream.
Yet, it had felt so real.
A flash of darkness passed across his mind, and as if he once again found himself in the deep ravine of the Pits, his hands began trembling. Skaja’s gentle touch trailed from his ear, to his shoulder, down his arm, before she clasped his hand. Her touch felt so good. Like a breath of sunlight after being caged in the darkness for so long.
Sydney Winward is a fantasy and paranormal romance author who dabbles in the occasional historical fiction. She loves building complex worlds filled with magic, strong characters, and emotional stories that can make you laugh and cry.
Sydney is the author of The Bloodborn Series, and when she’s not writing, she’s reading, thinking about stories, or going on adventures with her children. She lives in Utah with her husband, two amazing kids, and one stubborn fish.
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